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The pressure on school places and incentives to solve the problem


For the Telegraph, Fraser Nelson asks, Will Michael Gove’s schools revolution be just another false start? He sets out a crucial problem in education: David Cameron’s problem is not that Michael Gove might be run over by a bus. His problem is, this weekend, that quite a few mothers wouldn’t mind if he were. By the time tomorrow’s post is opened another 50,000 female voters will have good reason to curse the Education Secretary. The last of the primary school admissions letters will […]

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The Intelligence and Security Committee should have an elected Chair


Earlier today, I moved amendments tabled by Andrew Tyrie MP to make provision for an elected chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee which scrutinises MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. At present, the ISC is a Government committee of parliamentarians. The Bill makes it a Parliamentary committee whose members are appointed by the Houses of Parliament on the Prime Minister’s nominations. The nominees would then elect their own chair. The Committee must have access to highly classified material, so it can’t operate along identical […]

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Via City A.M. – Boris on Starbucks and DC on judicial review


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On the cover of City A.M. this morning, Boris Johnson argues that Starbucks must do more for the UK. Apparently, the Mayor said of Starbucks, “It needs to reflect very fast and very seriously on its position…Either it makes a change in its tax arrangements or does a lot more to visibly serve society.” Now, I was critical of Starbucks in the press myself, but the Mayor is mixing up two issues: paying tax and serving society. As I said […]

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The banking inquiry: judges apply the law, MPs make it


On BBC News 24 at 3pm today, I was asked about the debate over whether to have a Parliamentary or a judge-led inquiry into banking. I made the point that judges apply the law and MPs make it. (In relation to banking, we are far beyond matters of judge-made common law.) Whereas Leveson is primarily about the law as it is, any inquiry into banking must look at the institutional framework which has allowed ordinary and predictable self interest to […]

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Writing for The Express, Stephen Pollard backs my Bill to make bankers responsible


Via Express.co.uk – Make the bankers personally liable for risks they take, Stephen Pollard backs my bill to make bankers responsible for their own actions: This isn’t capitalism – it is taxpayer-guaranteed gambling. It is basic human nature that only when people are held responsible for their actions do they act responsibly. The flawed behaviour of those behind this latest scandal – the greed, the lying and the warped idea of entrepreneurialism – is hardly new. A working banking system should be […]

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Better Healthcare in Bucks consultation: The local NHS response


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The NHS in Buckinghamshire has given its response to the Better Healthcare in Bucks public consultation. The headline breakthrough is that the Board reviewed public feedback and decided that the new minor injuries and illness service in Wycombe must be available 24/7 to meet the needs of patients out of hours. New services have also been agreed: Day assessment unit for older/frail people at Wycombe Hospital to allow them to be diagnosed and treated without overnight admission to hospital; Step-down ward for […]

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NHS management pays over the odds with tax payers’ money


A recent Telegraph article reported that the NHS is paying “extortionate” prices for basic computer equipment and services. It showed that the NHS buys computer equipment at an average 28% more than wholesale prices. This is a shocking misuse of tax payers’ money and shows that the state is often unable to purchase even the smallest of items without insulting hard-working people. Its aversion to buying commodities in a free market is stark: 4GB USB flash memory stick: NHS price […]

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Banking: from Goldman Sachs to David Fishwick?


Two days ago, Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs executive director, resigned in sensational fashion, writing a column in the New York Times. In the article, he laid out the reasons for his resignation, citing the change in culture at the firm over the ten years he worked there. He wrote, It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always […]

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Early Day Motions: an update


After the debate on EDMs last month, the Procedure Committee have now accepted that EDMs are not functioning in the way they were intended and that the cost of reproducing them on paper is considerable. Therefore, they have decided to conduct a short study on EDMs over the next year. This is a welcome announcement from the Committee and I look forward to adding my voice to the inquiry in the coming months.  You can follow the progress of the report here.

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Three favourites among the Government’s regulation clear out


N.B. This post is written by my Parliamentary Intern, Ralph Buckle. The Government’s Red Tape Challenge has been progressing well and more details have emerged about the 600 regulations that are already due to be scrapped or improved. They make for some interesting reading and range from the completely redundant to regulations that strike at the heart of common sense. The former category includes rules regarding the Restrictive Practices Court that are still on the statute book despite the Act […]

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