The Prime Minister's cowardly immigration proposals are founded on myths and lies
In a speech on immigration earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced a raft of proposals to address what he called 'the something for nothing' culture among immigrants coming to the UK.
These are cowardly proposals, founded on the kinds of myths and lies we've seen promoted by UKIP, the BNP and some tabloid newspapers.
They completely ignore the reality that immigrants are far less likely to claim benefits than the indigenous population, even after working here for several years, and as a whole contribute more to the public purse than they take out.
It's certainly true that people in Brighton and Hove sometimes struggle to access the housing, medical and other support they need. But immigrants are no more to blame for the economic crisis than those struggling to find work, pay their rising bills or feed their children on unacceptably low wages.
If the Government is really serious about addressing people’s concerns, it should be developing border controls that a
Caroline at the Extra Mural Cemetery
Last week I visited venues that impact on everyone in Brighton Pavilion at some point, regardless of income or status – the city cemeteries.
I began the visit with Council staff and Councillor Leo Littman at the Lewes Road site.
This includes Victorian burial grounds alongside a garden of remembrance, a children’s memorial garden, the Registrar’s office at Woodvale Lodge and the Woodvale Crematorium.
The Extra Mural Cemetery (pictured) is no longer in use as a burial ground but includes a tomb and nature trail with reminders of Brighton lives past.
It includes the grave of Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown’s Schooldays; Tom MS Highflyer, an African boy rescued from a slave ship, whose story can still be read on the gravestone; and Dorothy Stringer.
I then went on to Woodingdean to visit the site for a new Woodland Burial Ground, the existing one being full.
The site will be opening later this Spring and initial plans for the
Growing support for public ownership of railways - Action for Rail at Brighton Station
I was at Brighton Station yesterday with Peter Pinkney, the National President of RMT, for the Action for Rail day of protest calling for fairer rail fares.
There was a hugely positive response from the commuters we spoke about the idea of bringing the railways back into public ownership, which could save the taxpayer more than £1bn a year.
People have clearly had enough of the privatised rail network letting them down - with endlessly increasing fares and few real signs of improvement in services or efficiency...
Walk in the dark with Guide Dogs
Caroline assisted by human guide and by cane
I experienced a completely different perspective on the city this week.
Invited by Guide Dogs staff, I took part in a walk to try and understand some of the challenges that blind and partially sighted people face in Brighton & Hove on a daily basis.
Wearing a blindfold and aided first by a human guide, then by a white cane, and finally by a guide dog, I attempted to navigate a stretch of pavement and then the busy Seven Dials roundabout.
I didn’t go far at all: a walk that would normally have taken two minutes on this occasion took me ten, such were the challenges involved.
I felt extremely vulnerable and disorientated.
In particular, it was immensely hard to judge where sound was coming from - I stood waiting to cross a side road for ages because I was convinced the traffic noise indicated cars on the side road, when in fact they were on the main road, a little distance away.
It was an inspiring and humbling experience and it m