My thoughts on NHS


HSThere have been many of us who been campaigning together to protect our NHS for years now. many of us want an decent NHS we can rely on. We want everyone in Britain to have great health care.

Whether you’re rich or poor, young or old, wherever you live – we should all get decent treatment whenever we need it. So we need the NHS to be properly funded. And we need it run as a public service that puts patients first – not the profit of private companies.

Today, bosses at NHS England unveiled their five-year blueprint for the NHS. [1] I listened closely, because I know how much it matters to 38 Degrees members. Here are the headlines:

NHSThey make a very strong case for why the NHS needs better funding. They explained why the NHS needs billions of pounds more than any of the politicians have promised – and set out grave risks to the quality of our health care if this doesn’t happen. They haven’t ruled out more privatisation. This is worrying, and proves that we need to do more to campaign against privatisation.

There are some strange new proposals to investigate  like paying doctors extra cash each time they diagnose someone with dementia or paying patients to lose weight.
The other interesting thing that happened this morning was Health Minister Jeremy Hunt’s response. When the BBC grilled NHS England chief about cuts and privatisation, Jeremy Hunt took to Twitter to accuse 38 Degrees members of hijacking the interview! [2]

The government clearly sees 38 Degrees as the main organisation fighting to protect the NHS and stop their privatisation plans. That’s a huge responsibility.

I know that protecting the NHS will be a long-term task for the many. We need to push politicians to promise enough funding. And we need to push the politicians to drop their obsession with handing contracts to dodgy private companies. [3]

At the same time we need to keep running the shorter term campaigns to protect the NHS – like saving Lewisham Hospital, or stopping privatisation at the Dorchester General. [4] Not to mention blocking the outrageous plan to sell our medical records to private companies. [5]

Scale up our anti-privatization work. We could block more local proposals to privatize hospitals and services. We could launch fresh investigations to expose private companies when they provide bad care.

 

I would strongly all to put every MP, and candidates, under pressure to promise to fund the NHS properly and tell us exactly how they’d pay for it.

Some may have witnessed on  television or may have been in the public gallery in Parliament or read via press recently at the Prime Minister Questions Time (PMQs) when Ed Miliband put some questions to the Prime Minister regarding the NHS in the reply was about the NHS in Wales. This clearly shows that David Cameron has decided to tackle the greater confidence in Labour over health matters by what I can only describe as attacking the NHS in Wales.

There is no doubt whichever way we look at this NHS does needs more levels of funding and I give credit where it’s due during the thirteen years of a Labour government they invested more than any current coalition into the NHS however more can be done. I am sure of one thing I would rather put my trust in Labour when it comes to ensuring that we have the right investments in our NHS which Labour has a very good track record for investment. Intriguingly patients, health professionals, and voters are united in opposition to the internal market and top down re-organisation imposed on the health service in England by the conservative coalition.

Let’s not forgot that the Heath budget in Wales is subject to the Barnett formula block grant from Whitehall to Cardiff Bay that short changed Wales by the sum of £300 Million a year and which the Westminster establishment coalition cut by 10% which this coalition conveniently left out in their reply to the opposition leader.

If funds were based on need rather than population as Lord Barnett proposed the Welsh government would be better placed to increase NHS spending.

David Cameron seems to have forgotten that he has a coalition partner viz Nick Clegg and do seem to imagine it’s the conservative government who is running the country   and he is the Prime Minister who speaks for all.

Just after the Scottish referendum David Cameron and other Westminster party leaders welcomed the No vote in Scotland that he is in a position to take a pop at the Welsh patients treated in hospitals in England and vice – versa.

I’m sure that David Cameron’s insinuation(s) is that if four times as many residents in Wales this must be true and must represent a choice based on qualitative criteria. Surly he must be aware that countries cannot be compared in population wealth and number of hospitals let alone specialist units which makes up the NHS ie Learning Difficulties, Mental Health, physical disabilities, and dementia and the list goes on.

It is deteriorating swiftly with hospitals weighed down by debts and care service at near breaking point. Tory and FibDems opposition to our NHS public service ethos based on paramountcy of private profits is very lethal to health services throughout Britain and must be rejected on 7 May 2015

How many people has the feeling that David Cameron will drive a wedge between his party and our NHS and Europe hence it’s little wonder why two of the backbenchers defected to UKIP and some of his MPs who were elected in 2010 are stepping down making way for a more right wing agenda.

Its comes as no surprise when Secretary Jeremy Hunt was challenged to end the Tories’ NHS England cash freeze yesterday after he was warned it faces meltdown due to a looming £30 billion-a-year hole.

In Westminster Labour shadow minister Andy Burnham pummelled his Tory counterpart at the dispatch box following the release of a five-year blueprint by NHS organisations which warned that “efficiency” savings alone would not be enough.

A grinning Mr Hunt labelled the report “essentially positive and optimistic” but brushed off calls to invest more cash.

Mr Burnham, whose party has pledged a £2.5bn-a-year above-inflation funding rise, retorted: “The report could not be clearer — simply protecting the NHS budget in the next Parliament as the Conservatives propose will not prevent it tipping into a full-blown crisis.”

The joint report by six bodies, including watchdogs Monitor and the Care Quality Commission and NHS England itself, speculates that new technology, restructured community services and better public education could make the service “more productive” and reduce a projected £30bn annual funding shortfall.

It set out sweeping plans for GP practices to hire hospital doctors, to allow hospitals to provide GP services to plug gaps, to merge the back-office functions of smaller facilities, and to encourage bigger hospitals to open franchises in smaller ones.

But even the most optimistic estimates set out in their “forward view” would leave a £16bn-a-year gap if the government continues its planned real-terms budget freeze.

And trade union Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said that the real picture would be worse because the plan’s cash-saving goals simply could not be achieved in time.

The service is already struggling with existing demands for annual “efficiency” savings that have seen £20bn drained from budgets since 2010, she said.

And she warned the NHS plan “will be impossible to deliver in five years if you are talking about a real improvement in health prevention, retraining and realigning the roles of NHS staff, together with integration of health and social care.

“The best investment that the government could make in the NHS is the immediate scrapping of the Health and Social Care Act which has already squandered £3bn in a pointless reorganisation.”

The NHS blueprint states that continuing current inflation-only budget rises would lead to a massive black hole even if the service succeeded in finding more ways to cut costs. It predicts a £21bn annual shortfall if the current “efficiency” drive to find 0.8 per cent savings a year continued and funding remained in line with inflation. That gap could narrow to £16bn if savings increased to 1.5 per cent a year and the budget remained flat.

But NHS England would only meet costs by 2020-21 if a hugely ambitious 2-3 per cent annual cost-saving target totalling £22bn was met and real-terms funding rose by £8bn a year.

The Jaws of doom just don’t affect Local Government but it will also affect our NHS under The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) if the Conservatives and UKIP coalition or Conservatives and Fibdems coalition after the general election on 7 May 2015.

Nor can I defend or even justify The boss of the NHS in England has defended the privatisation of services as a way of helping patients get treatment but insisted that the health service would continue to do most of the work.

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said that “sometimes there will be a case” for a patient needing, for example, a hip operation to use a private provider paid by the NHS and stressed that patients should decide themselves who should treat them.

He was responding on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to questions about the NHS put by its listeners, many of which involved the outsourcing of NHS clinical services.

Stevens, an ex-Labour government health adviser under Tony Blair, started in the NHS’s top job on 1 April after 10 years working for UnitedHealth, an American private health firm.

Asked if it was his intention to have more private companies delivering care, he replied: “No. Most services in this country are delivered by the NHS and that’s going to continue to be the case under any foreseeable future. But the tests we should be applying are that we think like a patient and act like a taxpayer and sometimes there will be a case for whether you need a hip operation [being done in the private sector, but paid for by the NHS.”

 

 

 

 

 

My thoughts on why Britain needs a pay rise


Here is why we all should lend our support to have a pay increase in UK see below two youtube:

 

NHSMany of you will have noticed that the right-wing press never want to report Britain needs a pay rise as they had no choice but to report it could it be that they want to see a Conservative and UKIP coalition.  I can only come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter as those marchers are a bunch of hard lefties. This demonstration also took place in Glasgow, and Belfast to coincide with England people from all walks of life turned up to show their anger at this vile coalition who are offering a below inflation 1% whilst Members of Parliament are happy to receive their pay increase which amounts to 11% in 2015 and the European Parliament MEPs gets €96,246 which does not includes their benefits.

 

Midwives who took strike action this week for the first time ever are among tens of thousands of trade unionists taking to the streets of London and no one can claim that they don’t know the value of labour.

MarchersA march from the Thames Embankment to Hyde Park will see heroic trade unionists joined by students, housing campaigners, anti-nuclear activists and many others in calls for a new politics of hope at the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise march and rally.

Meanwhile thousands more are expected to join a sister march and rally taking place in Glasgow dubbed A Just Scotland: Decent Work, Dignified Lives.

The demonstration comes after half a million workers in the NHS downed tools this week in the first health strike since the Thatcher era and low-paid civil servants brought government to a standstill.

TTIPMembers of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), which is not affiliated to the TUC, received an ecstatic message from the union’s chief executive Cathy Warwick urging them to take to the streets.

She said: “I really encourage those that can make it to join us on Saturday so that we can show the government just how strong their feelings are and how much support there is for fair pay.

“Our members are not asking to be paid like bankers, just for a fair reward for the work they do. Enough’s enough and now is the time to take a stand.”

TUC research has found the average worker is now a whopping £50 a week worse off than in 2007.

mysideOn the 17 October the TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, said she will address crowds in Hyde Park launched a rallying cry for a fairer Britain.

“After the longest and deepest pay squeeze in recorded history, it’s time to end the lock-out that has kept the vast majority from sharing in the economic recovery.

“An economy that finds money for tax cuts for the rich and boardroom greed, while the rest face a pay squeeze and big cuts to the welfare system that any of us might need is no longer working for the many.”

And lecturers’ union UCU leader Sally Hunt will use her speech in Hyde Park to blast the “narrow nationalism” of Ukip.

“Britain needs more than just a pay rise, we need real change,” she is set to say.

mirrorI have to say that I’m intrigued to say which I don’t normally do even the  private sector workers have taken to the streets on 18 October they also belong to trade unions.  Also public sector workers pay the same tax as everyone else. It is also wrong to say public sector are not wealth creators a very narrow view.  My local authority for example works with the business sector to help enable growth in businesses be they large or small, we are also putting in reserves to create business opportunity that is wealth creation.

Never in this country have those who fight for democracy and social justice carried a greater burden or faced the possibility of bigger losses of human rights, human freedoms, human dignity and wellbeing than they do right now. As the poor and disabled suffer and have to pick up the crumbs from the dining tables of the fatcats, and bankers. They rather put their finance in offshore accounts rather than paying their fair share of taxes.

taxpayersYet the The TaxPayers’ Alliance have produced a report, and assisted  by Harry Phibbs concerning the vast amount of space Trade unions are provided with in public sector buildings – at little of now charge. It amounted to at least 273,753 square feet in 2013-14. This is more than the total floor space of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow nothing more than a distraction as to why the trade union members when on strike on 18 October which they play into the hands of Conservatives and UKIP.

Let us all not forget It was your government that lost us the triple A Fitch and Moody credit rating, inflicted socially and economically damaging austerity on only the poorest, whilst handing out our money to the millionaires, and your government that borrowed more money in 4 years than Labour did in 13. And Labour had the global recession caused by irresponsible bankers to deal with. And they did. No austerity cuts from them.

We were out of recession in 2010, and you, Mr Cameron, with YOUR government’s policies that manufacture gross wealth inequalities, caused another recession. Be a man. Tell the truth.

I say to them we will fight them at the hustings, we will fight them at the ballot box; we will fight them for the minds of the People. We shall never surrender.

In 2015 if people let the Tories win the only thing they will guarantee is years and years of more austerity. On such a scale that it will scare the UK in such a way it will never recover. That is the stark truth. The Tories want to destroy social justice, equality and fairness.

Their overriding plan is to sell of every single public service to private companies. Regardless of standards, commitments to service, protection for those least able to get by and with no regard to the real economic impact having hundreds of thousands more people on the dole. Have no doubt this is what the Tories want and are hoping you will fall for it all over again. They want another £20 billion in cuts. That is on top of the multi billions already taken away. Now no matter the lies and spin the cuts have done nothing to bring down the deficit and that money seems to just vanish, but it’s going somewhere?

When people say there is no difference between the political parties they really need to think before they say that. The only hope every single public service and public sector worker have is with Labour winning in 2015. If not then what is happening now will seem tame in comparison.

 

 

Hong Kong Protest vs Chinese Establishment


I seem to recall between 1987 -1996 in my former trade union debating the Handover of Hong Kong to China which I recommended to my former trade union Conference for reference back I remember there was a very big split on the debate. I make no apologies for allowing the debate to take place and in one sense I was glad that I had the opportunity to state my case by informing delegates the mover was anti-China as the mover was pro Hong Kong and I was and still am pro-China and I felt that the motion was one-sided and it was by applying the common sense approach which won the day and the motion was put to the vote and reference back won the day.

Nobody would have anticipated that this motion caused passionate debates from all sides of the conference and the then president and general secretary got involved which would have not make no difference as the atmosphere was like a us and them at one point as some of the delegates where not engaged with the Chinese political scene as there were on two Chinese members who could really could argue for and against whilst some delegates who thought they knew about the situation but it turned out to be limited with the information as the mover fail to produce the additional information that was required to sway the delegates.

Let’s us all not lose focus here for one moment that Hong Kong’s territory was acquired from three separate treaties: the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, the Treaty of Beijing in 1860, and The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory in 1898, which gave the UK the control of Hong Kong IslandKowloon (area south of Boundary Street), and the New Territories (area north of Boundary Street and south of the Shenzhen River, and outlying islands), respectively. Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon had been ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, the control on the New Territories was a 99-year lease. The finite nature of the 99-year lease did not hinder Hong Kong’s development as the New Territories were combined as a part of Hong Kong. By 1997, it was impractical to separate the three territories and only return the New Territories. In addition, with the scarcity of land and natural resources in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the New Territories were being developed with large-scale infrastructures and other developments, with the break-even day lying well past 30 June 1997. Thus, the status of the New Territories after the expiry of the 99-year lease became important for Hong Kong’s economic development.

In March 1979, the Governor of Hong Kong Murray MacLehose paid his first official visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), taking the initiative to raise the question of Hong Kong’s sovereignty with Deng Xiaoping. Without clarifying and establishing the official position of the PRC government, the arranging of real estate leases and loans agreements in Hong Kong within the next 18 years would be rather difficult. In fact, as early as the mid-1970s, Hong Kong had faced additional risks raising loans for large scale infrastructure projects such as its MTR system and a new airport. Caught unprepared, Deng asserted the necessity of Hong Kong’s return to China, upon which Hong Kong would be given special status by the PRC government. MacLehose’s visit to the PRC raised the curtain on the issue of Hong Kong’s sovereignty: Britain was made very much aware of the PRC’s aspiration to resume sovereignty over Hong Kong and began to make arrangements accordingly to ensure the sustenance of her interests within the territory, as well as initiating the creation of a withdrawal plan in case of emergency. Three years later, Deng received the former British Prime Minister Edward Heath. Heath had been dispatched as the special envoy of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to establish an understanding of the PRC’s view with regards to the question of Hong Kong. Throughout their meeting, Deng stated clearly for the first time the PRC’s willingness to settle the sovereignty issue with Britain through formal negotiations. In the same year, Edward Youde, who succeeded MacLehose as the 26th Governor of Hong Kong, led a delegation of five Executive Councillors to London, including Chung Sze-yuenLydia Dunn, and Roger Lobo. Chung presented their position on the sovereignty of Hong Kong to Thatcher, encouraging her to take into consideration the interests of the native Hong Kong population in her upcoming visit to China. In light of the increasing openness of the PRC government and economic reforms on the mainland, then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sought the PRC’s agreement to a continued British presence in the territory. However, the PRC took a contrary position: not only did the PRC wish for the New Territories, on lease until 1997, to be placed under the PRC’s jurisdiction, it also refused to recognise the “unfair and unequal treaties” under which Hong Kong Island and Kowloon had been ceded to Britain in perpetuity.[1] Consequently, the PRC recognised only the British administration in Hong Kong, but not British sovereignty.

In the wake of Governor MacLehose’s visit, Britain and the PRC established initial diplomatic contact for further discussions of the Hong Kong question, paving the way for Thatcher’s first visit to the PRC in September 1982.[2] Margaret Thatcher, in discussion with Deng Xiaoping, reiterated the validity of an extension of the lease of Hong Kong territory, particularly in light of binding treaties, including the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, the Convention of Peking in 1856, and the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory signed in 1890. In response, Deng Xiaoping cited clearly the lack of room for compromise on the question of sovereignty over Hong Kong; the PRC, as the successor of Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China on the mainland, would recover the entirety of the New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

During talks with Thatcher, China planned to invade and seize Hong Kong if the negotiations set off unrest in the colony. Thatcher later said that Deng told her bluntly that China could easily take Hong Kong by force, stating that “I could walk in and take the whole lot this afternoon”. Thatcher replied that “there is nothing I could do to stop you, but the eyes of the world would now know what China is like”.

After her visit with Deng in Beijing, Thatcher was received in Hong Kong as the first British Prime Minister to set foot on the territory whilst in office. At a press conference, Thatcher re-emphasised the validity of the three treaties, asserting the need for countries to respect treaties on universal terms: “treaties ought always to be respected; without such respect, without such necessary trust, it was impossible for any negotiations to take place”.

At the same time, at the 5th session of the 5th National People’s Congress, the constitution was amended to include a new clause which stated that the country might establish a special administrative region (SAR) when necessary. The additional clause would hold tremendous significance in settling the question of Hong Kong and later Macau, putting into social consciousness the concept of “One country, two systems“.

