Tag Archives: david cameron

A practical suggestion to improve the UK’s influence within the EU

As a Brit, living in Brussels and working in the European Parliament, I’ve had a lot to reflect on over the past months and weeks.

When asked by friends and colleagues, “well what do you think about ‘Cameron’s renegotiation'”, I reply “embarrassed”.

It’s a very English sense of embarrassment, arising from the social awkwardness of being associated with someone who has done something fairly stupid and feeling guilty by proxy. Like being the nephew of the drunk uncle who ruins the children’s birthday party, it is difficult to have any response other than a weary “yes, I’m sorry he’s at it again”.

This is in many ways the scenario we find ourselves in today.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Tim Farron on English language classes for Muslim women

 

David Cameron has announced a £20 million fund for English language classes for Muslim women, claiming that 22% of Muslim women in the UK do not speak English.

That figure of 22% was challenged on the BBC Today programme by Dal Babu, a former chief superintendent with the Metropolitan Police, who claims that the figure should be nearer 6%.

Help with learning English is the least the Government can do to help migrants settle down, live a full life in the UK and contribute to the local community. That is why in the Coalition the Lib Dems prevented the Government from cutting funding for English language classes.

So why limit it to Muslim women? The answer to that question is revealed in the subtext – Cameron manages to link the lack of English with extremism.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 35 Comments

Is David Cameron mixing up cause and effect?

David CameronParents should take lessons in how to control children – PM” – runs the main headline in the Observer this morning.

Expansion of parenting classes is certainly something to be welcomed. When I was first a parent, I thought it was very strange that parents were offered classes on breathing techniques during pregnancy and pelvic floor exercises, plus inspection of changing areas and bottle procedures after birth, but not a word of guidance after that, until primary school “parent/school agreements”.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

Tim Farron: Nobody is above the law, including armed police

There’s a disturbing article on the front page of today’s Sunday Times (£) which reports that David Cameron is going to make it easier for Police using firearms to avoid prosecution.

The prime minister stepped in after police chiefs warned that the fight against terrorism is being compromised because firearms officers risk prosecution if they pull the trigger.

Cameron ordered a review of the law after a national security council meeting last week at which police chiefs demanded greater political and legal backing for those charged with protecting the public from a Paris-style massacre in Britain.

Senior government sources say the prime minister is prepared to change the law in the new year to make it harder to drag police officers through the courts if they shoot to kill.

The thing is, I’m not aware of Police being dragged through the courts for firearms offences at all. If that were happening, it might be necessary. Police are rarely prosecuted for things that they do on duty as it is.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

Donald Tusk hoping to reach Agreement on UK EU Referendum by February 2016

 

David Cameron has not been very lucky lately with his letter writing. One letter to a local councillor in Oxfordshire scored own political goal, charges of hypocrisy and ministerial misconduct. Another letter to the president of European Council, did not even warrant a reply. Donald Tusk wrote ‘in response’ but not back to David Cameron. He addressed his letter to the European Council where he refers to David Cameron in third person.

I cannot help noticing the dynamic between our Prime Minister, setting out his outlines for an ‘In or Out’ referendum, and the European Leaders who will agree beforehand “where we stand on the issue of a UK in/out referendum before we address it at the December European Council”. Is this the illustration of the future, where we in the UK will be reduced to pleading with the European Leaders who will then let us know “where they stand on the issue”? I hope not.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

David Cameron is hoist with his own petard

Hat-tip to Peter Black for inspiring the title

Here below is some fascinating reading. First, a letter which David Cameron sent to the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council (bearing in mind the PM’s constituency of Witney is in Oxfordshire) and then the reply he got.

Via, it seems, a somewhat incautious researcher or adviser, Mr Cameron reveals an extraordinary ignorance of local government finance, coupled with remarkable arrogance.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 16 Comments

LibLink: Guy Verhofstadt – David Cameron wants a two-speed Europe

 

Guy Verhofstadt heads the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament and is the former Prime Minister of Belgium. In the Independent he examines David Cameron’s stance on Europe under the headline “EU referendum: David Cameron should spell it out. He wants a two-speed Europe“. He writes:

This week, or so we are told, the Prime Minister will set out his Christmas list of EU reforms to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk. A broad agreement on the UK’s renegotiation package is envisaged at the December summit of European leaders. There will be battles and setbacks in the weeks to come, but there are reasons to think a deal can be found.

Many in continental Europe strongly agree with David Cameron that the European Union of today is not fit for purpose and is in need of fundamental reform. Most accept that the direction of travel has shifted towards some form of “two-speed Europe”, broadly based around eurozone “ins” and “outs”. And clarifying these two types of membership would surely be progress, compared with the chaotic multi-speed, hotchpotch EU of today. Maybe it is time for Cameron to be explicit and use the expression “two-speed”.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 36 Comments
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  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 12th Feb - 2:04pm
    LORENZO CHERIN 12th Feb '16 - 1:32pm Of course there are many varieties of left - social justice Liberal Democracy is one of them -...
  • User Avatarexpats 12th Feb - 1:53pm
    When Cameron's Mum, Aunty and his local council, take him to task over his 'cuts' I think that says it all...
  • User AvatarManfarang 12th Feb - 1:52pm
    John The Channel Islands are not part of the EU- Lincolnshire next?
  • User Avatarexpats 12th Feb - 1:50pm
    LORENZO CHERIN 12th Feb '16 - 1:13pm..............I believe , instead of shutting up about recent events ie not mentioning the coalition , and pretending it...
  • User AvatarLORENZO CHERIN 12th Feb - 1:32pm
    Stephen I cannot know whether all the recent members of the Labour party are the sort of Jeremy Corbyn socialists you allude to.As an ex...
  • User AvatarNick Baird 12th Feb - 1:24pm
    And that's my first ever anti-Nick Clegg post. Do I get a gold star now or something?