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A grassroots uprising against terrorism

One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group.  In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.

Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.

It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.

I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict.  It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".

A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.

One said that the mosque "Unequivocally condemns the heinous ac…
Recent posts

The Conservative manifesto could lump residents of Birmingham with £65,182 social care bill

Conservative manifesto plans will mean the average household in Birmingham could be forced to pay 39.5% of the value of their homes for social care after they die, it has been revealed.

The manifesto plans, which would mean that people would be forced to hand over assets worth over £100,000 to pay for social care at home, would have a particularly damaging impact on sufferers of dementia, who have complicated long-term health needs.

The Liberal Democrats have hit out at the plans and are calling for a cap of £72,000 to protect people from crippling care costs.

John Hemming, Liberal Democrat candidate for Yardley said:

“Many elderly people currently face the cruel situation of having to sell their home when they die to fund residential care home costs.  Now the frail and elderly receiving care in their own home will face a ‘Personal Death Tax’ charged against their home. And the more help you need, the more the Conservatives will take when you die.

“The Liberal Democrats will stand up to th…

Full scale of 'dementia tax' revealed as diagnosed cases rise to record high of 442,000

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative proposed "dementia tax," as official figures have revealed the number of people diagnosed with dementia reached a record high of over 442,000 last month.

NHS digital statistics show that in April 2017, the number of patients recorded by GPs as having dementia was 442,000, more than double the 220,000 cases recorded 10 years ago.

Older people with dementia often need care in their own homes for many years, meaning they would be hit with crippling costs to pay for their own care under Conservative proposals.

Over 134,000 patients with dementia were below the age of 79, while 307,000 were 80 or older.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented:

"These figures reveal the impact the Conservative dementia tax will have on thousands of vulnerable people across the country.

"Frail and elderly people receiving care in their own home will now face a ‘Personal Death Tax’ charged against their home. …

Labour Candidate faces integrity test on Nukes slur

The Labour Candidate has recently claimed that John Hemming was campaigning for unilateral nuclear disarmament at the 2015 General Election. This has been done on twitter and this is what she has said:

She also seems to be confused between multilateral disarmament and unilateral disarmament.

The Lib Dem position in 2015 and now was one of keeping nuclear weapons, but having fewer of them. In a world with rogue nations such as North Korea we cannot throw away the nukes as Jeremy Corbyn would do. It was recently confirmed that even though many Labour MPs wish to keep the nuclear weapons, Jeremy Corbyn might still scrap them as PM.

John Hemming's view has been one wishing to see multilateral nuclear disarmament (where everyone in the world gives up having nuclear weapons), but of course with North Korea doing what they are doing this is not possible now and is unlikely to be possible for many years. He has not supported unilateral nuclear disarmament (where the UK throws away the…

Rotherham and similar situations - independent scrutiny is needed - Labour were warned in 2007

This is a link to a debate in 2007. At that debate I asked a question of the minister:

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley) (LD): As an ex-cub scout, venture scout and assistant scout leader, I welcome the recognition of the importance of scouting in its centenary year and hope that funding follows. The Minister will be aware that I am concerned that children are inappropriately put into care and that research demonstrates that 70 per cent. of children return to their parents when they escape from the control of the state at the age of 16. I am particularly concerned about deaths of children in care, particularly one that occurred in the Trafford local authority area earlier this year. We must ask why arbitrary bureaucratic rules prevent children in care from making toast for each other but do not allow people to prevent them from acting as youth prostitutes. Will she look into the treatment of children in care, including the activities they are allowed to be involved in? Beverley Hughes:…

BMA GP committee warns general practice is on the "brink of collapse,"

BMA GP committee warns general practice is on the "brink of collapse" 

John Hemming says:

“Instead of £350m a week for the NHS, under the Conservatives we’ve seen the health service being gradually run into the ground.

“Patients across the country are struggling to get appointments with their GP.

“The NHS cannot take five years of a Conservative landslide that would give Theresa May free rein to cut services further at your local hospital.

“The Liberal Democrats offer a brighter future with a penny on income tax to rescue the NHS and care.”

The top 10 articles people are interested in

One thing about online systems is that it is possible to find out what articles are read by more people and which ones appear unimportant.

My campaign is mainly positive, but I am also highlighting issues where I believe it demonstrates that my opponent was not doing her job properly as an MP.

I have sorted the articles on this blog by the number of people who are interested in them. Here is the top ten list
Millionaires and PoliticsGender Issues Comparison of CandidatesThe Courts - particularly family courtsHousing Benefit for 18-21 year olds Extra money for the NHSWhy Marxism is WrongThe running of the parliamentary officeThe Labour Candidates Book Promotion tour and why it mattersLabour Leaflet AnalysisBus Regulation and Bus Wars
What this demonstrates is that people are generally more interested when one candidate is raising issues in respect of another candidate than purely positive articles. Housing Benefit comes interestingly high in the top ten list. Housing Benefit is, of c…

Lib Dems announce £6,205,320 to give children in Birmingham a brighter future

7,181 3-4 year-olds in Birmingham would benefit from Liberal Democrat plans to triple funding for the early years pupil premium, with gives extra cash to nurseries, preschools and school receptions when they take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The cash would triple the funding to £1,000 per pupil per year - up from £302 in 2015-16.

