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  • Live Stream for Rayleigh & Wickford Hustings

  • Questions & Answers

  • Caring for the Elderly

    My opinion is the benefits currently enjoyed by all pensioners with eventually be subjected to revision whatever promises the major parties are making in the run up to the General Election. I believe we could make some changes that pensioners would understand and generally support. The ten pound Christmas bonus, for instance, is little more than an insult that costs more to administer than pensioners receive. It should be scrapped.

    Every government has played lip service to the elderly. They are often regarded as a charity case that should being given what is left after the needs of others have been met. This is wrong. Many currently struggle to make ends meet. My view is we should reduce the Overseas Aid Budget in order to take care of our own first.

    Those that have spent their lives having no regard for the future and have spent as they earned receive care in old age free of charge. If, like many pensioners in Rayleigh and Wickford, you have made sacrifices throughout your working life, often foregoing holidays with your children etc. and have struggled to buy your own home, you will have to pay for your care. Those that become ill with dementia and age related diseases should have a cap in what they have pay. The situation does not affect the very wealthy, with their tax planners, but mainly the hardworking responsible middle class. That is unfair. It is unjust and requires addressing. A more equitable solution must be sought.

    I reject the premise that when you can no longer walk, feed yourself or attend your every need that you are not ill.   Uniquely this is the rationale behind the classifying of the elderly as not being ‘ill’ but in need of ‘care’ when dementia (the dying of the brain cells) occurs. Would this be the case if someone suffered a head injury that left them similarly disabled? If any other section of the community was classified as such there would be uproar but the elderly must accept this and lose everything they have worked for to pay for their ‘care’ receiving no share of the NHS budget that they paid towards, often for their whole working life. This is simply wrong.


