The UK's political system has some obvious democratic failings, perhaps the most prominent being the 'first past the post' voting system, which has enabled our current Government to rule as an 'elective dictatorship' on a minority of votes cast. However, there is less obvious inequality of representation created by the lack of working-class voices in … Continue reading Why we need more working-class voices in Parliament
Below is an open letter sent to my North East Bedfordshire MP Richard Fuller, setting out why a Hillsborough Law is urgently needed and calling for his support for it. Dear Richard The tragedy of Hillsborough goes far beyond the horrific events that took place on 15th April 1989. The Liverpool supporters suffered a double … Continue reading An open letter on the need for a Hillsborough Law
The sheer scale of the tragedy of Hillsborough is difficult to comprehend, cutting across so many aspects of the relationship between the people and the state. It starkly set out how justice is not applied equally across our society and how agencies of the state persistently close rank and prioritise reputational protection over the safety … Continue reading Hillsborough – finally a catalyst for change?
Blaming the Victorians for a large percentage of our rail network being inaccessible to a significant proportion of the UK public is wearing very thin after 150 years. While some progress has been made since 'Access for All' funding for step-free stations was introduced by Gordon Brown's Labour government in 2006, thousands of platforms across … Continue reading When will Labour stand up for a step-free railway?
Whilst the purpose of the Health & Social Care Committee report (published on 12th October) into the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic was not to apportion blame, the relentless condemnation of the approach taken by the government, whose primary purpose is to protect us paints a grim picture of just how far the UK … Continue reading Covid Report – the treatment of people with disabilities
The government's Levelling Up Fund prospectus published in March 2021 sets out how the Department for Transport (DfT), the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Treasury will invest £4.8 billion in 'high value infrastructure'. The foreword by Rishi Sunak states how this funding will remove the silos between departments allowing local authorities … Continue reading Roads 1 Step-Free Access 0?
Since 'Access for All' funding for accessibility improvements to the UK rail network was introduced in 2006, around 200 stations have been made step-free. However, much of the UK rail network remains a no-go area for disabled people. Leagrave station in Luton, Bedfordshire is one of the busiest stations in the UK that is still … Continue reading It’s time for a step-free Leagrave!
*** Update 5th March 2021 *** Following the publication of this blog Northern have been in touch and have now amended the descriptions of the stations mentioned below. However, a brief look at other stations across the Northern franchise reveals numerous examples of inaccurate information and there remains much to be done across this and … Continue reading How the rail industry’s access map lost its way – and how to get it back on track
Dear Richard I am writing to you to express my dismay at your support of the government’s decision not to back the Labour amendment in the Free School Meals debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening. As you will be aware the Labour amendment had passed it would have ensured the continuation of … Continue reading Stop Holiday Hunger – email to Richard Fuller MP
Many questions arise from the events in Bristol over the weekend. Should demonstrators have free rein to take part in criminal damage? No. Am I delighted that the statue of Edward Colston now lies at the bottom of Bristol harbour? Yes, absolutely! While I don't condone the criminal damage I can certainly understand why it … Continue reading Healing the scars of our colonial past