A few months after Thatcher’s visit to Beijing, the PRC government had still yet to open negotiations with the British government regarding the sovereignty of Hong Kong. Unsure of what to do, Thatcher consulted former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, though consultation proved fruitless in the end. Shortly before the initiation of sovereignty talks, Governor Youde declared his intention to represent the population of Hong Kong at the negotiations. This statement sparked a strong response from the PRC, which criticised Britain for “making a three-legged stool” and “playing public-opinion cards” as bargaining chips.[1] At the preliminary stage of the talks, the British government proposed an exchange of sovereignty for administration and the implementation of a British administration post-handover. The PRC government refused, contending that the notions of sovereignty and administration were inseparable, and although it recognised Macau as a “Chinese territory under Portuguese administration”, it also sought the return of that territory.

The conflict that arose at that point of the negotiations ended the possibility of further negotiation. During the reception of former British Prime Minister Edward Heath during his sixth visit to the PRC, Deng Xiaoping commented quite clearly on the impossibility of exchanging sovereignty for administration, declaring an ultimatum: the British government must modify or give up its position or the PRC will announce its resolution of the issue of Hong Kong sovereignty unilaterally.

In 1983, Typhoon Ellen ravaged Hong Kong, causing great amounts of damage to both life and property. The Hong Kong dollar plummeted onBlack Saturday, and the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong John Bremridge publicly associated the economic uncertainty with the instability of the political climate. In response, the PRC government condemned Britain through the press for “playing the economic cards” in order to achieve their ends: to intimidate the PRC into conceding to British demands.

Governor Youde with nine members of the Hong Kong Executive Council travelled to London to discuss with Prime Minister Thatcher the crisis of confidence – the problem with morale among the people of Hong Kong arising from the ruination of the Sino-British talks. The session concluded with Thatcher’s writing of a letter addressed to the PRC Premier Zhao Ziyang; in it, she expressed Britain’s willingness to explore arrangements optimising the future prospects of Hong Kong while utilising the PRC’s proposals as a foundation. Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly, she expressed Britain’s concession on its position of a continued British presence in the form of an administration post-handover.

Two rounds of negotiations were held in October and November. On the sixth round of talks in November, Britain formally conceded its intentions of either maintaining a British administration in Hong Kong or seeking some form of co-administration with the PRC, and showed its sincerity in discussing PRC’s proposal on the 1997 issue. Obstacles were cleared.

Simon Keswick, chairman of Jardine Matheson & Co., said they were not pulling out of Hong Kong, but a new holding company would be established in Bermuda instead. He remarked that it was not desirable to “put all of one’s eggs in one basket”. The PRC took this as yet another plot by the British. The Hong Kong government explained that it had been informed about the move only a few days before the announcement. The government would not and could not stop the company from making a business decision.

Just as the atmosphere of the talks was becoming cordial, members of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong felt impatient at the long-running secrecy over the progress of Sino-British talks on the Hong Kong issue. They held that the people of Hong Kong should have the right to know what was being discussed and to speak at the talks. A motion, tabled by legislator Roger Lobo, and declaring, “This Council deems it essential that any proposals for the future of Hong Kong should be debated in this Council before agreement is reached”, was passed unanimously. The PRC attacked the motion furiously, referring to it as “somebody’s attempt to play the three-legged stool trick again”.[5] At length, the PRC and Britain initiated the Joint Declaration on the question of Hong Kong’s future in Beijing. Zhou Nan, the then PRC Deputy Foreign Minister and leader of the negotiation team, and SirRichard Evans, British Ambassador to Beijing and leader of the team, signed respectively on behalf of the two governments.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed by the Prime Ministers of the People’s Republic of China and the United Kingdom governments on 19 December 1984 in Beijing. The Declaration entered into force with the exchange of instruments of ratification on 27 May 1985 and was registered by the People’s Republic of China and United Kingdom governments at the United Nations on 12 June 1985. In the Joint Declaration, the People’s Republic of China Government stated that it had decided to resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong (includingHong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories) with effect from 1 July 1997 and the United Kingdom Government declared that it would restore Hong Kong to the PRC with effect from 1 July 1997. In the document, the People’s Republic of China Government also declared its basic policies regarding Hong Kong.

In accordance with the One Country, Two Systems principle agreed between the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China, the socialist system of People’s Republic of China would not be practiced in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and Hong Kong’s previous capitalist system and its way of life would remain unchanged for a period of 50 years. The Joint Declaration provides that these basic policies shall be stipulated in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The ceremony of the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration took place at 18:00, 19 December 1984 at the Western Main Chamber of the Great Hall of the People. The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office at first proposed a list of 60-80 Hong Kong people to attend the ceremony. The number was finally extended to 101. The list included Hong Kong government officials, members of the Legislative and Executive Councils, chairmen of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank, Hong Kong celebrities such as Li Ka-shingPao Yue-kong and Fok Ying-tung, and also Martin Lee Chu-ming and Szeto Wah The Basic Law was drafted by a Drafting Committee composed of members from both Hong Kong and mainland China. A Basic Law Consultative Committee formed purely by Hong Kong people was established in 1985 to canvas views in Hong Kong on the drafts. The first draft was published in April 1988, followed by a five-month public consultation exercise. The second draft was published in February 1989, and the subsequent consultation period ended in October 1989. The Basic Law was formally promulgated on 4 April 1990 by the NPC, together with the designs for the flag and emblem of the HKSAR. Some members of the Basic Law drafting committee were ousted by Beijing following the 4 June 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, after voicing views supporting the students.

The Basic Law was said to be a mini-constitution drafted with the participation of Hong Kong people. The political system had been the most controversial issue in the drafting of the Basic Law. The special issue sun-group adopted the political model put forward by Louis Cha. This “main-stream” proposal was criticised for being too conservative. According to Clauses 158 and 159 of the Basic Law, powers of interpretation and amendment of the Basic Law are vested in the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and the National People’s Congress, respectively. Hong Kong’s people have limited influence.

Chris Patten became the last governor of Hong Kong. This was regarded as a turning point in Hong Kong’s history. Unlike his predecessors, Patten was not a diplomat, but a career politician and former Member of Parliament. He introduced democratic reforms which pushed PRC-British relations to a standstill and affected the negotiations for a smooth handover.

Patten introduced a package of electoral reforms in the Legislative Council. These reforms proposed to enlarge the electorate, thus making voting in the Legislative Council more democratic. This move posed significant changes because Hong Kong citizens would have the power to make decisions regarding their future.

The handover ceremony was held at the new wing of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on the night of 30 June 1997. The principal British guest was Charles, Prince of Wales who read a farewell speech on behalf of the Queen. The newly elected Prime Minister of the United KingdomTony Blair, the British Foreign Minister Robin Cook, the departing Hong Kong governor Chris Patten and General Sir Charles GuthrieChief of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom, also attended.

Representing China were the President of the People’s Republic of ChinaJiang Zemin; and Tung Chee-hwa, the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of thePeople’s Republic of China. This event was broadcast on several television and radio stations across the world.

As much I still look toward for China to make the right move by implementing the Sino-British Joint Declaration. I have to raise my strongest object to China for not listening to student protesters after all they are the future leaders of both Hong Kong and China.

There is no doubt that the two tier system has allowed foreign investment to flow into the country which China is hoping to show the western world that they are taking the lead in this field where other communist country has failed.

Some will recall the Tinnaman Square incident which many lives were lost and is still raw in people’s memories the Chinese establishment sent out the troops to stop demonstrators from exercising their right for reform in China where not held to account for the injustice of innocent lives for this reason many Chinese internationally does not trust the Chinese regime to allow the flow of democratic free elections and hopefully all over China one day free from interference of vetting of their chosen candidates.  As here is another part of history which the Chinese establishment would want us to forget if it had its way:

After the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the Executive Councillors and the Legislative Councillors unexpectedly held an urgent meeting, requesting that British Government give the right of abode in the United Kingdom to the people of Hong Kong. More than 10,000 Hong Kong residents rushed to Central in order to get an application form for residency in the United Kingdom. On the eve of the deadline, over 100,000 lined up overnight for a BN(O) application form. While mass migration did begin well before 1989, the event did lead to the peak migration year in 1992 with 66,000.

Many citizens were pessimistic towards the future of Hong Kong and the transfer of the region’s sovereignty. A tide of emigration, which was to last for no less than five years, broke out. At its peak, citizenships of such small countries as Cape VerdeTongaGambia and Ecuador were also in great demand. Many consuls were deported for their corrupt behaviour in granting immigration visas.

Canada (Vancouver and Toronto), United Kingdom (London, Glasgow, and Manchester), Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), and the United States (San Francisco and New York) were, by and large, the most popular destinations. The United Kingdom devised the British Nationality Selection Scheme, granting 50,000 families British citizenship under the British Nationality Act (Hong Kong) 1990. Vancouver was among the most popular destinations, so much so that Richmond (a suburb of Vancouver) earned the nickname of “Little Hong Kong” and “New Chinatown“, and for the city itself, “HongCouver”. Other popular settlements are found in AucklandNew Zealand and DublinIreland. All in all, from the start of the settlement of the negotiation in 1984 to 1997, nearly 1 million people emigrated; consequently, Hong Kong suffered serious loss of capital.

It is for this reason I call on all international Chinese, and The International Communities to lobby their respective governments to ensure that Chinese Government honour’s its agreement to allow Hong Kong Chinese to have its democratic rights to choose who they want to have as their candidates and not be dictated by the Chinese Government to vet the candidates as to not rock the boat. It clearly shows that china has no idea how to deal with this situation and that they are likely to back track on the agreements signed with the British Government.

As many will be aware that elections are due in 2015 in the UK now is the time to lobby your MP to ask them the question where do they stand on Hong Kong and ask them to highlight this issue at the Prime Question Time(PMQ)

Or click on this link to find out who your MP is:

https://www.mysociety.org/who-is-your-mp/?gclid=CjwKEAjwns6hBRDTpb_jkbTv1UYSJACBhberTYPkmQXO-B9-ejznXBs1_ckCezuZnd3GA7GhbukjWBoCMYfw_wcB

 

Who is addressing the housing shortage


Now who is very Fickle any guesses?

Now who is very Fickle any guesses?

How many have noticed in their own community or region of lately that there has been a housing shortage yet successful governments haven’t addressed the increasing population which need a truly affordable and rentable housing. There are many who feels they(parliamentarians) Walk the walk talk the talk?

Over the weekend there has been some announcements how the  political establishments who will provide or address the housing issue which to me has become more of the same in a nutshell more spin doctoring to see who can outdo each other for which I blame both previous and present governments for not doing enough to build housing at affordable prices. I still say that both present and previous governments give a good talk but they never seem to do the walk when it comes to addressing the housing crisis.

David Cameron wants there to be no more permanent homes for council or
housing association tenants. He also wants to cut housing benefit for the
unemployed, and for those who may have a spare room in their property.
Cameron is attacking the security that we have argued for and won over many years.

There could be tenancies that last only five or ten years, if earnings have increased a little, or if a child has left home. What a future.
The lack of affordable housing supply is the real problem and it is not our fault. Let’s stop all these attacks on our housing rights.

 

"People must hold their parliamentarians to account. If we don't they get away with it."

“People must hold their parliamentarians to account. If we don’t they get away with it.”

This what I have come across so far:

Labour Housing policy can be downloaded

http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/uploads/editor/files/PRIVATE_RENTED_HOUSING.pdf

http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/agenda-2015/policy-review/policy-review/lyons-housing-review

The Green Party housing policy:

  • Resume direct investment in council and other social housing and allow local authorities to use receipts from sales to fund new affordable accommodation. In particular, while the building trade remains depressed because of the recession we would provide £2bn in 2010 rising to £4bn in 2011 to local authorities to expand social housing, mainly through conversion and renovation, and create 80,000 jobs.
  • There are about one million empty homes. Halve this number through empty property use orders.
  • Provide more rights for homeless people, giving local authorities the same duties with regard to single people and childless couples as to families, and ending the practice of declaring people ‘intentionally homeless’.
  • Take steps to ensure that development is more evenly distributed across the whole of the country, so reducing pressure on housing in the South East in particular.
  • Minimise encroachment onto undeveloped ‘greenfield sites’ wherever possible by reusing previously developed sites that have fallen into disuse.
  • End the right to buy and introduce the right to rent. People facing severe difficulties with paying their mortgage and facing repossession should have a right to rent their existing home as council housing, analogous but opposite to the Tory ‘right to buy’. We would make up to £2bn per annum available to local authorities to support ‘right to rent.’
  • Introduce a free home insulation programme for all homes that need it, with priority for pensioners and those living in fuel poverty, aiming to insulate 4 million homes every year. Such a programme would cost £2bn in 2010 rising to £4bn a year and create 80,000 jobs.
  • Introduce incentives totalling £2bn per annum to encourage homes to become more energy self-sufficient by aiming for 1,000,000 solar roofs, and support generous feed-in tariffs for micro-generation, creating 40,000 jobs in the installation industries.
  • Abolish standing charges on fuel bills and set tariffs to favour smaller consumers.
  • Set building regulations to require excellent energy standards on a points-based system, which will cover embodied energy of building materials, energy used in construction, energy consumption in use, on-site energy generation and use of heat distribution networks.
  • Increase the tax-free amount on the ‘Rent a Room’ scheme from £4,250 to £9,000 a year. This would reduce repossessions, provide more affordable housing and make better use of the existing housing stock.
  • Support self-build social co-operatives.
  • Accept that climate change will mean that some housing cannot be protected from flooding in a sustainable way, and assist financially those whose homes become uninhabitable. Also invest £1bn in sustainable flood defences and sustainable drainage systems, creating 20,000 jobs, and ensure that insurance is available for flooding.
  • Oppose new arm’s length management organisations and ensure genuine tenant participation in existing ones.
  • Ensure that new housing proposals are based on independent housing needs surveys. Commercial house builders and their representatives should not be involved in the process.

The Libdems housing policy:

The Liberal Democrat policy paper on housing notes that the primary driver of growing housing benefit and Local Housing Allowance bills has been the shortage of housing, leading to higher rents, and increasing number of people unable either to buy or to access social housing. The paper focused on the most pressing issues:

  • Building more homes– providing environmentally sustainable homes where people need them, creating jobs and kick starting the economy.
  • Giving tenants more power and security – making social landlords more accountable and improving standards and security in the rapidly growing private rented sector.
  • More local control – giving local councils, communities and individuals more power and autonomy to create thriving neighbourhoods in the face of the hugely diverse range of challenges that they face.

Home ownership is becoming more and more out of reach for many. Since the withdrawal of Mortgage Interest Relief for residential homeowners, we have seen a dramatic escalation in house prices and a surge in buy-to-let investors in the housing market. Home ownership is falling and the private rental market is growing – spurred on by rent subsidies and the private rental of former council properties acquired under right to buy schemes.

Welfare costs for housing support are all the while increasing dramatically, despite welfare caps and under-occupancy restrictions. Government cannot simply legislate for higher wages that may increase unemployment, lower rents that may reduce housing supply or abandon millions of people to the vagaries of the market.  So what can be done in addition to the proposals in the Liberal Democrat paper?

Firstly, we can focus on increasing wages as a share of GDP by specifically targeting non-inflationary full employment as government policy and driving investment in productivity enhancing infrastructure.

Secondly, involuntary unemployment can be reduced with the introduction of a voluntary job guarantee scheme targeted at those currently in need of housing support. Such a scheme would allow for the introduction of a condition of habitual employment as a pre-requisite to eligibility for housing support for the able-bodied.

Thirdly, state housing support can be refocused away from rental subsidies and towards capital development, primarily at shared ownership schemes for citizens and long term residents i.e. rent to buy. Combined rental/mortgage payments would be based on a fixed % of annual earnings/income. Equity built-up in the property would be transferable to family members or other eligible participants in the scheme.

Fourthly, discounts under the current right to buy scheme can be ended and both new and existing council properties retained in the shared ownership scheme portfolio.

Lastly, council tax could be replaced with a national Land Value Tax payable by landlords and owner occupiers on land values over and above a primary residence homestead credit equivalent to the average Band A of council tax. This would aid in both stabilising house and land prices generally and redistributing the burden of council tax more progressively, such that those on very low incomes were better able to afford rents/mortgage payments.

The Conservative plans for Housing:

The seeds of the next housing bubble have already been planted by Labour’s persistently low rates of housebuilding, so unless we make serious changes now, a wasteful and painful boom and bust cycle could happen again. Our first challenge, therefore, is to deliver enough of the homes people want, in the places people want them, in order to meet Britain’s unmet housing need. The first thrust of our reform will be to abandon the

Government’s failed top-down, target-led model of imposing development on communities, which has comprehensively failed to meet this goal. Instead, we will move to a more sustainable system that uses radical new freedoms and powerful incentives to enable communities to deliver the new housing they want and need.

We will:

  • Abolish the unsuccessful regional planning system and the counterproductive regional housing targets;
  • Incentivise new house-building by matching local authorities’ council tax take for each new house built for six years with special incentives for affordable housing;

The Conservative leader said a future government led by him would build 100,000 new homes for such people.

They would be built on brownfield land already identified for development and exempt from some taxes, he said.

He was speaking as the party prepares for its annual conference this weekend.

Conservative politicians and activists will gather in Birmingham from Sunday for what is the final conference before next May’s general election.

No flipping

Unveiling the pledge – an extension of the Help to Buy mortgage scheme – Mr Cameron said the Conservatives wanted more young people to “achieve the dream” of owning their own home.

“I want young people who work hard, who do the right thing, to be able to buy a home of their own. So these starter homes will be sold at 20% less than the market value.

“They can’t be bought by foreigners, they can’t be bought by buy-to-let landlords, they can’t be flipped round in a quick sale. They can only be bought by hard working people under the age of 40.”

The starter homes plan would apply only to England, whereas Help to Buy is UK-wide.

That scheme entails the government offering a 20% equity loan to buyers of new-build properties.

