Gaza: the violence must stop


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As the appalling toll of lives lost has mounted again today in Gaza, it is increasingly clear that it is practically impossible for the Israelis to conduct proportionate operations there. The UN Security Council has rightly called for an immediate ceasefire. The UN Secretary General has described Israel’s shelling of the Shejaiya district of Gaza as “an atrocious action”. Israeli Forces may well give advance notice of their actions but Gaza is arguably too densely populated to allow effective evacuation under operations […]

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Speech on the timetabling of DRIP yesterday


Yesterday in the debate on the timetabling of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, I said: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): The subject of the Bill is of profound importance to members of the public who care about such matters, and no wonder because it is the paradigmatic example of the conflict between the rights of the individual and the power of the state as enabled by technology. The Bill can be understood only in the context of the very worst crimes […]

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I deplore the violence by both sides in the Israel-Gaza conflict


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Yesterday, the House of Commons heard a statement from William Hague on Gaza. Today, I met a party of pupils from Cressex School whose concern was obvious and who were keen to discuss the situation. Later in the week, I expect to meet a group of local people to discuss it further. Many local people have contacted me by email. It is a matter of grave concern that violence has once again escalated. I see this evening that “Israel has resumed […]

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Book review: A Brief History of Liberty, Schmidtz and Brennan


A Brief History of Liberty by David Schmidtz and Jason Brennan “provides a comprehensive, philosophically–informed portrait of the elusive nature of one of our most cherished ideals”. Each chapter begins with a thesis, comprises a lively, engaging and well-referenced discussion and concludes with questions to consider and comprehensive notes. The theses are as follows: Introduction, Conceptions of Freedom. “Thesis: There are several forms of liberty. Whether they are conflicting or complementary is a matter of historical circumstance.” Chapter 1, A […]

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Westminster Hall debate on public consent for local plans


Yesterday in Parliament, I led a Westminster Hall debate on the issue of public consent for local plans. I introduced my remarks as follows, I begin by outlining two key problems. First, land for development is extremely scarce in Wycombe, and there is real public anger at the prospect of building on all of High Wycombe’s reserve sites, which would further burden the inadequate infrastructure, especially our roads. Secondly, there is an obvious, acute need for more homes, especially those […]

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