This will increase the allocation for Birmingham from around £2,068,440 to £6,205,320, and will pay for every disadvantaged child who benefits to receive 570 hours of state-funded early education.

It forms part of a series of policies the Liberal Democrats are announcing ahead of launching their manifesto, with a focus on giving children and young people a brighter future.

These include:
Helping people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, with a new model of ‘Rent to Own’ homes Restoring housing benefit for young people Creating a discounted bus pass for 16-21 year olds, giving a 66% discount As well as: Investing almost £7bn in …

Lib Dems would give the West Midlands police force an extra £16,220,000 a year

Liberal Democrats have announced they would boost investment in police forces by £300m a year. This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have overseen devastating cuts to community policing. Theresa May as Home Secretary and now Prime Minister has cut policing budgets by over £2bn, eroding the very fabric of community policing.

Under the Liberal Democrats the West Midlands would see a funding increase of £16,220,000 a year. This could be used to restore a visible policing presence in the community and ensure the police have the training and tools to deal with the changing nature of crime.

Liberal Democrat John Hemming commented:“This investment in our police is absolutely vital. Under Theresa May – first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister, our police have had to deal with severe cuts. These are now cutting into the bone.“Our police work tirelessly to keep us safe and this Government has completely betrayed them.“Only the Liberal Democrats have a credible pl…

Lib Dems commit to £780 pay rise for public sector workers

Liberal Democrats have announced they would end years of pay restraint for nurses, teachers and police by lifting the 1% cap on public sector pay and up-rating wages in line with inflation. The plans would lead to an estimated pay rise of £780 for the average public sector worker by 2021.

In contrast, the Conservative's public sector pay cap combined with rising inflation since the Brexit vote will mean that by 2021 a new nurse will be £530 a year worse off, a primary school teacher £550 and an army sergeant £830.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable commented:

“Public sector workers are facing a double blow at the hands of this Conservative government, with years of pitiful increases to pay combined with a Brexit squeeze caused by soaring inflation.

“Our NHS and schools are already struggling to recruit the staff they need.

"Living standards are falling, prices are rising and nurses are going to food banks – but Theresa May doesn’t care.

“A better future i…

Lib Dems to reinstate bursaries for student nurses

Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing Congress, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, has confirmed that the Party would reinstate student bursaries, which benefit nursing, midwifery and allied health students, with immediate effect.

In 2015, the Conservative Government announced they would be scrapping bursaries for nursing students from August 2017.

UCAS figures show that the number of applications for nursing courses due to start this year were approximately 10,000 lower – down by nearly a quarter – compared to the same point last year. The Liberal Democrats argue that this short-sighted cut will compound the existing shortage of nurses in the NHS, threatening the quality of patient care.

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

“The Government’s decision to abandon bursaries for nursing students was clearly wrong.

"The evidence has shown a drastic fall in the number of people applying to study nursing following this dangerously short-sighted cut.

"W…

Lib Dems launch “start-up allowance” for budding entrepreneurs

The Liberal Democrats would give a “start-up allowance’ to help budding entrepreneurs with living costs in the first six months of setting up their business.

The party is making a bold pitch to be the party of business with Tim Farron the only major party leader committed to Britain’s membership of the single market. Tim will launch the party’s business policy at the Liberal Democrat Entrepreneurs Network event on Tuesday night.

Susan Kramer, Liberal Democrat Business spokesperson, said:

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of a thriving economy but I know from my own time in business, the early months can be really tough. This will really help get small businesses off the ground and let the economy grow. It takes courage to set up a business, and we are on the side of entrepreneurs."

Tim Farron said:

“While the Conservatives focus on giving tax cuts to giant corporations, our focus is on small businesses seeking to grow. And unlike Labour and the Conservatives, we would s…

The Labour Candidate's Book Promotion Tour and Why It Matters

In the 2015 General Election the Labour Candidate criticised John Hemming for having an external interest and made a pledge that she would be a "Full Time MP for Yardley and my only other job will be mom & carer ...".  Here is a copy of that pledge:


Since that point she has been working on paid Television Programmes and has also written a book. John Hemming has made no secret of the fact that he chairs the board of the company he founded in 1983. This involves one meeting a month. When he was the MP for Yardley he was a full time MP and the Job of being MP for Yardley came first. The Labour candidate has reported 1,274 hours of work other than being an MP in the two years she has been elected and her income in the last year was over £131,000.

Ignoring the question as to how she reconciles that with her "pledge" the question is raised as to what extent her external activity conflicts with the role of Member of Parliament for Yardley. She is supposed to de…