• Tuition fees

    Tuition fees aren’t just bad news for students – they are bad for us all.

    I’m campaigning to scrap them. For the sake of our young people. For the sake of our economy.

  • The disgrace of inequality

    DSC_0021Inequality is bad for us all. Having wide discrepancies in people’s wealth is not only socially divisive and, emotionally and intellectually debilitating, it is also economically catastrophic. No society can sustain such a massive gap between the richest and poorest.

    Sadly, today there is yet more depressing evidence that the Coalition’s Austerity budgets have created a massive increase in inequality in the UK.

    We already know that average household incomes are still declining and that a record number of working families are in poverty.

    Today’s report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation describes how 8.1m parents and children don’t have the incomes they need. The study says that the number of families with children on inadequate incomes rose by more than the between 2008 and 2013.

    The Foundation describes it as “income stagnation” – it is known as hardship and poverty to you and me.

    Of course the daily reality of inequality is a long way from the corridors of Westminster. This is how the government responded to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report:

    “UK income inequality is now lower than when this government came into office and the recovery is being felt across the country.”

    The Coalition is utterly divorced from ordinary lives.

    Austerity isn’t working.

    Cuts to our public services aren’t working.

    If there was ever a desperate need for change it is now.

  • Being part of Our Fair City

    I’m delighted to have become a Champion of the Our Fair City project in Sheffield. Tackling inequality is something that really matters to me – it’s one of the reasons I’m standing in the general election.

    Our Fair City is a project that brings together people who “live, work, study or do business in Sheffield” in order to “make our great city a place we can be really proud of.” It’s about promoting fairness for all.  The Fairness Commission has established some good guidelines for how citizens and policy makers can make the city a fairer place:

    • Civic responsibility – all residents to contribute to making the city fairer and for all citizens to have a say in how the city works
    • Those with the most resources should make the biggest contributions
    • The commitment to fairness must be for the long-term
    • The commitment to fairness must be across the whole city
    • Preventing inequalities is better than trying to cure them
    • To be seen to act in a fair way as well as acting fairly
    • Those in greatest need should take priority
    • An open continuous campaign for fairness in the city
    • Fairness must be a matter of balance between different groups, communities and generations in the city
    • The city’s commitment to fairness must be both demonstrated and monitored in an annual report

    Our Fair City is an initiative that seeks to make our home “the fairest city in the UK” and encompasses supporters from across the political spectrum. It’s a great example of what we can do together.

    Why don’t you become a champion too?


  • Is swapping one party for another real change?

    Could Nick Clegg lose his Sheffield seat in May general election?

    crossThat’s what an article in today’s Guardian asks.

    There’s a growing sense that Nick Clegg will lose his seat in Sheffield Hallam but some can’t see beyond the existing broken system of party politics.

    There’s lots and lots of us who want better than we’ve experienced with Clegg – not just on national issues but locally too. I’m hoping people will vote positively for change rather than simply with a protest vote against him.

    Just about everyone I speak to is looking for a genuine alternative. Not just replacing one party machine with another but electing someone who represents the people of Sheffield Hallam.

    That’s why I’m standing as an independent.

    That’s why I need your support.

    Share. Donate. Vote.

  • The Real Alternative

    flatpackI met with the independent councillor and Mayor of Frome, Peter MacFadyen, today. We talked about the possibilities unlocked by being independent. The success in Somerset offers a model of what could happen here in Sheffield.

    Peter (and other local residents) stood for election because the main political parties no longer represented his home town. Not only did they win, they’ve transformed the local council through common sense and collaboration. It’s good to see how non-party politicians can make such a positive difference to their communities.

    If they can do it in Somerset, we can do it in Yorkshire. Sheffield Hallam could enjoy the same free thinking, pragmatic approach to government that puts the interests of the local people first.

    Whatever Westminster might say, Independents are the real alternative to party politics.

  • Prosperity with compassion

    economyWhile 2015 might not deliver Back to the Future style hover boards, let’s hope it gives us a change of heart in government: where compassion triumphs over cuts and where plans for long term prosperity overcome petty party politics.

    Let’s stop talking about cuts. Let’s grow. Let’s rebuild our economy so that it can afford the services that make life better for us all.