I am very proud to have been selected as the Labour Candidate to fight the General Election on the 8th June. I have worked hard for Gloucester for a long time, from founding and running Kingsway Residents Association, being a Quedgeley Parish (now Town) Councillor, the County Councillor for Grange and Kingsway as well as having been a Magistrate on the Gloucester Bench.  I launched and run my own small research business in Gloucester and I volunteer with local companies and individuals to help develop their engineering staff through their professional careers. I believe in the strong Labour values of Equality, Fairness and Co-Operation and I believe that we need to have an MP for Gloucester who will put these values at the heart of what they do, the decisions they make and the actions they take.  This now is the time to make Gloucester better for the many, not […]

Yesterday, Teresa May threw down the gauntlet in quite a bold move by calling a general election.  There are possibly many reasons for this, she may not have the votes within the conservative party to deliver Brexit without votes from outside, she may be trying to head off the fallout from the expenses scandal and the might be making the most of the current poll situation.  In reality, it doesn’t matter, the Labour party now have the opportunity to offer something different.  We can give hope to people who have seen the gap between the “have” and the “have nots” widen, those rising numbers of people who have been suffering at the hands of ideologically driven cuts.  It is now that the Labour Party must come together, turn and face the right “as one” and take the fight to the Tories. In the Labour Party, we have been having a serious internal […]

In my line of policy posts, (this is the second, so officially a line) I want to explore the future of the NHS.  I am the first to say that this is a hugely complex problem but I think taking some time to determine what we want out of a Health Service that serves everyone.  This post covers only a few of the points that needs to be addressed but fundamentally suggests that we need to develop a new Health and Social care model, and launches the idea of the UHC, – Universal Health Care, resetting what it means to be looked at in the contemporary setting.  I will warn you that this isn’t a well structured piece, but an exercise that is helping form my thinking about the future of our systems.  This is the type of process that is done behind closed doors and then presented to the […]

There is a range of thought when it comes to nationalisation, there are some who hate it and think that everything should be in the private sector, that competition provides best value.  This, is somewhat true, but there are too many examples where the value used is simply money with little reference to other values.  Therefore it is no surprise to find that standards get driven down when you pay less for a service, something has to give.  It is a good way of making a business/service lean, but the problem starts when people don;t know when to stop, or just fixate on the money as the value driver. Nationalising services and industries is not a simple and obvious “solve it” either.  Generally public services have a habit of becoming bloated and a reputation of not being very efficient.  Because there is no competition, there is no motivation for good […]

Whilst I campaigned on the “Remain” side of the EU Referendum, most people know that I was quite ambivalent about the result.  This was, and still is, because whilst it is better to be inside an organisation to change it, I do also believe that there had to be a significant amount of change to make it better for the UK.  Fundamentally, when we leave, it will have significant change and unintended consequence, but we will move on and new relationships will form and we will be in a different place, metaphorically speaking at least.  But, I am against triggering Article 50 immediately, for the simple reason, I have no idea what we are triggering! This has been the main issue for me, everyone has their own version of what Brexit means.  We don’t actually know and I am not a fan of initiating change when we don’t understand what it […]

I’m not going to go on about Trump, it’s all been said already, all over social media.  But I am interested in the wider issue of Politics, Politicians and Truth. We seem to be in a “post-truth” world where experts are not to be believed, and polls are not worth the paper they are written on.  It seems to be much more convenient to find something someone said that agrees with your world view, chuck it on a meme and there you go – that’s your truth.  It’s not necessarily new though, everyone is very quick to blame all politicians of lying and just taking the public money for their own benefit.  “You’re all the same” becomes a common refrain on the doorstep, except when your known.  But even then, it becomes more of a “you’re OK, but the rest of them are all the same”.   Part of the […]

Last year I posted a miserly 2 blog posts.  Considering how rollercoaster last year was, I failed to record much of it.  I fell into my own trap of knowing that people were reading it and because I was doing elections and stuff, I didn’t blog very much.  There was a time issue too, with everything going on, then I didn’t feel I had time.  And blogs have pretty much gone out of vogue.   Well, in hindsight, I kinda forgot one of the main reasons for blogging in the first place, and that is to keep an online journal type thing that you can look back on.  And for the past 12 months, I have got nothing.  So, this year is going to be at least one post a month. Lets see what happens 🙂  

The Copeland By-Election is possibly the biggest challenge the Labour Party has faced in recent times.  If the party is going to regain the trust of the general public then this by-election is the biggest opportunity to show that we can come together as the broad church that has been our biggest strength in the past, and that we can campaign on fundamental Labour values and policies.  It is this, and the fact it is very close to where I grew up that I have submitted my application to be the Labour Candidate and next Labour MP. So, I’m thinking there will be some initial questions, so I figured a post outlining some of my thinking would be useful and if you want to know more, get in touch: Why Stand? I think that for the local residents, with the cuts to the local NHS services being driven through West […]

The range of influence that the Police and Crime Commissioner has is huge.  This doesn’t just include the Police itself, but those organisations and people who utilise the funding available through the Police and Crime Commissioner.  This has given me a lot of food for thought into what my priorities should be and what I want to achieve as Police and Crime Commissioner.  Having listened to a wide variety of people, visited a number of organisations, researched our county and taken on board my own experiences, the following are my main priorities: Community Policing – Bringing residents and police closer together Policing in Partnership – Working with local community organisations, breaking the stovepipes and silos Tackling Domestic Violence – Focusing on both physical and psychological abuse, coercive behaviour and stalking Policing Cyberspace – Ensuring businesses and residents can use the Internet confidently and safely.  Make reporting easier and encourage it. Rural Policing […]

I am a huge fan of Social Media, and being a Councillor, it is an important tool.  But, I am getting rather fed-up of Labour based social media groups at the moment.  No decent debate seems to happen before someone starts throwing “mandate” around or labelling as Red Tories, Corbynistas or just generally being rude and aggressive to fellow members.  Yet social media has huge amounts of power and potential.  So I tried something a bit radical, you could even say, progressive.  On a couple of groups I am still a member of, I initiated “the Policy Pot”.  The rules were simple, under the main comment, add your policy idea.  No bitching, labelling, or asking people to leave the party was allowed.  If you wanted to debate that policy suggestion, then reply to the comment. I recognise the limitations of doing this, but it was open, transparent, and it was […]

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