Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Wrapping it all Uppal

Without wishing to sound melodramatic, I lay awake in bed last night, unable to stop thinking about the Local Referendums Bill, Clause 3, Amendment 8.

Obviously, as you know, this is the one in which a Labour MP suggested that parents be allowed to vote on whether their child's school becomes an Academy or not. It seems to me a classic way of instituting the Big Society (i.e. fewer top-down Big Government decisions) on which David Cameron's so keen.

But: all the Tory MP's voted against! They actually decided that when it comes to massive decisions about children's education, they didn't want parents to be consulted in any way. This enrages me. It exposes their talk about citizen empowerment as utter lies.

So I wrote to my AWOL MP again, this time via I also took the opportunity to pose again the questions he's ignored since May 5th. Let's see if he's any more receptive this time…

Dear Paul Uppal,
I wrote to you via your contact details on your website (not updated since early 2009) to congratulate you on your election and to ask for a few biographical details - no response since early May. I list my questions below this letter.

I note too that details of your surgeries are listed nowhere on the web, yet you claim in one speech to have 'consulted' constituents - how? When and where are your surgeries, and how many have you held?

Firstly, however, I'd like to ask for your comments on your vote in the Local Referendums Bill, Clause 3 - Application for Academy Order - Amendment 8.

I was under the impression that you, like all Conservatives, were elected on a ticket of greater democracy, more citizen involvement in government, and less state intervention (the 'Big Society').

Why, then, did you vote against allowing parents to have a say on whether their schools should become Academies or not? As far as I can see, the application is made by the principal of a school with no requirement to consult anybody, and the decision rests solely with the Secretary of State for Education. This is hardly democratic: it silences the voices of those most affected by your party's plans.

Yours sincerely,

[Plashing Vole]

Questions from previous e-mail:
Dear Paul,
congratulations on your election - I'm one of your constituents.
Could you give me further details on your profile please? The candidate pages are rather vague. I'd particularly like to know:
your educational history
what businesses you run and have run
how long you have held a Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket
whether you live in the constituency
what political posts you have held previously
what political parties and pressure groups you have been/are a member of.

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