Mixed communities

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said Mr Cameron had presided over the lowest level of house building in peacetime since the 1920s.

“After four and a half years he now tells us that he is going to deliver for first-time buyers but under his government a record one in four young people are living at home with their parents and young people across the country are priced out of home ownership.

“Labour will make the fundamental changes to the market which are urgently needed and will double the number of first-time buyers in the next 10 years.”

Campbell Robb, of homelessness charity Shelter, welcomed the pledge but said it was “absolutely vital” that the homes built were “genuinely affordable for young couples and families on ordinary incomes”.

“There’s a real concern that removing the requirement on developers to build affordable housing means this policy may not help those facing the greatest struggle to get a home of their own,” he said.

Grainia Long, of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said she welcomed “the focus on supply and affordability” but still had “some serious concerns”.

She said: “This smacks of building for one group of people at the expense of another.

“Social housing is critical if we are going to solve the housing crisis – there are always going to be people who can’t afford to buy and we must provide decent, affordable homes for them too.

“Equally, we’d like to see more investment in shared ownership to help people on lower incomes. If all the focus is on home ownership, we are never going to build mixed communities.”

‘Raft of taxes’

Under the new proposals, the homes would be built on brownfield land which was no longer needed for industrial or commercial use.

Savings from using such land would be passed on to the buyers, the Conservatives said.

Public sector land would also be used to deliver the pledge.

The homes would be exempt “from a raft of taxes”, Mr Cameron said, such as the community infrastructure levy and a requirement to build social housing as part of any development.

Some building regulations – including the zero carbon homes standard – would also not apply to the new units.

The zero carbon homes standard, which applies from 2016, aims to improve energy efficiency.

It requires house builders to decrease all carbon emissions from energy arising from fixed heating and lighting, hot water and other fixed building services – such as ventilation – in new homes.

UKIP Housing Policy:

I had to laugh when I listen to UKIP talked about their housing policy’s the conference only for Nigel Farage to backtrack on it on it on Sunday the Marr Show.

I cannot discover how UKIP feels about letting agent fees or licensing, but after unearthing various manifestos, the subject of immigration certainly makes it mark.

The party wants immigration to be controlled so that “large areas of British countryside will not need to be destroyed by house building”.

It also proposes that council house applicants whose parents or grandparents were born locally should be given priority.

Paul Nuttall, UKIP MEP for the north-west and UKIP deputy leader, has been particularly vocal on the subject, saying that Britain’s “chronic under-supply of homes” is a “crisis fuelled by the unprecedented immigration into our country of the last decade. Nearly nine out of ten new homes required in the UK result from inward immigration.

“Unless we withdraw from the European Union, the immigration spiral will continue and the demand for housing will be compounded.”

Environment, Planning and Housing: Reduce the pressure on housing by ending open-door immigration. Oppose the bedroom tax, but provide incentives to re-use empty homes. Protect our green spaces by directing new housing and business developments to brown-field sites. Stop preferential treatment to special groups such as travellers – rules should apply equally to us all.

Yet Emma Reynard’s summons it up in a nutshell:

This chronic shortage of housing is having an impact across the country. Young people and families are struggling to get on the property ladder. Those renting privately are now having to pay record sums, on average 41% of their income just to keep a roof over their heads. It’s also affecting those who want to upsize to a bigger home but are finding they can’t bridge the gap between what they own and where they want to move to. And for those who have just joined a waiting list for a social home, there are 1.7 million families already in the queue.

That’s why, last year, Ed Miliband set a target for the next Labour government to build over 200,000 homes a year by 2020.

It’s a big ambition. But, Labour is determined to make home ownership a realistic aspiration for the next generation.  We know that there is no single solution to tackling the housing shortage. That is why alongside our ambition, Ed Miliband tasked our housing commission, chaired by Sir Michael Lyons, to draw up a roadmap for achieving this step-change in house building.

Labour is determined to tackle the root causes of this crisis. We need to release more land for development. We will ensure that local authorities that want to expand but do not have the land can do so through a right to grow. Alongside this, Labour is determined to reform the land market. We will bring an end to land-banking by giving local authorities the power to levy fines and use proper compulsory purchase powers on those who sit on land with planning permission, so that they have to ‘use it or lose it.’

We also want to support more firms to enter into the market and encourage small-scale and self-build so we can make the most of all opportunities to create a thriving housebuilding industry. That is why, earlier this year, alongside Chris Leslie, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary, I announced the details of Labour’s Help to Build policy specifically designed to help SME builders. In the Federation of Master Builders’ 2013 House Builder Survey, 60 per cent of members cited access to finance as a major barrier to their ability to increase their output of new homes, more than any other factor. So the next Labour Government will provide government guarantees for banks lending to SME construction firms in a similar way to how the current ‘Help to Buy’ scheme underwrites mortgages.

By itself, the private sector has never produced the number of homes we need. Therefore, we are also exploring how we can get councils, together with housing associations, back into the business of building again. Labour councils are already blazing a trail. When it comes to getting affordable homes built they are outbuilding their Tory counterparts by 2 to 1.

Given the severity of the shortage, we will need some big scale solutions. New Towns and Garden Cities played an important role in delivering housing in the past. The commission will be looking at how new plans for a new generation of New Towns and Garden Cities can be realised in a way that benefits local communities.

By contrast the Tories and Lib Dems can only offer more of the same. Their initiatives to boost house building have consistently failed to deliver. The government recently announced a new Garden City in Ebbsfleet and the building of 15,000 homes, but this is 5,000 fewer homes than those announced for the same place in 2012.

Their biggest initiative, Help to Buy, is, it is true, helping to boost demand but here the Government hasn’t understood basic economics. Boosting demand without boosting supply will simply see prices pushed out of reach of aspiring buyers.

The next Labour government will succeed where this government has failed. Nobody should be in any doubt about our determination to deliver the reforms we need to double house-building, restore the dream of home ownership and to give families the security of a home they can afford.

 

 

Supporting the Government’s stance against ISIL


GordonThis has been one of the hardest moment when I gave way to look on the long term affect that our country will give support to help the U.S. in going into a 3rd Gulf War in Iraq whilst during the 1st, 2nd was easy to decide by informing my Member of Parliament at the time not to support the government position to go to war. It was only last year when the coalition decided to recall parliament I was and I’m still glad that my party leader and my member of parliament voted against the motion then.

Since then events has unfold this year which I surprised myself in giving my support of ridding ISIL after speaking to various Imams, other faith leaders and parliamentarians to speak out against this vile group who call themselves ISIL via press and social media which led to a successful campaign this encouraged many Muslim community leaders and myself to lobby their MPs(Cross-bench)to give support to the government motion with reservations as the motion did not give an end date of withdrawal but it’s a start.

What was very encouraging has always been when the Labour Party gets it wrong I will criticize my party and when they get it right I will praise them for their decision(s). I have to say I praise Ed Miliband’s full speech to the commons yesterday 26 September 2014:

Mr Speaker, I rise to support the government motion concerning military action against ISIL in Iraq.

It is right that the Prime Minister has brought this issue to the House and that he has committed that he will bring any future decisions to this House too.

And all of us whatever side of this debate we are on will be conducting it with huge admiration for the bravery, spirit, and the duty displayed by our armed forces, who act on the decisions this House makes.

Let us be clear at the outset what is the proposition: air strikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Not about ground troops.

Nor about UK military action elsewhere.

And it is a mission specifically aimed at ISIL.

As we debate this issue today, I understand the qualms and for some deep unease that there will be about this undertaking both in this House and in the country.

Those who advocate military action today have to persuade members of this House and the country not only that ISIL is an evil organisation but that it is we, Britain, who should take military action in Iraq.

I want to do so by setting out the particular nature of the ISIL threat, the criteria we should apply to judging the case for military action, and also the role of our country in the world which is directly relevant to this decision.

It is important, as the Prime Minister said, that we understand that ISIL is not simply another terrorist organisation.

We have seen it’s hostage-taking of innocent British citizens.

And it is not just British citizens who they are threatening: Christians, Yezidis, fellow Muslims, Sunni and Shia, from many different countries and backgrounds.

Anyone who does not subscribe to their deeply perverted ideology.

Just one hideous example was recently gathered by Amnesty International.

On the morning of Friday the 15 August, ISIL fighters assembled the residents of Kocho village in Northern Iraq at the secondary school, where they separated men and boys from women and younger children.

The men were then driven away to different nearby locations, where they were shot.

The women and children of the village were abducted and continue to be held by ISIL.

Let’s be clear about what this is: ISIL is murdering Muslims.

So to those who say that military action against ISIL is somehow an attack on Islam:

I understand the anxiety.

But the truth is entirely different.

And it is Muslims themselves who are saying this.

And leading British Muslim scholars and Imams wrote recently: “they are perpetrating the worst crimes against humanity … It is a war against all humanity.”

ISIL’s ideology has nothing to do with the peaceful religion practised by people across the world and by millions of our fellow citizens, who are appalled by what we see.

And it is not simply that ISIL is a murderous organisation, it has ambitions for a state of its own – a Caliphate across the Middle East, run according to their horrific norms and values.

So we cannot stand by against the threat of ISIL.

But in acting against them we need to learn the lessons from the past.

That means a comprehensive strategy, humanitarian and political as well as military, rooted in the region.

Some of this is underway. More needs to be done.

But to make this alliance work there is need for military action to contain and help counter the threat of ISIL in Iraq.

That is why we are meeting today.

To make the case, I want to return to the criteria I have previously set, criteria which learn from the past.

First, in any action we take there is a need for just cause.

I believe ISIL does establish this case.

On humanitarian grounds, that I have set out.

On grounds of national interest, the international instability that would be created by the overthrow of the democratic Iraqi state would clearly have implications for the stability of the region.

And make it more likely that Iraq would become a haven and training ground for terrorism directed at the UK.

Second, military action must always be a last resort.

Again I believe this criterion is met.

ISIL have shown that they are not an organisation that could or should be negotiated with.

Third, there must be a clear legal base to provide legitimacy and legal force to our actions.

We support this motion today because we would be responding to the request of a democratic state in Iraq fighting for its own survival.

This is recognised in the UN Charter.

Therefore, I believe the legal case is clear.

Fourth, we must believe there is a reasonable prospect of success before we take the grave step of committing our forces.

This is the hardest test.

But the aim is clear.

It is to reinforce the democratic government of Iraq, prevent the advance and help roll back ISIL at the invitation of that democratic government.

And it is to do that by using international military air power while the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga conduct a ground campaign against ISIL.

Nobody should be in any doubt that this is a difficult mission and it will take time.

But there is already evidence that the US action is having the effect of holding back ISIL.

And prior to this action, ISIL was advancing with catastrophic consequences for the Iraqi people.

As in June, when ISIL took Mosul.

Failure to act would mean more Mosuls and more killing of the sort I described earlier.

Fifth, there must be broad support in the region for reasons of legitimacy, because this action must not be seen as a new form of imperialism.

And effectiveness, because regional support is essential to the long term success of the mission.

At the end of August, the Arab League made a statement calling for comprehensive measures to combat ISIL.

And we now see a regional coalition of Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

As well as other countries.

Sixth, the proposed action must be proportionate.

We must make sure that innocent civilians are protected.

And I know there are strict conditions in place to ensure proper targeting and to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties.

So having scrutinised these six conditions – just cause, last resort, legal base, reasonable prospects, regional support, proportionality – I believe they are met.

Some people might accept these criteria but say it is not our job to intervene because western intervention always makes things worse.

I understand this argument but I do not agree.

Intervention always has risks but a dismembered Iraq would be more dangerous for Britain.

ISIL unchecked means more persecution of the innocent.

If we say to people that we will pass on by, it surely makes it far harder to persuade Arab countries to play their part.

And, finally, we should pride ourselves on our traditions of internationalism.

But, of course, I understand the reason for wariness and I share it.

And I want directly to address an overriding reason for this wariness: the 2003 war in Iraq.

I was not in the House in 2003, but I was not in favour of that war.

I understand why some who were will wonder if this is a repeat of that experience.

In my view, it is not.

This case is about supporting a democratic state.

Not overturning an existing regime, and seeking to build a new one from the rubble.

There is no debate about the legal base for action in Iraq, as there was in 2003.

There is no argument about whether military action is a last resort.

There is broad international support not a divided world, with all 28 EU member states and the Arab League providing support.

And five Arab states taking part in action.

There is no question of British ground troops being deployed.

So the case against cannot simply be that this is a rerun of 2003.

The late Robin Cook said in his resignation speech on the eve of the Iraq war:

“Our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules.”

This is multilateral action prompted by a legitimate, democratic state.

And a world order governed by rules if it is about anything must be about protecting a democracy.

Which is what this motion is about.

I believe although this is difficult, this is the right thing to do.

There is no graver decision for our Parliament and our country.

But protecting our national interest, security and the values for which we stand is why I will be supporting the motion this afternoon.

After listening to Ed Miliband’s and lobbying a number of members of parliamentarians beforehand I had already decided to make it publicly that i would be supporting the government’s stance with the  knowledge that the leader of the opposition will do so in full confidence.  As my followers know that I have friends in both sides of the camps who are for and against the debate I still respect them which includes parliamentarians who voted for and against. I have decided to include those names who vote for and against:

MPs against

Conservatives
Richard Bacon (Norfolk South) John Baron (Basildon & Billericay)
Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne & Sheppey) Adam Holloway (Gravesham)
Nigel Mills (Amber Valley) Mark Reckless (Rochester & Strood)

Liberal Democrats

Julian Huppert (Cambridge)

Labour

Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington) Graham Allen (Nottingham North)
Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)* – abstained by voting in both lobbies Dame Anne Begg (Aberdeen South)
Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) Martin Caton (Gower)
Katy Clark (Ayrshire North & Arran) Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West)
Paul Flynn (Newport West) Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow)
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North)
Sian James (Swansea East) Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith)
John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington) Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde)
Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby) Grahame Morris (Easington)
George Mudie (Leeds East) Linda Riordan (Halifax)
Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
Graham Stringer (Blackley & Broughton) Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)

Other parties

Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) – Green George Galloway (Bradford West) – Respect
Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) – Plaid Cymru Hywel Williams (Arfon) – Plaid Cymru
Stewart Hosie (Dundee East) – Scottish National Party (SNP) Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) – SNP
Angus Robertson (Moray) – SNP Mike Weir (Angus) – SNP
Eilidh Whiteford (Banff & Buchan) – SNP Mark Durkan (Foyle) – Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)
Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) – SDLP Margaret Ritchie (Down South) – SDLP

Tellers

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) – Labour Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) – SNP

