Skip to main content

Where's the abstain button

Yesterday was the first day that I abstained on a vote in person. What I am asking is "where is the abstain button". In the City Council there are six ways someone can cast a vote, for, against, pressing the asbstain button, sitting in the council chamber too frightened to press any button, somewhere else in the building and actually unavailable.

I see it is actually possible to vote both ways on an issue if you run, but that does not seem the best mechanism. The problem is, however, that when you are present, but abstain it is difficult to record this.

In the mean time we have learnt that it is a lot harder finding a place within which to spend a penny. There is an interesting thing behind it. Public Toilets are an important public service (particularly for elderly gents), but across the country they are being flushed away. In all regions there are fewer from 6,087 in 2000 to 5,539 in 2004. We may be a wealthy country, but it seems beyond the country's ability to have public loos. It is not surprising to find more people urinating in the street (generally men) if there are fewer public toilets.

I always remember a particular urinal which was on the Oaklands Recreation ground which was an old victorian cast iron urinal and had no roof. It worked well as it was self cleaning. However, the council (at that time not controlled by us) then decided to board it up. Which was a bit stupid as then kids tried to climb in and out. It was then demolished. There was absolutely no real sense to this.

So if the police can record biometric data on the PNC why do we need a separate ID database?

Yesterday together with a number of MPs from the Birmingham area we reviewed the situation relating to MG Rover in conjuction with AWM.

Just before posting this entry I asked an oral question of the minister in respect of air flight. People in Sheldon are blighted by the proposed Second Runway for Birmingham Airport that I believe personally will never happen.

The government are claiming on one hand that they are taking CO2 emissions seriously and also planning for massive increases in Air Flight (which will increase CO2 emissions dramatically). The only way they could do both of these would be to use biofuels to fuel airflight - the concept of going to Ibiza on a few buckets of mustard oil or the like. The government response was a load of woffle, but I did expect that.


Stephen Booth said…

I believe I recall reading (in the "Evening Mail") that the closure of the public loos was due to them being used by gentlemen to seek the company of other gentlemen for activities held to not be in the interests of public order. Or, in the vernacular, 'Cottaging'.
john said…
I don't think cottaging was the real reason. (or even a reason)

Popular posts from this blog

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.

I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…

The Labour Candidate's Book Promotion Tour and Why It Matters

In the 2015 General Election the Labour Candidate criticised John Hemming for having an external interest and made a pledge that she would be a "Full Time MP for Yardley and my only other job will be mom & carer ...".  Here is a copy of that pledge:

Since that point she has been working on paid Television Programmes and has also written a book. John Hemming has made no secret of the fact that he chairs the board of the company he founded in 1983. This involves one meeting a month. When he was the MP for Yardley he was a full time MP and the Job of being MP for Yardley came first. The Labour candidate has reported 1,274 hours of work other than being an MP in the two years she has been elected and her income in the last year was over £131,000.

Ignoring the question as to how she reconciles that with her "pledge" the question is raised as to what extent her external activity conflicts with the role of Member of Parliament for Yardley. She is supposed to de…