Author Archives: Mark Hofman

Stop the hate. We’re all human

Hate crime is inexcusable. It attacks an individual’s identity and can have an appalling and devastating impact on victims.

The issue is one that has always been close to my heart. My mother is from Poland and as a result I have in the past experienced racial discrimination due to my family’s overseas heritage.

Though my experiences of hate crime were rare and isolated I know for many other people this can be a very real and immediate concern, especially given the toxic post-Brexit atmosphere we now live in and an increase in Islamophobic incidents following the terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London.

Over the last six years we have witnessed a spike in extremism, including the murder of Jo Cox MP in 2016 and several disturbing incidents during the 2019 local and European election campaigns. 

That’s why Watford Liberal Democrats wanted to pass a new Council motion to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week (12th – 19th October), demonstrating that people’s fears are taken seriously, and by listening and responding to our constituents concerns we as a council, and as individuals, can make a difference.

People have crossed borders and lived together for thousands of years. We’re all immigrants.

Everyone can integrate into a society if they’re able to respect the rule of law and the fundamental values of their new country.

Newcomers are integral to helping the economy grow and keeping our country moving. Many vital sectors such as the NHS, construction, social care, retail and hospitality would struggle to function without immigration.

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The speeches that got away: What local authorities can do to save our planet

We are at a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. Extreme weather is becoming more common, reducing crop production, pushing up food prices and bringing about more unpredictable and violent weather events.

It’s clear that it is now or never for the future of our planet. Temperatures reached 45°C in France this year – how long before we see temperatures like that in the UK?
The impacts of global warming are not only increasing, they will soon reach a tipping point beyond which climate change will become irreversible.

According to Environment Protection UK – a national charity that provides expert policy analysis and information on air quality – transport is the biggest source of air and noise pollution in the UK, responsible for around a quarter of UK emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a major contributor to climate change, and of course traffic noise that blights many neighbourhoods.

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Opinion: Do Banks Rule the World?

Last week many of us may have witnessed the sickening spectacle of watching a city trader declaring that Goldman Sachs rules the world… among other insights, such as how he lays awake at night fantasising about another economic depression.

If money rules the world, then surely whoever rules the world controls the money supply?

Many of us would, therefore, assume that the Bank of England creates money and regulates its supply to the economy, thereby controlling inflation and interest rates. However, whenever we look to finance a house, car, business project, etc, we invariably turn to the banks (in the …

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Opinion: Transport – time for a home-working revolution?

The weekend is often over in the blink of an eye, and come Monday morning it’s off to work for the masses. The daily commute, whether it be by any means of transport, is often chaotic, crowded and frankly rather unpleasant for many.

It is a self – evident truth that our transport network is overcrowded. Even now with unemployment rates not seen for a generation, many of us will struggle for hours every day to travel to our respective workplaces.

Can the government help?

The government could assist by offering business rate reductions for employers willing to facilitate their employees working from home.

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Opinion: The failings of This Week

As we kick back and relax from a hard day’s work (or job seeking as is so often the case), we would expect our licence fee funded BBC to reflect our views, those of 23% of the electorate according to last year’s poll (the national election).

However, a glance at our daily political programming would suggest that the BBC is still pandering to the cosy duopoly of Labour and the Tories.

Perhaps this cosy duopoly is most evident on Thursday nights with “This Week” (BBC 1 11.30pm ish), promising “politics with attitude and without the spin”. Andrew Neil (ex-Conservative party employee and …

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