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February 12, 2009


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Wirral Housing

good post- and some really interesting debate in the comments too.

Paul Flynn

Thanks Rich, that's a good idea. I have put a link on this blog above the EDM. It will take you to EDM I have signed or sponsored.
The best way to find EDM is by the name of the MP who initiated them.


Is it possible to follow your EDMs on this website?


I just looked over the first few pages on that site and couldn't find them. It would be interesting to follow how they are doing, how many signatures they get, etc. Although I understand there is no chance of a debate happening.

Kay Tie

The Government can be comforted that the Telegraph's odious Simon Heffer supports Lacqui Smith on Ecstasy. Apparently we are all imbeciles.

Paul Flynn

Kay Tie, there's the evidence of the Advisory Body based on 4,000 scientific reports. The Home Office rejected it before they read it.

Wonderful blog by the BBC Mark Easton on the bad Science of the the accuracy of the the only scientist who defends t Government policy. See next blog

Paul Flynn

Thanks rwendland.
The choice that MPs have is buying, renting or staying in hotels. The cots to the public purse is roughly the same. The cost of renting or staying in hotels is similar to the cost of interest paid on the mortgage plus living expenses. No mortgage interest is paid without receipts.

There is no advantage in being reimbursed for small interest payments because allowances match exactly the sums paid. Using 100% of allowances for interest as David Cameron does, distiorts the purpose of the allowances.

There is no reimbursement of capital costs. This is the gamble that all homeowners take. House values go up or down. The crucial point is that second homes must pay full capital gains tax.

If interest payments tapered off in the way that you suggest, the MPs could still claim for other second home expenses. The system invites manipulation by smart accountants> This appears to the case in the complex arrangements used by the Wintertons.

A simple flat rate second homes allowance would be an improvement and less of a burden on taxpayers.


Isn't a problem with interest on mortgages that a smart accountant will tell an MP not to pay this mortgage off at all, and instead invest any money that could pay down that mortgage? Thus the MP continues to have the mortgage interest paid from allowances, and can pocket the investment interest from the savings that might have paid off the mortgage?

It seems to me interest on mortgages should either only be paid for the first few years as MP, or alternatively it should be assumed the mortgage is paid down at a reasonable rate.

Is this a reasonable idea?

Kay Tie

"Again we must look to Obama for a sensible lead in appointing a 'harm reduction' Czar."

Amazing how the family name of someone descended from a bunch of sheep rustlers who formed a village on one of the hills near the Tiber becomes a power moniker. And then becomes so overused ("hardworking families") that it becomes meaningless. Gaius Julius would be turning in his grave if he hadn't been cremated.

"there seems little purpose in the existence of an advisory body."

On the contrary. The Government has moved to policy based evidence. So the job of this body is to find the evidence for the policy. And when it won't do as it's told, it gets its knuckles rapped.

Paul Flynn

Thanks John.

Again we must look to Obama for a sensible lead in appointing a 'harm reduction' Czar.

If Government keep rejecting serious reports from the ACMD before they had read them, there seems little purpose in the existence of an advisory body.


The only message I get from the Governments response to the ACMD is that they make policy not based on science but moral hypocrisy.
Make no bones about it drug policy is based on a moral standpoint that taking drug is somehow morally wrong except of course if you take tobacco and alcohol. The shadow spokesperson for the Tories I can't remeber her name when pushed against the wall on this issue sited the erosion of "moral fibre" as a justification for criminalising ecstasy users for 7 years. I'm sure if we could get this so called moral fibre in drug form that would be legal.
But really nothing is going to change until the US changes its approach to drugs and there are glimmers of hope. Obama has already said he will stop the DEA raiding Compassion clubs in California and the appointment of the new Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is a vast improvement on that Fascist John Walters.
I think that there is a real chance that Cannabis will be removed from scedule 1 where it languishes at the moment classed as a drug open to abuse with no medicinal value. The blinkered approach to cannabis by the Bush administration ignoring the mountains of evidence of its medcinal use is similair to our response to the science of the ACMD it doesn't suit us to acknowlege the truth.
Lets hope that the signals that Obama has made towards needle exchanges manifests into somehting concrete when the Un meets in Vienna to finalise the next 10 years of international drug policy. For too long the US has handcuffed other states not allowing harm reduction measures by international law this needs to be changed.
THere is also a rising rejection of the US enforced prohibition in South America. You only have tolook at how prohbition has totally destabilised Mexico to see that this must change before too many lives are lost.

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