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EU Bike Protest in Brussels Led by Mike


EU bike protest

Above: Mike is pictured with Danny John-Jules, aka ‘Cat’ from the popular BBC series Red Dwarf.

Mike has 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.

Mike, a keen motor cyclist, has consistently opposed the proposals and is in Brussels to meet Conservative MEPs. Mike is also concerned about costly EU proposals which he says will make anti-lock brakes (ABS) compulsory and subject motorcycles to three MOT tests a year.

Commenting, Mike said: “I could not miss the opportunity to join the rally outside the European Parliament to add my voice to the thousands opposing these regulations. 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.”

Cyber Crime Early Day Motion Tabled by Mike


Mike has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons to make it easier for businesses to report cyber crime.

There is a feeling amongst business owners that the Government is not doing enough to assist those who have been – and those who could be – affected by cyber crime. Mike has been discussing how to achieve a greater level of support and has started campaigning for the creation of an accessible knowledge base to enable companies to safeguard themselves from attack.

Commenting, Mike said: “Cyber crime is a silent menace that is on the increase. It often goes undetected and is woefully unreported as there is little public awareness. I have tabled this Early Day Motion in order to support individuals and businesses who need assistance from these attacks that more often than not emanate from overseas.”

He added: “If you have been affected by cyber-crime and would like to provide an account of what happened, please contact Natasha Malden, who is heading the national anti-cybercrime initiative on natasha.malden@gmail.com.”

Mike Takes Part In International Drugs Conference in House of Lords


Mike has attended an international drugs conference hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Drug Policy Reform in the House of Lords.

Mike, a Member of the APPG on Drug Policy Reform, who hosted his own national drugs conference in September, was keen to hear high-calibre speakers from all over the world take part in this latest drugs debate. Speakers included Baroness Manningham-Buller  former head of MI5 and a member of the APPG; Vargas-Lleras  German Interior Minister, Colombia; and Senator Murillo Karam from Mexico.

Commenting, Mike said: It’s important to keep up momentum on drugs reform and I was extremely pleased with the how well my recent conference was received. However, given that drugs policy crosses borders, a trans-national approach is necessary. I must pay tribute to Baroness Meacher who has done an excellent job with UK-Rehab.com bringing this together. Both conferences have raised some key issues that need to be addressed by the Government and our international counterparts.

Baroness Meacher added: The Government can no longer ignore the evidence. 50 years on from the start of the War on Drugs, The All Party Parliamentary Group calls on the Prime Minister to set-up a cross party commission to undertake a fundamental review of drug policy.

Mike Meets BBFC Bosses to Discuss Film Exemptions


Mike has met with executives at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to gain a better understanding of the regulator and its work.

Mike was invited to the headquarters of the BBFC in central London and given a tour of the building whilst discussing the ‘exempt’ category which is not actually classified by the BBFC. Videos which are designed to educate, inform or instruct or which are concerned with music, sport or religion are exempt from classification unless they contain certain extreme content. Mike was shocked though by some of the material that is in fact exempt from classification.

The British Board of Film Classification is an independent, non-governmental body which has classified cinema films since it was set up in 1912 and has classified videos/DVDs since the Video Recordings Act was passed in 1984. It is independent, self-financing and not-for-profit. For more information, please see www.bbfc.co.uk.

Commenting, Mike said: “It was fascinating to see first-hand the work that BBFC undertakes and having met with representatives before, I was aware of the important work that they do. It was a very informative visit and I was given a demonstration of the classification process. I particularly look forward to working with the BBFC in the future to help solve the exemption gap.”

Insulate Your Home to Cut Your Energy Costs


Mike Weatherley MP Ready for Winter

Mike has called on residents to take advantage of a national free insulation offer before the onset of winter.

Currently, around £1 of every £4 spent on heating UK homes is wasted because of a lack of adequate insulation. With an estimated 6 million cavity walls unfilled, and 10 million lofts left unlagged, huge amounts of money and energy are being wasted. To help cut costs, British Gas is offering all of their customers free insulation this winter. Mike recently attended an event at Parliament to highlight the benefits of the programme.

Commenting, Mike said: “With rising fuel prices, I know that residents will welcome ways to help reduce their fuel bills. British Gas are running a great scheme that I would encourage everyone who is eligible to take up before the cold spell sets in.”

Don’t Let Gay Hotline Close


Mike has called for help to save the Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard which faces closure.

Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard provides an important telephone help-line service and a counselling service to more than 1000 people per year. It costs the charity £250 per day to operate and now need £20,000 is needed by April 2012 to avoid closure. The switchboard was founded in 1975 and has been providing services to the LGBT community in Brighton & Hove and beyond ever since.

Originally operating as a helpline, the switchboard has expanded over the years to include a face-to-face counselling service as well as providing diversity, awareness programmes to local organisations. For more details, please see: www.switchboard.org.uk

Commenting, Mike said: “The LGBT Switchboard desperately needs to raise £20,000 by early next year in order to avert closure and to keep providing their valuable counselling via their helpline. I urge anyone who can help to get in touch with the switchboard as soon as possible.”

Type 1 Diabetes Must Not be Ignored


Mike made the point on World Diabetes Day that Type 1 diabetes must not be ignored.

World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on 14th November. The campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation and was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation in conjunction with the World Health Organization. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world with a view to keeping diabetes firmly in the public spotlight.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) works hard to raise specific awareness of Type 1 diabetes. Over the last 40 years, JDRF has raised more than £900m for research. More details of the campaign can be found at www.jdrf1campaign.org.uk.

Commenting, Mike said: “Most people know someone who has diabetes and projects like world diabetes day do great work to draw attention to this serious medical condition. I want to draw particular attention to Type 1 diabetes, which is dramatically on the rise, especially in young children, and has no known cure.”

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