Tuesday, June 28, 2005

ID Cards

Mark Pritchard is my MP. Over a month ago I wrote to Mark asking his opinion of the ID Card proposal and asked how he would vote in tonight's commons vote.

Mark has not replied to me about this yet, so I don't know what his answer is.

Thanks for keeping me informed Mark. I've got to stay up till 10pm not and wait to find out.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Mark Pritchard's Westminster Diary

From Thursday's Telford Journal

Europe's leaders have fallen out of step with the people, says The Wrekin MP.

What part of the word 'Non' do the French, German and British govern­ments not under­stand?

The result of the French referendum was a clear rejection of the European Con­stitutional Treaty and a rejection of Europe's political elites and their stealthy plans for further European integration.

Europe's political leaders have fallen out of step with the people and the people have fallen out of love with them yet Chancellor Schroeder, President Chiraq and Tony Blair refuse to listen.

Even when the corporate will of the people is expressed - their views are ignored and sidestepped.

Thirty years ago, Britons signed up to a trade rela­tionship with Europe, they did not sign up to a Europe which seeks to dictate our mortgage rates, tax rates, immigration policy, foreign policy and defence policy -and certainly Britons did not sign up to a European federal President, some­thing the Constitutional Treaty seeks to impose.

The European dream has become a nightmare of over-regulation, interfer­ence, meddling and increased taxation. The drive towards a single Euro­pean empire has been tried before.

The Roman Empire was arguably the only other European empire that has previously existed. (I've read this somewhere else before haven't I? - Merk)

It also had a single cur­rency - gold, it too strived for a single language - Latin and it too collapsed because of corrupt leader­ship, a belief in its own self-importance, a lack of understanding of the diver­sity of European cultures, and the failure to recognise the folly of one size fits all governance.

We are told by pro-Euro­pean Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs that if we do not surrender our birthright to Europe that British jobs will be lost.

This seems at odds with the statements of many business leaders I meet.

They suggest their rea­son for doing business in Britain is that Britain's labour markets are less like Europe rather than more like them.

Businesses need flexible and nimble labour markets not over-regulation, and if they can't find flexibility in Britain they will look for it elsewhere.

Britain cannot maintain its relative prosperity by adopting the failed Euro­pean socialist and work­place model.

Therefore, those who claim scepticism towards Europe will cost jobs are wrong and are resorting to desperate and siren politics, which only serves to prove the weakness of their spuri­ous hypothesis.

A local example is the Labour opt-in to the Work­ing Time Directive, which is preventing many local peo­ple from earning much needed overtime.

Labour MEPs have a lot to answer for and so does the government. Clearly, employees should not be forced to work excessive hours, but discussions about working hours in Shropshire should take place between local and national employers and local employees, not be enshrined in law in Brus­sels.

Britain is in need of a new breed of politician, politi­cians who are not ashamed to speak up for the national self-interest.

This is not an insular statement but one that recognises that most Britons want a government and Parliament that are accountable to the British people and politicians who are prepared to reject the outdated and failed central­ist model of Franco-Ger­man politics.

No surrender to 'every close union' with Europe (a term that can be found in all European Treaties going back to the Treaty of Rome) is not a populist utterance of an out-of-date little Englander philosophy but a necessary survival gene that has served Britain well for hundreds of years.

If Britain is to remain strong and vibrant, if she is to retain her national self-confidence, then the cur­rent crisis in the EU should be seen as an opportunity to redefine our current rela­tionship within Europe, and by doing so, Britain will then be able to provide a secure future for the gener­ations that follow us


Mark Pritchard's Accommodation

From Friday's Shropshire Star
Tory MP Mark Pritchard has finally got his Westminster accommodation sorted out - and is delighted with the result.

Seven weeks after his election as MP for The Wrekin, he has finally been allocated an office.

It's along what's called the upper committee corridor in a prized area of the Commons because it has good access to the chamber and other key areas of the palace.

He has also been elected to his first post in Parliament - as vice-chairman of the all-party group on social care.

Hopefully his new office will have a link to the outside world?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Racial and Religious Hatred Bill

In his longest parliamentary speech yet (1267 words), it seems that Mark isn't in favour of the Racial hatred law that could do more damage than good.
I oppose religious hatred, but I also oppose the Bill, because I do not think that the latter will serve to reduce the former
I congratulate Mark on opposing this bill, I hope he does the same with the ID Cards Bill.

Read what Tony Benn has to say about Freedom.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mark Pritchard Says NO to Parking Charges

Mark has yet to speak of his delight* that the parking charges are going to be dropped in Wellington and Newport.

Obviously, Mark was instrumental in getting these charges scrapped and all the work our previous MP did towards it counted for nothing.

UPDATE: I was right! In Thursdays Telford Journal:

Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, said: "This is a major victory for all those who supported my campaign to scrap the charges.

"I hope this will be the new dawn of a brighter future for both Wellington and Newport and will teach the council leadership not to impose ill-thought out policies on the district centres without adequate consultation.

This has been a long and often difficult campaign but the victory has been I worth the wait. I am delighted."

Nothing like taking the credit eh?

*Mark cannot really speak of his delight in public because he does not bother to use the Blog set up for him on his site. See the importance of Political Weblogs here.

Doing Porridge?

If you're in the nick right now and you can't read this - get someone to help you.

Cause our very own Mark Pritchard MP has asked the Sectary of State for Education and Skills to make a statement on prison Literacy.

Now I don't understand why Prisons need to read or write, I'd have thought it would be better if the inmates learned how to instead. But hey, Mark's the MP - not me.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

How's he voting?

