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Showing posts from 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…

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 defini…

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 the…

Three things that need to change in politics in this next parliament

There's a lot said in a political campaign and certainly I've written and spoke my fair share. On ideas and policies that matter to me. But my ability to pick out a bad policy and build an argument about it is not a reason to elect me. If that logic ran true it'd be Owen Jones fending off coalition advances, but that's not true.

Electing an MP is about electing someone for their ideals, policies and principles but also electing an individual to represent them both in terms of policy and in terms of locality. I'd happily be an MP at the heart of the debate, trying to hold reason, sending constant missives to the press on how I'm right and everyone else is wrong.  But that's not enough, being a talker and thinker is great but we also need a doer and someone with an eye not just for high politics but an eye to the grass roots. 
I've tried to be this way with my blog, I often write and campaign about lofty ideals, devolution, privatisation, austerity and s…

We must end the trend of privatising public services and return services to public ownership

“Is it inevitable that in future more and more public services both locally and nationally will be privatised and/or outsourced or should this policy be reversed and services put back into public ownership?”


I must admit that some weeks answering these questions is tricky in the 200 word limit, but this week
it is deceptively simple. No! it is not inevitable that public services are run for profit.


The manifesto of Mebyon Kernow is very very clear on this, public services should be publicly owned and run, not privatised, and further they need to be under democratic control, not managed by undemocratic and unaccountable boards, trusts and quangos.


There has been a trend under Tory, Labour and Tory Lib Dem governments for more and more involvement in the private sector and it is obvious who has benefited from these policies: share holders. This has often been to the detriment of public services.


This has increased the power of corporations and the natural extension of this policy of…

How government should support Cornish fishing and farming, but don't

“What would you like to see done to provide more support to the agriculture and fishing industries and enable them to continue and thrive?”


It's very welcome to see this question featured, people often underestimate the importance of food
production to the Cornish economy. Both farming and fishing are very important to the local economy. It's a shame that both are part of the same question as they need different things to support them grow as industries.

Cornwall does not have a strong voice in the EU and UK, as a result the CAP and CFP and UK government policy do little to help our fishing fleet and farmers. This is because ministers treat our input into these policies as an afterthought. Both industries need a greater say in policy, it is scandalous this does not happen.

In order to reduce food miles, reduce traffic and help the Cornish economy. I believe that retailers should be offered tax incentives to stock local produce and source it locally without the scandal of tr…

Devolution is coming to Cornwall, how you vote on thursday will have a huge effect on how ambitious our settlement will be

Devolution is an idea often talked about and little understood. What does devolvement mean? What will change? 
The simple answer to all these questions is a "great deal", the complicated one "that's up to you?"
In the last year or so all of the political parties have addressed the issue of Cornish devolution. Labour Tory (and UKIP) say a Cornish Assembly would be too costly. Both concede powers should be devolved from the centre. Whether that means to local government? to mayors? Or perhaps to new bodies, both are keen on authorities working with each other, perhaps the ever fated Devonwall or Westcountry devolution will happen and we'll be ruled by Bristol...

The Liberal Democrats talk of devolution on demand, unfortunately unlike say Netflix, there is no preview button. They have committed to a Cornish assembly  (rather vaguely and half heartedly it must be said). They've also pledged to reduce the number of politicians in Cornwall. So they both w…

How Cornwall can benefit from superfast broadband and better connections with the world

“The rollout of superfast broadband has been hailed as a catalyst for creating new high skilled, high paid jobs in Cornwall – what else can be done to help develop and encourage this kind of employment in the county?”


Having world class superfast broadband is a very positive thing for Cornwall and more must be done 

to fully realise the potential it can have. I was recently in a campaign to get this into Penzance town 

centre on time and FTTP installed rather than much slower FTTC. I took part in this campaign after 

businesses in the town asked me what the delay was. 






From them and a survey I did of companies and organisations in the town, it was clear that superfast 

was a very important asset and would enable growth. We live in an increasingly connected world 

and it was a real eye opener to me how many organisations in Penzance trade and communicate 

with partners throughout the UK, Europe and the whole world. 


Although I believe in the need to do more trade locally and reduce food miles a…

Free schools are not pushing up standards, we need to address the key issues on education

“Are free schools the best way to push up standards in education or should the resources being used for these new schools instead be used to provide for improvements in existing schools?”
It goes withour saying that education is important. We need a school system that delivers first class education. We need pupils to leave education armed with the knowledge and the ability to think for themselves,  in order to get on in life, both in work and life itself.
These are the things politicians should bear in mind when they consider education, how to defend what is good and how to improve what is bad and constantly strive to make education better.
Unfortunately Free Schools, seemed to be based more on ideology than on improvement. They have centralised the funding away from local authorities and to the hands of Whitehall. How this makes schools free is unclear. I fear that if changes or cuts to funding are made (the ideological axe still hangs ominously over public services) how will schools…

The government needs to do more to improve transport in Cornwall

“What can be done to improve transport links to and from Cornwall  as well as transport within the county?”
Transport links in Cornwall are not ideal and I’m glad the question addresses the vital issue of getting 
around Cornwall not just getting up country. Fundamentally one of the key issues for our next MP 
should be getting fair funding for our transport network and to get the crucial decisions devolved to 
Cornwall, as we know best the problems we face and how to solve them and this is true not just for 
roads but also public transport including of course the links with the Isles of Scilly. 

Recently the  government was unwilling to pay for A30 improvements, despite the fact they are responsible 
for it, Cornwall Council is contributing. This is an unwelcome development as we in Cornwall and tourists, 
pay road tax to central government, where is this money going? We need some of Cornish taxpayers 
money back from the Treasury to pay for transport. 

We need to rethink how we deliver it and …