Thursday, 30 October 2014

Only The Conservatives Will Bring In Fair Votes For England

This week in my Crawley Observer column, I have written about Crawley Labour's rejection of English votes for English laws and how I see it working in the next Parliament should the Conservatives win the general election next May. 
 
Only the Conservatives will bring in fair votes for England 
"At last week’s Full Council meeting, the Conservative Group tabled a Notice of Motion for Crawley Borough Council to support English votes for English laws. Much of the legislation that Parliament passes affects English Councils like Crawley, but not Councils outside of England because local government is a devolved function in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The gross unfairness is of course that 117 MPs from outside of England can vote on matters affecting Crawley but that Crawley’s MP (or any MP from England) cannot vote on devolved matters outside of England. What needs to happen is very simple. One day a week at the UK Parliament should be set aside for legislation only affecting England, where only MPs representing English constituencies can vote. If the Conservatives have a majority after the next election, English votes for English laws will become a reality.
What would be better is if all three main parties signed up to this and then it doesn’t become an election issue. I was perhaps naïve to think that Crawley’s Labour Councillors might possibly support something that puts fairness before their own in-built and unfair electoral advantage of having Scottish Labour MPs deciding matters in Crawley.

Sadly, Labour strongly opposed our Notice of Motion that called for English votes for English laws. They argued against it in debate and put in a wrecking amendment calling it a ‘constitutional convention’, which is fudge and delay that mixes it up with unrealistic and unwanted options such as Regional Assemblies. Labour seems incapable of grasping that people don’t want more politicians and more government - they want fairer government.

Crawley Labour appear to be following their national party line of confuse and delay, with vague promises to consider it if they are in government after May. With polls predicting a hung Parliament, does anyone honestly believe that a minority Labour government or with a small majority, would bring in English votes for English laws when it would probably stop them being the largest party in England? We know the answer and that is that Labour cannot be trusted to deliver."  

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Crawley Labour Reject English Votes For English Laws

Below is a press release I've issued after Crawley Labour rejected our Motion tabled at last week's Full Council meeting. One of the Councillors rejecting our Motion was the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley, Chris Oxlade, who is pictured below with the person he thinks will make a great Prime Minister, Ed Miliband. 
"Don't worry Ed, I'll never vote for English votes for English laws"
The Conservative opposition at Crawley Town Hall have blasted the ruling Labour group for “sabotaging” a Conservative Notice of Motion. The motion had called on the Council to support English votes for English laws for all Parliamentary votes that related to English local government.
The Conservative Notice of Motion had intended for the Council’s Chief Executive to write to the Local Government Association, calling for them to lobby the three main political parties to make English votes for English laws a manifesto commitment for the general election. This would mean that regardless of the election’s outcome, English votes for English laws would become a reality.

The ruling Labour group forced through an amendment to the Motion that removed nearly all of the references to “English votes for English laws” and replaced it with a “Constitutional convention” that included looking at options for Regional Assemblies, all after the general election.
Conservative group leader Cllr Duncan Crow said “Labour completely sabotaged our Motion by cynically taking it away from English votes for English laws, so that it became a complicated fudge which meant we had to abstain on the eventual vote. Labour strongly argued against our Motion and it is very obvious that they have no intention whatsoever of implementing English votes for English laws should they be in government after next May.

Cllr Crow added “People don’t want more politicians and more government as Labour are proposing with Regional Assemblies, they want fairer government. A very clear dividing line has now been drawn in Crawley between Conservatives who believe in fairness of representation and Labour who want their Scottish MPs to decide on laws affecting Crawley, despite the fact that Crawley’s MP can’t vote on devolved Scottish issues.”

Friday, 24 October 2014

Helping People On Low Incomes

This week in my Crawley Observer column, I have written about how the Conservatives are helping those on modest incomes. Labour like to claim this territory as their own but the reality is that it is the Conservatives who are the party of social mobility and who are making being in work better than being on benefits.

Working at minimum wage for 30 hours - you'll pay zero Income Tax
"Last year under the Conservatives, Crawley Borough Council led by example and became one of the first Conservative-run Councils nationwide to become an accredited Living Wage employer. This means that the Council paid all its employees an independently set amount by the Living Wage Foundation that is considered enough to live off. As the economy improves, more employers should be able to afford to pay a living wage and the Council encourages other employers to pay it where possible.

