House of Lords

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It is time to end this crisis, and rescue the Lords, by insisting on a fully elected chamber, in which all peers are chosen by the same method, and yet without the same democratic mandate as the commons.

Elect the Lords – and stop our gongs going for a song

I was stuck at a traffic light yesterday when a brand new red Toyota 4X4 drew abreast, containing three extraordinary women. Their cheeks were flushed, their lips were red, they wore sexy little cream pant suits and matching cream hats, and identical pink shirts to go with the flowers in the brim.

They were in that state of innocent euphoria that causes human beings to hail complete strangers. “Oi Boris,” they shouted through the window, “we’ve just been to see the Queen!” And then the Beverley sisters (for that was how they introduced themselves) waved the square blue leather case containing the three identical ribbons and medals they had earned for a lifetime of belting out hits (I think they said there was one called Sisters) that have no doubt brought pleasure to millions, if not to you or me.

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Boris Johnson MP: Community Hospital Rally a Triumph – Time Now for Hewitt to Act

Commenting on the success of yesterday’s CHANT (Community Hospitals Acting Nationally Together) Rally, at which upwards of 1,000 people attended, Boris Johnson MP said:

‘I was thrilled so many people were able to make it and would like to thank each and every one of those who turned up for taking the time and trouble to do so. It was a huge demonstration of support by local people for these community hospitals.

The whole day went exceedingly well, everybody behaved with incredible politeness and good humour, but this should not mask just how strongly people feel about this and how important the issue at stake really is.

We must continue to keep up the pressure until we get a firm commitment from Patricia Hewitt that she will match the rhetoric of the Health White Paper with action. She must accept real responsibility for the current mess and finally step in to save all those community hospitals, including Townlands, that remain under imminent threat of closure’.

Ends

More local news and campaigns on the local Oxfordshire website

Note to Editors

Video feedback of the event available, courtesy of Felixstowe TV, at:

http://www.felixstowetv.co.uk/06/mar/hoc1.html

Boris Johnson MP: Lets Make CHANT (Community Hospitals) Rally a Success

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Supporters of community hospitals from around the country are today attending the first National Community Hospitals Rally in London. Despite welcome recognition of the importance of the services provided by community hospitals in the recent Health White Paper, cuts and closures are continuing.

Over 300,000 people have already signed local petitions supporting their community hospitals and delegations from across England will be in attendance. The rally will be addressed by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of CHANT, Graham Stuart and Boris Johnson MP, by Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, and by Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat Health spokesman. Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Health, has also been invited to speak.

Commenting on the Rally, Boris Johnson MP said:

‘I am delighted so many people seem prepared to travel from all around the country to come to this event. Despite recent reassurances in the Health White Paper, many communities are seeing their local hospitals being wound down or closed – this Rally is proof that this is not what people want.

I only hope that when Patricia Hewitt glances out her window in the Commons and catches sight of the assembled throng that she take to heart their message, that these community hospitals are an absolutely vital and valued local resource and must not be closed merely in response to some end of year budgetary crunch. I will in addition keep my fingers firmly crossed the sun continues to shine!’

ENS

Notes to Editors:

CHANT is holding a national rally outside Parliament on March 28th from 1pm to 2pm to highlight the continued threat to more than 80 community hospitals and demand that action is taken by the Government.
CHANT is a cross-party group campaigning for community hospitals. It has Labour, Liberal Democrat, Independent and Conservative MPs and Peers as Patrons. Further information about CHANT, including details of the national rally to be held in London on March 28th, can be found on the CHANT website:

www.chantonline.com
email@chantonline.com

Dress in Educational Establishments

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All around us, in our courts, in the oppressive liberty-destroying Bills being rushed through Parliament, we see the disasters of multiculturalism, the system by which too many Muslims have been allowed to grow up in this country with no sense of loyalty to its institutions, and with a sense of complete apartness.

