Tuesday, 12 May 2015

We can't let the Tories take away the hard won freedoms of the human rights act

With the election barely over the Tories are starting the way they mean to go on, determined and uncaring. Vying for first place in their priorities with more punishing cuts the Tories are determined to do away with the Human Rights Act. Not content with joining up with the Lib Dems in their first term to do massive damage to welfare, public services and remove morality from decision making entirely. Content with taking away many of the things the state can do for citizens, David Cameron now wants to go one better and attack liberty itself and attack the protections in law.

For information these are the rights in the HRA

Right to life
Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment

Right to liberty and security
Freedom from slavery and forced labour
Right to a fair trial
No punishment without law
Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence
Freedom of thought, belief and religion
Freedom of expression
Freedom of assembly and association
Right to marry and start a family
Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms
Right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
Right to education
Right to participate in free elections

You have to come to a point where you wonder what will be left in the wake of the Tories? Which of these rights they wish to do away with? I find it perplexing in the extreme to even imagine which of these principles could be that bad, Right to life? No punishment without law? Freedom of expression? 

Human rights have developed internationally over the last few centuries. When people started to consider that individual freedoms should be explicitly protected in law. To temper the power of governments and to make them be held to account, so they can't act like they wish. So people can't be discriminated against, imprisoned of have their individual freedoms and liberties threatened without cause. One of the reasons human rights even exist, was the collective horror of people over the activities of dictatorships, Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany chief among them. People came together fought in world wars so we can live in a better world, a fairer world and a freer world. We must be very wary of a government that wishes to give itself more power, by taking power of off it's citizens. The Tories latest move threatens to attack the very nature of liberal democracy and the rule of law.  

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The election, the morning after the night before, some thoughts

Firstly many thanks to those of you that supported me at this election. My agent who as wonderful and a real rock for me to lean on. My helpers who delivered almost 20 thousand leaflets. Everyone that sent me messages of encouragement. A special thanks to all those that showed faith in me and put their x next to my name and my party.


It has been quite an experience, I've thought and done little else these last few weeks. I've lost a stone in weight and I'm struggling to remember what it's like to wake in the morning and do normal things. I've given everything I've got at this election, I've over come fears and pushed myself hard. As have my small but dedicated election team.

I'm a bit sore that the MK vote did not match all this hard work. I'm glad we got 518 votes and I'm happy that we made progress on the 387 from last time. It may not seem a lot but when you have such a small base to work from but it is a large percentage increase and a definite sign of progress, however painfully slow. It's much the same picture for the rest of MK a small but steady increase in the vote. I think the party deserved more but that didn't happen.

The inevitable reckoning has come, many are talking of what the party needs to change and I welcome that debate and look forward to taking part of it, when I've rested a little of course. I would however like people to consider a tale from the American civil war, when after the event the Confederates got together and lambasted all the mistakes they made, a general Pickett piped up "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it."

You have to consider why in any contest one side did not succeed but also why the other side did succeed. Throughout the UK we could ask why did Miliband and Labour not win? and why did Cameron and the Tories get a resounding result against the grain? Same here in Cornwall why did Mebyon Kernow get a tiny share of the vote and why did the other parties succeed?

I told the press at the count yesterday that being a small party in a marginal is tough. Marginals are where parties concentrate money and resources. All of the party leaders bar Miliband came to this constituency at least once and got useful media coverage for their candidates. They spend a lot of money and they are determined in their aim of gaining as much votes as they can and they do that by attracting voters from other parties like MK.

If I compare my campaign with the other 5 candidates there are obvious disparities. All delivered more leaflets than me, all were on tv more than me, all were in the press more than me and all of them spent more money than I did. Politics is about reaching out to the electorate, engaging them and their fear and hopes and showing how your principles, ideas and policies would make a difference to their lives. We had the least opportunities to do that.

That's something for us to consider. I'm not bitching about it, I knew this all along I knew I wasn't entering a fair fight. For next time though I would only stand if I had more support, more members and supporters to help and a lot more resources to throw at it. Till 2020 :)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Fair funding for Cornwall would be my number one priority if elected in St Ives

“If you are elected what will be your number one priority for your constituency and why?”

My number one priority as MP would be to get a fair deal for Cornwall’s funding, not only because it would be the right to do, but also the public are crying for decent public services.

As I see it, there are 3 major problems that need to be addressed by government and have been ignored by politicians for far too long. 1 this constituency has the lowest wages in all of Cornwall and some of the worst across the UK. 2 Cornwall is one of the poorest parts of the European Union and second poorest in the UK. 3 We are given a raw deal for government on funding and this makes the first 2 problems so much worse.

Here’s some examples, recently John Pollard said that Cornwall Council was short changed by £48 million a year by government. Our school child funding per head is £154 less than the national average. In the years 2006-2013 our NHS got £220 million less than the funds government even declared they needed. We need fair funding and I am proud to represent the only party which has addressing this issue as a manifesto commitment. This would be my priority.