Richard’s Blog

Hungerford 30 years after the tragedy

Sitting in a fold in the Berkshire Downs, with the stunning River Kennet running through it, Hungerford seems the perfect small market town. In many ways it is. It manages to be a town but feel like a village. There is a sense of civic pride which is matched by a...

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Freedom to speak

Seven priests went into a bar… This may sound like the start of a (bad) joke until you read on and discover that they did not actually get to go in because the doorman of the City Arms in Cardiff thought they were on a stag do. All was amicably resolved in the end...

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Keep elections clean

This week saw a debate in Parliament on abuse and intimidation in elections. Some of the stories of racial abuse, violence and organised aggression were appalling. I have had my share of abuse, even death threats, but nothing on the scale of some of my colleagues....

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Public sector pay

Who wouldn’t want a nurse or a firefighter to be paid more? No one imposes a pay cap on public sector workers out of some malign intent. I have been a firm supporter of all the efforts that the Government has made over seven years to get our economy back on track....

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Disrupted

“Disruptive” is the new word of our age. It’s used to describe new technologies that rewrite how we make things, heal people, communicate, produce food and save our planet. In politics the new disruptors are…the electorate. A year ago they decided that the cosy...

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Post-Election thoughts

I am so grateful to those who put their trust in me last Thursday. I was delighted to increase my share of the vote and to achieve one of the highest popular votes in the country. I am so lucky with the great team who supported me for their hard work and good humour....

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Making sense of social care

I got a call this week from Avril who wanted to thank me for the pledge on social care in the Conservative manifesto. She said she wished people would stop complaining because her elderly mother had had to sell her home to pay for her care under the current system and...

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Why Jeremy Corbyn is wrong on terrorism

Commentators have tried to be fair to Jeremy Corbyn after his speech on terrorism on Friday. Some concede his views on what have come to be called ‘Blair’s wars’ are held with passion and are heartfelt. He lays the blame for much of the security...

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Manchester

I write this just a few hours into the aftermath of the horrific bombing in Manchester. The British character is to be generous and tolerant. This was apparent in Manchester as local people rushed to help survivors and opened their homes to provide shelter to shocked...

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