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Smoking kills


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Today, the Commons will vote on whether to disagree with the Lords in their amendment to ban smoking in private vehicles in the presence of children. Anyone who can read knows that smoking kills. And I know, for it killed my stepfather and an uncle. Why anyone does it despite the clear warnings and often lurid images on the packets is a mystery not explained by appeal to the addictive qualities of nicotine. People who wish to live long and […]

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The Europe for Citizens programme should be curtailed


Today, the European Union (Approvals) Bill returns to the Commons. It would approve an EU spending programme called Europe for Citizens. The last Europe for Citizens programme allowed British taxpayers’ money to be given to organisations promoting a federal European State, for that is its purpose: The aim of this programme is to bring Europe closer to its citizens and to enable them to participate fully in the European construction. Through this programme, citizens have the opportunity to be involved in transnational exchanges […]

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Work Programme update


The latest figures from the Government’s Work Programme are now available. The positive data show that the Programme continues to support the long term unemployed into meaningful employment: More than 208,000 of our hardest to help jobseekers have escaped long term unemployment and found lasting work – normally at least six months – an increase of 40,000 in the three months since the last publication in June. That’s 208,000 more people in work – meaning money in their pockets and a more secure future […]

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Co-operatives Bill update


After the success of the Co-operatives in Education debate that I called in Parliament, I pressed the Government on its 2012 pledge to bring in a Co-op Bill: Steve Baker: In January 2012, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a wonderful speech about how to reconstruct an inclusive, just and popular capitalism. He called for a new co-operatives Bill, but that has not yet appeared. I cannot imagine that the Liberal Democrats are opposing it, but I cannot […]

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Rage against the machine: homelessness, hunger and the message of Christmas


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Yesterday in Parliament, I spoke in two debates: one on homelessness and one on food banks. In the first debate, I began It is a thorough and utter disgrace that anyone should be homeless in the 21st century in our country. It makes me wonder whether the welfare state safety net has any meaning whatever when people are out there, dying on our streets—and I do mean dying on our streets, because on Christmas day in 2006, Josie Razzell died […]

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