Archiv für Dezember 2009

Election Issues for 2010

Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2009

The next election could be called as early as March 2010 and ahead of the local Council ones if e.g. the economy has improved and the prime minister considers the timing particularly propitious.
Already the Conservative Party has unveiled MyConservatives.com on which David Cameron is effectively shown launching his campaign and talking about how the internet which is changing society and our lives, can also change politics. MyConservatives.com (also click on Useful Links on our website) provides a campaigning platform for candidates and on particular issues, as well as a means of attracting small on-line donations rather in the ”Obama way”.
A number of key issues are emerging:
– To the fore is the Economy and the critical need to fill the holes in the government budget, whilst having a credible plan to reduce overall debt to manageable proportions and satisfy the financial markets.
– Closely related is protection of public services and the need to care for e.g. schools, hospitals and the unemployed, whilst still balancing the books for an electorate more used to gain today and pain for tomorrow.
Since the prime minister has already introduced the issue of “class” into the above mix, it is important to have a positive values-based message e.g. of reform, to avoid being labelled the hard-hearted party of “cuts in public services” by Labour. Viewed from our position in France, the British NHS could benefit from reform by the perhaps more affordable introduction of a wider and complementary network of private, not-for-profit insurers such as the French Mutuels, a similar model also being explored by the Democrats for their new Health Bill in the United States.

MP Expense Claims

Freitag, 11. Dezember 2009

The parliamentary, self-monitoring expense claim system seems to have encouraged MPs over the years to submit all manner of claims on a system with questionable financial controls. There is also the moral question of claiming for something ”within the rules” as a result of e.g. second-home ”flipping” together with the associated capital gains tax avoidance, or for what members of the public might view as normally paid for through one”s own income. MPs have been elected to a public position of trust by voters themselves now suffering the effects of the crisis in the government finances and feeling let down by their elected representatives and the perceived excesses of the financial industry.

Chairman”s Blog – 12/09

Mittwoch, 2. Dezember 2009

Dear members and friends of BCiP, I do hope you will all come to our Christmas Party at St. George?s Church Hall, 7, rue Auguste-Vacquerie, 75116 Paris from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm on Wednesday 16 December 2009.
We will be serving wine, nibbles, turkey with chestnuts and sprouts, and of course traditional English Christmas Pudding, and there will be plenty of opportunities to catch up with friends and meet new people. The price is 30 ? for members and non-members alike and the nearest metros are George V, Kléber or Etoile.
Also, please note in your diaries our dinner with Dominic Grieve QC MP, Shadow Minister for Justice, on 2 March 2010.
We shall meet again before then, of course, but the arrangements for January/February have still to be finalized.