November 2011 will be a month I will never forget for a myriad of reasons. I went on an anti-EU motorcycle rally in Brussels; I enlisted the help of a number of Rock legends to promote live music and copyright protection; and I argued the case against some of the largest strikes in recent memory. Below, I have outlined some of what I have been up to as the Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade.
Victoria Gardens campsite
Having recently been successful with my campaign to criminalise squatting, I have also taken the campers on Victoria Gardens in Brighton to task. Long-term camping in public spaces as a form of protest is unacceptable. The point of the protest was made long ago and it’s now just about a group of lazy campers hanging around for a fun time in front of our Royal Pavilion. This is not something that the public should have to pay for or put up with. Hard working taxpayers have had enough of these freeloaders. After publicly condemning the camp, I popped down to put my concerns to them in person. They claim to represent “the 99%”, so I informed them of the views of the REAL 99% – and told them to tidy up and go home.
EU bike protest
Earlier this month, I led protesters outside the European Parliament in Brussels in opposing planned European Union regulations. The regulations would bar motorcyclists from customising their machines and oblige them to wear fluorescent clothing. I have consistently opposed the proposals so went to Brussels to discuss the issue with Conservative MEPs. For many motorcyclists, tuning, improving and transforming their machines is a large part of the satisfaction of owning a bike. Quite simply, these proposals will ruin that. Motorcycling is all about freedom, but the EU plan is all about taking freedom away.
Olympic torch comes to Hove
I am delighted to announce that the Olympic Torch is to come to Hove on part of its official tour of the UK. Until last month, the route for the torch has been the subject of much discussion by Olympic officials. I had been in correspondence with Sebastian Coe to emphasise the importance of including Hove within the route. Although the final details of the route are still being kept under wraps for principally security reasons, I am delighted that Hove will play its part in this historic event.
30th November strikes
As you know, on 30th November there were large public sector strikes throughout the country. Before the day, I called for strikers to join with the rest of the country in working together to tackle the deficit. I understand why people chose to strike, but it is vital for the long-term prosperity of our country that we address our deficit. This is currently running at around £170 billion annually. Obviously this is unsustainable. While many feel that the decisions that have been made are unfair, postponing or reducing the burden is not in the interests of the country as a whole. I would like to thank those who chose to cross the picket line on that day. Britain needs unity, not divisive strikes.
Rock the House
Earlier this year, I ran Rock the House – a parliamentary music competition to highlight the importance of live music and intellectual property rights. I am delighted that endorsements for the project are flooding in. Over the past few weeks, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and Bullet For My Valentine have joined Alice Cooper in the list of stars who have become Patrons of Rock the House. Plans are already in motion for next year and there has already been a lot of interest from bands across the country. The prizes are bigger and better, too, so if you think you have what it takes then watch this space!
I will be in touch again next month with an update but, as always, please see www.mikeweatherleymp.com if you can’t wait that long!