Friday, May 27, 2005

Keith Vaz and Europe matters

As we draw closer to a French and Netherlands vote Keith Vaz is indeed waking up on it: 'We need to sell value of EU to Brits' (Mercury). This debate, at much more amusing and interesting length is available via They Work For You. It includes the fascinating news that Lembit Opik's mother lives in Evington. And the tricky issue of what happens to a British referendum if the French reject the treaty. Any thoughts anyone?

Keith Vaz and health matters

Our Keith made the Telegraph Commons sketch, but it was really all about our Patricia. New plea on parking fees is the Mercury version. Read the exchange from They Work For You.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Gateway college move plans

College move in jeopardy, Leicester Mercury.

Now, I have a particular interest in all this. I was at Gateway only a few years ago and am wholeheartedly against it moving out to Rushey Meads. I believe a new campus is necessary but do not want to see the college leave the city centre. If people think the college needs to move then move it must. Development and improvement is vital. Being relocated to Rushey Meads would make Gateway inaccessible to students from the south of the city, and, indeed, county. Important considerations such as discounted bus passes only apply when college's are within or over a certain distance, there is no other alternative etc etc. It's all very complicated.

Moving Gateway outside the city centre effectively eliminates it as an option for many students. I thought everything was supposed to be about choice? In the city centre everyone has to travel equal distances to whichever college you choose. I'm sure the move would be great for Rushey Mead and the surrounding area students, but at the great loss to other students. I've always seen it as a great feature of Leicester FE provision that you could choose between colleges fairly equally in terms of logistics. Gateway, QE, Regent and Leicester College all offer different experiences and it is the experience that should be the factor in deciding on which college to go to, not travel costs and times.

Other ideas, criticisms etc, gratefully received below.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Euro referendum

As France draws closer to its referendum, tensions are mounting both there and here. The No Campaign is off and running. Straw signals Britain may abandon vote on EU treaty (Independent) if the French get a no. Keith Vaz has called for the referendum campaign to be geared up, EU speech (Mercury). More on what happens if the French say no from the BBC. I think Vaz still regards this in many ways as being 'his turf', so we should be expecting much more from him.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Queen's speech aftermath

Two big features in the Queen's speech, outlining the government's plans for the next year in Parliament that we might want to have a discussion about...

Incitement to religious hatred
and ID cards, outlined by the BBC. And an overview from Leicester Mercury: Blair promises 'bold reform'. Any comments?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

No charisma bypass for our Keith

Something for Vaz to chuckle about from the Guardian, reporting on international reports on the elections...
For its part, the Times of India was disappointed that the number of British Indian MPs remained unchanged, at six. It noted that, of the new MPs, "Except for [Keith] Vaz, they've all had a charisma bypass more or less."

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Leicester East results

Here are the results for Leicester East, from the BBC.
Keith Vaz (Lab) - 24,015 - 58.1% (+0.5%)

Suella Fernandes (Con) - 8,139 - 19.7% (-4.8%)

Susan Cooper (Lib Dem) - 7,052 - 17.1% (+4.8%)

Colin Brown (Veritas) - 1,666 - - 4.0% (+4.0%)

Valerie Smalley (Socialist Labour) - 434 - 1.1% (-1.0%)

Majority 15,876, 38.4%
Turnout 41,306, 62.2% (+0.1%)
And in the news:

Tory arrested as postal-vote fraud inquiries widen (Times Online) has a little about postal vote fraud allegations in Leicester East.

Vaz bucks national trend to tighten grip on stronghold from the Leicester Mercury talks to Keith Vaz and other candidates in Leicester East.

Any comments, leave them below.

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