Character matters

David Cameron and Ed MilibandPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

As the dust continues to hang in the air after Thursday’s Syria vote, a few commentators are starting to wonder whether Ed Miliband’s “victory” was a Pyrrhic one.

The Sunday Telegraph reports privately-voiced concerns in Labour ranks that its Leader made a “catastrophic mistake” by engineering the defeat of the government motion, which No 10 had bent over backwards to accommodate him over. Continue reading Character matters

What kind of nation are we?

Houses of ParliamentPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Nick Clegg got it right when he summed up the fundamental question that the House of Commons was given the opportunity to answer in last night’s Syria vote – “what kind of nation are we?”.  Like many people, I am shocked and appalled at the answer that our Members of Parliament have given.

Continue reading What kind of nation are we?

Watergate, this ain’t

Heathrow AirportPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

The coverage this week of the stopping of David Miranda at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act is getting thoroughly tedious.  He was carrying stolen national security information.  He was stopped by the security services.  Isn’t this exactly what is supposed to happen?  Dan Hodges hits the nail on the head – why does being a relative of Glenn Greenwald place you above the law? Continue reading Watergate, this ain’t

If the Labour Party really wants to help tackle the cost of living, it needs to reach for the F-word

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

This year, the summer months might defy the trend and be remembered for more than the usual silly season stories.  The steady drip of encouraging – even exciting –  news on the economy in the last few weeks has brought with it signs of a welcome burst of optimism about the future.

With growth up (and spreading to the regions), house prices climbing and unemployment continuing to fall, Labour’s economic critique is being taken apart piece by piece (“its hurting but it isn’t working”, anyone?) – which explains their recent attempts to shift the terms of debate to the cost of living.  YouGov’s Peter Kellner puts it eloquently today – the 2015 General Election is turning into a clash between two big economic narratives: “national cheer” vs “personal pain”. Continue reading If the Labour Party really wants to help tackle the cost of living, it needs to reach for the F-word

Twitter finally finds the right tone

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Last week I argued that Twitter UK had got its response to its trolling/abuse/threats crisis all wrong, and that it should have held its hands up straight away and taken immediate action to roll out its existing ‘report abuse’ button to all platforms.

Yesterday the company finally found the right tone.  In a statement starting with “It comes down to this: people deserve to feel safe on Twitter”, it promises an all-platform ‘report abuse’ button from next month, improved rules and a new partnership with the UK Safer Internet Centre including free promotion through its promoted tweets advertising system. Continue reading Twitter finally finds the right tone

Why council meetings should be streamed online

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

As a candidate in the Royal Borough of Greenwich council elections next year, I’m making it my business to pop along to council meetings to sit in the public gallery – which is where I was last night for a three-and-a-half hour sitting that as usual, was pretty disheartening stuff.

Labour’s tactics in silencing debate on two opposition motions put forward by the Conservative group were nothing short of a disgrace. Continue reading Why council meetings should be streamed online

Reforming the union political levy – time to go one further

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Renewal

The launch of Renewal has made quite a splash today – a new group with an agenda of broadening the Conservatives’ appeal to working class, public sector and ethnic minority voters, particularly in the North of England.  Its launch pamphlet, Access All Areas (with contributions from many 2010 intake MPs) is well worth a read.

David Skelton makes a powerful case for why the new group is needed in the Telegraph, arguing that “by championing consumers and hard-working people, the Conservatives can become the new workers’ party”, reaching out to the working class voters long since abandoned by today’s Labour Party.  I couldn’t agree more. Continue reading Reforming the union political levy – time to go one further

The national interest demands all MPs vote to Let Britain Decide

Co-sponsor the billPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

No sooner have I started blogging than I have to leave this parish unattended for two weeks for a long-planned, long-awaited holiday to the Deep South.  It’s our first holiday in two years and we’re taking in Jackson, New Orleans, Birmingham, Nashville and Memphis.  It’s fair to say tomorrow’s 7.45am flight can’t come soon enough!

The trip means that as well as Wednesday’s Spending Review (and Wimbledon), I won’t be here for the second reading of James Wharton’s European Union (Referendum) Bill – a debate I wouldn’t otherwise have missed.

Continue reading The national interest demands all MPs vote to Let Britain Decide

Silent scandals and articles of faith

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Yesterday saw some much-needed blunt talk from the Health Secretary in a speech on what he called the “silent scandal” of errors in the NHS, which led to the needless deaths of 3,000 patients last year.

Jeremy Hunt’s speech at the University College London Hospitals also highlighted the 326 so-called hospital “never events” – mistakes that are so inexcusable they should never happen – that occurred in just 12 months.  This alarming category of mistakes include things such as performing surgery on the wrong part of the body, leaving foreign objects inside the body after an operation and the misidentification of patients.

Continue reading Silent scandals and articles of faith