March 10, 2010
With a rich mix of residents, a mass of successful international businesses and a buzzing cultural scene, London is a truly global metropolis in contrast to essentially European capitals such as Rome, Berlin or Madrid. Similarly, in combining the political, cultural and economic hearts of a nation, London stands apart from Washington DC, Delhi and […]
March 4, 2010
With a wealth of top institutions and companies based in my seat, many of the people I speak to through my constituency work are leading professionals in their fields with unparalleled industry knowledge. Their insights as to the practical application of policy are invaluable to me. One of the most striking things to come out of my meetings in recent months is the sense of demoralisation amongst those involved in vocational work. The unease is so deep that I am convinced...
February 22, 2010
On the morrow of her 1987 election triumph, Margaret Thatcher pledged that the Conservatives would devote themselves to transforming Britain’s inner cities. The urgent regeneration task for an incoming Conservative administration this year will involve transforming our increasingly shabby suburbs at a time of dire constraints on the public finances. The regeneration of the centres of cities like Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and Manchester – to name but a few – has been one of the triumphs of the past twenty-five years...
February 21, 2010
Mark was asked by the House Magazine to examine the ambition of some politicians to end the dependence of the British economy on the City of London. "Since time immemorial, the City of London has enjoyed an international reputation as a bastion of commercial certainty and reliability. It has promoted financial innovation, provided an international market to global merchants and in commercial affairs has rightly been seen as a watchword for justice, neutrality and fairness. As a result London has emerged as the global financial centre.
February 10, 2010
Mark spoke last night at a dinner hosted by the Sigma Partnership on corporate governance. Sigma is one of the premier business advisory and compliance accounting firms in London. He made the following speech: 'The relentlessly breathless press coverage of the financial crisis over the past two years may have persuaded the electorate that we have already been through the worst of the recession...
February 4, 2010
Over recent months, global financial markets have been enveloped by an eerie stillness. The fear remains that this calm is unlikely to last – our fundamental economic imbalances have not been solved, merely parked. The recent indication from the Chinese government that it is to put a firm break on bank lending to ameliorate the effect of speculation is just one sign that points towards the likely return of market...
January 27, 2010
Inevitably an MP’s direct personal experience has a strong bearing on his or her views on ethical and moral issues, which are rightly subject generally to a free vote in parliament. My own father’s terminal cancer and death almost twenty years ago, for example, played a fundamental role in formulating my own views on pain relief in the latter stages of life. As his next of kin, I played a role in working with our
January 25, 2010
Mark wrote about his passion for urban walking in this month's Total Politics: My selection in the final month of the last millennium for the Cities of London and Westminster seat commenced a ten year (and counting) love affair with the political, cultural and financial heart of the world’s most exciting city. It also sparked in me a passion for historical reading and urban walking.
January 13, 2010
Last week I led a delegation of British politicians to Dhaka and Sylhet in my capacity as Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh. The highlight of the first leg of our trip in the Capital, Dhaka, was a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Frankly, I was astonished that our motley delegation was able to get such high level access. Indeed, the PM asked me pertinent...
January 6, 2010
In the face of dark economic times domestically, I fear a hitherto united front in favour of the government’s international development programmes is beginning to crack. As we look to cutting our vast budget deficit, people are beginning to ask why we are reducing significantly assistance to British citizens when we continue to channel taxpayers’ money into international development.