  • Economy

    Bill Clinton, the former American President, said when asked what wins elections said “It’s the economy stupid”. Of course, he was right. Most of us worry not about every other issue but how much we have to spend when our wage/salary arrives each month. If we are in debt or comfortable with our lot we will possibly have different views on the how Government should proceed.
    As an ordinary voter how do you view the situation over the past few years?
    Are you better off? Are your bills less? Can you afford to do the things that matter to you and if you can’t should you borrow to fulfil your wishes? Everyone will have a difference answer to the questions posed depending on
    a) Their job or lack of one. b) What it has cost them to eat, heat and travel.
    c) If they want more than their skills and ultimately their salary permits.
    The Government is similar in many ways to the ordinary voter. It has to balance the books and decide which way to go in managing the budget. The country is in massive debt and it is rising every day. We are broke and with wrong decisions we could lose everything. The interest on our debt is crippling the country as it would your personal finances. The message left by Labour Minister Liam Byrne, in 2010, that ‘there is no money left’ was true and it is worse today after five years of cuts and trimming of budgets. There is more to come. What we need to know is where from?
    You need to ask yourself what would you do in the present situation if you were facing the same problems. My personal family analysis would be as follows:-
    a) I would ring fence and protect what I thought I must have
    b) I would cut back on the things I do not really need right now and end memberships of clubs that were costing me too much money. I would limit my spending and cut back on non-essentials.
    c) I would tell those close to me that they have to take their share of the pain.
    d) I would stop waste
    e) I would ask for the support from those family and friends I could trust.
    f) I would work harder and put by for a rainy day whenever I could.
    This translates in national terms, not exclusively, to the following:-
    a) I would ring fence Defence, Police and Security (It is the first responsibility of any nation to protect its citizens). Energy supply provision (we need power to live and work). The Health Service (an increasingly sick society would cripple our economy). Prioritise the Education of our children (they are the future and their skills will be our future lifeline).
    b) Membership of the club called the European Union would have to go in its’ present form. HS2 would have to be put on a back burner until we can reconsider if we can afford it. Costly visitors must be discouraged from using the nation’s facilities by requiring insurance to cover their stay.
    c) Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have to cut their cloth according to their means. I would scrap the Barnett Formula of funding for Scotland. Truthfully explain to those in need of support they must play their part and accept the country can’t always provide everything they expect. If they have to move to a smaller home, that is what those not asking for help often have to decide. They too have to budget and cut their cloth according to their means.
    d) I would cut the Overseas Aid budget, limiting it to humanitarian aid, but have a programme exclusively supporting birth control in countries with unsustainable population growth.
    Excessive food packaging would be restricted and plastic shopping bags charged at 20 pence each to protect the environment. (Even I would then make sure I took my shopping bags from the car.)
    I would require all companies trading in or from the UK, to pay UK taxes on their turnover here at the standard rate paid by all other businesses. No offset would be allowed on their overseas activities. E.g Starbucks, Ebay, property developers and land holding companies etc .etc .etc.
    My High Streets would be subjected to a new rating system whereby banks, building societies pay 100%, multinationals pay 75% and individual shopkeepers pay just 25%. This rate should also be charged on charity shops which are now not much more than national businesses with high earning executives. Small shopkeepers are being damaged by the practise of ‘new’ sales in charity shops, that is not fair.
    Free loading liberty takers on our welfare system should face fines and if holders of a second passport be deported. I object to those seeking to destroy our country living here, taking every advantage of our education system, and sponging off our state benefits. Their families would be subject to the same process born here or otherwise. (I know nationality rules would have to be amended.) so they could continue to enjoy their family life.
    e) I would be making sure all my friends in the Commonwealth of Nations were on my side (Thank you Your Majesty Queen Elizabeth for not forgetting their importance, over many years, when some politicians thought they were superfluous to our needs) and that old friends were reminded of our links e.g. America with its’ common language and history.
    f) Once I had sorted the waste and abuse of the system (including making blokes with 40 kids that have never worked visit a soup kitchen for their food each day) I would encourage everyone to work that bit harder to put this country back on its feet. ( The British worker will if they see it to be fair and in the nations interest.)
    I want the funds being sent to the EU in Brussels to stop. They have never had a set of accounts signed off due to fraud and incompetence. We are quite capable of spending our own money we don’t need Eurocrats to instruct us how.
    We need to encourage free trade with the Commonwealth, and beyond, and not be bound by restrictive practices and tariffs imposed by the EU. These tariffs serve to damage the poorer nation’s economies. We are sending Aid to with one hand and stopping them progressing with the other. Much of our money is sent to countries in the third world where it is squandered by despots. Why are we continuing to allow this situation to go on with our tax revenues while our elderly can’t heat their homes?
    So you must decide if you think I have the right idea or the status quo is preferable. Your vote!
    The Conservatives have chosen to cut back and try to limit the excesses in the welfare costs created by Gordon Brown in his perpetual habit of throwing our money around to all and sundry with no return. I believe he developed a culture of entitlement without responsibility. The schemes that allow big business to pay minimum wages, that are then topped up by the taxpayer with working tax credits, is a nonsense. We are simply funding profits for corporate shareholders. Many of these are foreign owned companies laughing all the way to the bank, their bank, with our funds.
    The Tory’s have made some efforts but they seem to make schoolboy errors in the presentation and application of their policies. What marketing personnel would have cut the top rate of tax for a few wealthy individuals allowing the Labour party to use it as a stick for a full five years? They have failed to explain that MORE tax has been collected from those people than previously was the case. What marketing group would fail to explain that the cut in housing benefit to households in the public sector was to bring them in line with those renting in the private sector? It is not a bedroom tax it is a fair adjustment that aims to treat all housing benefit claimants equally. I can see no justification for the state to have to pay the rent for someone in a four bedroom house when they only need one bedroom. No one should be living rent free in mansions in central London. London and city centre Councils must provide Prefabs for super-sized benefit families, not mansions. It is an insult to working people for this to be happening.


  • Press Freedom

    Please do not switch off and say like some adolescent child ‘borrrrring’. I will tell you why. Because without freedom of the press and freedom of expression we would not be free at all.
    We repeatedly witness exposures of wrongdoing in the highest echelons of Government. The Daily Telegraph investigation revealed dozens of Members of Parliament caught with their fingers deeply embedded in the ‘public’ till. Those guilty generally escaped with not much more than a rap on the knuckles, you would have gone to prison and lost everything, but they were identified as the cheating, lying individuals they were. True some still help run this country, which is in itself disgraceful, but exposed they were…………… How would we know without the press?

    Financial irregularities are one thing but the abuse, torture and possible death of innocent vulnerable young boys that seems to have been operating at the heart of the political establishment puts the need for press freedom on a difference level. What if it emerges that some of the most senior members of Government were able to issue ‘D’ notices to silence the police officers? Was this done to prevent them following up early reports? Were the security services asked to undertake this role to silence our officers of the law?…………………… How will we know without the press?

    Medical and hospital scandals abound. They have all emerged due to press investigations after the normal enquiry process has failed. In many cases lives have been loss and destroyed by big business, corporations, authorities and governmental bodies those damaged deserve redress……..How would they achieve that without the press?