MPs in favour

Conservatives
Nigel Adams (Selby & Ainsty) Adam Afriyie (Windsor)
Peter Aldous (Waveney) David Amess (Southend West)
Stuart Andrew (Pudsey) James Arbuthnot (Hampshire North East)
Tony Baldry (Banbury) Harriett Baldwin (Worcestershire West)
Stephen Barclay (Cambridgeshire North East) Greg Barker (Bexhill & Battle)
Guto Bebb (Aberconwy) Henry Bellingham (Norfolk North West)
Richard Benyon (Newbury) Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley)
Jake Berry (Rossendale & Darwen) Andrew Bingham (High Peak)
Brian Binley (Northampton South) Bob Blackman (Harrow East)
Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West & Abingdon) Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford)
Peter Bone (Wellingborough) Karen Bradley (Staffordshire Moorlands)
Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West) Angie Bray (Ealing Central & Acton)
Julian Brazier (Canterbury) Andrew Bridgen (Leicestershire North West)
Steve Brine (Winchester) James Brokenshire (Old Bexley & Sidcup)
Aidan Burley (Cannock Chase) Conor Burns (Bournemouth West)
David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate) Alistair Burt (Bedfordshire North East)
Dan Byles (Warwickshire North) Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan)
David Cameron (Witney) Neil Carmichael (Stroud)
Bill Cash (Stone) Rehman Chishti (Gillingham & Rainham)
Christopher Chope (Christchurch) James Clappison (Hertsmere)
Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells) Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe)
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswolds, The) Therese Coffey (Suffolk Coastal)
Damian Collins (Folkestone & Hythe) Oliver Colville (Plymouth Sutton & Devonport)
Geoffrey Cox (Devon West & Torridge) Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire)
Tracey Crouch (Chatham & Aylesford) David Davies (Monmouth)
Glyn Davies(Montgomeryshire) Nick de Bois (Enfield North)
Caroline Dinenage (Gosport) Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon)
Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid) Jackie Doyle-Price (Thurrock)
Richard Drax (Dorset South) James Duddridge (Rochford & Southend East)
Alan Duncan (Rutland & Melton) Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford & Woodford Green)
Philip Dunne (Ludlow) Michael Ellis (Northampton North)
Jane Ellison (Battersea) Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East)
Charlie Elphicke (Dover) George Eustice (Camborne & Redruth)
Graham Evans (Weaver Vale) Jonathan Evans (Cardiff North)
Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) David Evennett (Bexleyheath & Crayford)
Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks) Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster)
Dr Liam Fox (Somerset North) Mark Francois (Rayleigh & Wickford)
George Freeman (Norfolk Mid) Mike Freer (Finchley & Golders Green)
Lorraine Fullbrook (South Ribble) Richard Fuller (Bedford)
Sir Edward Garnier (Harborough) Mark Garnier (Wyre Forest)
David Gauke (Hertfordshire South West) Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis & Littlehampton)
Cheryl Gillan (Chesham & Amersham) John Glen (Salisbury)
Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park) Robert Goodwill (Scarborough & Whitby)
Michael Gove (Surrey Heath) Richard Graham (Gloucester)
Helen Grant (Maidstone & The Weald) James Gray (Wiltshire North)
Chris Grayling (Epsom & Ewell) Damian Green (Ashford)
Justine Greening (Putney) Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield)
Andrew Griffiths (Burton) Ben Gummer (Ipswich)
Sam Gyimah (Surrey East) William Hague (Richmond (Yorks))
Robert Halfon (Harlow) Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge)
Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon) Matthew Hancock (Suffolk West)
Greg Hands (Chelsea & Fulham) Mark Harper (Forest of Dean)
Richard Harrington (Watford) Rebecca Harris (Castle Point)
Sir Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden) John Hayes (South Holland & The Deepings)
Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire North East) Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry)
Charles Hendry (Wealden) Nick Herbert (Arundel & South Downs)
Damian Hinds (Hampshire East) Mark Hoban (Fareham)
George Hollingbery (Meon Valley) Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
Kris Hopkins (Keighley) Sir Gerald Howarth (Aldershot)
John Howell (Henley) Jeremy Hunt (Surrey South West)
Nick Hurd (Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner) Stewart Jackson (Peterborough)
Margot James (Stourbridge) Sajid Javid (Bromsgrove)
Bernard Jenkin (Harwich & Essex North) Robert Jenrick (Newark)
Gareth Johnson (Dartford) Jo Johnson (Orpington)
Andrew Jones (Harrogate & Knaresborough) David Jones (Clwyd West)
Marcus Jones (Nuneaton) Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Chris Kelly (Dudley South) Simon Kirby (Brighton Kemptown)
Greg Knight (Yorkshire East) Kwasi Kwarteng (Spelthorne)
Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North) Andrew Lansley (Cambridgeshire South)
Pauline Latham (Derbyshire Mid) Andrea Leadsom (Northamptonshire South)
Jessica Lee (Erewash) Phillip Lee (Bracknell)
Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)
Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West) Oliver Letwin (Dorset West)
Brandon Lewis (Great Yarmouth) Julian Lewis (New Forest East)
David Lidington (Aylesbury) Peter Lilley (Hitchin & Harpenden)
Jack Lopresti (Filton & Bradley Stoke) Jonathan Lord (Woking)
Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham) Peter Luff (Worcestershire Mid)
Karen Lumley (Redditch) Jason McCartney (Colne Valley)
Karl McCartney (Lincoln) Anne McIntosh (Thirsk & Malton)
Mary Macleod (Brentford & Isleworth) Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire Dales)
Esther McVey (Wirral West) Anne Main (St Albans)
Francis Maude (Horsham) Theresa May (Maidenhead)
Paul Maynard (Blackpool North & Cleveleys) Mark Menzies (Fylde)
Stephen Metcalfe (Basildon South & Thurrock East) Maria Miller (Basingstoke)
Anne Milton (Guildford) Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield)
Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North) Nicky Morgan (Loughborough)
Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot) David Morris (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
James Morris (Halesowen & Rowley Regis) Stephen Mosley (Chester, City of)
David Mowat (Warrington South) David Mundell (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale)
Sheryll Murray (Cornwall South East) Dr Andrew Murrison (Wiltshire South West)
Bob Neill (Bromley & Chislehurst) Brooks Newmark (Braintree)
Sarah Newton (Truro & Falmouth) Caroline Nokes (Romsey & Southampton North)
David Nuttall (Bury North) Stephen O’Brien (Eddisbury)
Matthew Offord (Hendon) Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster & Fleetwood)
Guy Opperman (Hexham) George Osborne (Tatton)
Richard Ottaway (Croydon South) Jim Paice (Cambridgeshire South East)
Neil Parish (Tiverton & Honiton) Priti Patel (Witham)
Owen Paterson (Shropshire North) Owen Paterson (Shropshire North)
Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead) John Penrose (Weston-Super-Mare)
Andrew Percy (Brigg & Goole) Claire Perry (Devizes)
Stephen Phillips (Sleaford & North Hykeham) Eric Pickles (Brentwood & Ongar)
Chris Pincher (Tamworth) Daniel Poulter (Suffolk Central & Ipswich North)
Mark Pritchard (Wrekin, The) Dominic Raab (Esher & Walton)
John Randall (Uxbridge & Ruislip South) Jacob Rees-Mogg (Somerset North East)
Simon Reevell (Dewsbury) Andrew Robathan (Leicestershire South)
Hugh Robertson (Faversham & Kent Mid) Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
Andrew Rosindell (Romford) Amber Rudd (Hastings & Rye)
David Rutley (Macclesfield) Andrew Selous (Bedfordshire South West)
Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield) Alok Sharma (Reading West)
Sir Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills) Mark Simmonds (Boston & Skegness)
Keith Simpson (Broadland) Chris Skidmore (Kingswood)
Chloe Smith (Norwich North) Henry Smith (Crawley)
Julian Smith (Skipton & Ripon) Nicholas Soames (Sussex Mid)
Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) Caroline Spelman (Meriden)
Mark Spencer (Sherwood) Sir John Stanley (Tonbridge & Malling)
Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) John Stevenson (Carlisle)
Bob Stewart (Beckenham) Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South)
Rory Stewart (Penrith & The Border) Gary Streeter (Devon South West)
Mel Stride (Devon Central) Graham Stuart (Beverley & Holderness)
Julian Sturdy (York Outer) Desmond Swayne (New Forest West)
Hugo Swire (Devon East) Robert Syms (Poole)
Edward Timpson (Crewe & Nantwich) Justin Tomlinson (Swindon North)
David Tredinnick (Bosworth) Elizabeth Truss (Norfolk South West)
Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) Andrew Tyrie (Chichester)
Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West) Ed Vaizey (Wantage)
Shailesh Vara (Cambridgeshire North West) Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes)
Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet) Charles Walker (Broxbourne)
Robin Walker (Worcester) Ben Wallace (Wyre & Preston North)
Robert Walter (Dorset North) Dame Angela Watkinson (Hornchurch & Upminster)
Mike Weatherley (Hove) James Wharton (Stockton South)
Heather Wheeler (Derbyshire South) Chris White (Warwick & Leamington)
Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley) John Whittingdale (Maldon)
Bill Wiggin (Herefordshire North) David Willetts (Havant)
Gavin Williamson (Staffordshire South) Rob Wilson (Reading East)
Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes) Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth & Southam)
Tim Yeo (Suffolk South) Sir George Young (Hampshire North West)
Nadhim Zahawi

(Stratford-on-Avon)

Liberal Democrats

Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey) Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington) Annette Brooke (Dorset Mid & Poole North)
Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane) Malcolm Bruce (Gordon)
Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam) Lorely Burt (Solihull)
Vincent Cable (Twickenham) Sir Menzies Campbell (Fife North East)
Alistair Carmichael (Orkney & Shetland) Nick Clegg (Sheffield Hallam)
Michael Crockart (Edinburgh West) Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton)
Tim Farron (Westmorland & Lonsdale) Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey & Wood Green)
Don Foster (Bath) Andrew George (St Ives)
Stephen Gilbert (St Austell & Newquay) Duncan Hames (Chippenham)
Sir Nick Harvey (Devon North) John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley)
Martin Horwood (Cheltenham) Simon Hughes (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)
Norman Lamb (Norfolk North) David Laws (Yeovil)
Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne) Michael Moore (Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk)
Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West) Tessa Munt (Wells)
John Pugh (Southport) Alan Reid (Argyll & Bute)
Dan Rogerson (Cornwall North) Bob Russell (Colchester)
Adrian Sanders (Torbay) Sir Robert Smith (Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine)
Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove) Ian Swales (Redcar)
Jo Swinson (Dunbartonshire East) Mike Thornton (Eastleigh)
David Ward (Bradford East) Steve Webb (Thornbury & Yate)
Mark Williams (Ceredigion) Roger Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire)
Stephen Williams (Bristol West) Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central)
Simon Wright (Norwich South)

Labour

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East & Saddleworth) Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East)
Douglas Alexander (Paisley & Renfrewshire South) Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)
Dave Anderson (Blaydon) Jon Ashworth (Leicester South)
Ian Austin (Dudley North) Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West)
Willie Bain (Glasgow North East) Ed Balls (Morley & Outwood)
Gordon Banks (Ochil & Perthshire South) Kevin Barron (Rother Valley)
Hugh Bayley (York Central) Dame Margaret Beckett (Derby South)
Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree)
Clive Betts (Sheffield South East) Roberta Blackman-Woods (Durham, City of)
Hazel Blears (Salford & Eccles) Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East)
Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central) David Blunkett (Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough)
Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) Lyn Brown (West Ham)
Nicholas Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East) Russell Brown (Dumfries & Galloway)
Karen Buck (Westminster North) Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield)
Andy Burnham (Leigh) Liam Byrne (Birmingham Hodge Hill)
Alan Campbell (Tynemouth) Sarah Champion (Rotherham)
Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill) Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley)
Vernon Coaker (Gedling) Ann Coffey (Stockport)
Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford) David Crausby (Bolton North East)
Mary Creagh (Wakefield) Stella Creasy (Walthamstow)
Jon Cruddas (Dagenham & Rainham) John Cryer (Leyton & Wanstead)
Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) Jim Cunningham (Coventry South)
Tony Cunningham (Workington) Simon Danczuk (Rochdale)
Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West) Wayne David (Caerphilly)
Geraint Davies (Swansea West) Gloria De Piero (Ashfield)
John Denham (Southampton Itchen) Frank Dobson (Holborn & St Pancras)
Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline & Fife West) Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South & Penarth)
Jim Dowd (Lewisham West & Penge) Gemma Doyle (Dunbartonshire West)
Jack Dromey (Birmingham Erdington) Michael Dugher (Barnsley East)
Angela Eagle (Wallasey) Maria Eagle (Garston & Halewood)
Clive Efford (Eltham) Julie Elliott (Sunderland Central)
Natascha Engel (Derbyshire North East) Bill Esterson (Sefton Central)
Chris Evans (Islwyn) Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Frank Field (Birkenhead) Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South)
Caroline Flint (Don Valley) Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)
Hywel Francis (Aberavon) Mike Gapes (Ilford South)
Barry Gardiner (Brent North) Pat Glass (Durham North West)
Mary Glindon (Tyneside North) Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland)
Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen & Hamilton West) Kate Green (Stretford & Urmston)
Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) Nia Griffith (Llanelli)
Andrew Gwynne (Denton & Reddish) Peter Hain (Neath)
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East) Harriet Harman (Camberwell & Peckham)
Tom Harris (Glasgow South) Dai Havard (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
John Healey (Wentworth & Dearne) Mark Hendrick (Preston)
David Heyes (Ashton Under Lyne) Meg Hillier (Hackney South & Shoreditch)
Julie Hilling (Bolton West) Margaret Hodge (Barking)
Sharon Hodgson (Washington & Sunderland West) Jim Hood (Lanark & Hamilton East)
George Howarth (Knowsley) Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central)
Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore) Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Kilburn)
Cathy Jamieson (Kilmarnock & Loudoun) Major Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)
Graham Jones (Hyndburn) Kevan Jones (Durham North)
Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) Dame Tessa Jowell (Dulwich & West Norwood)
Mike Kane (Wythenshawe & Sale East) Elizabeth Kendall (Leicester West)
Sadiq Khan (Tooting) David Lammy (Tottenham)
Christopher Leslie (Nottingham East) Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields)
Ivan Lewis (Bury South) Andy Love (Edmonton)
Ian Lucas (Wrexham) Steve McCabe (Birmingham Selly Oak)
Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow) Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)
Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham & Morden) Andy McDonald (Middlesbrough)
Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) Alison McGovern (Wirral South)
Jim McGovern (Dundee West) Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)
Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr) Shabana Mahmood (Birmingham Ladywood)
Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston) John Mann (Bassetlaw)
Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South) Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton)
Alan Meale (Mansfield) Ian Mearns (Gateshead)
Ed Miliband (Doncaster North) Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port & Neston)
Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) Jessica Morden (Newport East)
Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley) Jim Murphy (Renfrewshire East)
Paul Murphy (Torfaen) Lisa Nandy (Wigan)
Pamela Nash (Airdrie & Shotts) Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Sandra Osborne (Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock) Albert Owen (Ynys Mon)
Toby Perkins (Chesterfield) Bridget Phillipson (Houghton & Sunderland South)
Stephen Pound (Ealing North) Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)
Nick Raynsford (Greenwich & Woolwich) Jamie Reed (Copeland)
Steve Reed (Croydon North) Rachel Reeves (Leeds West)
Emma Reynolds (Wolverhampton North East) Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge & Hyde)
John Robertson (Glasgow North West) Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West)
Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes) Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd)
Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central) Andy Sawford (Corby)
Alison Seabeck (Plymouth Moor View) Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall)
Jim Sheridan (Paisley & Renfrewshire North) Gavin Shuker (Luton South)
Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) Angela Smith (Penistone & Stocksbridge)
Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent) Owen Smith (Pontypridd)
John Spellar (Warley) Gisela Stuart (Birmingham Edgbaston)
Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South) Mark Tami (Alyn & Deeside)
Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) Emily Thornberry (Islington South & Finsbury)
Stephen Timms (East Ham) Jon Trickett (Hemsworth)
Karl Turner (Hull East) Derek Twigg (Halton)
Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby) Chuka Umunna (Streatham)
Keith Vaz (Leicester East) Valerie Vaz (Walsall South)
Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North) Dave Watts (St Helens North)
Alan Whitehead (Southampton Test) Chris Williamson (Derby North)
Phil Wilson (Sedgefield) Rosie Winterton (Doncaster Central)
John Woodcock (Barrow & Furness) Shaun Woodward (St Helens South & Whiston)
David Wright (Telford) Iain Wright (Hartlepool)
Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)* – abstained by voting in both lobbies

Other parties and independents

Naomi Long (Belfast East) – Alliance Gregory Campbell (Londonderry East) – Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
Nigel Dodds (Belfast North) – DUP Jeffrey Donaldson (Lagan Valley) – DUP
Rev William McCrea (Antrim South) – DUP Ian Paisley Junior (Antrim North) – DUP
Jim Shannon (Strangford) – DUP David Simpson (Upper Bann) – DUP
Sammy Wilson (Antrim East) – DUP Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South) – Independent
Eric Joyce (Falkirk) – Independent

Tellers

Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central) – Conservative Mark Hunter (Cheadle) – Liberal Democrat

Abstensions

Conservatives
Steven Baker (Wycombe) Crispin Blunt (Reigate)
Peter Bottomley (Worthing West) Simon Burns (Chelmsford)
Philip Davies (Shipley) David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden)
Stephen Dorrell (Charnwood) Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)
Roger Gale (Thanet North) Simon Hart (Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South)
Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater & Somerset West) Stephen McPartland (Stevenage)
Jesse Norman (Hereford & Herefordshire South) Mark Prisk (Hertford & Stortford)
John Redwood (Wokingham) Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Kensington)
David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds) Laura Sandys (Thanet South)
Lee Scott (Ilford North) Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet & Rothwell)
Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth & Horncastle)

Liberal Democrats

Norman Baker (Lewes) Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley)
David Heath (Somerton & Frome) Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye & Lochaber)
John Leech (Manchester Withington) Sarah Teather (Brent Central)
John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross)

Labour

Joe Benton (Bootle) Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)
Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath) Chris Bryant (Rhondda)
Jenny Chapman (Darlington) Michael Connarty (Linlithgow & Falkirk East)
Rosie Cooper (Lancashire West) Margaret Curran (Glasgow East)
Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) Brian Donohoe (Ayrshire Central)
Frank Doran (Aberdeen North) Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside)
Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Limehouse) Sheila Gilmore (Edinburgh East)
Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Hall Green) David Hamilton (Midlothian)
David Hanson (Delyn) Alan Johnson (Hull West & Hessle)
Diana Johnson (Hull North) Helen Jones (Warrington North)
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester Gorton) Barbara Keeley (Worsley & Eccles South)
Ian Lavery (Wansbeck) Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East)
Anne McGuire (Stirling) Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)
Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) Graeme Morrice (Livingston)
Ian Murray (Edinburgh South) Fiona O’Donnell (East Lothian)
Teresa Pearce (Erith & Thamesmead) Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)
Steve Rotheram (Liverpool Walton) Frank Roy (Motherwell & Wishaw)
Joan Ruddock (Lewisham Deptford) Andrew Smith (Oxford East)
Jack Straw (Blackburn) Tom Watson (West Bromwich East)
David Winnick (Walsall North) Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)* – abstained by voting in both lobbies

Other parties and independents

Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) – Plaid Cymru Lady Sylvia Hermon (Down North) – Independent

Yet this was not enough for the FarRight groups they were and still intent to causing more destruction in the muslim communities across the UK groups BritainFirst, and EDL hell bent went around the country where there large populations of Muslims setting fire to mosques or protesting inside the of the grounds by showing their vile banners they did not have the decency to show their faces.

 

Highlights of Labour Party Conference 2014


Well for those who heard the speech great, but for those critics who put down the Labour Party and Shadow Chancellor who only listened to bits and pieces I say to them read the speeches and comprehend. Granted not everybody will concur with the speeches as I’m pretty sure I will not agree with Conservatives, LibDems , The Green, UKIP and BNP conference speeches either but I too have something in common with our critics which is no different to you all.

For me the highlight of the day has got to be a 91 year old Harry Leslie Smith writer and campaigner was hailed as the Labour conference star speaker as he brought delegates to tears with recollections of poverty and premature death before the creation of the National Health Service. Harry Leslie Smith won two standing ovations and was hugged by Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, as he delivered an impassioned defence of the welfare state. Al so I have to includes Andy Burnham which of course could not beat our dear comrade  Harry Leslie Smith

Harry Leslie Smith & Andy Burnham

Harry Leslie Smith & Andy Burnham

Here is what Andy Burnham had to say:

Conference I’ve got a question for you.

Hands up how many of you would walk 300 miles to save the NHS?

Stand up if you actually have?

Leading from the front, speaking for millions – Conference, please show your appreciation for the Darlo mums and the People’s March for the NHS. We have arrived at a big moment.

The party that created the NHS in the last century today sets out a plan to secure it in this. A rescue plan for a shattered service.

But more than that. A vision for a 21st century NHS there when you need it, personal to you and your family, with time to care. A national health and care service based on people before profits.

Today we place that proud Labour plan at the centre of our election campaign.

And, thanks to Ed’s great speech, we have the money to back it up.

