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A strong experienced voice for North Wiltshire
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Thursday 16 November 2017 Weekly Column

Why do you think Remembrance Sunday is so poignant- perhaps even more so in recent years than ever before? It’s about remembering and honouring our war dead- of course it is. “We will Remember them….” And it’s about being thankful that it was not us “They shall not grow old…” It’s about thanking our servicemen and women today for all they do for us; and the Emergency services and other public servants as well. It’s about a renewed pride in our country and all it stands for; it’s about remembering local people and their great contribution to the wars of the past. It may well be about personal memories of relations or friends who gave their lives. It’s about all of those things and a great many more. It’s a complex of thoughts that swirl around our heads and hearts as we listen to ‘The Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ and contemplate for what can often seem like a very long two minutes silence.

But it occurred to me as I attended four Remembrance events this year - the Children’s service in Calne, where all of the schools locally came together to lay on a most moving tableau about the Second World War, In Cricklade and then Blakehill Farm, where the gliders took off for Arnhem, then finally in Malmesbury, that Remembrance Sunday is not about the past. It’s about the future. That’s why these young people so honestly and enthusiastically commemorate decades before they were born.

Unlike any other historical remembrance, these young people are realising that their ancestors fought and died for their way of life and their freedoms – freedoms which as they look around the world today they realise that other young people simply do not enjoy in so many places.

I was very impressed this week also by attending the Abbeyfield School GCSE certificate ceremony and hearing so many wonderful attestations about the prize winners, and visiting the Cricklade Guides who were taking a keen and active interest in Parliament Week; and finally talking to GCSE students In John Bentley School in Calne about their exam project looking into education finance. We are just so lucky to have such a magnificent cohort of intelligent, capable, competent and healthy young people in our schools and colleges today. They can do what they are doing so very well because of the legacy which we previous generations leave to them.

These visits lift my heart and give me huge hope for and confidence in the future of our great Nation. “When you go home tell them of us and say: For your tomorrows we gave our todays.”

Thursday 9 November 2017 Weekly Column

Rumours scandals and plots swirl around Westminster like the November mist as I stroll over to St Margaret’s for the splendid Memorial Service to that great old Labour Campaigner, Tam Dalyell of the Binns. (He of the General Belgrano, West Lothian Question and aptly named autobiography ‘The Importance of being Awkward.’)

Sexual harassment and worse must not be allowed. People who are guilty of them must be named and shamed, and pay the political penalty of their indiscretions.

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Thursday 2 November 2017 Weekly Column

It was on 31st October 1517- 500 years ago this week – that Martin Luther so memorably nailed his 95 theses against the sale of ‘indulgences’ on the door of All Saints Church in Wittemburg, declaring it is said “Here I stand. I can do none other….” The reality is that his theses were pretty academic stuff debating whether or not the church could sell ‘indulgences’ – pieces of paper which allegedly absolved you of your sins, sometimes even before you had committed them. It was a

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Tuesday 31 October 2017 Latest News

“I am delighted that having served for a number of years on the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, I have now been appointed to the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy, and reappointed to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly,” said North Wiltshire MP James Gray, speaking in Westminster earlier today.

The Joint Committee on National Security Strategy is the Parliamentary Committee consisting of Members of both Houses (Lords and Commons), and was established to

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Thursday 26 October 2017 Weekly Column

Once a week, the most important piece of paper to come across the MP’s desk is “The Whip.” It’s a detailed list of the forthcoming business in the House at least for a week ahead, sometimes two.

“THE BUSINESS FOR THE WEEK COMMENCING 23RD OCTOBER 2017 WILL BE:

MONDAY 23RD OCTOBER

Deadline for tabling: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Church Commissioners & House of Commons Commission and Public Accounts Commission

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