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Showing posts from May, 2010

Another job for the International Criminal Court

The attack on the aid convoy to Gaza has to be seen as a job for the international criminal court to investigate as an act of piracy.

It does, however, raise the question as to how it becomes possible to move towards peace in the Middle East without greater intervention from international bodies.

Somehow there needs to be international peace keeping action to keep the sides to the conflict from attacking each other.

At the same time bodies such as the ICC need to get involved in invesigating and prosecuting what are war crimes (that includes bombing the Israelis with rockets - which was some time ago).

Jersey by-election

Those who have followed the issue of my exile now ex flatmate now ex Senator Stuart Syvret will know about the fact that he left Jersey in protest at the undermining of the rule of law by the authorities in Jersey.

He was then disqualified as a Senator, has returned to Jersey and is a candidate in the by-election for the seat he was disqualified from.

I am hoping that our new government will take the issue of the Rule of Law in Crown Dependencies more seriously than the previous government.

Liquidity, Solvency and Cuts

A number of public spending cuts have been announced today. What is absolutely certain is that the UK Government has to cut the deficit reasonably quickly.

Germany is paying around 2.633% on its government debt. The UK is paying 3.516 on government bonds and Greece 7.8%.

This is all based upon how risky investors perceive the debt. If we don't show a commitment to bringing the deficit really under control then the interest rate we have to pay goes up.

This year's forecast deficit is over £150,000,000,000. Just for that borrowing interest of £5,274,000,000 will be due to be paid each year. At the Greek interest rate this would be £11,700,000,000.

This has a massive long term effect.

Party Interest vs National Interest

What does Liam Byrne's "joke" say. He left a note saying:

"I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.”

The point about the money is that without funds the government is limited as to what it can do in assisting the weak in society. Labour Ministers may have had a laugh creating a "scorched earth" environment for the next government.

But it is no joke.

By Election Results 6th May 2010

6th May

Halton UA, Mersey
LD Christopher Martin Carlin 1117 (38.9)
Lab 1153 (40.2)
Lab 1062
LD Trevor Edward Higginson 1044 (36.4)
Con 364 (12.7)
BNP 235 (8.2)
Majorities 55 / 91
Turnout 102.83%

Reigate and Banstead BC, Redhill East
Green 1882
Con 1398
Green 1361
Con 1364
LD Soo Abram 1335
Con 1274
Green 1043
Lab 880
Lab 635
UKIP 509
Ind 140
Turnout 66.34%

Preston City Council, Riversway
Lab 1140
LD Liam Pennington 807
Lab 803
LD Stephen Wilkinson 709
Con 466
Con 407
Turnout 53.2%

Warwickshire CC, Nuneaton St Nicholas
Con 3195 (56.3; -8.5)
Lab 1616 (28.5; +9)
Green 589 (10.4; -5.4)
Oth 280 (4.9; +4.9)
Majority: 1579
Con Hold
Percentage change is since June 2009

Test Valley BC, Anna Valley
Con 1804 (63.5; -0.3)
LD Tony Evans 836 (29.4; +9.9)
Other 202 (7.1; -9.5)
Majority 968
Turnout 75%
Con Hold
Percentage change is since May 2007.

Wokingham UA, Shinfield South
Con 1949
Con 1820
LD Elaine Spratling 1188
Green 664
Green 251
Con hold

Chesterfield BC, Brimington South
Lab 1500 (47.9; +4.1)
LD Stephen James Hartley 1134 (36.2; -12.6)

Labour and attempts to rewrite history

Ed Balls appears to have been attempting to rewrite the history of last week.

Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister before the partnership between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives had been agreed.

On Monday he indicated that he was willing to step down as Labour Leader to facilitate a rainbow coalition. On Tuesday he resigned as Prime Minister many hours before an alternative coalition had been agreed.

If that is not Labour taking away their bat and ball and refusing to play I don't know what is.

Coalition - John Hemming's view

There has been a roller coaster ride since the General Election and there has not yet been a week since the first results were declared.

The Country faces some very serious problems. The facts are clear

1. The Country needs a stable government and it will take the full term of a parliament to sort out the deficit.
2. The Labour Party took their ball and bat away and refused to play.
3. A minority Conservative government would not give sufficient stability.

Those three points mean that the only conclusion in the national interest is for the Lib Dems to enter into coalition with the Conservatives to provide stable government. This requires compromises on both sides and what we will see is likely to be more of a centrist government than a centre left government (which is what a Lib Dem Government would be likely to be).

The fact is, however, that the agreement that I have just published is a major step forwards on a number of issues beyond that of the deficit.

1. Fair taxes. Reduction i…

National Progressive Partnership Agreement - now published

The following document is now public, but I don't know where it is on the web so I am publishing it here.

Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition negotiations
Agreements reached
11 May 2010

This document sets out agreements reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on a range of issues. These are the issues that needed to be resolved between us in order for us to work together as a strong and stable government. It will be followed in due course by a final Coalition Agreement, covering the full range of policy and including foreign, defence and domestic policy issues not covered in this document.

1. Deficit Reduction
The parties agree that deficit reduction and continuing to ensure economic recovery is the most urgent issue facing Britain. We have therefore agreed that there will need to be:
- a significantly accelerated reduction in the structural deficit over the course of a Parliament, with the main burden of deficit reduction borne by reduced spending rather than increa…

Consultation session

Given that I probably need to go to London today I will aim to hold a consultation session for Yardley Lib Dem supporters later today.

I will provide details of the location to anyone who emails me and/or puts a note through the office door by 1pm.

38 degrees trashes MPs emails - apologies to any constituents caught out by this

38 degrees have been spamming Lib Dem MP's email boxes. The problem is that emails are being sent by 38 degree on behalf of people all over the country.

So many emails are being sent that it is impossible to read them. The danger of this is that it prevents emails from constituents being read.

I have configured my spam filter to ignore the 38 degrees emails. This may cause other emails to be rejected, for which I apologise. However, I am still managing to get emails from consitutents.

Now is an important time for MPs to be able to liaise with their constituents quickly. What 38 degrees are doing is acting to prevent this. They should stop.

If your emails to me are being rejected please put a note through the constituency office door and I will find a way of you being able to email me.

Hung Parliament - what should the LIb Dems do?

If there is a demand for this I would intend to organise a meeting in Yardley for Yardley Lib Dem supporters to discuss the issue of what the Lib Dems should do in a hung parliament (as in the one that is now hung).

Can anyone interested in such a meeting please write to or email my office.