A plan worth voting for, proof that all parties are not the same, giving you a real choice over the future of your NHS.

Because it certainly didn’t happen last time.

Remember that solemn promise of “no top-down reorganisation”?

It was a bare-faced lie.

Days into office, the Tories set about dismantling your NHS.

And the plan that dared not speak its name before the last election is now plain for all to see: run it down, break it up, sell it off.

So today we serve notice on Cameron and Clegg: Thursday 7th May 2015 – your day of reckoning on the NHS.

A reckoning for trashing the public’s most prized asset without their permission.

And a reckoning for a ruinous reorganisation that has dragged it down and left it on the brink.

A winter crisis in A&E now a spring, summer and autumn crisis too.

Over three million people on NHS waiting lists.

Families waiting longer for cancer treatment to start – and the national cancer target missed for the very first time.

The NHS can’t take five more years of Cameron.

I could go on about the damage he’s done.

But let’s be honest – would that help people worried about where the NHS is heading and wanting real answers?

I know there will be families and carers out there watching us today wondering whether anyone really understands what their life is like.

Soldiering on from one day to the next, feeling invisible and taken for granted, ringing the surgery early in the morning but unable to get through, telling the same story to everyone who comes through the door.

You feel no one listens – and no wonder.

So that’s why I’m going to do something different today.

I want to speak directly to you.

And to the parents of children with disabilities, for whom life feels like one long battle and who fret endlessly about what would happen to your son and daughter if you weren’t around to fight.

To the millions of you who face the daily worry and stress of arranging mum or dad’s care whilst trying to hold down a job.

And, most of all, to those of you who might be watching this alone at home fearing what the future might hold.

My message is simple: Labour is with you; your worries are ours; we know things can be better than they are; we want an NHS that takes your worries away; and we can achieve it if we do something bold.

The time has come for this party to complete Nye Bevan’s vision and bring social care in to the NHS.

That allows us to rebuild our NHS around you and your family.

No longer ringing the council for this, the NHS for that.

But one service, one team, one person to call.

An NHS for the whole person, an NHS for carers, an NHS personal to you. At last, a National Health Service keeping you well, not a national sickness service picking up the pieces.

And an end, once and for all, to the scandal that is care of older and vulnerable people in England in 2014.

I ask you this: how much longer will we say that people who are so frail that they need help with getting up, washing and eating, and who suffer from loneliness and isolation, are only worth a slap-dash 15 minute visit?

How much longer will society send out the message to young people looking after someone else’s mum, dad, brother or sister that it is the lowest form of work, lower than the minimum wage because it doesn’t pay the travel time between the 15 minute visits?

How much longer will we see these shameful scenes from care homes on our TV screens of people being shouted at or abused and not say enough is enough?

And for how much longer, in this the century of the ageing society, will we allow a care system in England to be run as a race to the bottom, making profits off the backs of our most vulnerable?

If this party is about anything, then surely it is about ending that.

I want you to understand why I feel like this.

About ten years ago, I saw my own mum ground down and worn out by the battle to get decent care for my gran.

She was in a nursing home where corners were often cut and where it was hard to get GPs to visit. The decent people who worked there were let down by the anonymous owners who filled it with untrained, temporary staff.

My gran’s things often went missing and we had got used to that.

But I will never forget the day when we walked in to see her and her knuckle was red raw where her engagement ring had been ripped off.

Right there, right then – I made it my mission to end this scandal.

And the greatest sadness of all was that this so-called care cost my grandmother everything she and my granddad had worked for.

I know millions of families have been through the same or are going through it now.

People look to Labour to change these things and that is what we will do. You know the Tories will never do it. They put profits before people – always – it’s in their DNA.

Their answer is to let the market that has ripped through social care carry on ripping through the NHS.

Conference, we will do the precise opposite.

I am clearer about this than anything in my life – the market is not the answer to 21st century health and care.

People out there know a minimum wage, zero hours approach will never secure the care they want for their mum and dad.

So our ten year plan for the NHS is founded on people before profits.

We will free the NHS from Cameron’s market and, yes, repeal his toxic Health and Social Care Act.

We will ask hospitals to collaborate once again and reinstate the NHS as our preferred provider.

The public NHS, protected with Labour. Not for sale. Not now, not ever.

Cemented at the core of every community so that it can then begin the job of bringing social care in and lifting it up. Building a culture of respect for all people who care and ending the indignity of flying 15 minute visits.

Caring no longer a dead-end job but part of one workforce working to NHS standards.

But there is a reason why we give the public NHS such stability.

It is so that we can ask it to embrace radical change in the way it provides services to you and your family.

We will ask hospital trusts and other NHS bodies to evolve into NHS integrated care organisations, working from home to hospital coordinating all care – physical, mental and social.

Why? Because it makes no sense to cut simple support in people’s homes only to spend thousands keeping them in hospital.

We can’t afford it. It will break the NHS.

But, more, it’s not right for you.

The ever-increasing hospitalisation of older people is no answer to the ageing society.

Bringing social care in doesn’t add to the financial burden.

It is the key to unlocking the money. But it will mean change and you need to know what that means for you.

Just as Nye Bevan wrote to every household to introduce his new NHS, so I will write again in 2015 to explain what people can expect from our national health and care service.

And this is what I will say for any family caring for someone with long-term needs, one team around you.

No longer should frail or vulnerable people be shunted around the system, from ambulance to A&E to noisy ward. Instead, this team will come to you. Its goal will be to keep you in your own home, safe and well.

You and your carers will have one person to call to get help so no longer telling the same story over and over again.

You will have a care plan personal to you and your family.

If you and your carers get what you really need from the start, then it’s more likely to work. Building the NHS around you will need a new generation of NHS staff, as Ed said yesterday.

So we will recruit new teams of home care workers, physios, OTs, nurses, midwives with GPs at the centre.

And will we have mental health nurses and therapists at the heart of this team, no longer the poor relation on the fringes of the system but making parity a reality.

And to make sure this investment is not creamed off by others, we will look at how we can ensure private health providers contribute their fair share towards the cost of training.

But, with the best will in the world, the NHS won’t be able to do it all.

That is why I can announce today a big change in the way the NHS supports carers so they can keep going.

No longer invisible but at the very centre of this new service.

So today we announce new support for carers: protected funding for carer’s breaks; the right to ask for an annual health check; help with hospital car parking for carers; and we will go further.

We will give all families the right to care in their home, if they want it.

A national health and care service truly there from cradle to grave – from a new right to have a home-birth and a right to be in your own home at the end of your life, surrounded by the people you love, with your care provided on the NHS and no worry about its cost – starting with those who are terminally ill with the greatest care needs.

These are the things that matter and this is about an NHS there for you at the most important moments in life.

This is what people want and this is what becomes possible with our plan.

True whole person care – simply not possible in Cameron’s fragmented, privatised, demoralised service.

Make no mistake – this coming election is a battle for the soul of the NHS. The fight of our lives.

Now we must walk 300 miles for the NHS to every doorstep in the land. With hope. With pride. With passion. With a plan you can believe in. But, in the end, this is about more than us. This is about you.

Your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren.

It’s about whether an NHS will still be there for them in their hour of need as it has been for you.

Don’t regret it when it’s gone. Join the fight for it now.

So I make this appeal to you.

Help the party that founded the NHS give it a new beginning.

Help us make it the service we all want it to be.

An NHS that puts people before profit.

An NHS that cares for the carers.

An NHS there for your mum and dad.

An NHS with time to care.

An NHS for all of you.

This year’s International Speaker was none other than the appearance of New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, who gave a rousing 40-minute performance, with notes, roused what has been a rather subdued Labour conference from its slumbers. He was the first speaker at this conference to lay out the philosophy of progressive politics with passion and real power, and his message on income inequality drew a standing ovation in the hall. Tanned and smiling, de Blasio, 53, sauntered on to the stage to loud cheers, blowing kisses to the crowd “I don’t know why they say the Brits are unemotional,” he drawled.

If the Democrat was tired from his 24 hour round trip (he reportedly landed at 7am this morning and will fly back tonight), he didn’t show it. Although he may not have had time to catch up on Mr Miliband’s lacklustre leader’s speech. In contrast to the widespread criticism of Mr Miliband in today’s newspapers (even The Guardian couldn’t pretend he looked like a winner), de Blasio was full of praise for the Labour leader: “Ed, your agenda is a blueprint of what a fairer, more prosperous, stronger United Kingdom will look like. That is not only why you must win, that is why you will win,” he said.

The Mayor appears to see the Labour leader as a kindred spirit in the fight against global inequality, although his speech was thankfully free of any references to the fashionable French economist Thomas Piketty. His criticism of the Conservatives’s “top down policies” drew applause from the crowd:  “Instead of giving working families the leg up they deserve, guess what: they give huge tax cuts to the wealthiest, in the vague hope the money would magically trickle down to everyone else. We are familiar with this approach in our country—it’s called typically voodoo economics.”

Radiating positivity, de Blasio shared his own recipe for electoral success, describing how he came from far behind in the primary contest to end two decades of Republican rule in New York. In a rousing call to arms, he said that he won by refusing to “nibble around the edges” and by taking “dead aim at the crisis of our time” with “bold progressive action.”

Despite the stirring rhetoric and trust me the standing ovation was deserved the key question which remains unanswered was why was Bill de Blasio here? He clearly wasn’t a big enough name to persuade hungover delegates to delay their trains home, because the conference hall was only half full. I was among those asked to move forward to make the vast space look less empty. One suggestion is that Labour’s superstar election strategist, David Axlerod, called in a favour. But was it the right one? This was de Blasio’s first major policy speech overseas since he took office in January, and while he is certainly pitching himself as an activist voice within the Democratic Party, his star is still very much in the ascendant. With the roll call of guest speakers at previous Labour conferences including Nelson Mandela (2000) and Bill Clinton (2002/06), de Blasio’s presence offered little in the way of star quality, and his speech, like Miliband’s, will have little resonance with voters beyond the Labour grassroots.

I felt that Ed Miliband spoke by selling an idea about our party policies and look forward to see a new life of politics coming back to life. Ed Miliband was right to say:

  • The NHS, low pay and the housing shortage as key battleground issues for the election.
  • Health and Social Care Act has had a devastating impact on the health service in England, opening it up to creeping privatisation.
  • Pledge of a £2.5 billion funding increase, paid for through a windfall tax on tobacco companies and a mansion tax, is welcome and necessary, but we still need a clear indication that Labour has the political will to halt NHS privatisation.
  • Ensuring workers’ wages rise in line with economic growth is an admirable aim and one which would reverse more than three decades in which wages have shrunk as a share of Britain’s output as employers extract more and more profit from our work.
  • To recruit thousands more NHS workers he could have indicated that Labour will raise public-sector pay to make up for years in which it has fallen behind inflation.
  • House-building programme to address the chronic housing shortage aims to “double the number of first-time buyers,” but 200,000 new homes a year is far less than we need and he made no mention of the importance of rebuilding lost council-housing stock.
  • Thatcher’s right-to-buy madness has failed. House prices and rents are ridiculously high and personal debt levels unsustainable. Labour will break from the private ownership model and commit to providing social housing and secure, affordable rents.

I felt that Ed Balls spoke with even more passion about our party policies ideas and look forward to see a new life of politics coming back to life. Some critics may be sceptical with his speech I say to hell with them and he was right to say:

  • Underscore his willingness to take tough fiscal decisions when he reveals he will capchild benefit increases at 1% for the first two years of the next parliament, and force all government ministers to take a symbolic 5% pay cut.
  • Balls, battling to improveLabour’s economic credibility in the polls, will defend his decision to back a fiscal stimulus in 2010, but will recommit himself to balancing the books in the next parliament, including by keeping child benefit rises below the rate of inflation and slashing ministers’ pay by £6,708 a year.
  •  His announcement will come in his speech to the Labour party conference in Manchester on Monday, as Labour sources were also making it increasingly clear that the party will this week commit extra funds for the national health service, possibly by earmarking cash raised by reintroducing the 50p top rate of tax.

 

 

For those people who did not have the opportunity to read both Ed Milibands and Ed Balls full conference speech I enclose a copy of it:

I want to start by talking about somebody who’s from Salford, just down the road from here and that’s Alan Henning, a British hostage taken by Isil. His wife, Barbara Henning, made an incredibly moving appeal for his release just over the weekend.

You know, Alan Henning is simply an aid worker trying to make life better for victims of conflict. I think it should tell us all we need to know about Isil and their murderous ways that they take a decent British man like Alan Henning hostage.

And it’s not just British people that they are targeting; it is people of all nationalities and all religions. That’s why we supported a coalition, not simply based on military action but a coalition based on humanitarian, political and diplomatic action to counter the threat of Isil.

Now this week, the president of the United States and the British Prime Minister are both at the United Nations.

We support the overnight action against Isil, what needs to happen now is that the UN needs to play its part. A UN Security Council resolution to win the international support to counter that threat of Isil.

Friends, this country will never turn our back on the world and will never turn our back on the principles of internationalism.

And those values are reflected not just in our country but in this Party, in this hall and in this great city of Manchester. Friends, it is great to be with you in Manchester. A fantastic city. A city with a great Labour council leading the way. And a city that after this year’s local elections, is not just a Tory-free zone but a Liberal Democrat free zone as well.

Now Manchester has special memories for me because it was four years ago that I was elected your leader, here in Manchester. Four years on I feel wiser. I feel older. I feel much older, actually. But hang on a minute, some of you look quite a lot older as well. At least I’ve got an excuse. But I am prouder than ever to be the leader of your party and I thank you for your support.

Now we meet here in serious times, not just for your world but for our country too. Our country nearly broke up. A country that nearly splits apart is not a country in good health. I want to start by thanking all of Labour’s Team Scotland for the part they played in keeping our country together.

Let us thank them all. Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Margaret Curran, Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy, Anas Sarwar, Johann Lamont. Let us thank them all ladies and gentlemen because they helped save our country.

And I want to say to the people of Scotland directly: this Labour party will show you over the coming years you made the right choice. Because we are better together.

Now here’s the thing. All of us, all political leaders, all of us in this hall, have a responsibility to try and explain why 45 per cent of people voted yes. 45 per cent of people wanted to break up our country. And we’ve got to explain why the feeling we saw in Scotland is not just in Scotland but is reflected across the country and my story starts six days from the end of the referendum campaign.

I was on my way to a public meeting. I was late as politicians tend to be. And just outside the meeting I met a woman and I was supposed to be going into the meeting but I wanted to stop and ask her how she was voting. I did that to everybody on the street. One vote at a time. I said to her “how are you voting?” she said “I haven’t decided yet.”

Turned out her name was Josephine. She worked as a cleaner in the building. I asked her what the company was like that she worked for. She said the company was decent but the wages were rubbish. She hadn’t decided because life was so incredibly tough for her. She didn’t want to leave but she thought it might be the best thing to do.

Now, I don’t know how Josephine voted in the referendum, but I do know the question she was asking: “Is anyone going to make life better for me and my family?” And here’s the thing. It isn’t just Josephine’s question. It’s the question people are asking right across Britain: “Is anyone going to build a better life for the working people of our country?” That wasn’t just the referendum question. That is the general election question.

I am not talking about the powerful and the privileged. Those who do well whatever the weather. I’m talking about families like yours, who are treading water, working harder and harder just to stay afloat.

For Labour, this election is about you. You’ve made the sacrifices. You have taken home lower wages year after year. You have paid higher taxes. You have seen your energy bills rise and your NHS decline. You know this country doesn’t work for you. My answer is that we can build a better future for you and your family and this speech is about Labour’s plan to do it. Labour’s plan for Britain’s future.

So what do we need to have that plan for the future? We’ve got to understand what people are saying to us right across the United Kingdom. See, I think across our country there is a silent majority who wanted our country to endure but are telling us that things must change and they come from every walk of life. Like a young woman called Xiomara who works in a pub near where I live.

She lives at the opposite end of the country from Josephine. She’s separated by at least a generation. But they share a common experience. Xiomara couldn’t afford to go to college. So she got a job in the pub kitchen nearby, washing dishes. She’s worked incredibly hard and she’s worked her way up to be one of the chefs.

But like for Josephine, life by Xiomara is incredibly tough. And by the way, she thinks politics is rubbish. And let’s not pretend we don’t hear that a lot on the doorstep. What does she see in politics? She sees drift. She doesn’t think we can solve her problems, now we’ve got to prove her wrong. And it’s not just that people like Xiomara and Josephine are struggling with the problems of today and millions of other people.

I think there’s something almost even more important about our country. People have lost faith in the future. You know, the other day I was in the park. I was actually trying to work on my speech, believe it or not, and I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I went to the park and there were two young women who were in the park and they seemed excited to see me and they came over. And – it’s not that funny – one of them actually said “so it is true, you do meet famous people in this park.” And the other one said “yeah it is.” And then the first one said “no offence, we were hoping for Benedict Cumberbatch.”

But anyway, one of them said something which really stuck with me. She said this, she said: “My generation is falling into a black hole.” And she said about her parents’ generation: “they’ve had it so good and now there’s nothing left for us.” She wasn’t just speaking for herself, she was speaking for millions of people across our country. Millions of people who have lost faith in the future.

Like Gareth, who is high up at a software company. He’s got a five year old daughter, he’s earning a decent wage, he can’t afford to buy a home for himself and for his family, he’s priced out by the richest. He thinks that unless you’re one of the privileged few in Britain the country is not going to work for you and your kids are going to have a worse life than you.

And so many people, friends, across our country feel this way. They feel the country doesn’t work for them. And they’ve lost that faith in the future. Now our task is to restore people’s faith in the future. Not by breaking up our country. But by breaking with the old way of doing things. By breaking with the past.

I’m not talking about a different policy or a different programme. I’m talking about something much bigger. I’m talking about a different idea, a different ethic for the way our country succeeds.

