It is great to see the economy start to reopen as high street businesses have been given the green light to reopen. It is thanks to all of your hard work that this has been possible. But we must not expect the economy to recover overnight. 12 weeks of little to no trade has had a profound impact upon businesses and the way customers behave and act. It is for this reason that the Chancellor has been actively encouraging people to visit their local shops, provided they feel safe to do so.
So, this week I want to echo the Chancellor’s message and encourage people across Windsor to go out and support their local businesses, whilst of course remembering to stay alert and to follow the guidance.
Last week also saw Westminster and its politicians receive significant attention following the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.
Many of us have mixed views of the recent protests. On the one hand, they have certainly highlighted residual inequalities in our society, and that’s a good thing. On the other hand, the lack of social-distancing was questionable at this stage of the pandemic and the violence – inflicted by a minority – against the police, public buildings and statues was totally unacceptable. I believe it to be fundamentally wrong, undermining of peaceful protest and should be addressed with the full force of the law.
I must say, it is refreshing to have so many new Conservative MPs in Parliament from, traditionally, northern Labour seats. They can see that many of the issues that ethnic minorities face are not too dissimilar from their white working class constituents. This country is not inherently racist, but the fact of the matter is a disproportionate number of ethnic minorities are poor, have low incomes, or live in poverty. Or to put it another way, a disproportionate number of Britain’s working class are ethnic minorities. I believe that this economic and social inequality is what lies at the heart of these activists’ frustration.
As a party we are committed to promoting social mobility, creating opportunity, and levelling up this country. Our landslide victory in December confirmed that the country agrees with our vision and has faith in our ability to implement it. I am therefore in no doubt that it is a Conservative Government, carrying out conservative policies, that will continue to make significant progress in alleviating the inequalities which are present across out economy and our society.
The protesters and activists clearly gained the headlines and sent a message to politicians. It has also influenced constituents who have written into my office in extraordinarily high numbers. It is taking a great deal of effort to simply read, register and process them all. Given the sheer volume and the fact that most of the letters cover the same concerns, I have published my response on my website, as is the case with other campaigns or widespread issues.
In addition to continuing to help those affected by Coronavirus I also continue to push for an early resolution to the British Airways dispute by liaising and working with other MPs and putting forward suggestions to Government Ministers, who are equally keen to see the issue resolved.
As we move deeper into summer, and out of lockdown, can I urge you to continue to act safely and responsibly when enjoying the weather and our newly re-discovered freedoms.