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Category: News & Articles

  • October 1, 2006

    The Decriminalisation Of Small Brothels

    There are often times when, as an MP, I find that in representing some of my constituents, I inadvertently come into conflict with the interests of others. I found myself in such a position back in January of this year, when the government announced plans to decriminalise small brothels. Currently…
  • September 8, 2006

    Why Our Schools Must Be Integrated

    This month is the twenty fifth anniversary of integration being introduced to state schools in Northern Ireland. For historical reasons, schools in that part of the United Kingdom had hitherto been segregated into Catholic and Protestant alike ? it is probably no coincidence that the past quarter ce…
  • September 7, 2006

    In Praise Of Two South African Heroes

    Even in these celebrity-obsessed times, the name Nelson Mandela attracts near-universal public approval. His is an inspirational story. As a young man he was a political agitator, involved with the African National Congress, an organisation then committed to armed terrorist insurrection. Following…
  • September 6, 2006

    Some Thoughts On The Migration Debate

    Politics can be a strange beast. At each of the last two general elections the Conservatives have tried to make controlled immigration a key electoral issue. In both elections we have been soundly beaten. Yet suddenly demand for permit schemes or skills tests for incoming migrants from Eastern Europ…
  • August 30, 2006

    Why Inheritance Tax Must Go

    The former Cabinet Minister, Stephen Byers, declared in mid-August that inheritance tax should be scrapped as it is a ‘penalty on hard work, thrift and enterprise’. Inheritance tax is an emotive issue, particularly for those living in London and the South East. It is virtually as traditional a par…
  • August 28, 2006

    Decision Time Looms For Pensions

    Contrary to widespread belief, the parliamentary recess is not just a long holiday for MPs here in Westminster! The summer break provides us with a valuable chance to focus on constituency work and plan for the coming parliamentary session. Understandably, the public’s attention has recently been fo…
  • July 20, 2006

    The Lamentable Waste On Identity Cards

    This month Parliament has listened to yet another Home Office Minister explain the virtues of ID cards and that the Government is close to “getting it right”. From my earliest days in Parliament in 2001 I have been against the introduction of identity cards into this nation on the grounds of their …
  • 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-…