    When can a politician lie? Some wags say every time they open their mouths but perhaps not that often. We were taken into a war where our servicemen and women put their lives on the line because the Prime Minister, Mr Anthony Linton Blair, told our Parliament, that our country was 45 minutes away from annihilation due to Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Would we know this was completely untrue if the press and media had not actively investigated this false claim? We don’t need to wait for the Chillcot Report on the Iraq war we are already well aware of the shame that episode in our history has brought to our system of government. The Ministerial visits to desert stations, wearing broad smiles, in shirt sleeves does nothing for me. Brave young men sacrificed yet again by people that were not fit to lick their boots makes me very angry. …………………How would we know the truth without the press?

    We have now, the march of the luvvies and minority pressure groups that would silence all and every opposition to their pet projects. I won’t bore you with examples but you will have your own ideas of what I mean. We must not allow these vocal, and sometimes wealthy groups, with their narrow agenda’s to force governments into making serious policy errors and changes to our laws. Blinded, by the dazzle and glitter of the powerful and famous, some members of the press occasionally forget to be impartial but, we must still demand their freedom to report as they see fit.

    I applaud the juries that decided to acquit the journalists recently. It shows still that the people know best. Without juries made up of twelve ordinary members of the public we would be subjected to the whims and wishes of those that managed to get to the top of the, often elitist, greasy pole that is national and local politics. They would instruct what we should know and when. Trial by jury is another process we should defend.
    There are three major enquiries ongoing at present into the activities of the press. Operation Elvedon the police enquiry set up to hound the journalist involved has cost 11.3 million pounds. Together with two other enquiries set up to silence the press, Operation Weeting and Tulete, the expenditure to date is £34 million pounds. This is without legal costs, which given my recent experience, I shudder to imagine what they would be. After the Telegraph exposure of MP’s expenses it was only a matter of time before the power brokers bit back. This whole process was designed to stop the information flow that has so embarrassed those in power. The object was to silence and make fearful those that would challenge authority. This money should be spent on ‘front line’ policing not chasing a few reporters that might have occasionally stepped over the line. Every despotic regime throughout history has sought to control and manipulate their population by censorship. That must not happen here.


  • Environment

    I have to tell you I have not studied the many relatively new processes the scientists are developing to allow our people to remain competitive in a global market place and secure in the energy we need for our industries and homes. Like most people I hope to turn on a tap and get water. I like to switch on my kettle and a have a power supply to make a drink. I want to be able to fill my vehicle with fuel at a cost I can manage.   So how do we sustain those needs with increasing numbers of people and greater demand across the globe? My view is that we must retain the tried and tested methods until we are sure any new technology will be able to fulfil our expectations.. With my limited knowledge I have commented on the various options available. I expect the lobbyists from all side will be ready to shoot me down but I repeat I have not studied any of these processes in any depth. This is a layman’s opinion only.

    • We use too much energy.
    • We waste too much food
    • We make too many trips in cars
    • We want to travel more to overseas locations
    • We don’t protect our green spaces and farmland

    All the statements are true. But such is the lifestyles of most of our population few of the above will change for the foreseeable future for the following reasons:-

    • Our homes are mostly heated by systems using old technology. They are costly to replace.
    • We have not embrace enough heat retaining schemes.
    • Our lifestyles lead us to want to wear easy care clothes even in mid-winter
    • We want our ipads, iphones, computers and televisions charged ready to use.
    • Supermarkets encourage over purchasing of perishable foods leading to disposal of surplus.
    • The planning system has led to many out of town jobs and stores so we need cars to access.
    • Public transport is often unreliable and too costly in comparison to car travel which remains the mode of choice for the majority of suburban dwellers.
    • Busy lives mean people have to be in many places within a short period so public transport is impracticable.
    • Our roads are so congested due to lack of investment much fuel is wasted in traffic hold-ups.
    • Many people want or have travelled overseas for business and holidays.
    • We have been thwarted time and again when trying to defend the green spaces in our districts in the face of aggressive developers and supporting planning departments.

    To be green is very idealistic and laudable but I would like you to just consider what you would be prepared to give up from the above list. Who is going to give any guarantee as to what the future holds? We must have fuel security for our nation.


    It was Anearin Bevin that wrote ‘This Island is mainly built on coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organising genius could manage to have a shortage of both’. I believe the diktats from the EU in Brussels have led to that exact situation.

  • International Affairs

    The danger posed by the militant Islamist’s to this country is very real and must not be understated. I have clearly stated what I consider must be a priority for our Government in the law section, above. Across the globe conflict is never far from the surface due mainly to the increasing world population and the rising expectations of those people in the poorest nations. We have to recognise that the future will be bleak for our future generations unless the World leaders take a step back and look at the international conflicts in that context. The United Nations, like the League of Nations in previous generations, has proved toothless in the face of the upheaval and needs urgent reform.

