Archive for the ‘Common Sense Politics’ Category

In case you missed this –

Goldman Sachs says buy the pound as there’s little to fear from a hung Parliament

Check out the Daily Telegraph (!) piece here

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The Tories are getting desperate. As the Lib Dems surge in the polls and look like spoiling the Tory (premature) election celebration party, the knives are out for Nick Clegg. All the Tory press are in full assault mode today.

One of the most ridiculous attacks is to say that the financial markets and the value of the pound will collapse if the people of Britain dare to vote for anything other than a resounding Tory majority. Actually for a month we have been looking at a hung parliament as a likely outcome and the markets know it. Markets don’t wait to see what happens. They seek to predict what is going to happen. So they have done just that.

I don’t rule out some market volatility before and after election day BUT the current state of markets reflects what traders predict will happen and that is a hung parliament.

Surprise surprise – The result is not financial Armageddon.

A month ago the FTSE 100 share index of leading companies was valued at 5650 points. This morning as I write this it is on 5732 points.

A month ago the £ was worth $1.51. This morning it is worth $1.54. The increase in the value of the pound against the Euro is even greater.

So much for the nonsense of the Tory scare stories.

Nick Clegg today launched plans to stimulate a green economy

This plan represents a great opportunity to green our economy, our businesses and our homes. And we will create 100,000 new jobs in the process.

One aspect of the Lib Dems’ plan is to give subsidies to people who improve the energy efficiency of their homes (our £400 ‘Eco Cash-back’ scheme). I support local initiatives such as Greening Godalming aimed at greening our homes and cutting our carbon footprint.

I have also fought to protect our green environment from inappropriate development and that’s why I led the campaign to save Farnham’s Water Meadows, alongside Jo Aylwin.

After our successful campaign to save Farnham's Water Meadows we have launched a new 'Protect Our Greenspace' campaign in Badshot Lea - the Tory controlled Council are considering doubling the size of the village!

The latest threat to our environment in South West Surrey is the Tory plan for Badshot Lea. They are considering doubling the size of the village.

The great thing about the Water Meadows campaign was how the whole community got behind it. I hope everyone will come together to stop the crazy plans for Badshot Lea as well.

After our successful campaign to save Farnham’s Water Meadows we have launched a new ‘Protect Our Greenspace’ campaign in Badshot Lea

I thought I should set out why I’m standing in this election!

What Motivates Me?

I got re-motivated about politics when the Iraq War was being prepared for by Bush and Blair. When my marriage broke up in the mid 1990s I left politics. I had to because I was looking after my twin children and had a full time job, so I had no spare time for politics. It may sound corny but I would say that bringing up my children as a single Dad is the most important and worthwhile thing I’ve ever done.

After a few years I dabbled a bit in politics again but what really got me energised was the run-up to the war in Iraq. The deceit of Blair and Bush angered me as it did many people. I never believed there were weapons of mass destruction (see my recent Blog post on this). I felt compelled to get re-involved in the Lib Dems because they were the Party who stood solidly against the madness of Iraq.

I know what a bad name politicians have these days but that’s NOT a reason to abstain from politics – it should motivate us to try and do something to change things. That’s why I’ve called this Blog ‘Shaking Up Politics’.

What I Stand For

Here’s a summary of my main campaign themes and how I’ve tried to fulfil them over the last 12 months:

I have four campaign themes which dominate my political philosophy:

Speaking up for Ordinary People

• I have spoken out against the plans for the Key Site development in Godalming and fought for affordable housing on the site.
• I have used my position to publicise the plight of Dan Eley, a young man from Godalming who used to work with street children in South America but suffered a broken neck and was left paralyzed, and stuck in Colombia. The Lib Dems put out 14,000 leaflets which publicised Dan’s situation.
• I have been outspoken in respect of the affairs of the standing MP Jeremy Hunt. Hunt has suffered the embarrassment of having to repay over £12,500 of his MP’s expenses claims, after I raised questions at a public meeting in May 2009.

