YOU thought we’d got through it, didn’t you?

All the political knife-sharpening and singing birds of the summer silly season should be behind us in the seriousness of September.

You thought that along with the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, we’d also have a politics of clarity and sense.

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Not a bit of it.

The real silly season is about to start as we charge headlong into the orchestrated insanity that is party conference season.

The only thing we are clear on is that nothing is clear.

At the Chamber, we’d like to look on it as fun, an opportunity to meet with politicians we don’t normally see.

In truth, it’s a manic few days where we have to set out our shop window for the region and press politicians to put the right ingredients in place to let it happen.

Given everyone else at conferences has a similar agenda, it can sometimes feel like yelling into a malignant hurricane while trying to wrestle an octopus for your car keys.

The Chamber is attending the Conservative and Labour conferences, so what are we pushing as top priorities for the North-East.

Firstly, it has to be clarity on Brexit, in particular, but on skills policy, energy policy, on well, anything really.

The shock election result left the Government in a quandary in terms of policy and it is looking for things in the not too controversial/not to bland Goldilocks zone with one eye on its non-existent parliamentary majority.

We’ll be pressing for progress on the long-awaited industrial strategy, something badly-needed to inform long-term economic thinking in the UK.

Hopefully, that will throw some light on the Government’s plans to replace our ageing energy infrastructure.

If they don’t, the 2024 party conferences could be held by candle.

On transport, a big target is Air Passenger Duty (APD), the tax we all pay if we want to fly out of the country.

It is likely Scotland will abolish the tax in the Autumn, and we want to hold the Government to their commitment to match Scottish policy to ensure our airports remain competitive.

We want to see more progress on the Northern Powerhouse and devolution and we’d like a commitment to the Northern rail upgrade and will be pursuing Chris Grayling probably rather more than is good for anyone.

We’ll move into October footsore and exhausted, but, hopefully, with our politicians in no doubt about what they should be doing.

Rachel Anderson is head of policy and representation at the North East England Chamber of Commerce