Sunday, 26 April 2015

Cornwall and the relationship we need with Europe

My answer printed in the Cornishman, to the following question:

“What impact do you believe current immigration laws have had on Cornwall
 and do you believe Cornwall benefits from the UK being a member of the EU?”

"We live in a global world and being connected with the world for Cornwall's benefit is foremost in my mind. I take
 great exception with the idea that everything and everyone in the world is somehow a threat and to be feared. We must neither turn our backs on Europe nor be scared of changing it. 

The free movement of labour is not a new concept from the miners and labourers that came to work in Cornwall centuries ago to those same Cornish miners who went on to make the world theirs. I think we always need to bear this in mind when the increasingly dangerous prejudice of the right wing rears it's ugly head. 

As for the EU there are obvious benefits for Cornwall through various schemes of funding. We should be wary that if the UK does decide to leave the EU we will lose this money. Although I think the EU is beneficial for Cornwall, it could work for us better. It is an overly centralised and bureaucratic organisation and places like Cornwall have little influence on the EU.  We need more of an influence to change policies like agricultural and fishing that don't work for Cornwall. "

Saturday, 25 April 2015

What we need to do about foodbanks and the scandal of inequality and food poverty

My answer in the Cornishman on the scandal of food poverty answering the following question:

What are you going to do about the scandal of food banks and how do we tackle the issue of poverty
 which is forcing people in Cornwall to require food banks?

The rise in food banks and food poverty is a scandal and people not being able to afford to feed themselves is a scandal anywhere in the world but especially so in one of the richest economies in the world. The reason that foodbanks are increasingly relied upon is due to coalition policies that exasperate inequality. 

The Cornish economy is not recovering, wages are stagnating and however the coalition like to massage the figures, the reality on the high streets of Helston, St Ives and Penzance is decline. We need jobs and investment not a constant barrage of cuts!

The problem of food poverty is a problem of policy, this government knows all too well about wealth distribution policy and putting money in people's pockets. They have slashed the top rate of income tax, slashed corporation tax and pumped billions into the banks through quantitative easing. 

At the same time as slashing benefits, introducing the bedroom tax and putting up minimum wage by an insulting pittance. Tory and Lib Dem priorities are immoral, if elected as an MP common sense and fairness would be my agenda, I firmly believe we can have a society where everyone can afford to eat.  

Friday, 24 April 2015

The future for green energy in Cornwall, we need more control and benefits from it

My answer printed in the Cornishman to the following question:
Assuming that we are serious about developing green energy, does that mean increasingly covering
Cornwall's farmland in solar panels and wind turbines is a good idea, or are there alternatives?”


I have a deep feeling of frustration with the development of renewable energy in Cornwall. I remember as a boy growing up in awe of the wind turbines going up here before anywhere else in the UK. I had a great sense of pride that that our land was at the cutting edge. These feelings were rekindled by Wavehub but lamentably under government control progress is not being realised.

There are alternatives to prime valuable agricultural land dedicated to energy production. We need to look to the sea. We have some ideal locations for marine renewables but central government and their policies are holding us back. In Scotland where energy is devolved their marine renewables are world class an example for Cornwall to follow.

There needs to be diversity in energy production. Small scale renewable like pv panels, and small turbines on buildings and car parks are the way forward. They benefit residents and businesses and leave valuable agricultural land for agriculture.

Lamentably the economic benefit of our natural resources from cheap energy and jobs are imported and exported. We need to be at the forefront of renewables again under own control unshackled from the dead hand of central government.