    Westminster must bear some responsibility for the imploding of the rule of law in the countries of the Middle East. The actions of the Blair Government played right into the hands of the planners of the 9/11 terrorist agenda. The terrorists lit a big match and we helped provide the ‘time bomb’ by invading Iraq. The servicemen and women lost and the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis are the legacy of that monumental error of judgement.

    The Cameron Government suggested last year that we should arm and support the rebels fighting in Syria. Those rebels are now the ISIS forces beheading and slaying countless thousands of people in their murderous campaign of terror. Mark Francois MP is currently a junior Minister for the Arm Forces so he must have backed that proposal, rather than resign. I would like an explanation for his decision, on our behalf, in his role as our Constituency Member of Parliament.

    Attempts to threaten and control the Russian peoples, with military force has a very long history of failure. We need to be careful not to poke the Russian bear too hard or Europe, with the German leadership again leading the charge, it could easily erupt into conflict again. How often have we heard the mantra, ‘never again’ in relation to war, only to find our politicians taking stances that lead directed to that outcome? Perhaps independent voices and minds in the House of Commons could make a difference.


  • The European Union

    I have always been passionately interested in politics. my views have remained constant for many years. I was a paid up member and supporter of the Conservative Party for many years, unfortunately they ceased to be the party of the traditional values and decency I thought they represented. I was appalled at the signing of the Maastricht Treaty that gave away so many rights of self–determination of our people without our informed consent. The Lisbon Treaty made matters even worse.

    Our borders are open, our law is often impotent to protect us, foreign police forces now have the right to arrest our citizens. Now Germany is calling for a pan European military force. For this move towards a United State of Europe we have to pay billions of pounds (not euros) into the ever burgeoning European project largely orchestrate by Albert Speer. Albert Speer was Hitler’s brilliant Quartermaster, in Nazi Germany, when Brussels was the Gestapo HQ in occupied Europe. How did we get to a situation where the very dominance of Germany that we fought to reject in six years of world war, and the loss of 60 – 80 million people now leads the countries of Europe in increasingly belligerent terms. Greece must obey their financial terms, Russian is being subjected to sanctions and we have to abide by the laws they have formulated. The British people have never agreed to allow any foreign nation to run our affairs. I believe that is still the case today.   We joined a Common Market of nine nations not a United States of Europe with 28 states effectively run from Brussels/Strasboug.

    We must be given the opportunity to vote on the continued membership of the European Union. Mark Francois MP was a Government Whip who in October 2011 prevented that happening despite his announcements since.

    The reason I want this opportunity to vote is in my opinion the EU has not fulfilled any promises so many believed it would when it was conceived after the second world war. The British people should be given the full cost and benefit analysis of our membership of an organisation that will eventually become a United States of Europe. Do they want this or not? Only a free vote will answer that question.



  • Law & Security Services

    Our Police service, the many law enforcement agencies and intelligence services must not have their processes or actions fettered when seeking to protect the British public from those that would ruin our way of life. I am happy to have my emails checked and phone monitored if it leads to prevention of terror.   We can be sure that the only people benefitting from the policy of tying the hands of the police and intelligence agencies are those that would do us harm. The hand wringing do-gooders should be ignored and every tool in our armoury be used to protect us. To limit the access of information, as demanded by the Labour and Liberal Democratic Parties, is to commit an act of folly that could lead to serious loss of life of innocent people

    Today the perceived Police ‘thin blue line’ has almost disappeared into the shadows. The public want more police on our streets. It provides a visual presence that reassures the people and acts as a reminder to miscreants that the law still exists to curtail their activities. Funds should be found to make that possible. The multi million pound time wasting enquiries into telephone hacking, of a few celebrities, indicates that where there is a will there is way when funds are needed. They are needed now on our streets.

    The Human Rights Acts are becoming a tool in the hands of ‘compensation lawyers’ that are costing our nation millions of pounds in legal fees when defending those who often seek to destroy our society. This convention should be removed from our Statute Book and a Bill of Rights for our nation introduced. A Bill that will serve to protect the law abiding members of British society not supporters of terrorism, criminal’s and ‘freeloaders’ currently taking advantage of the convention within our country.  Our Judiciary has been too willing to follow every tenet of that convention while other European States adopt a more pragmatic approach in order to protect their citizens. The law enforcers need a clear unambiguous set of guidelines to follow, set down by our Parliament.

    The access to justice should not be only available to the few and the end of the compensation culture would free up funds for the real injustices ordinary people face. We need to look again at legal aid to find a way to limit the excesses of some in the legal profession but ensure justice remain open to all and blind in its’ application.