This morning I woke up and read all the negative news out there about cuts, doom and gloom and decided to post this message as follows:
“On this wonderful morning called April 1st I could start with all the news out there but I will start with the news that you can be and it is as follows:
1) Where there is homelessness and cuts you will have houses and abundance.
2) Where there is no job you will be a creator of many jobs and opportunities. Where there is racism you will have confidence in who you are and that makes a big difference trust me.
3) In other words speak words of life that transmit positive energy not a doom and gloom buster unless you are also a Newspaper…i say create your own newspaper and write the story of your life and others.
This was not an April Fool’s day message…this is a message of life.
In essence “Change your words, Change your life”
Sylbourne Sydial (c)
The past week has nothing but been very interesting especially in British politics. Firstly, under the leadership of Prime Minister David Cameron who piloted the very controversial same sex marriage bill which was passed. Secondly, in securing for Britain an EU agreement on the budget for 2014-20 after lengthy talks in Brussels.
The headlines have been heralding this as a great feat never achieved before. Conservative Homes states “Cameron gets a good deal in Europe AFTER announcing an In/Out referendum. Could it be possible that these two things are connected?” Other headlines states “Cameron wins historic cut in EU’s spending and “At last we win better EU deal”. In the Guardian it insists that the deal is proof that the UK can triumph in Europe if we engage with other leaders and build alliances.
Is this a victory for David Cameron / UK?
The Prime Minister thinks so as he stated “I think the British public can be proud that we have cut the seven-year credit card limit for the EU the first time ever,” he said.
He also said he had fought off attempts to change the UK’s budget rebate, worth about 3.5bn Euros annually. He declared it “safe”.
However, the UK’s net contribution is actually likely to rise, because of a previous agreement negotiated by former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Years ago the UK and other big contributors agreed that more would have to be spent to fund the EU’s eastward enlargement.
The main allies to Mr Cameron in demanding cuts were the leaders of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden. The French, well they were somewhat stubborn, but the Prime Minister had threatened to veto a deal if other EU leaders supported a budget rise.
French President Francois Hollande, who had argued against big spending cuts, said it was a “good compromise”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also welcomed the deal, which represents a 3.3% reduction from the previous seven-year budget. “From my point of view this agreement is good and it is important because it gives us the ability to act in Europe in the coming years,” she said.
“It gives us the ability to plan for important projects and with a view to growth and employment”.
The agreement came after all-night talks.
But the question to be asked is what would happen if there is no agreement with the European Parliament? The 2013 EU budget would be rolled over into 2014, with a 2% rise to take account of inflation. That would leave much uncertainty about the EU’s long-term spending programmes. It would also mean the UK paying more than under Mr Cameron’s plan, as his calculation is based on 2011 spending.
The roll-over method, with the EU funded month-by-month, has been done before, but it is messy and seen as an admission of failure. It makes budgeting for things like research projects tricky.
As mentioned in my previous blog the challenge for the conservatives are immense, but as each day pass there is a sense of a man on a mission in the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron whether it will go in the party favour or not is another issue.
Finally, we may see an indicator whether these successes will play out at the ballot. The first test will be with the recently called Eastleigh by-election which has been triggered by the resignation of Chris Huhne, the ex-Lib Dem MP who admitted perverting the course of justice on Tuesday, and then we can sing the UK version of “Hail to the Chief”like the Americans for President Obama.
Sylbourne S B Sydial
February 10th 2013
History was created yesterday in British politics where the House of Commons passed the first stage of the same sex marriage bill coming into force. The defining of marriage seems to be the hall mark of a day of debates yesterday as I watched opposing and supporting views of this latest bill.
So the question is how does same-sex marriage differ from civil partnership?
Although civil partnership is a legal relationship created exclusively for same-sex couples, distinct from marriage. It offers the same legal treatment as marriage across a range of matters, such as inheritance, pension’s provision, life assurance, child maintenance, next of kin and immigration rights.