Encouraging the Living Wage is just one aspect of the Conservatives helping the least well-off. This should be viewed as part of a wider package of measures, all of which are underpinned by the Conservatives long-term economic plan. While Labour may choose to ignore this fact, we shouldn’t be under any illusion that getting the economy right is fundamental to helping ordinary people and the least well-off get on in life.
A key policy has been raising the income tax allowance from £6,475 in 2010 to £10,000 this year. Next April the tax-free allowance will rise to £10,500 a year and David Cameron has pledged it will rise to £12,500 in the next parliament. This will take a further one million workers out of income tax altogether and anyone on the minimum wage (which has just risen to £6.50 an hour) working 30 hours a week, will not have to pay a penny of income tax.

The Conservatives have also frozen Council Tax since 2010 and next April will see the fifth successive annual freeze, meaning that in real terms it has reduced whereas under the last Labour government, Council Tax doubled.
Making work pay and getting those who can work off benefits has been crucial to having the highest ever number of people in employment whereas Labour cynically opposed every benefit reform, preferring people to languish on benefits at public expense. Labour may claim with words to be the party that will help the low-paid, but the reality is that it is the actions of the Conservatives that show we are the party that helps those on modest incomes."

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Crawley Borough Council To Vote On English Votes For English Laws


Last Wednesday in my Crawley Observer column, I wrote about English votes for English laws and the Notice of Motion that I have tabled for tomorrow's Full Council meeting at Crawley Borough Council. Will Crawley's Labour Councillors back my Motion and side with the people of Crawley or will they side with Ed Miliband and him wanting an unfair electoral advantage for Labour that discriminates against English voters?
Crawley's MP Henry Smith has always been very supportive of English votes for English laws and fully backs our Motion.

"Conservatives believe that political representation should be devolved to be as local as possible and recognise that a healthy local democracy must have local people feeling that our political system is fair. The promise of further devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland following the Scottish referendum has highlighted the political unfairness in England, that being the so called ‘West Lothian Question’.
This is where Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs can vote on matters solely relating to England but where English MPs have no say on the same issues in those countries as those matters are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies. An example of this is laws that decide the powers of local councils - our local decision making bodies. MPs outside of England have disproportionate power as well as voters outside of England. This is clearly unfair and disenfranchises English voters.

Change is needed so that a voter in Crawley can has a greater say by only having English MPs vote on matters relating to what our local Council has the power to do. Therefore, the Conservative group at Crawley Borough Council have tabled a Notice of Motion for next week’s Full Council meeting, to give Crawley a stronger voice by advocating that English votes for English laws is accepted by the other political parties, as well as by the Conservatives.
    
The Local Government Association (LGA) is the body that represents English Councils and if our Notice of Motion is passed next week, the Council’s Chief Executive will write to the LGA on the Council’s behalf to:

1. State Crawley Borough Council’s support for ‘English votes for English laws’ for all Parliamentary votes relating to English local government;
2. Encourage the LGA to lobby on behalf of English councils for all three main political parties to make English votes for English laws on local government a manifesto commitment for the next General Election; and

3. Call on the LGA to negotiate with Central Government on what further service delivery responsibilities and powers can be devolved to elected local authorities in England."
 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Labour's Crawley Parliamentary Candidate Chris Oxlade Puts Trade Unions Before Crawley Residents (Twice!)

Labour are left-wing in Crawley, make no mistake. These are the very people who brought us the loony-left nonsense of "Nuclear-Free Crawley" roadsigns in the 1980s and who dance to whatever tune their Trade Union puppeteers and paymasters tell them to. They never cross picket lines and will always support a strike regardless of how many innocent people are affected by it.

Chris Oxlade, their Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley has shown he is no different after showing solidarity with the unions for a second time by postponing a meeting that Crawley residents like to go to. As a result, I issued the following press release. He has since claimed he didn't know that the Library (the meeting venue) would be open. It was of course open both times and as Committee Chairman, he could have easily changed the venue to Crawley Town Hall if he really believed there was a risk the Library would be shut. He's been found out.
Vote for Chris Oxlade as Crawley MP and get his boss Ed Miliband as UK Prime Minister 
A Labour County Councillor has faced strong criticism after he postponed a meeting of the West Crawley County Local Committee for a second time, in support of a local government strike which had been planned for Tuesday the 14th October, but which has now been called off.  
Chairman of the West Crawley County Local Committee, Labour County Councillor Chris Oxlade (Bewbush and Ifield West), who is also Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley, was branded a “puppet of his Trade Union paymasters” by Conservative County Councillor Duncan Crow (Tilgate and Furnace Green) for twice delaying Council business and inconveniencing Crawley residents, by refusing to hold a West Crawley County Local Committee meeting on the same day as planned industrial action.   

