Speaker Bercow joins campaign for a proper General Election night

January 21, 2010

On Monday I was pleased to hear Speaker Bercow give his support to the “Save General Election night campaign” in the Chamber. A number of councils are planning to count the ballots the day after the General Election and I think this would be wrong. So back in October I was one of the initial MPs to campaign to “Save General Election night” and sign the cross-party Early Day Motion against these plans. One of the local papers even covered the story (see my original press release here).

I think it’s important that we find out the results of a General Election as soon as possible. People want to know the result of the election and the television hype around the event can really help to enthuse people about our democracy. Speaker Bercow’s support is a sign that the campaign is building momentum and hopefully we will be able to force the councils to sit up and pay attention to public opinion.

Positive Politics

January 7, 2010

Do you ever think that politics has become too negative? Most people want politicians to make a difference and change things for the better. Yet all too often we hear sniping and sneering at the ideas of others. I think it is a refreshing feature of David Cameron’s leadership that he is upbeat and positive. Whether in pushing the environment up the national agenda or explaining that public spending must be controlled or saying that he will protect the NHS, he is clearly setting out his policies for Britain. This contrasts with the recent attempt by the Prime Minister to attack him because of his background. I think politics should be about what’s best for Britain’s future, not puerile personal attacks of this sort. I wonder if Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt share my concerns and that this prompted them to act as they did yesterday. As a result of poor economic decisions, the UK is in a mess and we are all in it together. We need to work hand in hand to tackle the crisis. So, let’s have a New Year’s Resolution, Prime Minister to get your priorities right, stop dithering and take the measures needed to start to move Britain forward. Britain can’t go on like this. It’s time for change.

Cameron promises to cut the deficit, and NOT the NHS

January 6, 2010

David Cameron has pledged to protect NHS spending and outlined the Conservative Reform Plan for the NHS.

David has explained how much worse health outcomes have become under Labour and pointed out that life expectancy and infant mortality rates for poor and rich have now widened so much that they are as big as they were in Victorian times!

I think that it’s a very good idea to make the NHS “accountable to the people, not the politicians”, and I also like the idea of focusing spending on preventable diseases and public health priorities.

In total David set out 20 ways in which he wants to improve Britain’s health services, including:
– end the scandal of mixed sex accommodation and increase the number of single rooms in hospitals;
– give mothers real choice over where to have their baby and introduce local “maternity networks” to ensure that mothers can safely access the right care, in the right place, at the right time; and
– allow everyone, on retirement, to protect their homes from being sold to fund residential care cost by paying a one-off insurance premium of £8,000