I recently received several emails from constituents about the Israel and Palestine debate on Wednesday 5 July. Unfortunately, due to other parliamentary commitments, I was unable to attend the debate.
Many argue that today's rise in extremism can be traced back to two overlapping crisis; a crisis of ideology, and a crisis of identity. This research programme which I help advise with Shabana Mahmood MP sets out to explore questions of identity, in our own home city of Birmingham. It's a three year programme which we hope will develop new answers to the challenge of developing what you might call a very English Islam.
For those who take an interest in such things, here's the original report I oversaw at the Treasury back in 2009-10, which uncovered the problem we now know as the 'squeezed middle'
[embeddoc url="/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/HMT-Final-draft-report-Squeezed-Middle.pdf" download="all" viewer="google"]
Many constituents have written to me about the Grenfell fire. Most enquiries focused on fire-safety standards, the weakness of the Government's response and the need to properly assist the victims of the fire in finding new housing and professional support in overcoming the tragedy that has befallen their community.
I have prepared the following response:
A simple truth is now clear in economics.
Policymakers and politicians know how to globalise, but we do not know how to make globalisation work for the majority of voters. And today we see the consequences of this in referenda and elections around the world. Inequality in advanced countries is fuelling huge political instability.
Today’s combination of hyper-loose monetary policy and tight fiscal policy means that the asset-rich get richer while the asset-and-income-poor get battered. If you’re lucky enough to own a house or shares or pension rights, you’ve done well since 2010: the stock market is up 40%; house prices are up by over a quarter; and the ‘triple lock’ on pensions in the UK will have channelled more than £33 billion extra to those with pension rights by 2020. Yet those on tax credits have seen their incomes fall precipitously while, of course, benefiting not at all from asset-price inflation; needless to say, they have little if any pension rights to protect.
The challenge for progressives over the next 20 years is blunt: we know how to globalise - but we don’t know how to make globalisation work for the majority of voters. Fixing the tax system is part of the answer.
During the General Election, I spent 30 days on the streets of Hodge Hill Constituency talking to local residents. Rubbish and fly-tipping remain a top concern.
This presentation sets out evidence collected walking around my constituency every day.
[pdf-embedder url="/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Operation-Hodge-Hill-Pride-.pdf" title="Operation Hodge Hill Pride" alt="my presentation addressing rubbish dumping in East Birmingham"]
Here's the final copy of our Peoples' Plan for the West Midlands - written with the help of the NESTA's D-Cent digital democracy technology!
[pdf-embedder url="/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/The-Peoples-Plan-Manifesto-pages.pdf" title="The People's Plan Manifesto (pages)"]