Nick's Week, February 2008

West Sussex County Times article

Who would you rather be at present - the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

Poor Mr Darling is looking rather beleaguered.  Certainly I never expected, as a newly elected MP, to find myself voting against nationalisation, but that's exactly what I did when I walked through the ‘no' lobby on the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill - for which read nationalisation of Northern Rock - this week.

The feeling of being transported back to the bad old days was reinforced by the late hour of the vote - midnight - made worse by the fact that I had to visit Wormwood Scrubs prison first thing the next morning.  I was rather taken with the fact that this imposing Victorian jail was built by convicts.  In those days, inmates had to walk a treadmill.  Today, they learn how to make curtains.  Is this a sign of our times?

Perhaps the Chancellor should have joined me for a meeting with the Chief Minister of Guernsey this week.  The Island has no capital gains tax, inheritance tax, sales tax or VAT, and income tax is set at a flat rate of 20 per cent.  My great grandfather came from Jersey, and I wonder why he left.

At this time of the year I hold public meetings in the villages in my constituency.  I'll be in Arundel on Friday evening and Findon on Saturday afternoon.  We had a useful discussion about local issues in Angmering last week, and I also attended a lively debate on climate change organised by the Wiggonholt Association.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's adviser on climate change was on the panel, expressing the hope that he might intervene in the current debate on global warming.  After the furore over his comments on Sharia, I felt - to use Sir Humphrey Appleby's expression - that this was "courageous" advice.  A period of godly silence might be best.


Document type

Articles

Published

21 February 2008

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