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Copenhagen talks must not stall like Doha

I’ve been closely following the Doha trade talks as my MEP Robert Sturdy, who as vice-chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary World Trade Organisation Committee, has played a key role in these negotiations. I know his frustrations only too well as year after year, world leaders fail to reach an agreement. Today we issued another press release voicing concerns that the latest talks this week will...
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How the NHS should clean up its act

Today’s alarming report on the Dr Foster Hospital Guide about our under performing NHS trusts – based on a range of indicators including death rates, infection rates and staffing levels – reminded me of something worrying I learnt at the Infection 2009 conference earlier this month. Dr Peter Wilson, consultant microbiologist at University College London Hospital, told me that because...
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Have you gatecrashed a party?

Appearing confident and dressing the part – as well as being daring – opens any doors, as Michaele and Tariq Salahi discovered when they gatecrashed a presidential dinner at the White House hosted by President Obama and his wife Michelle. “I belong here too,” is the message this clearly picture tells us. The beaming couple do not look like interlopers. But how easy is it to get away with?...
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Getting to grips with depression

Depression is one of those terrible illnesses we handle so badly. Mental illness is sadly still tabooed, and it is only when we hear about those who can no  longer live with their tortured minds and commit suicide, like Germany’s famous goalkeeper Robert Enke, or the beautiful Korean model Daul Kim, that this difficult issue is publicly debated. But what can be done to help those suffering from...
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Insanely protective French parents of Zoe

I’m a protective mum, but not in the insane way as French parents who are furious that the name Zoe has been chosen by Renault for its new electric car. They regard it as a slur on their daughters called Zoe. Zoe has become one of the most popular names for French baby girls, rising from somewhere over the past five years to become 17th favourite. But some angry parents have launched an internet...
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Suffolk swedes and apples

First our Norfolk folk were insultingly dubbed the “Turnip Taliban”. And now Conservatives in the neighbouring county of Suffolk who are selecting a parliamentary candidate this Friday have been mockingly lablled the “Suffolk Swede”. Hey, why does the media keep insulting our residents this way? I am not alone in asking this question. The East Anglian Daily Times’ headline today points out,...
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Describing life after a head injury

This is one tragic example of how an acquired head injury can dramatically change your life for ever.  Felicity Aston, the polar adventurer and Antarctica scientist, has described the terrible events which followed after her younger brother Spencer, now 21, was in a car crash while at grammar school and predicted good GCSE grades. This is an extract from her moving account in yesterday’s The...
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How can divorce be made fairer for kids?

With the Conservative Party pledging much needed support for families, it is worth remembering that almost half of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce. It is surely these fractured families, with children often torn between bitter, warring parents, who particularly need help and support. The impact of divorce on children can be devastating, as this report highlights, including...
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Defra’s double waste whammy

  I am a keen recycler, but was astonished to read in the latest PR Week that Defra is paying a PR company £94,000 to launch a recycling campaign for Christmas with the key messages reduce, reuse and recycle. The government already funds a quango called WRAP – the Waste, Resource and Action Programme – to get these messages across, so why is Defra hiring an outside company as well? No wonder...
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Robert Sturdy accuses EU of “a classic fudge” over top two new jobs

My Eastern Region MEP Robert Sturdy has accused the EU of “a classic fudge” over the appointment of its first president and foreign minister, the two top jobs in Europe. The Belgian Prime Minister, Herman Van Rompuy, is the first president elected by European leaders under the Lisbon Treaty, while Baroness Ashton,  former Trade Commissioner, is the newly appointed High Representative for Foreign...
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This is an isolation pod for superbugs

Hospitals have too few side wards for patients with serious infections, such as MRSA and C.difficile, and one solution is to use a mobile isolation pod, such as the two shown in this video which were displayed at the excellent Infection 2009 conference in Birmingham last week. I was stunned by the technology and thought which has gone into the designs. For example, a patient can lie in bed...
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Advice on being selected a Conservative PPC for Cambridge

This timely advice comes straight from the words of former Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, Richard Normington, who stepped down last month, and offers these words of wisdom and personal insight on his blog: The City of Cambridge Association advertised for my replacement on Friday 13th. The deadline for applications is midday on 30th November. My advice, for what...
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I’m in team Andre

I caught up with the desperate fame seeking celebs in the jungle last night and couldn’t work out why Jordan had to go all that way to seek “closure”. It was in this jungle that she met Pete Andre and fell in love with him five years ago. They later married and had two lovely children, but earlier this year announced their separation. My wish is that Pete secretly arrives in a helicopter to...
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Overtaking Labour’s vote share lead

Conservatives face a massive challenge at the next general election because the present boundaries give Labour the advantage of an inbuilt majority. They need to win fewer votes in constituencies where they are strongest to secure a victory, while many Conservative strongholds are in spread out rural areas and rely on a higher turnout of supporters at the polls. This video explains it perfectly,...
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Thetford vicar squares up to Cameron

A Thetford vicar has used strong words to voice concerns about outsiders being selected as parliamentary candidates in his constituency. He also accuses David Cameron of “arrogant interference”. Canon Bob Baker makes no direct reference to Liz Truss, the Conservative candidate selected for South West Norfolk who will need all her inner strength and charm today when she faces a call for her...
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