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Category: Archive

  • July 18, 2006

    Reflecting On The Culture Brief

    In my role as Shadow Minister for Culture, what has surprised me above all has been the amount of sheer hard work, innovation and inspiration shown by so many involved in the arts and culture world – from those employed by galleries, museums and libraries to the individuals who work to create a thri…
  • June 15, 2006

    Educational Trip To South Asia

    It seemed that most of my Whitsun break was spent either waiting for flights at an airport or on board some variety of jetplane travelling between London and Malaysia. Not that I am complaining! My globetrotting was courtesy of the London School of Commerce on whose advisory committee I have served for the past eighteen […]
  • May 15, 2006

    Why A Sense Of Britishness Matters

    This month has seen the government bring forward its ideas to incorporate an appreciation of core British values into citizenship classes in schools. It has taken some time since last July’s terrorist atrocities on and under the streets of central London to produce action despite much national soul-…
  • May 15, 2006

    Reflecting On The Local Election Results

    The local election returns in the Westminster part of my constituency were “no change”; 36 seats on Westminster City Council, 36 Conservatives returned. In virtually every Ward the Conservative candidates increased their majorities. Nationally the results were bad for the Labour government, althoug…
  • April 27, 2006

    London’s Theatreland

    More than 50 theatres make up London’s “Theatreland”. It presents more shows and has bigger audiences than anywhere else in the world including New York’s Broadway. Its value to Britain’s economy is enormous and I am fortunate to be the Member of Parliament for the area. I only wish I had enough tim…
  • April 20, 2006

    Keeping Books The Focus Of Our Libraries

    Recently I have become embroiled in a political argument about the state of Britain’s libraries. A columnist in the Times commented on the public harangue that has developed by saying “if you are seeking a good book almost the last place to look in modern Britain is a public library.” Unfortunate…
  • March 13, 2006

    A First Trip To The Caribbean

    I don’t suppose too many people would turn down the opportunity to spend nine days in the Caribbean during February. I must confess it made a pleasant early Christmas present when I was notified on 23 December 2005 that I had been selected to travel as part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Associat…
  • March 9, 2006

    Reflecting On Climate Change

    For more than two decades we have been bombarded with plentiful information about the need for action to build a more sustainable environment and to tackle climate change. I rarely drive, have no dishwasher at home and until I became a member of parliament five years ago was a very infrequent aircr…
  • February 8, 2006

    Urban Design

    The appeal of London and many of our other cities is their rich history, illustrated most profoundly by the presence of the large number of historic buildings. I believe that most people of our nation instinctively understand the importance attached to preserving the best of our built heritage for t…
  • January 31, 2006

    A Return Trip To India

    I am always inspired by travelling overseas. One of the great privileges of being a Member of Parliament is the access that it provides for meeting leading politicians and business people all around the world. At a time on 1 January when many of my constituents were still nursing hangovers I was ma…