09.12.2016

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The Simple Politics guide to next week in Parliament.
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Let's all be positive. 


I must admit, I feel a little glum writing this. Overnight, Sleaford and North Hykeham voted for a new MP. She got 54% of the vote, but with only 37% of the vote. That means that, including young people, about 90% of the population of the area didn't vote for their MP. It's not a great verdict on democracy, is it?

Also, Brexit. The news this week has been screaming about the headway we're finally making. But there hasn't been any. MPs voted for 31st March as a deadline, but we already knew that was the target. May committed to giving Parliament a vague plan at some point before that. Again, it's hardly inspiring. 

But all is not lost. We still hold passionate beliefs. We can do things. Someone I know spent last Sunday visiting a refugee camp in Dunkirk on the North French coast. She went to the women's centre there, armed with lipsticks, hand cremes & Quality Street. She had glow sticks, bouncing balls and chocolate for the kids.  In short, she gave a little bit of joy to people who sorely needed it.

Now, I'm not trying to make a statement about refugees and immigration. Maybe you think we should fly a banner welcoming refugees, maybe you think if we do so, we'll be encouraging too many people to make horrible, possibly fatal, journeys, maybe you look at your town's services and think we simply can't fit in anyone else. It doesn't matter. We can all take the opportunity this festive period to do something positive.

Whether it's campaigning, say, for grammar schools, or volunteering somewhere this Christmas, or just donating to a food bank. Politics isn't just about the headlines. It's about you and me and making a difference.

If you do get out and do something positive; something awesome; please let me know. I'd love to hear your stories.
Last week I told you about our amazing card game.  It's still selling really well. Looks like we'll be completely sold out by Christmas. We've also told you about our pub quiz. That's selling well too, but is a download so won't sell out.

Today I can tell you about our amazing Brexit game: The Great British Break Off. It's loads of fun and makes the whole negotiation thing a bit clearer. In short, 2 groups (UK & EU) start by agreeing their aims for negotiation, then the two sides get together and hammer out a deal. Really - although we do say so ourselves - it's brilliant.

Click here to have a look and to buy the quiz or either game.
Neighbourhood Planning Bill

This will help the government in their plans to build one million new homes and come up with a strategy for the future infrastructure that the UK economy needs.

Selling the Land Registry would provide the government with around £1 billion to reduce national debt. A new digital land registration service could make the process more efficient.

More details
Savings (Government Contributions) Bil
This sets up a Help to Save scheme, where people on in-work benefits (like tax credits) saving £50 a month receive a 50% top up in 2 years, gaining up to £600. It will also set up a Lifetime ISA for under 40s, with a 35% top up on savings up to £4,000 a year. Expect Labour to say it doesn’t go far enough for those struggling the most.
More details
Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill

This is a pretty uncontroversial Bill that the UK Government asked the Law Commission to draw up. It will modernise intellectual property law to keep up with technology and make it easier for businesses to settle disputes. This has now gone to a Bill Committee in the Lords.
More details
Corrections!
1 - last week I suggested that we'd hear back from the Supreme Court next week. We won't hear until the new year. Sorry.
2 - a loyal reader (thanks Dad) pointed out that I mistakenly wrote 'non-generic' drugs in relation to the Medical Supplies Bill. Of course, that should have read 'generic'. Apologies for any confusion caused.
The Simple Politics Guide to: The National Citizen Service Bill
The National Citizenship Service Bill is in the House of Lords next week.
Click here to check out the shop now!!!
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