You see, for all the sound and fury in England, Scotland, Wales, across the United Kingdom, what people are actually saying to us is this country doesn’t care about me. Our politics doesn’t listen. Our economy doesn’t work and they’re not wrong, they’re right and this Labour Party is going to put it right.

But friends, to do that we have to go back to the very foundations of who we are and how we run things. We just can’t carry on with the belief that a country can succeed as a country with a tiny minority at the top doing well.

Prosperity in one part of Britain, amongst a small elite. A circle that is closed to most, blind to the concerns of people. Sending the message to everyone but a few: you’re on your own. See, think about it for a minute. In our economy, it’s working people who are made to bear the burden of anxiety, precariousness and insecurity.

They’ve been told: you’re on your own.

So many young people who don’t have the privileges, think their life is going to be worse than their parents.

They’ve been told: you’re on your own.

So many small businesses are struggling against forces more powerful than themselves.

They’ve been told: you’re on your own.

And the most vulnerable have been thrown on the scrapheap, cast aside, not listened to even when they have a case.

They’ve been told: you’re on your own.

And to cap it all, in our politics, it’s a few who have the access while everyone else is locked out.

They’ve been told: you’re on your own.

No wonder people have lost faith in the future. That’s why so many people voted to break up our country. Is it any wonder? The deck is stacked. The game is rigged in favour of those who have all the power.

Friends, in eight months’ time, we’re going to call time on this way of running the country. Because you’re on your own doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for your family, it doesn’t work for Britain.

Can we build a different future for our country? Of course we can. But with a different idea for how we succeed. An idea that in the end won this referendum.

An idea I love because it says so much about who we are and who we have it in ourselves to become.

An idea rooted in this party’s character and our country’s history.

An idea that built our greatest institutions and got us through our darkest moments.

An idea that is just one simple word.

Together.

Together.

Together we can restore faith in the future.

Together we can build a better future for the working people of Britain.

Together we can rebuild Britain.

Friends, together we can.

Together says it is not just the powerful few at the top whose voices should be heard, it’s the voice of everyone. Together says that it is not just a few wealthy people who create the wealth of our country. It’s every working person. Together says that we just can’t won’t succeed as a country with the talents of a few, we’ve got to use the talents of all. Together says that we can’t have some people playing under different rules, everybody’s got to play under the same rules.

And together says that we have a duty to look after each other when times are hard. Together. The way we restore faith in the future. Together: a different idea for Britain.

Now you might be thinking this sounds like a pretty big undertaking, changing the way our country is run, a totally different idea, that’s quite a big task, is it really going to be possible? Can we do it? I mean, it’s the 21st century, is that going backwards? Well it isn’t. And the reason it isn’t is because that idea is everywhere around us to see.

In every walk of life. The inspiration is everywhere of a different way of doing things. See, earlier on I mentioned Gareth, who works at a software company, who’s worried about his daughter and worried about the future. I didn’t just meet him, I met his colleagues as well. And that software company, the thing that shines through about it for me is it is full of bright, savvy young people, full of great enthusiasm.

But it isn’t about the boss at the top. It isn’t each individual on their own. Go to every person at that company and they say the same thing. You need to use the talents of every single person. Not just the software designers, but the customer service. Not just the developers, but those who manage the accounts. And go to so many great businesses across our country and they’ll the same thing to you, that is the ethic of the 21st century in business.

We need great entrepreneurs. Britain needs great entrepreneurs. But the greatest entrepreneurs recognise that they’re only as strong as their team.

And it’s not just in business. They’ll be people here who work in our brilliant National Health Service. Our brilliant National Health Service, friends.

Earlier this year, I spent a couple of days at an NHS hospital in Watford. I wanted to go there to see how things look from the front line. Mainly I sort of got in the way really, but that’s what politicians tend to do. And I remember one evening I was in A&E at 9pm and I was watching nurses from different backgrounds different walks of life, all coming together. I was incredibly moved, I was incredibly inspired by the team work. I was so proud of our National Health Service.

Go to any great hospital, go to any great school, it is the team that makes it strong and then think about our brilliant armed forces and let us pay tribute to them today friends.

Our brilliant, heroic troops serving our country in the most dangerous places. Talk to any of them and they will talk about the team and the team that make sit strong. So it’s true of business, it’s true of public services, it’s true of our armed forces, it’s true of so many walks of life.

You see, if the ethic of the 20th century was hierarchy, order, planning, control, the talents of just a few, the ethic of the 21st century co-operation, everybody playing their part, sharing the rewards, the talents of all. Together. Friends, it is time we ran the country like we know it can be run.

Now here’s a question for you: If the challenge is to run the country on this principle of together, can the Tories be the answer?

Can the Tories be the answer?

I’ll tell you why they can’t be the answer, because if you want the best example of the “you’re on your own”, rig the system for the powerful few, insecure, throwback dogma then just look at this government.

If you’re a low paid worker struggling to make ends meet, you’re working harder for longer for less and you’re on your own.

If you’re a family in the squeezed middle you feel like you’re just treading water and you’re on your own.

If you’re on a zero-hours contract, getting up at 5am every morning to find out whether you’ve got work, they’ll tell you that is how an economy succeeds and you’re on your own.

If you are one of the people worried about the railway company, the payday lender, they’re not going to do anything to help you. You’re on your own.

And if you’re one of the nine million people who rent your home in the private sector, they’re certainly not going to do anything for you. They’re going to tell you you’re on your own.

And why? Because they say intervening would be like Venezuela. That’s what they say. You see they say they don’t believe in government intervention. Really? Of course they do.

Because if you are a millionaire who wants a tax cut, they’re certainly going to intervene to support you. You’re not going to be on your own.

If you are a banker, who’s worried about your bonus, well it’s good news for you because George Osborne is going to go all the way to Europe to fight tooth and nail to try and protect it. You certainly won’t be on your own.

If you are an energy company whose prices and profits are soaring, good news again. You’ve got a Prime Minister who’ll be your own PR man. You won’t be on your own.

And by the way, if you are a Conservative supporting, gold mining, luxury hotel owning, Putin award winning, Russian oligarch, and you have got a £160,000 to spare to bid in an auction, you won’t be on your own; you will be on tennis court playing doubles, with David Cameron. That tells you all you need to know about this government.

Now, look, we know the kind of election campaign they are going to fight. In the next eight months, David Cameron is going to talk a lot about the past. He’s not going to want to talk that much about the present or the future. Now why? He’s going to tell you, he’s going to tell the British public that none of the problems in our country are anything to do with him. He’s done a really outstanding, tremendous job and he really deserves a lot of congratulations and thanks.

So he’s done a great job; all the problems are nothing to do with him and if you just hang on until after the general election things are about to turn the corner for your family.

Now the British people will have to be the judge of this. But I think there are some things to bear in mind. The record of this government, friends, isn’t just mediocre. It is one of the worst ever.

The longest fall in living standards since 1870.

Wages rising slower than prices for 50 out of 51 months.

For your family five years of this government; five years of sacrifice and zero years of success.

Now you might think that David Cameron’s right and things are about to turn round for you and your family. As I say the British people will have to be the judge of this. But isn’t there a second, more plausible explanation for their record? A Tory economy is always an economy for the few.

Because that’s who they care about. That’s the basis on which they think a country succeeds. And so the past with this government is a good guide to the future. Your family worse off. You can’t afford to take that risk. The British people can’t afford another five years of David Cameron.

Now, I’ve got an idea for our Prime Minister: he likes the surfing, he likes playing that game Angry Birds and he likes the tennis with the Russian oligarchs. Friends, I’ve got a great idea: Why don’t we give him all the time in the world to do all of those things. Come next May, let’s send him into opposition.

It’s up to us. We have to build a future for you and your family. That’s what Labour’s plan for Britain’s future is all about.

Today I want to lay out six national goals. Not just for one term of office. Or even for one year. But a plan for the next ten years. Britain 2025.

Day one of me as Prime Minster, this is the plan, and these are the goals I want us to pursue. Now you might ask why ten years? I’ll tell you one of the reasons. People are fed up with politicians who come along and say vote for me and on day one everything will be transformed. Friends the British people won’t believe it. It’s what I call doing a Nick Clegg.

Look, when Nick Clegg broke that promise on tuition fees, he didn’t just destroy trust in himself and the Liberal Democrats. He did something else. He destroyed trust in politics. Every time a promise is broken, every time a false promise is made, every time we say vote for us and tomorrow everything will be totally different, people get more and more cynical. People get more and more turned off.

People think politics is more and more a game and that all we’re in it for is ourselves. That’s why I plan for the next ten years. Not a plan for the next ten years which says nothing changes. But a route map. A route map for the country.

A route map for people like Gareth that I talked about earlier. For the young woman who wanted to see Benedict Cumberbatch and ended up with me and said ‘My generation is falling into a black hole. I want to know there’s a future for me.’ That’s what this plan is about.

Our plan starts with rewarding hard work once again because that’s what we’ve got to do as a country. One in five of the men and women go out to work in our country, do their bit, make their contribution, put in the hours and find themselves on low pay. With Britain’s traditions, with Labour’s traditions, that should shame us all.

So our first national goal is that we halve the number of people in low pay by 2025. Transforming the lives of two million people in our country.

The principle of together says we don’t just use the talents of all, we reward the talent of all. And the minimum wage has got to become a route to bringing up your family with dignity.

So we will raise the minimum wage by £1.50 an hour by 2020. To over £8 an hour. A rise in pay of £60 a week for a full-time worker on the minimum wage. Or more than £3,000 a year. The Tories are the party of wealth and privilege.

Labour is the party of hard work fairly paid. And it’s not the low paid but it’s all working people who should have their talents rewarded.

So our second national goal is that all working people should share fairly in the growing wealth of the country. That means, as the economy grows, the wages of everyday working people grow at the same rate.

You know what’s amazing friends, is that statement, that goal is even controversial. It used to be taken for granted in our country that’s what would happen.

That’s what the cost of living crisis which the Tories don’t understand is all about. To counter it you need a government with a singular focus on tackling it. Key to this is transforming our economy so we create good jobs at decent wages. That requires a massive national effort. The principle of together: everybody playing their part.

For government it means no vested interest, no old orthodoxies, no stale mindset, should stand in the way of restoring this basic bargain of Britain. It means reforming our banks, much bigger reform of our banks. Breaking up the big banks.

So that we have the competition we need in our banking system. It means getting power out of Whitehall. We are far too centralised a country. It’s time we did something about it. It’s time we transferred power out of Whitehall. To our businesses, towns and cities, so that they can create the jobs, the prosperity, the wealth that they need.

It’s about businesses and trade unions engaging in cooperation not confrontation.

And it’s also about something else friends for this party. It’s using our historic values to fight for those at the frontline of the modern workforce. I’m talking about a group of people that we in the Labour Party haven’t talked about that much and we need to talk about them a lot more. The growing army of our self-employed.

Five million people in our country. Often the most entrepreneurial, go-getting people in Britain who have a hard, insecure life very often. You see, because of the job they do, two out of three don’t have a pension.

One in five can’t get a mortgage. They don’t want special treatment. They just want a fair shot. The task for this Labour Party is to end this 21st century modern discrimination. It is to fight and deliver equal rights for the self-employed in Britain.

I said earlier that we need to create good jobs at decent wages. To transform our economy. The jobs of the future. So our third national goal is that by 2025, Britain becomes truly a world leader in the green economy, creating one million new jobs as we do. Under this government, we’re falling behind Germany, Japan, the United States and even India and China when it comes to green technologies and services.

There are so many brilliant businesses who are desperate to do their bit but government’s not playing its part. With our plan, we will. This is what we’re going to do.

We’re going to commit to taking all of the carbon out of our electricity by 2030.

We’re going to have a Green Investment Bank with powers to borrow and attract new investment. And as Caroline Flint announced today, we will devolve power and resources to communities so we can insulate 5 million homes over the next ten years.

You see the environment isn’t that fashionable any more in politics as you may have noticed with David Cameron. But it matters. It’s incredibly important for our economy. And there is no more important issue for me when I think about my children’s’ generation and what I can do in politics, than tackling global climate change. Now we need a plan for jobs. We need a plan for wages. We need a plan that is actually going to help the working families of our country.

At the heart of our plan for our country and for your family is also a future for all of our young people.

I met somebody called Elizabeth the other day. Where is she? She’s here. Elizabeth, why don’t you stand up for one second. Elizabeth is an apprentice.

She’s an auto-electrician. I think it’s fair to say Elizabeth that you are breaking through in what’s been pretty much a man’s world. Now, let’s have another round of applause for her and the great job she’s doing. She is one of the lucky few. Actually Elizabeth’s school, because I met her yesterday, Elizabeth’s school helped her to get an apprenticeship. But so many other schools don’t do that. In fact, lots of the people I meet who are on apprenticeships say ‘my school said apprenticeships were rubbish and they wouldn’t help me but now I’m doing it, it’s really great for me’. Frankly there aren’t enough of them and they aren’t high-quality enough.

So our fourth national goal is that by 2025 as many young people will be leaving school or college to go on to an apprenticeship as currently go to university.

Now, I’ve got to tell you this is an absolutely huge undertaking. We are such a long way away from this as a country. It is going to require a massive national effort. It’s going to require young people to show the ambition to do well and to get on.

It’s going to require schools to lead a dramatic change in education, with new gold standard technical qualifications. And it is going to need business and government to lead a revolution in apprenticeships. You know, government is very good at preaching to business about what it should be doing. Let me just tell you: government is absolutely useless when it comes to apprenticeships. It’s true of governments of both parties. Look at other countries; they do a fantastic job in giving apprenticeships to the next generation. We don’t do that in this country.

First we’ve got to tackle the failure by government. Then we’ve got to say to business that you’ve got to play your part. If you want to bring in a worker from outside the EU, that’s ok but you must provide apprenticeships to the next generation.

You see we can’t have what’s happening at the moment in IT where you’ve got more and more people coming in but actually the number of apprenticeships falling in IT. And we’ve also got to say to business this: We’re going to give you control of the money for apprenticeships for the first time but in exchange, if you want a major government contract, then you must provide apprenticeships to our young people. A plan for jobs, for wages, for education.

But what is it, what other things give us confidence and security in life? It’s the love of the people we care most about. Decent work properly rewarded. But it’s also the confidence and security of having our own home. So many people don’t have that today. That very British dream, of home ownership, is fading for so many people. You know, under this government, we’re building fewer homes than at any time since the 1920s.

So our fifth national goal is that by 2025, for the first time in fifty years, this country will be building as many homes as we need. Doubling the number of first time buyers in our country.

Again it is going to require a massive national effort, a massive national effort. We won’t let large developers sit on land, we will say to small developers and construction companies that we will help them to build homes again in our country. We will build a new generation of towns, garden cities and suburbs creating over half a million new homes.

And we will also make housing the top priority for additional capital investment in the next parliament. This party will get Britain building again.

Your family also needs public services you can rely on. Education policing, transport and nowhere is that more true than our National Health Service.

I mentioned earlier on that I spent a couple of days at a hospital in Watford earlier on this year. And while I was there I met an amazing man called Colin in his 80s, who sadly died a few weeks later. But I will always remember my conversations with him. You see he remembered the foundation of the NHS, he remembered what life was like before the National Health Service. And I remember him saying to me: “Ed the problem then was you were on your own. On your own having to pay for medical treatment.” Friends we are so proud of our National Health Service. And I know my duty to Colin and to the British people. It is to make sure our NHS is there when we need it.

So our sixth national goal is that we create a truly world-class 21st century health and care service.

Because a hospital is only as good as the services in the community. So see that’s the biggest lesson I learnt in Watford. If people can’t get to see their GP, if elderly people can’t get the visits they need then they end up in hospital when it could have been avoided. And that’s bad for them, and it is bad for the taxpayer it costs billions of pounds. And let’s face it friends those services are creaking.

Those services are creaking just now. One in four people can’t get to see their GP within a week. We’ve had the scandal of home care visits for the elderly restricted to just 15 minutes. In this day and age. The NHS does face huge challenges over the coming years. We will transform our NHS. It is time to care about our NHS. We need doctors, nurses, midwives, care workers, who are able to spend proper time with us, not rushed off their feet. So we will set aside resources so that we can have in our NHS 3,000 more midwives, 5,000 more care workers, 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 more nurses. An NHS with time to care.

And in order to pay for it we won’t borrow an extra penny. Or raise taxes on ordinary working families. We will clamp down on tax avoidance including tax loopholes by the hedge funds to raise over £1 billion. We will use the proceeds from a mansion tax on homes above £2 million.

And we will raise extra resources from the tobacco companies, who make soaring profits on the back of ill health. Because friends the principle of building it together means everyone playing their part in making our NHS what it needs to be.

In total we will set aside £2.5 billion in an NHS time to care fund and tomorrow Andy Burnham will set out our integrated plan for physical health, mental health and care for the elderly. Truly a 21st century National Health Service. The stakes are incredibly high at this election and nowhere more so than on the National Health Service because we know the NHS is sliding backwards under this government. We know they are privatising and fragmenting it.

Just imagine what another five years of David Cameron would mean for our National Health Service Friends.

We are not going to let it happen, our NHS is too precious, too important and we will not let it happen. Friends, we built the NHS. We saved the NHS. We are going to repeal the Health and Social Care Bill and we are going to transform our NHS for the future. That is what the next Labour government will do and friends, we will do it together.

Six national goals friends. Six national goals to transform our country. Not a false promise on day one. Not some pie in the sky idea that can’t be delivered. Real, concrete ideas that can transform our country. That can restore faith in the future. A plan for Britain’s future. Labour’s plan for Britain’s future.

But to make that happen we also have to do something else and transform who has power in our country so that those who feel locked out feel let back in.

You know people think Westminster politics is out of touch, irrelevant and often disconnected from their lives.

And as somebody who stands at Prime Minister’s Questions each Wednesday I often know what they mean. We might as well say it; it is what people think about politics. They think it is not about them and we’ve got to change it. We don’t just need to restore people’s faith in the future with this economic and social plan we need to change the way politics works in this country. What does that mean?