Opposite-sex couples can opt for a religious or civil marriage ceremony, whereas a same-sex partnership is an exclusively civil procedure.
It is reported that Party leaders at Westminster have hailed the significance of the backing for same-sex marriage in England and Wales in this key vote.
Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday’s vote had been “an important step forward” and Labour leader Ed Miliband called it a “proud day” according to the BBC.
MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 400 to 175, a majority of 225.
But 136 Tory MPs opposed the bill and have continued to voice their concerns.
While watching the debate and listening keenly to the supporting voices and the dissenting voices I am left to wonder as to how much of democracy was really at work? To what level has been the consultation with the British public by the Members of Parliament in order for them to articulate their views and as well to vote in the way they did?
Yet again listening to the after debates there seems to be more discussion as to whether Cameron pulled off a good one in placing him in a good position to lead the Conservative in the next general election, albeit with a divided party or may lead to a revolt. But, by the next general election unity could prevail as a day in politics can make a major difference. Never forget we are two years before the next election and who knows the British public may come around to the Conservative way of thinking.
But what could be the underlining factor that lead to the Prime Minister to navigate this bill which was not in the party manifesto when we were knocking on people’s door inviting and encouraging them to vote for the conservative party in 2010.
It is clear now that the plans to legalise same-sex marriage have divided the Conservative Party, as from the votes more Tory MPs voted against the bill than voted for it.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said he believes same-sex marriages should be allowed in churches – but only if there is a “100%” guarantee that no church, synagogue or mosque would be forced to hold one against their wishes.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the legislation was a triumph for his party, which has championed the plans. Most Labour MPs, including Ed Miliband, also support the move.
But why do campaigners want same-sex marriage? The supporters cite a number of reasons for wanting gay marriage, including that separate civil partnerships perpetuate the notion that same-sex relationships are not as valid as heterosexual ones and that legal rights are still not exactly the same as those conferred by marriage.
Home Secretary Theresa May and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone say: “Put simply, it’s not right that a couple who love each other and want to formalise a commitment to each other should be denied the right to marry.”
Campaigners also say there would be international recognition for same-sex marriage. They say there is no universally-accepted recognition of civil partnerships and they differ widely from one country to the next.
Either way the lobbyist has prevailed to moved the hands of the Prime Minister via the various channels, I am however persuaded to the view that while the division remains and while this bill could be a good thing and could be the will of the majority of the British public, would it not be better as a question on the ballot at the next general election or Council elections?
Equality is key, but the process of redefining historical traditions could set a precedent where there will be punters out there now looking for other avenues to redefine.
Finally, as I always say politics does matter.
To see list of how your MP voted see link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21346694
Sylbourne S B Sydial
February 6th 2013
January 31st 2013
Have you ever wondered about some of the key issues that have been in the news and just slip you by? Few days ago two key issues were highlighted in the news firstly, the recent Parliamentary votes to proposed boundary changes and Lewisham Hospital proposed closure of the A & E and Maternity ward. Boundary change is that type of subject that may slip by us unlike the Lewisham Hospital proposed closure and restructure. However, the difference between both is that boundary changes matters more to and has the interest of the political elites, while the Lewisham Hospital matters more to residents and affects the need of individuals who are directly affected and also for those who want to capitalise on a political opportunity. For the purpose of this article the focus will be on boundary changes.
The Plans to redraw constituency boundaries before 2015 which is and was supported by the Conservative party was defeated in the House of Commons, where MPs voted by 334 to 292 to accept changes made by peers, meaning the planned constituency shake-up will be postponed until 2018 at the earliest.
The question to be asked is whether or not boundary changes are issues that have the interest of the average man or woman?
Parliament agreed in principle in 2011 to reduce the number of MPs and to redraw the electoral map to make all constituencies roughly the same size in terms of number of voters. Some believe the proposals, which were backed at the time by both coalition parties, would help the Conservatives win up to 20 extra seats at a future election.
