Friday, 29 May 2009

Youth Debate

Earlier this year Nick palmer, Anna Soubry and myself took part in a series of debates around the constituency, setting out the case for our respective parties. I'm delighted to announce that they have both accepted my invitation to run a further debate in the autumn aimed specifically at young people. We'll need to work out the details but with all three of us in agreement there shouldn't be any reason for it not to go ahead.

Call The Election

Two more MP's have been forced to announce that they will not seek re-election at the next general election after what were, in blunt terms, fraudulent expenses claims. this is however unlikley to satisfy most people and I find myself agreeing with David Cameron (not something I've said often) that the only way forward is to call a General Election now.

Vote Match

I've added a new button on the left to Vote Match, a new tool by the movement For Democracy (forermly Charter 88). I took it and fortunately it did suggest that I ought to vote Lib-Dem as they best represent my views, followed by the Green party, which is what I would expect and with UKIP trailing in last.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish

The first BNP councillor elected to Broxtowe has been thrown off the council for failing to attend meetings. In a six month period she did not attend one meeting. Is this how the BNP believe that democracy should work? Good riddance to the racists and lets hope we have no more of them.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Mr Speaker Should Go

Commons speaker Michael Martin has once again shown that he is not competent to fulfill the role he holds. Not content with throwing away crucial rights and privileges of parliament by allowing the police, in an operation driven wholly by the wishes of the Labour Party, to search the offices of a Conservative MP, he now attacks MP's who have criticised their colleagues for having snouts in the trough. Does the man not realise that it is not the disclosures in the newspapers which damage Parliament but the fact that he and his team have allowed MP's to pursue such self-serving greed in the first place? It's no good blaming the messenger when the message makes him uncomfortable. Parliamentry staff should have stopped these abuses before they ever began, and Mr Martin cannot escapte the fact that this all happened on his watch.

Previous Speakers of the House have risked imprisonment and even death to protect the integrity of Parliament. Mr Martin seems to be pursuing a one man crusade to drag it into the mud. If he had any integrity whatsoever he would have resigned over his previous errors, but his latest outburst today must surely convince even his closest friends that he has to go, and to go now.

MP's Expenses

The recent revelations in the Daily Telegraph about the sort of things some MP's have been claiming expenses for drags the whole political system into the gutter. It is no use MP's demanding a police enquiry into who leaked, the focus should be on the greed and downright opportunism of so many MP's using the system to feather their own nests. Just because "it was within the rules" does not mean that it was morally right, or even morally acceptable. Claims for light bulbs, dog food and lawnmowers are wholly unacceptable.

My preferred solution is that accomodation should be provided for MP's in London and then the whole second home claim can be scrapped without any problems. I have no objection to the provided accomodation being comfortably furnished - MP's are after all there to do an important job and I don't require them to wear hair shirts for it. I note from his last e-mail that Nick Palmer MP now agrees with me - I suggested this to him at a debate we had recently. There are two possible venues for this - the County Hall Hotel directly over the river from Parliament (this was Nick's suggestion and I'll give credit where it is due) or alternatively this may be a good use to put part of the Olympic village to after the 2012 games have concluded (not an original idea of mine but I can't recall who first suggested it to me - thank you if it was you).

If this doesn't happen then my pledge is that, if elected as an MP, I will rent (not buy) a modest property in London and I will publish all my expenses claims on my own web site at least quarterly. I will not claim for normal living expenses not connected with my work.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Gurkha Latest

The latest developments in the Gurkha saga, with the immigration minister in full retreat duringan impromptu press conference, showed how much the Government is in disarray and that not only are they out of touch with ordinary people but they have become so arrogant that they no longer care what ordinary people think. On June 4th you will have the chance to show them what we do think, and across the country Labour councillors are braced for massive losses. Here in Broxtowe the Lib-Dems already hold half the county seats and we're going all out to win the rest of them.

After Labour go into meltdown in the County elections we can only hope that Gordon Brown will do the only decent thing left to him and call an early general election.