Seeking a Fair Deal for the Vulnerable

• I strongly support the Royal British Legion’s Campaign for better care for returning veterans, having worked with army veterans through the YMCA.
• I am supporting the Act for Justice group in Haslemere, campaigning against human trafficking.

Campaigning for a Sustainable Community

• I chaired the successful campaign to save Farnham’s Water Meadows
• I am now fighting the proposals to double the size of Badshot Lea village
• I raised strong objections to the TAG flights proposal which involved the expansion of Farnborough Airport

Investing in our Children and Teenagers

• Seeking to help and empower young people is key to my agenda, as I have worked with them for many years in my role as a CEO of the YMCA.
• I strongly support the Lib Dems’ plan to phase out University Tuition fees. It’s too late for my own children, but I don’t want to see generations of young people saddled with huge debts just as they start out in life.

If you want to know more about my background you can click here to find out.

Mike supports local green campaigners at the Greening Godalming launch

Housing emits 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions. By retrofitting old houses with energy saving measures we could save between 60 and 80% of their carbon footprint. We will also save money on our fuel bills.

Government should help homeowners and social housing landlords in a massive retrofit process. German experience has shown that money spent by Government can stimulate up to six times the amount in energy improvements. By providing grants and low interest finance that makes repayment costs lower than fuel bill saving, the UK would move closer to meeting the goal of using 80% less carbon by 2050.

I support local Greening campaigns like Greening Godalming.

Government must have the courage and determination to take such bold steps. Not only would our carbon emissions fall but the jobs created would be very welcome in our current economic state.

Despite my opponent Jeremy Hunt and the Tories backing Labour to vote through the deeply flawed Digital Economy Act this week we must not accept it as a ‘fait accompli’.

If elected on 6th May I will be pressing my Party and the others to urgently repeal the Digital Economy Act and to subject all the proposals to proper and rigorous Parliamentary scrutiny.

Why? Because:

– it’s a flawed piece of legislation which hadn’t been properly thought through or examined before it became law
– it was rushed through in the dying days of a failed administration after a general election had been called
– it seriously restricts people’s civil liberties (the opposite of the Lib Dems’ proposed Freedom Bill)
– the Government was too lazy to go into the details before legislating due to the lobbying of certain industries
– the Government was too lazy to pay attention to the impact on other businesses, which is remarkable at a time of economic crisis
– the law was supported, rather than opposed, by the Conservatives, who recognised it was flawed but passed it anyway – another example of the Labservatives

Mike Simpson

What goes through your mind as you watch the television News these days? Bewilderment at the sums of money we, as taxpayers, have put into the Banks to save them? Anger at the politicians and so called ‘financial experts’ who landed us in this mess? Or perhaps it’s a feeling of resignation because you look at politicians and think ‘they’re all as bad as each other’.

The last year has shown beyond doubt that those in power who claimed all was well, were either deluded or deceitful. We have all been let down. Is it possible to change the way our country is run? We certainly need to!

We have had 12 years of ‘New Labour’, ending in arrogance, incompetence, sleaze and in-fighting. Before that we had 18 years of the Conservatives ending in arrogance, incompetence, sleaze and in-fighting. Is there a different way? I believe there is. In simple terms I believe the key is not to give so much power to so few people.

The top bankers who messed up so catastrophically, only did so much damage because of the almost unlimited power they had. Politicians tend to make their worst decisions when they have too much power and don’t need to consult or reflect on consequences. The problem is that the political class and the elites who run our government, banks and economy, don’t want to give up any of their power or privilege and all the accompanying perks. We need to challenge that power and privilege which has failed so spectacularly.

We also need to dramatically reduce the extent of government interference in our lives and roll back the ‘big brother’ state. We must give people much more power in their communities, particularly over public services, schools and local health services.

In Parliament we must have a more considered and honest approach rather than the same old political dog fight. There are some huge issues to deal with.

Decisions about what to do about public and private sector pension funds need political parties to work together so that none tries to gain a temporary electoral advantage. The same is true in respect of the hard choices to make about climate change and government debt.

Please contact me if you would like to share in my campaign.

Click here for Mike’s main website

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