Richard’s Blog

Joy and sadness

Before joining the madness of Westminster last Monday I had a morning of joy mixed with great sadness. I started by visiting the soon-to-be-opened renal and cancer care unit at West Berkshire Hospital. Whilst this is being staffed and run by the NHS, it has been built...

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On parade

It was Armed Forces Day on Saturday which is a chance for all of us to show our appreciation to the Armed Forces, past and present, for their service and dedication. This event, now in its tenth year, is a way of extending thanks to serving personnel, reservists,...

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Action on loneliness

Two years ago last week I wrote my blog about the shocking murder of MP Jo Cox. As the anniversary of her death came around again on June 16th, along with continued outrage at that senseless waste of life and sadness at the loss of a mother, sister, wife and one of...

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How not to flounce

I have made a study of flouncing. Some do it well and some don’t. The Scottish Nationalists got it wrong in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. The best flounce is at a table. You stand up, ostentatiously throw your napkin on the table, gaze down pityingly at...

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Two steps forward

Two good news stories for the environment and environmentalists emerged last week. One was the introduction of the Ivory Bill in Parliament on 23 May which will ban all commercial dealing in ivory in the UK that ‘could directly or indirectly fuel the poaching of...

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Apprenticeships for the future

This is the time of year that applicants for apprenticeships look to sign up. There have been sweeping changes to this crucial area of further education and training and although the Government’s ambitious target of 3 million new apprenticeships has not yet been...

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The right to be offended

At a recent question and answer session with a local sixth form, a pupil asked me, “what do you think of the state of free speech in Britain today?”. I started to answer in a general way about free speech but then moved on to what is happening in our universities....

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Support for ‘Magnitsky’

One of the bravest men I have ever met is Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian journalist who has twice survived being poisoned, the last one had him inches from death. He and other brave dissidents like Bill Browder, campaigner and author of Red Notice, continue to work at...

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West Berkshire in top ten for broadband speeds

West Berkshire has the best rural broadband, as well as the highest median download speed in the UK, according to new research by Thinkbroadband. The study, which ranks local authorities by the average broadband speed possible if everyone in the area bought the...

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Syria

We have all woken up to the news that Britain has joined the US and France in targeted attacks on Syrian locations linked to the Assad regime and their repeated use of chemical weapons. The overall strategy here is right. There has been a time honoured rule that the...

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