The County Local Committees (CLCs) are meetings that actively encourage public attendance and participation. Crawley has two of these public-facing committees, one for West Crawley and one for East Crawley.
Cllr Crow said “I am appalled that Chris Oxlade has done this again and he is gaining a reputation for being a puppet of his Trade Union paymasters. When he previously postponed a West Crawley CLC meeting in July due to it being another Union strike day, none of the staff needed to hold the meeting were on strike and there was no reason whatsoever for the meeting not to be held, other than presumably Chris Oxlade showing his left-wing solidarity with the Trade Unions who bankroll his Labour Party to the tune of millions of pounds each year.”

Cllr Crow added “Crawley residents will rightly be suspicious as to where Chris Oxlade’s loyalties will be if he becomes MP for Crawley. His actions are speaking louder than words as he has now twice put showing solidarity with the Trade Unions before Crawley residents wishing to attend these meetings, as well as before essential local County Council business.”

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Crawley Observer Column 8th October 2014

This week in my Crawley Observer column, I have written about our successful economy under the Coalition and then contrasted that with France, where Labour policies have been enacted over the last two years, with disastrous results for the French.
 
in 2012 Ed Miliband heralded French socialist economic policy 

"The passage of time has a habit of proving politicians to be either right or wrong. Nowhere do I feel this applies more than with economic policies. The political backdrop of the last few years has been the economy and the public finances. Not only did Labour give Britain the longest and deepest recession in 2008/09 out of the all the major industrialised nations, the Coalition government inherited the largest budget deficit percentage out of these nations.
Not everyone will find economics and public finance interesting but they are hugely importance. If good public services are to be sustained for the long term, it is vital that the deficit is removed and that we have the right conditions to grow the economy. This is happening. The UK now has the fastest growing economy out of the major industrialised nations and employment has grown to record levels with unemployment sharply falling.

We should never forget that not only did Labour get the country into a dire state in the first place, that they also cynically opposed all the measures to fix the economy and create an environment where work pays. It is very easy in opposition to oppose any one given saving as Labour always do, but there is a total lack of credibility to oppose every saving. Such blatant and cynical opportunism is not a trait of a party ready for government.
In July 2012, Labour leader Ed Miliband was bullishly singing the praises of the then new Socialist French President Francois Hollande, and he declared that “the political tide is turning against the economics of austerity”, after a meeting in Paris. Hollande had been elected on a false promise of “no more austerity” meaning that France had no intention of living within its mean.

The result has been disastrous for France with unemployment expected to rise to 10.3% by the end of this year and the economy has barely grown since. One only needs to look over the channel to see what a Labour government would be like. As ever, the passage of time proves that socialism never works."

Friday, 3 October 2014

Crawley Observer Column 1st October 2014

This week in my Crawley Observer column, I have written about how the Conservatives are the only political party who can and will let the British people have an IN/OUT referendum on our membership of the European Union. I then go on to write about  how UKIP Crawley has completely imploded under Lee Gilroy (who wants to be a UKIP parliamentary candidate) since he took over Crawley UKIP in a coup by falsely smearing the existing Chairman - a decent man. It is incredible how one man's power trip can damage his former local party and destroy his new one. 

"Remind me, how many council seats have UKIP ever won in Crawley?"
"I was delighted that Scotland voted to stay within the UK and that not only is this constitutional issue settled for a generation, but that the Conservative-led government enabled the Scottish referendum to take place. Crucially, we trusted the people to decide their future.

There is of course one other major constitutional issue to be settled, that being the UK’s membership of the European Union. We had a vote on our membership of the EEC in 1975 and if the Conservatives are returned to government next year, we will have a referendum on our EU membership in 2017. By 2017, no one under 60 years of age will have ever had a vote on our relationship with Europe.

Incredibly, the Conservatives are the only major party offering the British people an In/Out referendum vote on our EU membership. If Labour wins the general election, the British people will continue to be denied their say. Crawley residents should ask the Crawley Labour party why do they not trust Crawley people to have a vote on EU membership? 

When it comes to the EU, there is much media hype about UKIP and it was disappointing to see two MPs from my own party defect to them. While Nigel Farage may be grinning about that, there will be an even bigger grin on the face of Ed Miliband who benefits the most from UKIP doing well. In Crawley, for anyone who has concerns about the EU and immigration, voting UKIP enables Labour to win with the exact opposite of the policies you wish to see being implemented.
 
UKIP are a protest party who have never run anything, will never run anything, and who are incapable of running anything. In Crawley, they’ve been a shambles over the last year and have now completely collapsed. Highly questionable leadership, in-fighting, the ousting under false pretences of the previous Chairman, many members leaving, their only Councillor resigning and now their current Chairman resigning, has seen the total demise of UKIP in Crawley. Now more than ever, the only viable alternative to Labour in Crawley is the Conservatives."