Richard’s Blog

A little New Year’s cheer

One of our national newspapers has an editorial policy that every article should make its reader angry or scared, preferably both. It’s not just national newspapers which make the world look bleak. Look at the first five items on any news programme and you will be...

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State of West Berkshire

Headlines saying that West Berkshire is the worst for anything always concern me but the latest one was worrying. This area was identified in a report by the Social Mobility Commission as a ‘coldspot’ for social mobility when it comes to the percentage of early years...

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View from the gallery

On my way to the Chamber on Budget Day I passed the Shadow Cabinet room full of Labour researchers and analysts hunched over their screens, poised to feed the Leader of the Opposition pithy amendments to his speech in reply to the Chancellor’s Budget. I like sitting...

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Emotional health

Last week was a good week for a mini recess with rumour and counter-rumour swirling around Westminster. It allowed me some time to get around the constituency. The high point of my week was a visit to the Emotional Health Academy in Newbury. This is a scheme...

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Ending “lawfare”

Last week I used a Parliamentary ruse to raise an issue that has been troubling me for a long time. “Lawfare” is the nickname given to actions by lawyers who seek to bring members of the armed forces to court for actions they took, often decades ago, in the thick of...

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A34 to South Sandwich Island

On Wednesday last week I met with neighbouring MPs, the A34 Action Group, Highways England and others as part of our campaign to get improvements to the A34 between the Newbury junction of the M4 and the M40. We discussed the keenly awaited safety review that came...

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Incoherent nonsense

In a scene from Harry Potter he visits Gringotts Bank. It is staffed by strange creatures, devoid of humour and who live in a separate world from other people. I imagine the Boundary Commission is rather like that. They exist to adjust constituency boundaries in a way...

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Behind the rhetoric

I have never been one for negative campaigning but I have found it very hard to ignore some of the extraordinary rhetoric coming from Brighton last week. The headlines sounded so exciting: to cheers from Labour members – ‘we’re bringing them back’ – referring to...

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Westminster Diary

Last week started with a decontamination session on Greenham Common. Not before time some of you may say, but it was part of the experience of the Greenham Trust’s 20th anniversary celebration. The theatrical finale took us through the life of a fictional resident,...

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Upping the Brexit tempo

This week in Parliament we get stuck in to the detail of Brexit. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill is a 66-page piece of legislation which does all the technical stuff needed to transpose laws and regulations that currently reside with the EU into UK law. About a year ago I...

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