Here are a few Questions and Answers for easy digest courtesy of the BBC:
1. What is the boundary review?
Each MP represents an area known as a constituency. The aim of the review is to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and in the process end up with more equal-sized constituencies. The Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Act require the Boundary Commission to submit its first report before 1 October 2013.
2. What are the main proposals?
The key change is that the number of voters in each constituency will have to be within 5% of 76,641 – this is the figure gained by dividing the UK electorate of 45,678,175 by 596. Exempt from the calculation are four island seats: Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney and Shetland Islands and two for the Isle of Wight.
3. So will your constituency change?
The proposals have yet to be finalised but there will be extensive changes to constituencies across the UK if the plans go ahead.
4. How would different parts of the UK be affected?
Under the plans, Wales would lose 10 seats; Scotland would lose seven seats, Northern Ireland two seats and England 31 seats.
5. Why do the coalition parties disagree on boundary changes?
In August 2012, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg admitted defeat over plans for House of Lords reform because of backbench Tory MPs’ opposition to the plans. He said this opposition represented a breach of the coalition agreement between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, so his party would now oppose Tory-championed plans to cut the number of MPs in Parliament.
6. What does David Cameron say to that?
He says that there is a “fundamental disagreement” between him and Mr Clegg over whether there was any link between House of Lords reform and cutting the numbers of MPs. Mr Cameron says he thinks that the deal was the Lib Dems getting a referendum on changing the voting system to AV (held last year) in return for the Conservatives getting the UK’s constituency boundaries redrawn.
7. Did Tories and Lib Dems have the changes in their election manifestos?
Yes. The Conservative Party proposed, in their 2010 election manifesto, to cut the number of MPs by 10%. The Lib Dems said in their manifesto they wanted a more radical cut in the number of MPs – from 650 to 500 – but only if a more proportional voting system was introduced to elect MPs.
8. So how did we end up with the current plan?
After the horse-trading in agreeing the coalition agreement, one bill was brought forward containing two items of constitutional reform dear to the respective parties’ hearts. The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act ushered in a referendum on introducing the alternative vote system, a cherished project of the Lib Dems which was rejected by voters in May 2011. The Conservatives made it a condition of the act that there would also be a review of constituency boundaries which would also cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
9. Where do the parties stand on the issue?
The Conservatives are the largest party and they support the idea. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists have said they are in favour but it is not clear whether they will vote to delay the plans. Labour and the Lib Dems have both said they will vote against the plans. The SNP, Plaid Cymru, the SDLP and the Green Party have all expressed their opposition to boundary changes, making it unlikely that a majority of MPs could be found to vote for the reforms.
10. What is the case for redrawing boundaries?
One argument for reducing the number of seats is that it will make Parliament less expensive. The government claims it could save £12 million a year. Supporters of reform say that achieving greater parity between constituencies will make elections fairer. At present, more votes tend to be needed to elect a Conservative MP than to elect a Labour MP. The system is weighted in favour of Labour, it is said. Some critics of the current electoral layout say Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are over-represented when populations there are falling and parts of southern England are under-represented since its population is rising.
11. What do the plans’ opponents say?
Labour has accused the Conservatives of “gerrymandering” – manipulating constituencies in order to achieve electoral advantage. The areas set to lose the fewest seats tend to vote Conservative in large numbers, while some regions such as Wales, which would lose a larger proportion of its seats, tend to have more Labour voters. Labour MPs have also pointed out that the review has been carried out swiftly compared to other such reports and that electoral quotas do not take account of people who are missing from the electoral register. MPs from several parties share the view that the shake-up would disrupt historic demarcations and local loyalties. Lib Dems, including the deputy prime minister, have said that reducing the number of MPs without reforming the Lords gives too much strength to the executive.
From my perspective it seems that this is an issue that is at the heart of the democratic process and should be of interest to every man and woman in this country or rather every voter who believes in exercising their right to vote.