Whether you voted for him or not, Mark Pritchard is your member of parliament for The Wrekin area. This means HE WORKS FOR YOU.

He has not been elevated to some superior role in life, he is answerable to you, his constituents and must represent you in the seat of Democracy - The House of Commons.

I cannot confirm that Mark Pritchard MP has super powers but I will keep you in the loop.

So hows he voting? You can find out by clicking here. If you don't like the way he's voting then tell him. It's his job to listen and represent you in London. Contact details for Marks office are on the right of this page and you can also use the Writetothem.com service to write to them via your pc.

As always be polite and include your full name and address. I've used the service twice to write to Mark - once to discuss ID Cards and once to ask where my reply is. I've still not got an answer. I'll keep you informed. Which is more than can be said for Mark!

Marks Campaigns

I've taken the liberty of reproducing Marks campain page from the Wrekin Conservatives site (Mark has a blog on that site but he doesn't bother to use it).

Mark Pritchard is running a series of campaigns that have attracted widespread public support. These include:

This campaign is aiming to stop local hospital services being transferred from the Princess Royal Hospital, in Telford to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, in Shrewsbury.
Mark says:

"Too many people still have to journey to Shrewsbury to receive hospital treatments. Mothers and babies with complications through to the elderly. The Wrekin deserves its own full service hospital and that is what I am campaigning for".

Labour MPs said that the hospital merger would not affect patients. Again, we have been misled.

Local crime has soared under Labour. Violent crime is at an all time high. Mark is campaigning to put more police on the streets and looking to local police to enforce a zero-tolerance or 'broken wondow' policing.

Mark is also calling on Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire County Council to provide better and improved youth facilities so that young people have something to do.

Mark continues to campaign against the car parking charges at The Princess Royal Hospital and the charges in Wellington and Newport.

Labour and Liberal Democrats voted to reintroduce car parking charges.

Mark says:
"This is another labour stealth tax. We are all paying more tax but are seeing our local services cut. The worst of all worlds. It is about time we returned to 'value for money' - and it is only the Conservatives who can deliver that. Labour are all talk and no action. Conservatives will stand up for the 'forgotten law abiding, tax paying, majority'"


More Dosh for the PRH

Mark must be pleased, yesterday it was announced that £600,000 would be released to the Princess Royal Hospital to build a temporary renal unit.

It was also announced yesterday that the Shropshire Hospitals Trust was a massive £19 million in debt. Mark is calling for more government money to help the trust get out of the red and rescue front-line hospital services.

Mark Pritchard MP has been running a long standing campaign to help the PRH which probably won him the election (that and the Tory faithful voting Labour out because of the fox hunting bill, no doubt).

PRH will now house six dialysis stations which will treat up to 26 patients a year.

Of course, no official word from Mark about this - his blog still hasn't started.

Mark Pritchard to 'gather a petition'

Mark Pritchard MP is asking boss of Central Trains to explain why they have plans to charge a massive £3.50 per day to park at Telford Central Railway Station, reports the Shropshire Star.

The charges are to be put in place to ease the problems of non-railway users parking on the station car park in the light of recent parking charges at the Telford Shopping Centre.

Mark thinks there may be a case for the rail regulator as Central Trains do not appear to have consulted the local Rail Users Association.

Strangely, Telford Central isn't in Mark's Constituency and this writer thinks he should concentrate on improving the much maligned facilities at Wellington Station.

Shropshire Folk to run olympics

Mark recently asked a question to the great Tessa Jowell asking what plans she has for the people of Shropshire should London be granted the 2012 Olympics.

Shropshire is approx. 163 miles from London, how can we help?

Tessa has the answer;
I am quite sure that the good people of Shropshire will wish to volunteer to assist with the Olympic games.
Cheers Tessa, I'll be signing up straight away.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Et tu, Brute?

Mark's been busy speaking in the house this week and he's got some great lines, I'll give him that - Today, European Constitution;
Does my hon. Friend agree that we have had a single empire in Europe, the Roman empire, a single currency, gold, and a single language, Latin; that we now have a Europe that is in danger of going the "dominus et deus" route or even the dictatorship route; and that if Europe continues in the direction adopted by its present political elite, they might end up going the same way as the Roman elite?
Wow, don't mince your words there fella. You can't really compare the present elite with that of Roman times - they wore dresses and took part in orgy............ahhhhh I see where your coming from now.

I'm seriously not sure we're headed down the dictatorship route, someone tried that in '39 and it didn't work.

Of course, if Mark was to use his blog he could tell us, his constituents what he really thinks about Europe.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Nuclear Deterrent

Mark submitted a question to John Reid (Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence) today about plans to replace trident with a new generation strategic nuclear deterrent.

John Reid replied with a frankly half arsed answer;
Labour's recent general election manifesto spelled out our commitment to the retention of the independent nuclear deterrent.
He might as well have said "it's a secret I'm not telling" - But Mark Pritchard MP isn't one to shy away from conflict (probably why he's asking about nuclear deterrents!) and continued to push Reido for an answer;
I thank the Secretary of State for that answer, but I am rather intrigued by its vagueness.
ohhh. fight, fight, fight, fight...ahem sorry where was I? Oh yes Mark continues the question but doesn't really get an answer other than;
I can do no better than read out my initial answer.
Reido 1 Mark Nil - must try harder!

Full text here

I'm not sure why Mark is so interested in our Nuclear Deterrent, if he bothered to use his own blog perhaps he could tell us, for now we'll have to guess.