Open letter to George Eustice MP

From James Croftson

Dear George Eustice MP,

I’m extremely disappointed with your response to my email about climate breakdown. Either you do know what you’re talking about and you’re being deliberately misleading, or you don’t know enough about the subject and – given your standing as an Honourable Member of Parliament – you have a duty to make yourself better informed. I say this because responsibility must surely come hand-in-hand with accountability; you have held senior positions in Government, and yet I do not believe you have demonstrated a sufficiently strong grasp of our most important issues to enable you to fulfil the role you were elected to perform. In the end, as much as I disagree with your stance on many subjects, and as broken and flawed as our current political system is, you are my representative in Parliament: the only means I currently have of trying to influence for the better the way our country is governed through our political system is through you. Continue reading “Open letter to George Eustice MP”

Local Constituency Pact – final draft

To the prospective parliamentary candidate for the…[name of political party]… in the  parliamentary constituency of …[name of constituency]

We, as your local constituents, wish to develop a stronger more accountable relationship between MP and constituents. We believe that our MPs should be the voice of Cornwall at Westminster and not outposts of Westminster in Cornwall – here to represent local concerns rather than sell the party line.

We recognise the tensions between an MP’s responsibilities to voters, party or Country but we are entitled to expect that MPs meet their voters formally in public to explain why they have cast their Parliamentary votes in particular ways and to hear from groups whose voice may have been ignored or misrepresented. We therefore submit a code of conduct which we ask you to sign:

Code of Conduct

1. My first responsibility will be to my constituents even if it means voting against my party where its fiscal or social policies are detrimental to large numbers of voters in my constituency.

2. I will attend an open, public meeting in my constituency every year and report back to my constituents on my voting record in Parliament. I will explain why I supported some legislative proposals and not others. I will also report progress on promises made at election time.

This shall be on the condition that all such meeting are hosted by a third party and   chaired in a manner that ensures I get a respectful hearing.   A record of the meeting   will be posted on the internet for public viewing.

3. I will regularly seek out the views of local civil society organisations who work for the benefit of the community, especially those who work with the most marginalised.

4. I will seek to work constructively with other MPs in and outside my party for the common good both of my constituents and the Country

Signed…………………………………………………..                  Date……………………………

MPs voting record on climate change and CO2 emissions for Cornwall

Here is a link to an online folder containing extracts of 4 Cornwall MPs voting records on climate change.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS FOLDER AND DOWNLOAD PDF DOCUMENTS

dyhkjsvvaae8wun-1MPs such as Sarah Newton are speaking at schools to take questions and discuss climate change. How our MPs voted on this issue should be part of the conversation. Please share this post widely – especially to parents. Thanks!

Apologies if I have not included your MP. We are still working to complete the full voting records. However All Cornwall MPs either ‘consistently’ or ‘generally’ voted against measures to address climate change so the voting record will not actually be that different to MPs Scott Mann and Sheryll Murray.

Strike by MITIE employees 10am Treliske hospital on Monday

Striking workers often get a bad press because of the perceived inconvenience to the broader public. Remember the strike by Junior doctors from Treliske? When I mixed with the crowd of onlookers  assembled at the Piazza in Truro, I overheard  comments such as “Disgrace!”  “irresponsible” “what about the patients?”.

While these were a minority of voices   it  signalled a persistent misunderstanding of the desperation that drives working people to risk their jobs and their future by walking out of their workplace. We are  told instead by the Mail, the Express, The Sun, the Telegraph that strikers are irresponsible laggards or the loony left. We are not told the truth;  we are not told that a million public sector workers are paid less than living wage, including those whose jobs are outsourced to the likes of Mitie. Continue reading “Strike by MITIE employees 10am Treliske hospital on Monday”

W(h)ither the Cornwall Progressive Alliance?

A blog post by the chair, David Levine

2016 saw the publication of ‘The Alternative: Towards a New Progressive Politics’ in which politicians from Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens together with other political thinkers explored the idea that ‘cross-party cooperation amongst progressives could reinvigorate politics and inspire a credible alternative to the Conservatives.  Whilst there can always be arguments about the meanings of progressive, there was reasonable clarity that the term referred to those parties who profess more values in common than on which they disagree.  In Cornwall this encompasses The Greens, Liberal Democrats, Mebyon Kernow, The Women’s Equality Party and Labour. Continue reading “W(h)ither the Cornwall Progressive Alliance?”

Cornwall Citizens Assembly on Brexit

This is a project proposal which has been bubbling away for a while. I have now had three meetings with different council officials who are clearly interested in the idea but don’t know where to take it.

There is also interest on the part of some councillors while apparently others are resistant to the idea. The original proposal sought to address two questions:

  1. What are the threats and opportunities to Cornwall posed by our departure from the EU? This question is asked with particular reference to employment, housing and public services following our departure from the EU.
  2. How can local people and communities play a more active part in shaping the
    decisions that matter to them.

Continue reading “Cornwall Citizens Assembly on Brexit”

Comments and feedback on Local Constituency Pact

As promised in last weeks blog, here is a selection of feedback on the working draft of the Local Constituency Pact, a copy of which you can see here. This is a sample of comments which have been anonymised since much of the feedback was via email or direct messaging. There is also a section at the end on what people see as missing from the Constituency Pact.

Language and presentation

“It  needs to be even more succinct. No separate sections. All points to be enclosed within the bullet point, without the need for additional explanation. Ten short bullet points.And if it is about proportional representation it can’t be shy about it.” -JS

 “So vague and woolly….” – MR

“It seems well worded and thought out. I can’t think of anything to add or subtract and would personally have no problem signing it.”RB

Part one: MP’s code of conduct

Continue reading “Comments and feedback on Local Constituency Pact”