To find out more about the proposed boundary changes see link http://www.boundarychanges.co.uk/
February 01, 2013
There is the saying that “a day is a long time in politics and a week even longer ” which can make a major difference. Since Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech at the World Economic Summit “wake up and smell the coffee” in Davos, and prior to that with his no nonsense approach in his speech on Europe. The speech promising to give Britons a say either in or out of Europe has somewhat give him some kudos with the British people as per recent polls.
The Conservatives have seen an increase in support since the Prime Minister declared his intention to hold an EU referendum, the poll suggests. The ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday shows the Tories gaining five points on previous polling, with Labour’s lead over David Cameron’s party narrowing to six points. UKIP’s support dropped by four points. As someone suggested David Cameron back on front seat after his EU speech but still Ed Miliband in the driving seat. Conservative 33% (+5); Labour 39% (-); Lib Dem 11% (+2); UKIP 10% (-4).
Conservative leadership bid.
Nevertheless the Government is not out of the woods yet and may not be till late 2013 early 2014 in preparing for the 2015 general elections. Of recent days there are talks about a challenge to David Cameron’s leadership by Adam Afriyie, Member of Parliament for Windsor. He was first elected at the 2005 general election and re-elected at the 2010 election. According to the mail a wealthy MP dubbed the ‘Tory Barack Obama’ has been accused of undermining David Cameron with a secret leadership bid.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that multi-millionaire IT tycoon Adam Afriyie is poised to stand, should a rumoured backbench revolt force the Prime Minister to resign. Two Tory MPs have told the mail newspaper they were asked to sign a letter endorsing Mr Afriyie as a leadership challenger in the event of such a contest. One said Mr Afriyie’s supporters claimed 40 MPs had already signed – though his allies deny the letter even exists. It is very unfortunate though that he has been dubbed the ‘Tory Barack Obama’ similar to Labour Chuka Umunna being also dubbed as the “ UK Barack Obama”, this debate about who is an Obama is for another debate but it points to an awakening within the conservative party on the eve of a fierce general elections which many will have the view that labour has it in the bag and are sitting comfortable which I beg to differ.
Going further there are dossiers of events and issues being compiled in preparation for th2 2015 election for example the propose closure of the A&E and maternity section at Lewisham hospital. There was a massive turn out at the demonstration yesterday in Lewisham in support against the closures, but while the concerns are legitimate, one cannot help but notice that the legitimate concerns are being hijacked by others who have varied agendas and using the campaign as a platform. Personally, I have a personal affection with Lewisham hospital where both my children were born, and of recent days had to dash to the A&E and was heartened that it was so close so yes there is legitimacy by the community raising their concerns and it is hoped that the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will make the right decision once the consultation is intact and considered.
These are just a few key issues that the government will need to be aware like the Mary Seacole controversial proposed removal from the curriculum. Without a doubt these are all concerns raised and according to how the Government handle each of these issues will determine the next government and possible the next Tory leader whether it be an Obama factor or not.
DID YOU KNOW on 15th November 2012 the public will now be able to vote for a new Police and Crime Commissioner in their local area?
Who are Police and Crime Commissioners? They are Crime Commissioners who will ensure the policing needs of their communities are met as effectively as possible, bringing communities closer to the police, building confidence in the system and restoring trust.
PCCs will make and influence key decisions that will impact on how your local area looks and feels – from CCTV, street lighting and graffiti to tackling gangs and drug-dealing.
Their job is to listen to the public and then respond to their needs, bringing more of a public voice to policing and giving the public a name and a face to complain to if they aren’t satisfied.
Crime, no doubt, has become an increasing concern for many areas of the UK since the August Riots 2011. But did you know there have been recent developments which are ensuring the electorate are now eligible to decide the way in which policing in local areas can be conducted. The public in 41 policing areas of England and Wales are able to vote on 15th November for a Police and Crime Commissioner to oversee and monitor their local areas to reduce the rate of criminal activity.
