Last Updated: 05 August 2011
Created: 05 August 2011
Anxious eyes have been on the USA as they came to the brink of defaulting on their own deficit, which would have had untold consequences for the world economy. The deal agreed at the last minute is welcome news. It's important for all countries to tackle their deficits. The results of the action that Britain has taken are plain to see - despite having inherited one of the largest budget deficits, our long-term interest rates are among the lowest in Europe, which is essential for homeowners and businesses. This government’s difficult decisions on the deficit have made the UK a safe haven in the recent economic storm. As the employers’ organisation the CBI made clear this week, abandoning our deficit reduction plan, as Labour is suggesting, would be disastrous.
On another matter, you may have read that people power is coming to Parliament! A new scheme means that if a petition on a particular issue gets more than 100,000 signatures, then the House of Commons has to consider it – no ifs, no buts. I strongly support this principle of residents being allowed to chose relevant issues to debate. The Parliamentary process can often seem quite removed from most people’s everyday lives. Some of the issues we debate seem to be of little significance to the majority of people – not the sort of thing they’re talking about down the Dog & Duck! With the new system, people can choose current issues which really matter to them. Of course, this will mean some controversial and uncomfortable debates; there’s speculation that one of the first may be on reintroducing capital punishment. But it will also be a very useful way to get a range of important topics discussed. For instance, I’m working with Martin Lewis of moneysavingexpert.com to make financial education compulsory in schools. If enough people sign a new e-petition, this could be a way to make it a reality. Overall, it should make Parliament a lot more interesting!
Finally to football, and after a seemingly short break the new season is nearly upon us. The Di Canio effect really has the Swindon Town fans buzzing. If the pre-season expectations are anything to go by, then we should be right up there, seeking an immediate return to League One. After last season’s huge disappointment, Paolo Di Canio has transformed the team. His infectious enthusiasm, passion and drive should help Swindon deliver, in the same way Gus Poyet has done at Brighton. If the new players can gel quickly together, not only are we set for an exciting season, but an early scalp of our rivals Bristol City in the League Cup could be on the cards – come on you Reds!