February 7, 2011
Mark has received a very high volume of emails about the government's consultation on whether or not to sell off tracts of publicly-owned forests. Pasted below is the reply he sent today to constituents.
February 2, 2011
Few would confidently predict the outcome of events in Egypt. The twin effects of 24/7 media coverage and the fact that so many Britons of all age groups have been tourists to that country brings into sharper focus the unfolding drama on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria. Many Western politicians have traded platitudes about the need to promote democratic reform. The stark truth is that the authoritarian President Mubarak has for these past 29 years been a puppet of Western governments, which have turned a blind eye to his internal repression for so long as Egypt has remained a loyal trading partner
January 27, 2011
A relative sense of electoral complacency may be the order of the day in the Westminster village even amidst a succession of by-elections. After all, provided the coalition gets its way over constitutional reform many reckon on our still being over four years away from the next General Election. But the imminence of a day of reckoning with the voters makes for very different sentiment away from SW1. On 5 May our Party faces Scottish Parliamentary, Welsh Assembly and widespread English local elections....
January 18, 2011
All the upbeat talk is of the UK economy being ‘out of the danger zone’. Credit is certainly due to the Chancellor for recognising the serious state of the public finances and setting out a long-term deficit reduction plan. However, the sombre truth is that for so long as Central Banks maintain a virtual zero interest rate policy, UK and European economies will remain on a taxpayer-induced life support machine. ...
January 10, 2011
Forget national sovereignty or control orders, it is the thrust for economic growth that has pride of place in January’s grid for government action. At its heart must be a restoration of the UK’s traditional reputation as an outward-looking trading nation and the liberation of our businesses from red tape. Somewhere in a globalised economy that is proudly ‘open for business’. Most of the UK’s economic competitors are desperate to break into developing markets in China, India and south east Asia. Financial services and its vast array of associated professions has provided...
January 7, 2011
Mark posted this article on the Daily Telegraph's website following the announcement that former MP, David Chaytor, will be imprisoned for his breaches of the system of MPs' expenses. Click here to read the Telegraph version. 'It was optimistically assumed that last year’s General Election would draw a line under the expenses scandal. The conviction and sentence meted out on Friday to former Bury North MP, David Chaytor, is clear evidence, if such was required, that this sordid affair is not going away any time soon...
January 4, 2011
Politically 2010 was the most momentous year for some decades here in the UK. To near universal surprise (save to those of us who took opinion polls at face value) May’s General Election ended as a stalemate, requiring the Conservatives to put together a coalition with the Liberal Democrats to secure office...
December 15, 2010
Solve the underlying causes of the West’s failure to save adequately and the global imbalances that lie at the heart of the current financial crisis should then correct themselves. Yet as the events of these tumultuous past two years show us, this is far easier said than done. Populist measures to chasten the banking sector are simple enough to devise, but the underlying, deep-seated structural problems facing our economy require tough strategic analysis, potentially divisive policy changes and a harsh dose of reality...
December 10, 2010
The tuition fees furore has successfully crowded out widespread media coverage of another potential coalition fault line – law and order. Earlier this week Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced his ambition to cut prison numbers through flexible sentencing and promoting rehabilitation programmes. He also aspires to scrap minimum sentences for murder and reverse a previous policy position to impose mandatory jail terms for knife crime...
December 7, 2010
The following article was posted this morning on Critical Reaction, an online blog which commissions pieces from a wide range of authors on politics, culture and books: Formulating an acceptable policy on tuition fees was never going to be an easy task. There were far too many hostages to fortune given before the General Election for that. It is also worth remembering that the opt-out in the Coalition Agreement applies implicitly only to Lib Dems outside the government and expressly to the outcome of Lord Browne’s Report. Yet these proposals have already been watered down considerably at the behest of the Liberal Democrats. ...