In allowing the electorate the chance to decide a PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner) it gives way to a new level of accountability held by the public. It encourages policing in local areas to have a more prominent role instead of being under the ‘watchful gaze’ of a deeply rooted bureaucratic system of Whitehall. This new advancement adds another layer to the term ‘democracy’. By handing over control to local areas, they can scrutinize the work of their PCC and in turn observe whether crime is reduced.
The Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners are determined to focus on one aspect: REDUCING CRIME. The plan includes a five point system of tackling this issue.
• PCC’s will communicate with the local community and set the appropriate measurements to reduce crime. • Moving police to the front line. There is too much emphasis on the police dealing with paperwork rather than having a visible presence in local areas. • Confronting anti social behaviour ‘head on’ by creating safer communities for citizens. • Reducing the amount of wastage by establishing a system where the taxpayer will get value for money with effective policing. • Help and support for victims of crimes. Working with local neighbourhoods, victims can get the assistance needed to ensure they are fully supported.
Although, this does appear to be a rather reasonable approach in safeguarding communities who have been struggling with an increase in criminal activity the proposed election only takes into consideration 41 areas across England and Wales and excludes Scotland, Northern Ireland and most notably London. Consequently, the Mayor of London has taken on the powers of a PCC, which begs the question, is eliminating London from these elections beneficial? Surely, boroughs in London should be considered given the riots in August last year. Indeed, the riots took place around England; London received the worst in regards to criminal damage. Therefore, would it not be a more positive step to allow the public in London to have a say on the policing in their areas?
There are concerns that the Mayor of London, alone, will have the powers of a PCC which some will argue that it contradicts the notion of accountability which is the aim of these elections. So how can we hold to account a Police and Crime Commissioner in local areas across England and Wales when the Mayor of London will ultimately exercise power in London? I guess the quickest answer could be that the Mayor serves for a four term period and London will be able to replace and retain the Mayor if they are not happy with his role in Policing.
The elections, which are due to take place on 15th November 2012, will use the supplementary voting system. This method of voting will enable the electorate a first and second preference candidate. The candidate with more than 50% of the vote will be chosen. Further details of polling systems will be clarified nearer to the time of voting. Again it is always right to go out and vote.
Watching this morning on BBC morning news I saw this scheme which was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron and thought that it was a brilliant concept. Not that it is anything new in principle but more that it is reaching out and it is practical.
Young entrepreneurs will get access to around £80 million-worth of loans to get new businesses off theground, David Cameron has announced.The Prime Minister said he hopes the initiative could lead to 30,000 more start-ups and unleash a “new wave” of enterprise to support much-needed economic growth.
Announcing an £82.5 million StartUp Loan scheme for 18 to 24-year-olds, Mr Cameron said he wanted young people to have the confidence and support to turn “that spark of an idea into the next global brand”.
A newly published enterprise review says Britain would have 900,000 more businesses if it had the same rate of entrepreneurship as the US.
The review, by former Conservative minister Lord Young of Graffham, says that “many don’t realise the opportunities that enterprise offers”.
The StartUp Loans are expected to be worth typically around £2,500, to be repaid within five years at most. Interest will be charged at the level of the Retail Prices Index plus 3%.
Dragons’ Den star James Caan will chair a new body to oversee the scheme.
The entrepreneur said: “The StartUp Loans initiative provides guidance, access to expertise and finance. These are the three vital ingredients for starting your own business. Armed with all of these, young people are already on the way to shaping their own future.”
The loans will be administered by groups that already work with young people, such as the Prince’s Trust.
Mr Cameron said: “I want this to be the year where people can think ‘yes, I can do it’; that we can get as many viable businesses as possible off the ground, that people can have a go and that we see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs who start small but think big. StartUp loans are a fantastic opportunity for young people not only to get the financial support they need but also to give them the confidence to believe they can do it, that they can turn that spark of an idea into the next global brand.”
I would encourage any young entrepreneurs to take advantage of this opportunity for the right reason as they need it and the UK need it.