Tag Archives: india

Time to start building for Britain

I am currently travelling for a year and am currently visiting India. This vibrant and growing economy has lessons for the UK. Everywhere you go there is building going on. New houses, new factories, new shopping complexes. In addition there is an ongoing repair programme for roads, public buildings, ancient monuments, temples. Sure, India still has slums, some schemes take an age to complete, but the thrust of the country is building for the future.

The government – at national, state and local level – is funding a lot of this work, in conjunction with the private sector and heritage and other charities and voluntary groups. What is clear is that government in all its forms has no problem with taxing its citizens and spending a chunk of the money on improving infrastructure, growing the economy, providing jobs and encouraging tourism. Compare that with Brexit UK. Governments of all hues have spent decades convincing us that tax is wicked and must under no circumstances be increased – especially for the rich – and that cuts in public services are vital for the health of the economy. As a result the building trade is on its knees, there is a chronic shortage of houses, public services are being trashed, the NHS is in crisis and vital infrastructure repairs and improvements are being put off into the distant future.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments

Flood protection or overseas aid? A false choice

Help UK
Over the festive period, I saw the image on the right on a social media site, stating, against a backdrop of flooded housing:

It’s time to STOP sending money abroad and help people in the UK now. LIKE, COMMENT or SHARE if you agree?

A comment under the image mentioned:

…the 250 million we are giving to India to fund their Space Programme.

Oh dear. Where to start? Call me an old pedant, but I’m naturally suspicious of any entreaty which feels the need to include block capitals. But that’s just one of my little foibles.

My mind boggled at the idea that we are giving “250 million” to India to fund their Space Programme. It took just a quick Google to see where that came from. Our old friend the Daily Mail had a remarkably thoroughly, if one-sidedly, researched article on 15th February 2015 which was headlined as follows:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Lynne Featherstone writes on violence against women in India and Burma

Since 2010 I’ve had the pleasure of serving as the UK’s ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) overseas – a role that’s followed me from the Home Office to Department for International Development and back, which makes sense. It’s a clear sign that as well as our commitment to tackling violence against women and girls in the UK, this Coalition Government is committed to working internationally to end this global problem.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

A postcard from… Chennai

Here in the LDV office, we’ve received another postcard from Baroness Ros Scott. Typically, she’s arrived long before the postcard did…

The failure of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament is a good example of just how difficult Parliamentary business can be in India. The Lok Sabha is directly elected on a constituency basis, but with regional loyalties such a strong determinant of voting, thirty-four political parties are represented, as well as nine independents.

If you think that two party coalition is tough, consider for a moment the job of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose ruling Congress Party governs as part …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

A postcard from… Mumbai

Baroness Ros Scott has been away visiting family for the past fortnight, and has let us have some thoughts on what she has found there…

As a politician, starting the day with newspapers and coffee is a habit that is hard to break. Indian newspapers are a joy, with their old fashioned use of English – “the altercation ended in fisticuffs”, “the ruffians were apprehended” and a diet of celebrity gossip and above all, politics. All Indian media give detailed blow-by-blow accounts of the machinations of politicians in the national and state governments and, although there’s a lot going on, …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion: the sordid world of electronic voting

When I was picked to stand as a candidate in the local elections, one of the most sobering realisations was the law and procedures in place to ensure the integrity of the ballot. The rules and regulations, safeguards and cross checks are strict and rightly so. A question remains on how compatible this safety is with electronic voting. The camps are very divided on this, but what is agreed is the principles of openness, accountability and challenge of the process we use to elect our representatives.

A few months ago, news came out that serious security problems had been found

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 16 Comments

The Independent View: Arms deals with India – why Lib Dems should say no

PM Cameron’s heavyweight government plus business trip to India went swimmingly, so we are to believe, despite that diplomatic faux pas about Pakistani support for terrorism and Indian discontent about proposed immigration quotas. One fortunate outcome for Mr Cameron was that both issues diverted attention from a highly contentious arms deal involving arms giant BAE.

Under the deal, 57 Hawk jets will be manufactured under licence in India with BAE’s Indian partner, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), with technical support from BAE. Roll-Royce also gets a slice of the deal as its jet engines will be used in production. The deal is …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 25th Oct - 3:23am
    We can all trade anecdotes and I am sure that the vast majority of people are getting on with each other as well as ever....
  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 25th Oct - 3:04am
    Hear hear to Gareth Hartwell above. The thread was extremely light on comments which recognise that this news is both bad for the EU and...
  • User AvatarJonathan Ferguson 25th Oct - 2:54am
    1. I'm all for commenting on innovative ideas like the Land Tax (it may not be new, but it's innovative in the sense that it...
  • User AvatarManfarang 24th Oct - 11:48pm
    Roland "there is a problem with immigration" I can't remember a time in the last 50 years when people in Britain didn't say there was...
  • User Avatarmalc 24th Oct - 11:43pm
    My local towns are as multicultural as most and I just don't see what Tim Farron sees. The local papers rarely - if ever -...
  • User Avatarfrankie 24th Oct - 11:19pm
    jedibeeftrix Hard brexit may well result in higher growth in the long term, as regulatory and tax divergence from the EU ensues. but how long...