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Andrew George

Promoting the Politics of Courage

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Andrew George

Promoting the
Politics of Courage

I’m running a positive campaign to restore decency and honesty to our politics. To build a brighter future. To combat those who want us to become more inward-looking, backward-looking, more self-absorbed. I’ll build a campaign for an outward-looking, forward-looking and compassionate country.

We’ve been misled by a privileged clique who’ve irresponsibly played on fears to stoke prejudice. We must get beyond the Brexit chaos they’ve dragged our country into. We must restore the things that matter for the sake of our children’s future – our NHS, our schools and the very sustainability of our planet.

Come and join a growing campaign team. We’re determined to win this seat back this time, to make the difference, to build a brighter future.

Many people say “you politicians are all the same”. That statement has never been more untrue. The choice here is stark:

Read full article »

Andrew GeorgeAndrew George - Standing up for Cornwall

National campaigner, local campaigner, former MP.

Andrew describes his role - "Seeking out the silent voices. Standing up to bullies. Fighting for justice”

Liberal Democrats - Building a brighter future

News & Updates

Conservative arsonist Gove promises bucket to deal with the housing conflagration

Posted on: 15th February 2024

If the Conservatives were genuinely concerned about the housing emergency they’d have taken action a decade ago. That’s what Liberal Democrat candidate, former MP, housing professional and campaigner, Andrew George, said on the eve of an anticipated vi …

Political column – 27th Sept 2023

Posted on: 25th September 2023

Tackling the housing emergency For too long, the UK planning system has been fuelled by greed, not by need.The core of its failure has been handing responsibility for the delivery of the homes we need to speculators primarily interested in filling thei …

Blog 1st Sept

Posted on: 2nd September 2023

Weekly blog • Incredible news that India has landed a spacecraft near the south pole of the moon. Wonderful news that our own local Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) played a pivotal role enabling it. Cornwall may not itself have joined the space race. But …

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7 days ago
Andrew George

Standing with Navalny.
"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing"* - he lived by that maxim.
We must not let evil triumph.

* A quotation of uncertain origin, used by President Kennedy
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Standing with Navalny.
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing* - he lived by that maxim.
We must not let evil triumph.

* A quotation of uncertain origin, used by President Kennedy
7 days ago
Andrew George

Checking on the Towans ponies this morning.
It's my pleasure/privilege to do occasional volunteering as a Trustee of the Towans Trust (FoTT).
Nipped up to Mexico Towans to say deth da/hello, undertake routine checks on these incredible animals. They're the best volunteer conservationists in our team. And specialists in conservation grazing! 😉
Water supply good, fences sound, ponies healthy.
Great to undertake the work in unseasonably sunny weather.
Sadly, it doesn't always go as smoothly. I don't know what provokes people to vandalise/destroy the fences, but it happens.
We've excellent back up from the wonderful Gerald Babcock who supplies our ponies and who oversees this project with expertise,#ConservationMattersl#ConservationGrazingt#cornwallukvationGrazing #cornwalluk
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1 week ago
Andrew George

Con arsonist Gove comes to Cornwall today to promise us a bucket of water to quell his housing conflagration.

This comes shortly after PM Sunak's flying visit. Gove will again attempt to sugarcoat the Conservatives' dreadful record of pumping billions of public money into holiday homes at the expense of thousands of families in desperate need.

If the Conservatives were genuinely concerned about the housing emergency they'd have taken action a decade ago.

Gove no doubt hopes no one will notice he's the arsonist who inflamed this crisis; and hopes people won't notice this'll be the umpteenth re-announcement of the promised bucket - and which is at best a limp solution to the injustices they've inflicted on those in need.

Conservatives have thrown petrol on the flames of the housing emergency. Pumping over £400 million of taxpayers' money into the pockets of Cornwall's holiday home owners for over a decade; twice as much as they've granted to those (like the charity I run in my day job) attempting to build secure affordable first homes for locals.

I first pointed out the injustice of this particular tax loophole (there are many others) in 2012; a loophole which permits second homers to flip to register as a holiday let and then avoid paying either business rates or council tax. We finally shamed the Conservatives into promising they'd stop this back in 2018. But they've done nothing. It seems that removing tax loopholes for the wealthy is not as important to the Tories as dog-whistle politics, curtailing free speech and their fantasy flights to Rwanda. They've just regurgitated announcements - usually just before elections - about promising to do something, but done nothing.

What they've promised won't work anyway. Requiring evidence that the homes are actually let for at least 70 days per annum will be easily got 'round. Doubling council tax on second homes won't work on its own as it will drive even more second homers to flip to register as a holiday letting business, thus negating the intended effect. The plan to introduce a new planning use class is a pale and ineffectual imitation of the Liberal Democrats' long standing policy to insist that all 'non-permanent occupancy' use - not just holiday letting - would need a separate planning permission.

If chief arsonist, Mr Gove, expects to be thanked for promising a bucket to put out the fire he's poured petrol on for the past decade, he's either deluded or has Johnsonian-level respect for the truth.

Notes:

1. Andrew George successfully led the parliamentary campaign to stop the 50% council tax discount for second homes introduced by the Conservatives in the 1990s and was first to blow the whistle on the many tax loopholes available for holiday home owners toAndrew George in 2012.

2. Andrew published a recent report on Housing Injustice in Cornwall (available from Andrew George on request). This exposes the alarming extent of the different statutory and tax treatment between holiday and second homes and the effort to deliver secure and affordable homes for the growing thousands of local families in housing need.

3. Since this report was published he's obtained recent updated figures on tax subsidy for holiday home owners in Cornwall which shows that the amount of taxpayers' money deployed to cover the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) on holiday homes in Cornwall has increased from £142,573,599.80 at end 2022 to £165,334,974.85 at end 2023.
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Con arsonist Gove comes to Cornwall today to promise us a bucket of water to quell his housing conflagration.

This comes shortly after PM Sunaks flying visit. Gove will again attempt to sugarcoat the Conservatives dreadful record of pumping billions of public money into holiday homes at the expense of thousands of families in desperate need. 

If the Conservatives were genuinely concerned about the housing emergency theyd have taken action a decade ago. 

Gove no doubt hopes no one will notice hes the arsonist who inflamed this crisis; and hopes people wont notice thisll be the umpteenth re-announcement of the promised bucket - and which is at best a limp solution to the injustices theyve inflicted on those in need. 

Conservatives have thrown petrol on the flames of the housing emergency. Pumping over £400 million of taxpayers money into the pockets of Cornwalls holiday home owners for over a decade; twice as much as theyve granted to those (like the charity I run in my day job) attempting to build secure affordable first homes for locals. 

I first pointed out the injustice of this particular tax loophole (there are many others) in 2012; a loophole which permits second homers to flip to register as a holiday let and then avoid paying either business rates or council tax. We finally shamed the Conservatives into promising theyd stop this back in 2018. But theyve done nothing. It seems that removing tax loopholes for the wealthy is not as important to the Tories as dog-whistle politics, curtailing free speech and their fantasy flights to Rwanda. Theyve just regurgitated announcements - usually just before elections - about promising to do something, but done nothing.

What theyve promised wont work anyway. Requiring evidence that the homes are actually let for at least 70 days per annum will be easily got round. Doubling council tax on second homes wont work on its own as it will drive even more second homers to flip to register as a holiday letting business, thus negating the intended effect. The plan to introduce a new planning use class is a pale and ineffectual imitation of the Liberal Democrats long standing policy to insist that all non-permanent occupancy use - not just holiday letting - would need a separate planning permission. 

If chief arsonist, Mr Gove, expects to be thanked for promising a bucket to put out the fire hes poured petrol on for the past decade, hes either deluded or has Johnsonian-level respect for the truth. 

Notes:

1. Andrew George successfully led the parliamentary campaign to stop the 50% council tax discount for second homes introduced by the Conservatives in the 1990s and was first to blow the whistle on the many tax loopholes available for holiday home owners to exploit back in 2012. 

2. Andrew published a recent report on Housing Injustice in Cornwall (available from Andrew George on request). This exposes the alarming extent of the different statutory and tax treatment between holiday and second homes and the effort to deliver secure and affordable homes for the growing thousands of local families in housing need. 

3. Since this report was published hes obtained recent updated figures on tax subsidy for holiday home owners in Cornwall which shows that the amount of taxpayers money deployed to cover the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) on holiday homes in Cornwall has increased from £142,573,599.80 at end 2022 to £165,334,974.85 at end 2023.Image attachment
1 week ago
Andrew George

Thanks to Helston’s community leaders, a chance to discuss the issues of the day.

All welcome. Make it about the issues which matter to all of us; and to you; have your say; register your questions.

Needless to say, as usual, the local Conservative MP declined the invitation.
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Thanks to Helston’s community leaders, a chance to discuss the issues of the day. 

All welcome. Make it about the issues which matter to all of us; and to you; have your say; register your questions.

Needless to say, as usual, the local Conservative MP declined the invitation.
2 weeks ago
Andrew George

So Sunak has noticed there’s more to politics than his obsession with fantasy flights to Rwanda. And he’s apparently finally woken up to his party’s destruction of NHS dentistry.

Rather than desperately cobbling together last-minute fantasy plans just when the Tories face imminent annihilation, he should call a general election so the country can get shot of them, and we can start the painstaking task of rebuilding our country.
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So Sunak has noticed there’s more to politics than his obsession with fantasy flights to Rwanda. And he’s apparently finally woken up to his party’s destruction of NHS dentistry.  

Rather than desperately cobbling together last-minute fantasy plans just when the Tories face imminent annihilation, he should call a general election so the country can get shot of them, and we can start the painstaking task of rebuilding our country.
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Speaking Up

We lost by the narrow margin of just 312 votes at the last election. I was asked by news reporters immediately afterwards “how disappointed” I felt. I explained that I wasn’t disappointed for myself, but for the people I hoped to speak up for and who deserved to have their voice heard in Parliament.

After all, in Cornwall the Conservative Party secured the support of just 35% of the Cornish electorate yet secured 100% of the seats, …100% of the voice.

The Conservatives primarily speak up for those who are already more than able to speak up for themselves: the wealthy, the landed, big business, the privileged, powerful media barons, those who believe the poor have only themselves to blame etc.

But who’ll speak for the poor, the poorly housed, our NHS, our schools, our public servants, our environment, refugees, for Britain to be an ambassador for peace and reconciliation in a wider world, or even for foxes who’d rather not be chased to their death just for recreational fun?

Though a clear majority of voters in this constituency agree we must find a voice for the voiceless, unfortunately old fashioned tribalism ensured the votes of the majority were split and so helped gift this seat to the Conservatives on another minority vote.

We owe it to the voiceless to do all we can to stop that happening here this time. That’s why I’ve been working to seek cooperation between those on the centre/left of politics. I continue that work. I hope you’ll join me.

Common Platform for Cornwall

Common Platform Cornwall