The Shabina Begum case never had anything to do with modesty

I don’t know whether you caught young Shabina Begum talking on the television yesterday, but, as I studied the pictures of this exceedingly good-looking and confident young woman, I was suddenly conscious of a paradox.

Here she is, at the centre of a national media storm, and one that has been very largely whipped up by her own supporters. There goes our Shabina, batting her (rather beautiful) eyes through her visor, and thereby exciting the interest of millions of otherwise apathetic viewers, who are not only infidels but very possibly male infidels at that.

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Boris in bicycle fall

Boris fell off his bicycle on his way to the House of Commons yesterday afternoon and was taken to hospital to have his injured arm checked out.

His bicycle is in a bad state of repair but Boris himself is much better now and surprised at all the attention this minor injury is receiving. “Lord help us all!” he said, upon news that his fall had made it to national radio news this morning.

Shared Appreciation Mortgages

In a nutshell, the shared appreciation mortgage allowed you to borrow 25 per cent of the value of your property at zero interest, provided you agreed to pay the bank, upon your death or sale of the house, 75 per cent of the appreciation in the price

The punters were offered the benefit of a zero- interest-rate mortgage; they took a risk; they got spectacularly stung

If you think the banks are bad, take a look at Labour

It takes guts to bring your wife to meet a stranger and then to confess, in front of her, that you have been a complete idiot. So when a distinguished and snowy-haired gentleman appeared in my office, and spread the shocking details of his mortgage arrangements before me, I was immediately sympathetic. “The awful truth,” said the honest fellow, “is that I am not the sharpest tool in the box.”

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Silvio Berlusconi

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there is something about the Italian leader that makes me warm to him

he defends his remarks with all the confidence and insouciance of one who has a personal fortune estimated at $12 billion, making him the richest man in Europe

I cannot help hoping that this peacock will be given one last chance to convert his outrageousness into real political bravery, and reform the Italian economy

Berlusconi has his faults, but dullness isn’t one of them

Before we go any further, I want to make it absolutely clear that I have not received a penny from Silvio Berlusconi.

Yes, I have been to his socking great villa, strewn with helicopter pads, amphitheatres and thalassotherapy baths, on a Sardinian promontory. In common with other world leaders, I have been driven by Mr B around the estate, and admired his demented Dr No-style cactus collection, including a spiny mutant which he likened to “the brain of my finance minister”.

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Extradition Act – Ratify, Reform or Remove

Debate yesterday in parliament

Mr. Boris Johnson (Henley) (Con): Of course I wish to congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) on his sterling defence of the Essex police force. However, I wish to draw attention to an opportunity that the Bill gives us to rectify a matter of serious and widespread public concern, which has already been addressed by the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone) and my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert). That matter is the extradition arrangements that we have with the United States, and what we may expect from America and what they may demand from us.

I do not wish to indulge in an anti-American polemic, but I wish to suggest a speedy way in which the problem could be rectified in a way that would reassure the Americans that those suspected of serious criminal offences will be speedily yielded up to them–in a way that they would expect from their most important international friend and ally–while at the same time protect the rights of UK nationals. I am grateful to right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House who have signed my early-day motion on the subject.

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Nuclear Power

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…I am reverting to my .. evangelism for nuclear power: because if there is an answer to global warming, then nukes must be part of the mix, and because we cannot afford to be dependent on foreign gas, and also, finally, because it would help to reinforce the crumbling science base of this country

That is why the nuclear power programme – if and when it arrives – seems to offer hope.

It is not just that nuclear energy is environmentally friendly in itself: it offers a cheap way of producing the energy necessary to produce hydrogen, and therefore to produce hydrogen fuel cells

We need nuclear power and a new generation of boffins

It’s enough to make you weep. Here we are, a nation that once led the world in scientific discovery. Who proposed the theory of gravity? A Briton. Who discovered the circulation of the blood? We did. Where did Faraday hang out, when he came up with the theory of electromagnetism? Right here in Britain.

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