My regular newspaper column: Your MP Writes

I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Enzo Calzaghe whose funeral took place on Friday. Enzo contributed an enormous amount to the sport of boxing in Wales, training numerous fighters including his son Joe. I had the privilege of knowing Enzo and pay tribute to this great character, and true gentleman who will be greatly missed.

A by-election in Parliament has just resulted in the election of a hereditary peer.  Nearly 100 sit in the Lords, not through winning an election like MPs, or through, (theoretically at least) contributing in some way to public life like other members of the House of Lords. They are there because of something done by a long dead ancestor. Conservatives are meant to support tradition and I suppose most of these hereditary peers are probably Conservatives. But I cannot find a single defence for these 19th century throwbacks who are able to collect hundreds of pounds a day in expenses for just turning up. A modern Conservative government standing up for working people should look to end this farcical arrangement.

Like most people I fully support Britain doing its bit to help people in third world countries who suffer from floods, famine, disease, or other natural disasters. I am proud of the money we have spent on refugee camps near Syria which are enabling people who have fled war to have the basic necessities of life in a safe environment near to their homes. But I do object to the way that money is being frittered about so that we can boast that we have spent 0.7% of our wealth on foreign aid. This leads us to spend money whether it is needed or not. At the moment we are giving away nearly £100million of taxpayers money to India. At the same time the Indian Government are spending a similar sum on a moon mission and a great deal more on foreign aid to other countries. Countries launching moon shots and running foreign aid programmes clearly don’t need our help.

*Published in the South Wales Argus*