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Don't blame the current Prime Minister

The current Prime Minister cannot really be blamed for the financial mess the country is in. That is because these things develop over a number of years. Instead the responsibility should lie with the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Treasury was run with a concentration on short term tricks which caused long term damage for 10 years. The raid on pensions is still playing out. The change in banking regulation allowed the Northern Rock problem to be one which grew and grew.

There has been a tendency in government to concentrate on the short term issue which means that long term problems have grown.

One of the Treasury's recipies for financial success was an ever growing valuation of property. This was always an unsustainable solution. The lack of cheap housing for rent (Social Housing) also drove up the property market.

A second one is buying things on the "never never". Masses of public investment has been done expensively through PFI. These costs have come home to roost with hospitals such as the QE II in Woolwich facing deficits that are underwritten by the Department of Health.

The ACT Raid on pension funds will become an issue in 2008 again.

It is not Gordon Brown's fault as Prime Minister. It is, however, Gordon Brown's fault for what he did as Chancellor.


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Millionaires and politics

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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 It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date.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…

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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.

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"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
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Gender Issues comparison of candidates

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When he was an MP he worked on issues relating to men, those relating to women and those relating to non-binary people. Everyone.

For example here is John Hemming on a demonstration outside the courts with the campaign group Women Against Rape (it related to the case of a mother who had her child removed from her because the mother was raped).

Jess Phillips, who campaigns on women's issues, notwithstanding the questions asked about her appointments in her parliamentary office, had the following response when asked for a debate on issues specifically relating to men: