Parliamentary sketch – No air raid shelters against love bombs
Should Parliament be recalled? I believe it should.
The crises in the Middle East, Iraq and elsewhere have prompted questions over military intervention, humanitarian aid programmes and the appropriateness of the UK response so far.
Our Government should be held to account by the democratically elected Chamber, not just by the vagaries of the media.
I’ve already written three times to the Prime Minister in recent weeks, including since he departed for his first set of posed holiday snaps at fish markets in Portugal.
No doubt he will be posing for holiday pictures in Cornwall soon, but I hope we will be recalled to Parliament before then.
We have the plight of the Yazidis in Iraq, threatened with genocide by Islamic State fighters and the people of Gaza are in an inescapable war zone where the might of the Israeli military is engaged in a cold blooded and murderous campaign in their attempt to weed out a terrorist organisation armed, by comparison, with pea shooters.
The UK Government has the means of intervening to help in both cases, but we are doing little.
At the same time, I am being “love bombed” by Conservative Ministers. Three Ministers in two days in this week alone.
I appreciate that they will want to “big-up” the Tory cause at this stage of the electoral cycle, but the unwillingness of Ministerial Special Advisors to co-operate and provide advance notice draws the process into disrepute.
For example, the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, and his Ministerial colleagues have received many initiatives and campaigns from me. We have made good progress on many fronts, including transport links to the Isles of Scilly. Of course, I am pleased the Minister is visiting and that he will confirm the go-ahead of the important Harbour projects at St Mary’s and Penzance.
I’ve supported Islanders who have made a strong case for using the tarmacking batching plant, currently on the Islands, to resurface the roads of St Mary’s, to get full value from this – a once in a generation opportunity.
I’m pleased that the Secretary of State has found £1.8 million from down the back of his Department’s sofa to complete this project. I’m sure that he will also take time to view the welcome improvements to airport resilience at Land’s End and at St Mary’s.
But I’m also asking him and his Department to have another look down the back of its sofa to find the funding to give our part of the world parity of support with the London region which is being given disproportionate investment.
We currently have a bid with his Department for an important Scillies Park and Ride scheme at Eastern Green in Penzance; I’ve requested funds to commission the scoping report and options appraisal for the near universally supported ambition to build an offshore breakwater at Penzance; and the Secretary of State knows very well that we are bringing forward plans for a helicopter service between Penzance and the Islands which may require an element of Government underwriting.
Some in the media have asked how I would react if he or other visiting Tory Government Ministers attempted to use their visits to advance the Tory Party rather than Government duty in this seat.
What’s in the best interests of this area should be above party politics. Many of the projects I am involved in have “all Party” support, including the Conservatives. The need to secure investment should be a matter above the zero-sum-game of party tribalism.
I hope that the months ahead will see people pulling together for the good of the community, not engaged in an unseemly scramble to claim credit or to diminish others.
You can contact Andrew George by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. His constituency office can be contacted at Trewella, 18 Mennaye Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4NG. Telephone: 01736 360020.
Andrew George MP
Kernow a’n West ha Syllan
West Cornwall and the Scillies
Constituency of St Ives
Tel: 01736 360020
Fax: 01736 332866
12th August 2014