by Ian Vallely
I believe that everyone is entitled to my opinion!
Pensions, pasties and panic-buying petrol...
The Government hasn't had the most comfortable of rides of late. Arguably, it all started when Liam Fox was forced to resign as Defence Secretary over his working relationship with friend and self-styled adviser Adam Werritty.
Since then, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has come under sustained fire over his proposed NHS reforms and Chancellor George Osborne was accused of unfairness following a Budget that put a squeeze on public sector pay and pensioners, and cut taxes for high earners. He later cemented his reputation for being out of touch with the people when he was forced to engage in a bizarre discussion about hot and cold pasties and his limited contact with the ubiquitous West Country pie.
Piling on the agony, businessman Peter Cruddas left the Government squirming after secretly taped footage appeared to show him offering access to the PM in exchange for a donation of £250,000. More recently, Whitehall caused widespread panic-buying of fuel by suggesting that drivers top up their tanks and fill jerry cans with petrol in a bid to lessen the impact of a possible tanker drivers' strike.
Our own sector has not been immune from the political pantomime. Chris Huhne quit his job as Energy Secretary after learning he would be charged with perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case.
And we witnessed a farce that turned into slapstick following the poor implementation and chaotic management of the Feed in Tariff.
Nor has the Labour Party covered itself in glory lately. Ed Milliband looked decidedly uncomfortable when he and a couple of colleagues were filmed eating pasties in a Greggs bakery during a photo opportunity designed to highlight the Government's own pie-related shenanigans. Then, George Galloway won a shock victory over Labour in a Yorkshire by-election he rather grandly dubbed the "Bradford Spring".
However, it is the Government that runs the country and its policies are the ones that impact on our everyday lives. We are, according to Prime Minister David Cameron, all in this together. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say we all stepped in this together.
The utterly shambolic Number Ten policy machine needs to get a grip before the fiasco it is largely responsible for grows into a full-scale national crisis.