Why Liberals should support strikes on ISIL

by jamesbaker on September 26, 2014

Given recent history the topic  of military involvement in Iraq will inevitably be controversial. I was one of the millions who marched against the illegal Iraq war, and got pepper sprayed by Sussex Police at a peaceful protest in the process. This isn’t an aggressive attempt to overthrow a regime though, this is a response […]

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Why we couldn’t just reverse decisions.

by jamesbaker on August 30, 2014

In a letter to the Courier (29/08/14) Coun Frank McManus asks why the Independent, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives didn’t just reverse decisions on the Council where they were at variance with Labour, and instead kicked them out of power. There is a simple answer to that – The last Labour government passed an act of […]

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Time to legalise cannabis

by jamesbaker on August 21, 2014

I frequently read in the Courier how the Police have raided houses and caught various people growing cannabis plants. The preferred phrase for such operations is now ‘cannabis factories’ which conjures up images of Blake’s dark satanic mills. On the one hand the Police are to be congratulated on efficiently enforcing the law of the […]

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Response to some of Calderdale Labour’s spin

by jamesbaker on August 2, 2014

Labour have launched into a tirade against the Conservatives, Independent and Lib Dems on Calderdale Council. After losing control control of Calderdale Council for failing to listen to residents or full Council on key issues. 1. Labour now admit plan was hatched in advance In the meeting Labour claimed Lib Dems had wanted to do this […]

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A few thoughts on Calderdale’s new administration

by jamesbaker on August 1, 2014

I sat in a number of scrutiny panel call-ins these past weeks where it was clear that no matter what full Council decided Cllr Barry Collin’s in his previous role as the lead member for Economy & Environment was determined to push on with plans to ignore budget Council and keep evening charges in Halifax, […]

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I’ve just come back from an extraordinary meeting of the Economy and Environment scrutiny panel on Calderdale Council. In the meeting the Labour cabinet member for the Economy and Environment portfolio tried to claim the panel couldn’t ask any questions about a Department of Transport ‘Pinch Point’ bid used to obtain money to carry out […]

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Last week I spoke to Julian Huppert MP about my concerns with the DRIP Act that was then passing through parliament. He informed me that one safeguard the Liberal Democrats had won was a restriction to the number of organisations that could access communications data retained under the new act through use of RIPA powers. […]

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So this rather long post is all in response to some questions about parking  charges Andrew Marsden has raised on his local blog. Andrew’s comments are put in quotes. The Conservative opposition assisted by the Liberal Democrats announced in February their success during a full council meeting. They obtained a democratic decision at the full council […]

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Bedroom Tax needs to be scrapped

by jamesbaker on July 15, 2014

The interim report on the removal of the spare room subsidy aka Bedroom Tax makes for sobering reading. Only 4.5% of those affected have downsized to a smaller property, compared to 6% who have been forced to borrow on either credit card or take out loans to cover their additional costs. It’s clear from the […]

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A joint Liberty, Privacy International, Open Rights Group, Article 19, Big Brother Watch, English PEN briefing on the emergency surveillance powers announced by the coalition government claims powers granted by the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP) would breach Human Rights legislation. In an email sent to parliamentarians Liberty make the following statement: “Clause […]

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