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Showing posts from February, 2015

Yesterday's speech about the role of an MP

John Hemming  (Birmingham, Yardley) (LD):  I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. It contains an entry for JHC, which stands for John Hemming & Co., a company I founded in 1983. It currently employs about 260 staff and has a turnover of £20 million. I have declared in the register an income of around £180,000 from that company. I attend a meeting once a month and chair the board meeting. I am a full-time Member of Parliament. I spend five full days during the week and two half days at the weekend on political business. Oddly enough, the motion is so badly drafted that it would not affect me, because the £180,000 I receive is from a partnership, and the motion does not refer to partnerships. Obviously, there is a lot of confusion about equity interest and payment per hour. I spend under four hours a month on the work set out in my declaration of interests. What do I do? Well, today I met the Latvian Justice Minister, who is concerned about

Some responses from the Yardley NHS survey

Firstly on Labour's proposals for another NHS reorganisation. Secondly on whether there is a role for buying in services.

Software and Grexit

It appears that the Greeks have decided that they are unwilling to compromise and the rest of the Eurogroup have decided that they won't throw good money after bad. There then comes the technical question of how to establish an economy based upon the "new drachma".  When changes are planned to financial software such as benefits and taxation quite a long period of planning is needed before the systems are in place to cope with this.  It is really not practical to establish the software and systems for a completely new currency overnight.  That would imply the greek government trying to cope with making payments in a situation where those banks holding a lot of greek debt are unable to operate. I am not quite sure how this actually works. It does seem, however, that after today the ball is in the Greek government court.  They can come back to the EuroGroup suggesting that they agree to something akin to the deal. However, the timescale to avoid chaos is this week.

Post office at the Poolway

Some of you may be aware that Central England Co-op have sadly resigned as agents of the branch which is situated at The Poolway. The last day of service will be in January 2016. The Post Office maintain that they are committed to continue a Post Office service in the vicinity and are currently advertising the business opportunity on their website. They have already been approached by existing retailers in the Poolway Shopping Precinct, who may be suitable new operators. Your Liberal Democrat team will work to ensure that you do not lose your Post Office service as we have successfully done so recently with the Post Office at the Wheatsheaf in Sheldon. We will keep you updated with regards to any further developments with regards to this matter.  

Yardley Hustings Agreed

Having not had hustings in 2010, the candidates (or at least the Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative) candidates have arranged a hustings event between 2 and 4 pm at South Yardley Library on 21st March 2015. The Respect and UKIP candidates have been told of the event, but neither have confirmed attendance.

Greece and the EU

It is not that easy to predict what will happen with Greece. The arguments of the Greek government are absurd. They cannot revisit the Second World War when the country agreed a settlement many years ago. The argument about profits on Greek bonds is a nonsense given the amount that has already been written off. Now we have, "if we go it falls apart". If they renege on their contractual commitments "if falls apart".  Which is why the other EU countries won't just let them off their treaty obligations. My personal view is that the elected representatives for Syriza are not going to compromise enough and will push it to the limits.  That is likely to lead to Greece being in default and short of cash.  In the end this is actually enough to drive them out of the EU.  They are unlikely to agree to enforce any ECJ judgments in respect of paying debt.  Hence I think they are on the way out of the EU itself - not just the Eurozone. The fact that they have star