First of all it is time to hear the voice of young people in our politics so we will give the vote to 16 and 17 year olds in general elections.

It is time we complete the unfinished business of reform of the House of Lords so we truly have a Senate of the nations and regions. And it is time to devolve power in England.

And I’m incredibly proud of our proposals. Our ambitious proposals to reverse a century of centralisation and there can be no better place to be talking about this then here in Manchester. Devolving power to local government, bringing power closer to people right across England.

And we need bigger reform of our constitution, but here is the thing friends, given everything we know about what people think of Westminster politics, it has got to be led by the people.

It can’t be some Westminster stitch-up. That is why we need a proper constitutional convention harnessing the civic energy and spirit of people right across our land. England, Scotland, Wales, every part of the United Kingdom. But you know I have realised something else giving people voice is also about recognising who we are as a country.

We are more than ever, four countries and one. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Britain too.

Each nation making its contribution. We are not just better together, we are greater together. And that is not something to fear that is something to be proud of. I learnt something really important as I’m sure we all did in this referendum campaign.

All of those people who were proud to be Scottish and proud to be British. Just like there are so many people who are proud to be Welsh and proud to be British.

No one more so than our brilliant First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones and let’s hear it for him today Ladies and Gentleman.

And so too we can be proud to be English and proud to be British. And I say to this party we must fight for these traditions and not cede them to others. Englishness: a history of solidarity.

From the Battle of Cable Street against Oswald Mosley and the black shirts to the spirit of the Blitz. Englishness: traditions of fairness. From the Ford workers at Dagenham who fought for equal pay to today’s campaigners for the living wage. Englishness: a spirit of internationalism. From those who fought in the Spanish Civil War to our generosity to those overseas. Now friends there will be some people who tell you that being English, Welsh or Scottish means dividing or setting ourselves against each other. Rubbish. Why? Because here is what we the Labour Party know.

The injustices facing working face them right across the United Kingdom and we can only tackle them together. That is after all what we spent the last two years fighting for and I am not going to let anyone after the last two years drive us apart.

If David Cameron cares so much about the Union why is he seeking to divide us?

He is learning the wrong lessons from Scotland. He is learning the wrong lessons from Scotland. Because what he doesn’t understand is that the lessons are of course about the constitution, but they are not about playing political tactics about England.

And here is why he is doing it. David Cameron doesn’t lie awake at night thinking about the United Kingdom. He lies awake at night thinking about the United Kingdom Independence Party. UKIP. That is why he is doing it friends and I say pandering to them is just one more reason why he is not fit to be the Prime Minister of this great country.

Better together, across the United Kingdom. But also better together, true to our traditions of internationalism. And nowhere is that more true than when it comes to Europe and the European Union. Friends, let me say it plainly: our future lies inside not outside the European Union.

We need to reform Europe. We need to reform Europe on the economy, on immigration, on benefits, on all of these big issues. But here is the question for Britain. How do we reform Europe? Do we reform Europe by building alliances or by burning alliances?

Well, look, what’s really good is that we’ve had a recent experience, a test case, by David Cameron of his strategy.

I don’t know whether you missed it, but it’s about somebody called Jean-Claude Juncker. And in case you missed the score, it’s not so good from his point of view, that’s David Cameron, is he lost by 26 to 2.

Now, why did he lose? Because at the start people thought he might win that vote. I’ll tell you why. Because you see the problem for our country is that when David Cameron comes calling, people don’t think he’s calling about the problems of Britain or the problems of Europe. They think he’s calling about the problems of the Conservative Party. And here’s the funny thing friends, here’s the funny thing. If you’re elected the Chancellor of Germany or the Prime Minister of Italy or the President of France you don’t really think you were elected to solve the problems of the Conservative Party.

That’s why he can’t succeed for our country. And, look, what we had over Jean-Claude Juncker is just a preview of what could befall this country if David Cameron was back in power after 2015. Because he lost 26 to 2 over that. He has to win 28-0 to get reform of Europe. Unanimity. No chance for David Cameron.

He’s got no chance of fighting for this country. Because people think he’s got one hand on the exit door and his strategy has failed. If you want to reform Europe. If you want to change the way Europe works. If you want to keep Britain in the European Union and if you realise that the biggest threat to our prosperity is now the Conservative Party, the right answer is a Labour government.

I’m determined that as Prime Minister, I promote our values all round the world and one of the things that that means friends is seeking a solution to a problem that we know in our hearts is one of the biggest problems our world faces and that is issues in the Middle East and Israel and Palestine.

I tell you, I will fight with every fibre of my being to get the two state solution, two states for two people, Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side, that will be a very, very important task of the next Labour government, friends.

There’s one other thing I want to say about what we need to do abroad. You know we have made extraordinary progress on Lesbian and Gay rights over the last twenty years. If I think about the transformation that I have seen growing up into adulthood, the biggest transformation.

We’ve made such progress on equality. But we have to face the fact that internationally things are, if anything, going backwards. We can’t just let that happen. We can’t just say “well, that’s OK”. The next Labour government will fight to make sure that we fight for our values and for human rights all round the world.

So today I can announce that I am appointing Michael Cashman, Lord Cashman, as our envoy on LGBT rights all round the world.

So it’s about a plan, at home and abroad, but it’s also about leadership.

Friends – you know, I know, that the next eight months represent my interview with the British people for one of the most important jobs in our country.

Let me tell you what I care about.

I care about big ideas that can change our country.

The principle of together.

I care about hearing the voices of people right across our land and not shutting them out.

And I care about something else.

I care about using the power of government to stand up against powerful forces when we need to do so.

It came home to me the other day, when I met Rosie, a doctor from Devon, and she said to me: “what we need is someone who will stand up for working people, for everyday people, because you will have the power and we won’t.”

That’s why I stood up to Rupert Murdoch over phone hacking. That’s why I stood up to the banks over bonuses. That’s why I stood up to the payday lenders over their exploitation of the poorest people in our country. That’s why I stood up to the energy companies over their profits and prices and, yes, it’s why I stood up to the Daily Mail when they said my dad hated Britain because I know my dad loved Britain.

Ok, that’s me, but what about the other guy. Now this isn’t a conventional job interview so I get to say something about him. He stands up for the principle of “you’re on your own”. He stands up for the privileged few. And here’s the thing that gets me the most about him perhaps. He really thinks that a good photo opportunity will fool people into thinking he doesn’t just stand up for the rich and privileged, he stands up for you and your family.

In this day and age, when people are so cynical about politics, I just think it adds to that cynicism. But here’s the thing. He’s been found out.

He’s been found out because he hugged a huskie before an election, and then said “cut the Green crap” after an election.

He’s been found out because he stood outside an NHS hospital before an election with a placard saying “no hospital closures”, and he closed that very same A&E department after the election.

He’s been found out because he changed his logo to a tree before an election, and tried to sell off the forests after the election.

And he’s been found out because he said he was a compassionate conservative before the election, and he imposed the cruel, the vindictive, the unfair Bedroom Tax after the election.

And you know what gets me even more? You know what gets me even more? Is that even now, with all the tales of misery, hardship, injustice, he thinks a bit of rebranding will get him off the hook. So he calls it the “spare room subsidy” as if that will make the problem go away. Well, David Cameron, you’ve been found out.

So friends, there is a choice of leadership at this election. A real, stark choice of leadership. Leadership that stands for the privileged few or leadership that fights for you and your family. And as I said earlier, this isn’t just about leadership and government and Labour’s plan for Britain’s future. It’s also about all of you.

See, we can’t build the country we need without you. Without mobilising every part of Britain.

So I say to young people: we need your hope, your energy, your vitality.

I say to every older person: we respect your service and we need your wisdom.

I say to every business: you can be part of this and we can’t do it without you.

I say to every entrepreneur: we need your ideas, your enthusiasm.

I say to every charity: we admire your spirit and we want to hear your voice.

I say to every nurse, every teacher, every public service worker: we salute your dedication and we know why you do what you do.

I say to every person in our country who believes that tomorrow can be better than today: we need you.

Together we bring up our families.

Together we look out for our neighbours.

Together we care for our communities.

Together we build great businesses, the best in the world.

Together we teach the young.

Together we heal the sick.

Together we care for the old.

Together we invent cures for the most terrible of diseases.

So, of course, friends, together we can rebuild our country.

Together we can reward hard work.

Together we can ensure the next generation does better than the last.

Together we can make our NHS greater than it has ever been before.

Together we can make Britain prouder, stronger in the world.

Together we can restore faith in the future.

On our own, we can’t but together we can.

In the next eight months the British people face one of the biggest choices in generations.

A choice between carrying on as we are, on your own, for the privileged few.

Or a different, better future for our country.

We are ready.

Labour’s plan for Britain’s future.

Let’s make it happen.

Together. Thank you very much.

Copy of Ed Balls full Conference Speech:

Twenty years ago, starting at this Labour conference, we together took the historic step of reforming our party’s constitution.

The result is on the back of our membership cards today.

Our goal: ‘a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few.’

Our conviction, that: ‘By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone’.

Twenty years on, that Labour vision – our Labour values – are more relevant than they have ever been.

Because, while our economy is growing again, taxes are up, wages are down, NHS waiting times are rising, and most working people are still not seeing any benefit from the recovery.

It’s no wonder the country is crying out for change.

But at a time when trust in politicians is at an all-time low – and when even after deep spending cuts and tax rises for working people, our deficit is still high – this is our task.

Not to flinch from the tough decisions we must make. But to show the country that there is a better way forward.

Labour’s plan for Britain’s future. Our common endeavour: to build an economy that works for the many, and not just a few, for all working people in every part of our United Kingdom.

And Conference, when we think of those words – ’by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone’ – don’t they resonate more loudly after the events of the last few days?

Because Conference, we meet here in Manchester, a united party in our still United Kingdom.

And let us pay tribute to Johan Lamont and Margaret Curran, Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown, Anas Sawar, Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander, in my team Cathy Jamieson, all the MPs and MSPs, party workers and volunteers, many more beyond our own party too, who have worked so tirelessly to win last week’s vote. Conference, we thank them all.

But let us never forget, after all the campaigning and brilliant barnstorming speeches, the decision to stay together and shape Scotland’s future within our United Kingdom was not made by politicians or pundits but by the people of Scotland.

They voted to retain the shared prosperity, and security, and solidarity that our union delivers. But the people of Scotland did not vote for the status quo. They voted for the opportunity to shape Scotland’s future with greater devolution. And it is our duty to deliver on that promise – and for Wales and for the cities and regions of England too.

Yes, we do need to change our constitution and reform and strengthen our union in a fair way – a process which should start from the people, not politicians. But we know too that people in Scotland and across the rest of the United Kingdom want bigger change than that.

Change which goes beyond powers and processes, parliaments and constitutions. Radical change to build an economy that works for all working people.

Conference, knocking on doors in my constituency a few Sundays ago, I spoke to a mum in Outwood.

She told me her teenage son had finished college and had been looking for a job for ages.

She was so relieved when he finally got one, but worried he’s on a zero-hours contract.

Every morning he has to ring in at 7 o’clock to see if they want him.

And when they say no, and he can do nothing else until the next morning, she said it breaks her heart.

Because he deserves better than this. And she’s right. And that story is not the exception.

It’s one of thousands and thousands of doorstep stories all of us hear across our country every week.

Parents worried about whether their children will get a job or an apprenticeship and whether the next generation will be worse off than their own.

Relying on us – Labour – to make things better.

Families and pensioners seeing prices in the shops and heating bills going up and up.

Millions of people – in the private and public sectors – struggling without a pay rise or unable to get the hours they need, still not feeling the benefit of this recovery.

And relying on us – Labour – to make things better.

Young people struggling to save to get on and buy a house.

Disabled people and family carers forced to pay the government’s Bedroom Tax.

Thousands of people working in our NHS, millions more who depend upon it, worried about rising waiting times and creeping privatisation.

All relying on us – Labour – to make things better.

And Conference, we must not let them down.

And that is why it is our job to go on and win the General Election so we can change Britain and deliver our country from this unfair, out of touch and failing Tory Government.

Conference, we all know the great weight of responsibility we carry on our shoulders.

And that is why our party is so united and determined and fired up to get Ed into Downing Street.

Over the last four years, Ed has led us from the front.

Reforming our party and leading a Shadow Cabinet with more women than ever before and more BME candidates than ever before.

Modernising our relationship with the trade unions.

Standing up for the victims of phone-hacking.

Speaking up for the British people on the cost of living crisis.

Demanding the reforms we need to change our economy.

At every turn, he has led this party with courage, strength, principle and vision, and he will do the same for our country.

Our leader, Britain’s next Prime Minister, Ed Miliband.

And as for David Cameron and George Osborne, going round the country saying they’ve fixed the economy, telling people they’ve never had it so good.

How out of touch can you get?

Prices still rising faster than wages.

And the Tories say they’ve fixed the economy.

The slowest recovery for 100 years.

Business investment still lagging behind .

The lowest level of house building since the ‘20s.

One in six young people out of work.

The gender pay gap widening again.

Over a million zero hours contracts.

Working people £1,600 a year worse off.

And the Tories say they’ve fixed the economy?

What planet are they on?

Conference, working people can’t afford five more years of the Tories.

We know what the Tories really mean when they say they’ve fixed the economy.

The millionaires who got a massive tax cut.

That’s who the Tories have fixed it for.

The hedge funds funding the Tory party.

That’s who the Tories have fixed it for.

The big investors buying the Royal Mail on the cheap.

Russian oligarchs buying tennis matches with Boris and Dave.

That’s who the Tories have fixed it for.

Conference, it’s the same old Tories.

And it’s the same old Tory economics.

Cutting taxes at the top and hoping wealth will somehow trickle down.

Standing up for a privileged few, while everyone else is left behind

For the few not the many.

David Cameron, George Osborne, and Nick Clegg.

And now David Cameron thinks a grateful and devoted nation will give him another five years in Downing Street.

You know what – even his own party don’t believe him anymore

Remember Cameron’s A list?

Nine Tories elected in 2010 already standing down.

From the A List to the Exit Door in just four years.

Nine Tories leaving.

Another scurrying off to UKIP.

And Boris scrambling back to Westminster, preparing to elbow David Cameron out of the way.

That’s today’s Tories.

Giving up on Cameron.

Giving up on the General Election.

Starting to fight the next Tory leadership election instead.

Conference, we know working people can’t afford five more years of the Tories.

But this is no time for complacency.

Because this is the hard truth that we learn – not just from events in Scotland – but also from the local and European elections, the rise of UKIP and from the conversations we all have on the doorstep and in our workplaces week after week.

Yes, the Tories are deeply unpopular.

And yes, the country is crying out for change.

But, even after the progress and successes of our last four years, we have more work to do to show Labour can deliver the change that people want to see.

To show that we have learned from our time in government, that we will make the tough decisions we need to get the deficit down, and that we can change our economy and make it work for working people.

So Conference it’s more important than ever that we – the Labour Party – are honest with the country about what the last Labour government got right and what we got wrong.

Like you, I’m proud of many of the things we did.

Conference, we – Labour – introduced the first ever national minimum wage – and we will raise it if we win the election next year.

We – Labour – introduced free nursery places for the first time – and we will expand free childcare for working parents if we win the election.

We – Labour – introduced civil partnerships and paved the way this year for our country’s first ever same-sex marriages.

We opened 3,500 Sure Start children’s centres.

We made the right call on not joining the Euro.

And most important of all, starting in 1997, after 18 years of neglect, we reformed the NHS, we invested in the NHS, we reduced waiting times from 18 months to 18 weeks in the NHS.

Conference, we saved our National Health Service from the Tories.

And next year, after just five years of David Cameron – with waiting times rising, fewer nurses and a crisis in A&E – we will have to save the NHS from the Tories once again. And we will do what it takes.

Because Conference, it’s the oldest truth in British politics: you can never ever trust the Tories with our NHS.

So we can be proud of many things we did.

But where we made mistakes – like all governments do – we should be grown up about it.

We should put our hands up, learn from the past and explain how we will do things differently in the future.

So Conference, we should have had tougher rules on immigration from Eastern Europe – it was a mistake not to have transitional controls in 2004.

And we must change the rules in the future.

Longer transitional controls for new countries.

A longer time people have to work before they can get unemployment benefit.

Stopping people claiming child benefit and tax credits for families abroad.

Cracking down on employers who exploit migrant workers and undercut wages by avoiding the minimum wage and proper rights at work.

Tough controls, fair rules.

That is what we mean by fair movement not free movement.

And Conference, while it was the banks which caused the global recession, and it was the global recession which caused deficits to rise here in Britain and around the world, the truth is we should have regulated those banks in a tougher way.

It was a mistake. We should apologise for it. And I do.

And so as we get the deficit down, we must reform our banks for the future so that can never happen again.

And Conference, and we didn’t do enough to tackle the underlying causes of rising spending on housing benefit and in-work poverty.

So the next Labour government will raise the minimum wage, build more homes to get the housing benefit bill down and cap overall spending on social security.

And Conference, we should not have scrapped the 10p starting rate of income tax.

But we don’t just need to learn from our mistakes.

We also need to put right the mistakes this Government has made.

So we won’t pay for new free schools in areas where there are excess school places.

We will repeal the NHS Bill and stop the creeping privatisation of the National Health Service.

And yes, Conference, in our first Budget, the next Labour government will scrap the Bedroom Tax too.

Building on our record.

Learning from the mistakes of the last Labour government.

And putting right the mistakes of this Tory Government.

A changed Labour Party to change Britain.

But we will face great challenges.

Working people are already paying more taxes.

Our public services are under great pressure.

We know there would have been tough decisions on tax, spending and pay restraint in this parliament whoever was in government.

But three years of lost growth at the start of this parliament means we will have to deal with a deficit of £75 billion – not the balanced budget George Osborne promised by 2015.

And that will make the task of governing hugely difficult.

