Why do MPs have such long holidays?

It is a common myth that MPs have ludicrously long holidays. Parliament went into recess last week. With the exception of two weeks in September, MPs will not return for two and a half months. But, Parliament not sitting is not the same thing as MPs not working. I can’t speak for others, but I’m […]

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End of Term Report Card

As I came through the general anaesthetic last week (from key-hole surgery to repair some hip cartilage), I gazed through bleary eyes at the TV screen for some news. The Sky News ticker read: “North Korea threatens to invade South Korea”. Next item: “Conservative MP criticises Coalition in Pub”. It was a typical illustration of […]

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We Owe How Much?

Today, The Independent ran an interesting article on the true scale of the debt inherited from the last government. It points out that, if you include all public sector liabilities, total debt is £3.8 trillion – around four times higher than the official measure. For policy wonks and bean counters, the article is based on […]

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The Selfishness of Socialism

Last week, the opposition seized on selective Treasury figures suggesting the government’s emergency budget would lead to 1.3 million job losses – ignoring the 2.5 million expected to be created. It is a sign of the shrill, partisan and selective politics we can expect in the months ahead. What surprises me most is the sheer […]

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The Coalition’s First Budget

I have just walked out of the House of Commons, having listened to – and spoken in – the budget debate. This budget was never going to leave a smile on anyone’s face. But that is not how it should be judged. In the wake of the worst recession – and burdened with largest budget […]

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Maiden Speech

Yesterday, I delivered my maiden speech in the House of Commons, during the Constitutional and Home Affairs debate on the Queen’s Speech. I paid tribute to my predecessor Ian Taylor, highlighted the poor funding deal we get from central government for local services – and its ramifications – and made the case for reversing the […]

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Welfare Reform

She laughed, assuming it was a joke. Then, reality dawned. A normal employer looking for someone ‘reliable and hard working’, Nicole Mamo was barred from advertising in the local job center in Norfolk last January. Staff said it would discriminate, against those who are unreliable. Nothing more neatly captures the something for nothing culture built […]

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