For those of us who can relax on a Bank Holiday, this weekend is a very pleasant time each year with Friday and Monday set for those of us who can celebrate Easter. Of course, many of us will be back at work tomorrow but four days away from our usual work activities gives us a great opportunity to respond to issues that emerge from our local and national decision makers. At the end of working week last Thursday, I observed a couple of themes that had emerged. One of them came from two well known Conservative politicians for local people to respond to a decision making issue. This call was very inspiring and it would seem realistic for them and their colleagues in the Conservative party to apply this to the other subjects that emerge to all of us. On Thursday afternoon I spotted the following call from a Brighton Councillor, Dee Simson on a social media setting which she was directing to the people who live in her Ward. The area concerned is Woodingdean and her call was.
“Steve Bell and I have received a pre-planning consultation letter on behalf of H3G (THREE) for a 15m high 5G telecommunications mast on Cowley Drive by St Patrick’s Church. We would welcome residents thoughts on this before replying.”
I have had the privilege of meeting Dee Simson on a number of occasions in the past including when she was our Mayor and I have also met Steve Bell in the past. They are both Councillors but according to his own media Steve is
“Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council. Former President National Conservative Convention, Member Party Board & Chair Associations Finance Board. Chair of Queen’s Regiment”
and of course he is married to Maria Caulfield who is a significant Government Minister and the Lewes MP. Apparently the National Conservative Convention, is described as
“The most senior body of the Conservative Party’s voluntary wing. The National Convention effectively serves as the Party’s internal Parliament, and is made up of its 800 highest-ranking Party Officers.”
So based on this call for a response for the people who live in their ward it would seem realistic for us to assume that all Conservative MPs and Councillors would be willing to listen to their residents?
Along with the call last Thursday from Dee Simson and Steve Bell there was another subject which emerged albeit nationally and which was a very disturbing announcement which came from their Conservative Government. So far, the Government has not bothered to correspond with their own political group and they have equally ignored Parliament which is supposed to be an important group that should be informed before serious activities take place from within our Nation. The announcement was a decision by the Government to transport many of the vulnerable Asylum seekers who have arrived in our Nation seeking protection. They will be transferred 4,000 miles to Rwanda in mid Africa. If they are approved to be accepted into our Nation, they will be forced to remain in Rwanda which is very disturbing even if Rwanda was part of our Nation which of course it isn’t. The cost of the process and the impact on the people involved and indeed our credibility in the rest of the world is all very disturbing. It would seem very important for this sort of proposal to be raised in Parliament and for communities to be given the opportunity to respond to it before the final decision is made as appeared to take place last Thursday.
However within a few hours from the Government publication Andrew Griffith, the MP for Arundel and South Downs stated on social media
“From putting the military in charge of the English Channel, passing the Nationality and Borders Bill, to the new arrangement with Rwanda, it is essential that we control immigration which is one of the drivers of the pressures to build on the precious green spaces of West Sussex.”
And he also stated
“Welcome news on immigration. Britain has a proud tradition of providing sanctuary to those in need – more than any other in recent history. Since 2015 we have offered a place of safety to over 185,000 in need – and that’s before our unlimited offer to Ukrainian refugees.”
The fact is that over the last seven years several Million people have moved out from our nation to live elsewhere and so the arrival of the people who Andrew Griffith has referred to is very modest. It would seem very reasonable for all Conservative MPs to raise this proposal amongst their constituents for responses that can be disclosed in Parliament. Many of us have views about this subject and other themes including the behaviour of Boris Johnson during the COVID period!