And this goes to the heart of the political challenge we face.

People know we are the party of jobs, living standards and fairness for working people.

But they also need to know that we will balance the books and make the sums add up and that we won’t duck the difficult decisions we will face if they return us to government.

Working people have had to balance their own books.

And they are clear that the government needs to balance its books too.

So Labour will balance the books in the next parliament.

These will be our tough fiscal rules. We will get the current budget into surplus and the national debt falling as soon as possible in the next parliament.

Tough fiscal rules that our National Policy Forum endorsed in July, demonstrating that, however difficult, our party can unite in tough times to agree a radical, credible and fully costed programme for government.

And we will legislate for these tough fiscal rules in the first year after the election and they will be independently monitored by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

So in our manifesto there will be no proposals for any new spending paid for by additional borrowing.

No spending commitments without saying where the money is coming from.

Because we will not make promises we cannot keep and cannot afford.

And because we will need an iron commitment to fiscal discipline, we want the Office for Budget Responsibility to be allowed to independently audit the costing of every spending and tax measure in Labour’s manifesto – and those of the other main parties too.

A bold reform which the Tories are desperate to block. Because they are running scared from having their own manifesto subject to independent scrutiny.

And because David Cameron and George Osborne want to carry on peddling untruths and smears about Labour’s plans.

Conference, the next Labour government will get the deficit down.

And Ed Miliband and all my Shadow Cabinet colleagues are clear it will mean cuts and tough decisions and we will take the lead.

So I can announce today that if we win the election, on day one of the next Labour government, the pay of every government Minister will immediately be cut by five per cent.

Ministerial pay will then be frozen each year until we have achieved our promise to balance the nation’s books

Because we are all clear that everybody in the next Labour government will be fully focused on that vital task of getting the deficit down.

And Conference, our Zero-Based Review of public spending is examining every pound spent by government to cut out waste and make different choices.

Andy Burnham is setting out how we can save money, and improve care by pooling health and social care with a single budget and joint management.

Yvette Cooper has set out how police forces will work more closely together to make savings. And we will scrap Police and Crime Commissioners so that we can do more to protect frontline policing.

Hilary Benn is working with the toughest and best generation of local government leaders we have ever had to make savings and free up resources for the front-line.

We will look to prioritise early intervention now which can save billions of pounds in the future.

And we will insist that all the proceeds from the sale of our stakes in Lloyds and RBS are used not for a frivolous pre-election giveaway – but instead that every penny of profit will be used to repay the national debt.

Conference, fiscal responsibility in the national interest.

And we will have to make other decisions which I know will not be popular with everyone.

At a time when the public services that pensioners rely on are under such pressure, we will stop paying the winter fuel allowance to the richest five per cent of pensioners.

Over the long-term, as life expectancy rises, we will need to continue to raise the retirement age to keep our pensions system affordable.

We will cap structural social security spending and keep the benefits cap, but we will make sure it properly reflects local housing costs.

I want to see child benefit rising again in line with inflation in the next parliament, but we will not spend money we cannot afford. So for the first two years of the next parliament, we will cap the rise in child benefit at one per cent. It will save £400 million in the next Parliament. And all the savings will go towards reducing the deficit.

But unlike the Tories we will always ask those who have the most to make the biggest contribution.

That is why, with the deficit still high and working people already paying more, we opposed David Cameron cutting the 50p top rate of tax. Now cannot be the right time to give the richest 1 per cent of people in the country a £3 billion tax cut.

So as we get the deficit down in the next parliament, the next Labour government will reverse this Tory tax cut for millionaires.

Because Labour will balance the books in a fairer way.

In the next parliament, when we will continue to face tough spending constraints, I want to see pay settlements that are both affordable and fair.

Public and private sector workers should all share fairly in rising prosperity.

So Labour will not undermine fairness and the independent Pay Review Bodies by rejecting their advice out of hand.

Instead, we will work with the Pay Review Bodies, employers and employees, to ensure that pay settlements are affordable and fair, doing more for those on lower pay with tougher settlements at the top.

Conference, we will also scrap the shares for rights scheme, reverse the tax cut for hedge funds, crack down hard on tax avoidance and close tax loopholes.

And we will levy a tax on the highest value properties – a mansion tax on houses worth over £2 million.

But we will do it in a fair, sensible and proportionate way. Raising the limit each year in line with average rises in house prices. Putting in place protections for those who are asset rich but cash poor. And ensuring those with properties worth tens of millions of pounds make a significantly bigger contribution than those in houses just above the limit.

Because how can it be right that the billionaire overseas buyer this year of a £140 million penthouse in Westminster will pay just £26 a week in property tax — the same as the average-value property in that area?

Different choices for fairer deficit reduction and to safeguard our vital public services.

Labour’s plan to balance the books in a fairer way.

Labour’s economic plan will balance the books.

But an economic plan must do much more than that.

We also need to change the way our economy works.

Restoring the broken link between the wealth of the nation and family finances and delivering rising prosperity for all.

Across the developed world, rapid technological change is replacing traditional skilled jobs too – in banking and offices as well as on production lines.

The result is a ‘hollowing out’ of our labour market: medium-wage, skilled jobs on the slide. Low-wage, insecure employment on the rise.

Conference in this new world, we know we cannot succeed the Tory way through a race to the bottom – with British companies simply trying to compete on cost as people see their job security eroded and living standards decline.

We can only succeed and create the number of good jobs we need

through a race to the top.

So Labour’s economic plan will transform vocational education.

We will work with employers to introduce a gold standard technical qualification and radically expand apprenticeships.

And we will get young people back to work.

Rachel Reeves will introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, a paid job for young people and the long-term unemployed, which people will have to take up or lose benefits.

Paid for by repeating the tax on bank bonuses.

Ending the scourge of long-term unemployment once and for all.

Making work pay

And because a modern economy depends not just on traditional infrastructure, but on the most important modern infrastructure of all childcare.

So we will increase the bank levy to expand free childcare for working parents to 25 hours a week to help Mums and Dads balance work and family life.

We will give tax breaks to firms that pay the living wage and end the exploitative use of zero-hours contracts.

And by the end of the next parliament, Labour will increase the national minimum wage to £8 an hour.

But what’s the Tory plan for the next Parliament? They want to spend £3 billion on a tax break for a minority of married couples.

People who are separated, widowed or divorced won’t get it.

Women who’ve fled and divorced an abusive partner won’t get it.

Read the small print and you see that two thirds of married couples won’t get it.

And 5 out of 6 families with children won’t get it either.

And the Tories call it their flagship policy for families.

So in our first Budget, we will scrap this unfair policy and instead use the money to introduce a lower 10p starting rate of income tax.

A tax cut for 24 million people on middle and low incomes. More working people benefiting. More women benefitting. More married couples. More families with children.

A fairer way to help hard working people in tough times.

And Conference, Labour’s economic plan means a modern industrial policy to back growth sectors like advanced manufacturing, clean technology and the creative industries.

Proper competition in banking and energy markets.

New takeover rules to support long-term investment, not short-term asset-stripping.

A proper British Investment Bank so businesses can get the finance they need.

Giving the Green Investment Bank the borrowing powers it needs to do its job.

And Chuka Umunna and I have asked Graham Cole, Chair of AgustaWestland UK to review what more we can do more to back British exports.

We will keep Britain’s corporation tax rates at the lowest in the G7, but instead of another corporation tax cut next year, our economic plan will use the money to cut business rates for small firms – because it’s time we had a fairer deal for small businesses across Britain.

And Conference, why should decisions on what skills Manchester needs be made in Whitehall?

Why should a Transport Minister in Westminster make decisions about all the transport needs of Birmingham, Newcastle or Leeds?

So our economic plan will devolve power and resources not only to Scotland and Wales but to city and county regions in every part of England.

Our new, independent National Infrastructure Commission will end dither and delay on big infrastructure decisions we need for the future.

And whatever the outcome of the Howard Davies review into airport capacity, we must resolve to finally make a decision on airport capacity in London and the South East – expanding capacity while taking into account the environmental impact. No more kicking into the long-grass, but taking the right decisions for Britain’s long-term future.

And Conference, our country badly needs more homes.

Demand is outstripping supply, risking a premature rise in interest rates. The housing benefit bill is rising.

So, following the Lyons report, and by making housing a priority within the existing capital settlement for the next parliament, Labour’s economic plan will get at least 200,000 new homes a year built by 2020.

Creating jobs, helping first-time buyers and building the homes Britain needs for the future.

And Conference, Labour’s economic plan is based on the clear conviction that Britain has always succeeded, and can only succeed in the future, as an open and internationalist and outward-facing trading nation.

We need reform in Europe.

Cutting wasteful subsidies.

Getting the Euro area growing again.

Reforming immigration rules.

Ending the waste of two European Parliaments.

So let us build the alliances to secure reforms and change Europe so it works better for Britain.

Conference, as we heard so powerfully from the Chief Executive of Airbus this morning, we’re not going to earn our way to higher living standards by walking away from our biggest single market.

Let us say loud and clear, walking away from Europe would be a disaster for British jobs and investment.

Conference, on Europe this party will always put the national interest first.

Conference, that is Labour’s economic plan.

That is the kind of government we should be – ambitious, reforming, doing what it takes to deliver an economy that works for working people, in every part of Britain.

And that’s the kind of Chancellor I want to be too.

People rightly want to know who we are, what drives us on, what makes us tick.

So let me say this.

I’d always rather taxes were lower, but my first tax cuts would be for millions of hard working people – not millionaires.

I hate wasteful spending, but I also hate the waste of talent of one in six young people out of work.

I’m pro-business, but not business as usual.

I’m pro-Europe, but I’d never join the Euro.

I love the NHS – and I will do whatever it takes to save it.

And above all else, I want to build a better and fairer country for my children and all of our children

Because as someone who has grown up with a stammer, I have worked all my political life to break down barriers so that all children can succeed, and to get extra help and support to those children who need it. Because I don’t want to live in a society where children are held back by their special need or disability, by their parents’ income or by the colour of their skin.

That’s why I’m Labour.

Conference, I am a realist and an optimist.

I don’t believe in ducking difficult choices, unpopular decisions, hard truths.

But I do believe in the power of politics and public service to make a difference.

That’s who I am.

That’s who we are.

That’s what our Labour Party is for.

And that is why I am proud to be a member of this party and to serve in Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet.

So Conference.

We have learned from our past and our mistakes.

We are tough enough to make the difficult decisions.

And – with Ed Miliband’s leadership – by the strength of our common endeavour – we can make the change Britain needs.

Conference, this is what our first Labour Budget will do:

A British Investment Bank set up.

Business rates cut.

Tax avoidance tackled.

The deficit down fairly.

Infrastructure decisions made, not delayed.

The minimum wage raised.

Energy bills frozen.

A jobs guarantee for young people.

Tax cuts for millions – not millionaires.

Bank bonuses taxed.

The bedroom tax scrapped.

Our NHS saved.

That’s what Labour’s first Budget will do.

Fixing the economy for everyone.

A plan for the many not the few.

People relying on us to deliver.

We will not let them down

Thank you.

 

 

The rude awakening of Birmingham Trojan Horse


Recently I had a friend over for tea after Friday prayers whilst we were engaged in conversation we were just happen to be talking about our children of the future as parents would discuss as it’s human nature to map out what we want the best for them to be by encouraging them to be future leaders in their chosen field(s) the subject turned to the recent events of Birmingham Trojan  Horse over alleged allegations of Muslim extremism in schools I made it clear that i am a man of no faith and I don’t in faith schools either but i respect all views and decide for myself in what I believe in for the best interest of our children of today then my friend said something which kept on ring in me to find out more of what my close friend Mohammed Ashraf had to say:

For many months we have seen the Trojan horse affair, gather momentum in national media, triggering a number of investigations and causing ruptures in senior government. All of course, on a letter that is largely seen as a fake.

As the dust settles, where has it left the predominantly Muslim community of inner-city Birmingham?

IMG_1524Having been a governor at Golden Hillock School, one of the Trojan horse affected schools from September 2012, I witnessed firsthand the challenges the school faced but given hope seeing the potential of young ambitious children seeking a good education. Parents see the values of education and understand their children’s potentials given the right tools in becoming the success of tomorrow.

On Thursday 21st August, thousands of children collected their GCSE results, pictures of joy posted across our television screens but in a small part of

Birmingham the mood was quite somber. From a few months ago where inner-city

Birmingham was the focus, many media outlets now have seem to of forgotten the devastation the Trojan horse affair has caused for the generation collecting their results at these schools. Golden Hillock School had forecasted 57% of their pupils achieving 5 GCSE’s A*-C but the results crashed to 45%, 5% above

floor targets. Leaked results have shown that Saltley School (37%) and Parkview Academy (58%) results have significantly dropped. Having a child also affected, what can I do without now being branded an extremist, who is responsible and accountable for these failures and what hope does my child and the many other children have affected by the whole affair?

Ofsted, DfE, EFA, Birmingham City Council and the politicians would think they have done a good job and move on but what about the generation lost?

I received a letter from the new PVET board with the first line, “Yesterday was a day to celebrate the many successes of the students of Park View and Golden Hillock”. I am already disappointed as a father who has been failed, what am I expected to celebrate, how are the other parents expected to celebrate whose children will not be able to continue their desired course? The letter has no mention of the results dropping or support for the children. If these drops are seen as a success in inner-city Birmingham schools, what are seen as failures?

What is the future for these schools?

I believe it will be to protect Head teachers first then children second. Liam

Byrne MP wanted ‘the best in the business and parental involvements’. This is now widely being seen as a major flaw. We have the new structure at PVET where the 3 permanent trustees are 3 current serving head teachers in Birmingham schools. 2 Parents will be elected, so head teachers will always have a majority. From leaks and now a widespread rumour, the local governing bodies will have little say in the running of the school in comparison with the rest of the schools across the country. The head teacher of the school will not be accountable to the local governing body nor will the schools finances but the responsibility of the PVET board. Applications for parent elections have gone out but NO terms of reference for Parent Governor Positions. As Arshad Malik put at Birmingham City Councils Joint Scrutiny Board (Education and Vulnerable Children and Social Cohesion and Community Safety Overview and Scrutiny Committees), “The applications are like applying for a CEO position”.

The Local governing body will merely have an oversight of the curriculum.

Clearly the new PVET board has trust issues with the Muslim community. What is more disturbing, head teachers will be accountable to head teachers which make a complete mockery of accountability. Structures are being demised only in these schools to protect head teachers despite failures, so parents and the community are unable to hold schools to account.

The Parent Governors will be ‘selected’ by the trustees to fill shortfalls in skills (seems to be the only trust that operates like this). NO democracy as there does not seems to be elections within the new processes. In short, a handpicked, who ‘they want’ and a dictatorship.

There are concerns that Friday prayers will eventually be stopped, although NOW no staff facilitates the prayer which of course is quite worrying. There are concerns that uniform will be targeted and adjustments in girls headscarves.

When Liam Byrne MP suggested, ‘the best in the businesses, was this in mind? Or were educationalists, people on financial backgrounds and community connected people?

The whole affair has been a mockery with now structures created putting head teachers first and children second. Speaking to many parents, the mood is starting to change as the new PVET board and DfE think they can walk all over parents, they may be in for a surprise.

Mohammed Ashraf Parent and Former Governor

Intriguingly I came across an article which confirming my suspicions as new officials running schools at the centre of the Trojan Horse scandal have been accused of dragging their feet over improvements.

Hodge Hill MP Liam Bryne said the confidence of parents with children at schools run by Park View Educational Trust had been “damaged once again” by a lack of “dialogue”.

All three of the group’s schools – Park View in Alum Rock, Nansen Primary in Saltley, and Golden Hillock in Sparkhill – were placed in special measures following snap Ofsted inspections triggered by claims of a plot by hardline Muslims to seize control.

The board of trustees was also replaced and Park View’s acting Principal Monzoor Hussain and Nansen deputy head Razwan Faraz were both suspended.

Mr Byrne wrote to education secretary Nicky Morgan demanding action to increase parental involvement in the schools by the start of the new academic year next week.

He told the Mail: “A lot of new as well as existing parents have been worrying about this over the summer and there has not been enough dialogue with them.

“Parents have not been given a strong enough voice.

“Now is the time to find a new way of working together.”

Writing to Ms Morgan, Mr Byrne said: “Given the acute need to rebuild trust, it would have been wisest to move during the summer to involve parents and set out a road map for parental involvement in trust and school governance.

“Instead, parents and I have had to press repeatedly for meetings to take place, for briefings to be issued and for a road map for parental involvement to be organised.

“As a result, parents’ confidence has been damaged once again, and an opportunity for a fresh start lost.

“I have three children in Birmingham schools, and I would not accept this situation for my children’s school.

“If it is not good enough for me, it is not good enough for these parents.”

His letter was also sent to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools Lord Nash and the Department for Education’s academies advisor Colin Diamond, as well as Trust members.

A total of five Birmingham schools were placed in special measures following the Trojan Horse scandal.

A Government-ordered report, compiled by former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke, discovered “compelling evidence” of an attempt by hardline Muslims to “gain control” of school governing bodies.

Mr Clarke’s report said: “The clear conclusion is that the Park View Educational Trust has, in effect, become the incubator for much of what has happened and the attitudes and behaviours that have driven it.”

The Trust was unavailable for comment.

But a statement on its website said it planned to hold elections next month for a new governing body, including parent directors.

“We are very proud of our students and are grateful to the school community and for the immense support we have received from parents and community members,” said the statement.

After having enlightening discussion with my friend I could not help but to reflect on what had been said and wondered is this what the so called big society is all about with divide and rule why was nothing done before when the Birmingham Coalition was in power they did not investigate as it happened on their watch and looking on to this present coalition in my opinion they have not prosecuted anybody at present. secondly why was no head teachers brought to justices with our judicial system and lastly why are the children allowed to fail the system if this happens then the sad truth is as parents we have fail our children.