Column - Life at Westminster with Sir Greg Knight

You Can't Always get What You Want, featuring some top pop stars with MP4 in support is on sale now.
You Can't Always get What You Want, featuring some top pop stars with MP4 in support is on sale now.

Parliament usually hears both sides of an argument before the issue is resolved with a vote but it is often many months later before we know for certain if the correct decision was taken.

I, for one, was not pleased when the Government decided to impose a ban on shops giving away free plastic carrier bags.

Because some people are irresponsible and were throwing their bags away after use, it was argued that a small charge would reduce unwanted litter, especially on our beaches, where the bags have become a serious threat to marine life.

Well, the evidence is now available and it shows that the number of plastic carrier bags washing up on Britain’s shoreline has dropped by almost a half since stores were banned from giving them away for nothing.

Researchers recovered fewer than seven bags per 100 metres of coastline during a recent nationwide clean up, compared with over 11 a year earlier.

A spokesman said ‘the fall can only be a result of the 5p charge for bags’.

The beach clean was organised by the Marine Conservation Society and the dramatic reduction they found in waste plastic will help whales and dolphins from being suffocated and will prevent seabirds from getting tangled up in shredded pieces of plastic.

However, it is not all good news. Nationwide, there was a 4% rise in the number of bottles and drink cans dumped or washed into the sea and the littering of our countryside in a similar manner is still occurring.

Of course, plastic bottles are meant to be disposable, but the place to throw them away is in the dustbin at home and not in the beautiful East Yorkshire countryside. I hope we can all agree on that!

Getting a Leader of the Opposition to agree with a Prime Minister is not something that happens often but Mr Corbyn and Mrs May are united this month on at least one issue.

They are both backing sales of the track “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in memory of the late MP Jo Cox, who was brutally murdered earlier this year.

The song features KT Tunstall, Steve Harley, David Gray, Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson with backing by MP4 – featuring me on the drums!

It is now available on iTunes and Spotify, so do download a copy.

Proceeds are in aid of the Jo Cox Foundation.

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Friends of Jo Cox is released this week on Chrysalis Records