Dave's News Extras 2013

28/12/13 Letter to PM on asbestos
24/12/13 New Post Office
06/12/13 100% wrong should be put 100% right
02/12/13 Justice for the Shrewsbury 24
29/10/13 Ditch Saddam's anti union laws
26/10/13 Our line up for grabs
01/10/13 Keep East Coast British
18/09/13 Dave backs bees
03/09/13 Rare disease drugs need protection
29/07/13 Vulnerable need protecting
19/07/13 North-East firms for North-East contracts
17/07/13 New factory brings jobs
15/07/13 Commons call to keep ECML public
20/06/13 ECML privatisation 'pointless'
20/06/13 End the scandal of cold homes
12/06/13 Red Cross Awards
07/06/13 Supporting Afghan women
17/04/13 Back American workers
09/04/13 'I will never forgive her'
09/04/13 Blaydon taxes - and millionaires
05/04/13 To bee or not to bee
02/04/13 Conference Centre bid continues
26/03/13 Retrospective law change endangers democracy
20/03/13 Bankers, not nurses, ruined the economy
07/03/13 Swap Fags for Swag
02/02/13 Poorest are carrying the can
29/01/13 Threat to Mary Seacole
16/01/13 Remembering the Holocaust and new genocides
15/01/13 Children living with cancer
14/01/13 Turtles in trouble
04/01/13 Police Commissioner calls for answers

Homepage | Current News


Letter to PM on asbestos

28 Dec 2013

Dave has written to the Prime Minister asking him to change the Mesothelioma Bill.

At present, the bill limits compensation too this diagnosed after 25 July 2012 but Dave says this will hit thousands of North-East families and he accused the government of failing to stand up to the insurance companies.

Dave's letter said,

"There are upwards of six thousand victims who were damaged after being exposed to asbestos but who were blocked from compensation because of the failures of both their employers and their relevant insurance companies. The only winners are the insurance companies who have pocketed premiums that should have been maintained to compensate those people so terribly affected by this horrible disease. I would urge you to reconsider your government's position on the percentage payments and the proposal to claw back all benefits payments to any successful claimant."

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New Post Office

24 Dec 2013

Dave has opened the new post office in Wrekenton.

This is in the Poundzone Shop and Dave describes it as vital to the community.

Dave said

"I welcomed the news that Wrekenton Post Office was to be modernised and am delighted to be here today to congratulate Nick Mason and Iain Walker on their hard work and to formally open the new-look branch.

"The Post Office is vital to the community in Wrekenton and I'm sure the improved office, and the longer opening hours, will be warmly welcomed by all of my constituents."

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100% wrong should be put 100% right

6 Dec 2013

Dave has responded in The Journal to their report of his speech in the House on asbestos.

In a letter to the paper, he calls on MPs from other parties to support a rise from a planned 75% compensation for asbestos sufferers to a proper 100%.

Dave's letter reads:

You rightly reported my criticism of my own government (Journal, December 4) wherein I bemoaned the lack of progress for those who were knowingly, and, I believe deliberately and, possibly even criminally, exposed to asbestos at work long after their employer and their insurance companies were fully aware of the risks of such exposure. And I state again it was wrong of us not to take action.

However, we are where we are. The coalition government has finally responded to the consultation set up by the Labour government in February 2010. They are instigating a scheme which will see people who are suffering from the deadly lung cancer, Mesothelioma , compensated but only if they claimed after July 2012. This is a small step in the right direction.

If non Labour MPs in parliament support our lead we can put into law a scheme that will give rights to compensation for victims and their families back to at least the date of the start of the consultation and see 6000 people who are excluded at present benefit . With a little more effort we can force the government to increase the level of compensation from that which is on offer at present i.e. 75% of the average compensation offered via legal action.

After all the employers and their insurers were 100% aware of the dangers, the government is insisting on clawing back 100% of benefits paid to those who get compensation and, sadly, 100% of those who develop full blown Mesothelioma will die. Who can argue against their moral right to be 100% compensated?

This is a chance for Liberal Democrats and Conservatives to right a wrong that has gone on for far too long. Labour is doing the right thing, albeit later than should have been the case. Will others now step up to the plate on this issue?


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Justice for the Shrewsbury 24

2 Dec 2013

Dave is asking people to sign a paper petition for the release of all documents relating to the prosecution of the Shrewsbury 24.

In 1973 Ricky Tomlinson, Des Warren and John McKinsie Jones were sent to prison on conspiracy charges arising from the 1972 building workers strike. 21 other building workers were also tried at Shrewsbury Crown Court. The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign believes that the charges were politically motivated and that there was Government interference in the prosecutions. We are calling for the release of all the Government papers relating to the trials. The Government is continuing to refuse to release these documents under the Freedom of Information Act claiming "national security" as the reason.

Jailing these building workers remains one of the most notorious anti-trade union acts of the state in recent times. All the might of the police and criminal justice system were used against the pickets to deter trade unionists from organising effectively. The convicted Shrewsbury pickets were blacklisted from the industry and most were never able to work in their trade again.

Many trade unionists will recognise that these issues are the same as those that face us today, although the industries may have changed. Working people are being subjected to major attacks on living standards, pensions, health & safety and employment rights at work. Strong trade unions, then and now, are the only way that we can defend our hard-won rights and living standards.

Ricky Tomlinson created a Downing Street e-petition which is now closed. We discovered that many supporters were unable to have their signatures added to the list. The e-petition site is controlled by the Government and we do not have any confidence that they will allow us to reach our target as they want to avoid a debate in Parliament.

We decided to launch a paper petition and hand it in to Downing Street. We are currently collecting signatures and would ask you to sign it and obtain signatures from colleagues, family and friends. Copies of the petition sheet can be downloaded here or from the campaign website: http://www.shrewsbury24campaign.org.uk/petition/ and a full information sheet can be downlaoded here.

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Ditch Saddam's anti union laws

29 Oct 2013

Dave has called on the Iraqi government to pass new laws to allow Iraqi workers full union rights.

The country is still bound by laws inherited from the time of Saddam Hussein which restrict the fundamental rights of workers and Dave has tabled a Commons motion calling for the repeal of these.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:

Date tabled: 29.10.2013
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David
Sponsors: Bottomley, Peter, George, Andrew, Corbyn, Jeremy

That this House notes that the international trade union movement has urged successive Iraqi governments to amend the labour and trade union laws which place substantial restrictions on the fundamental rights of workers, including to associate freely, to bargain collectively and to strike; further notes that the US last year put under review Iraq's trade preferences, in large part over the Iraqi government's failure to adopt ILO-complaint legislation; and respectfully urges the Iraqi authorities, in full consultation with the trade unions, to implement new laws that overcome Saddam Hussein's restrictions on the fundamental rights of Iraqi workers so that their organisations can play a full role in helping construct a pluralist Iraq.

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Our line up for grabs

East Coast train 26 Oct 2013

Dave has responded angrily to the government's sale of the East Coast Main Line.

The line is currently owned by the taxpayer and runs at a healthy profit, returning over £600 million into the Treasury, causing campaigners to say the line would be better off remaining in public ownership.

Dave said,

"I'm disgusted. It is typical of this Government. They don't pay attention to the people that know best, i.e. the people that work in the industry and have said this is the best run railway line in Britain.

"And they don't listen to the people that use the line. I use it twice a week. We have seen huge improvements in the service."

Unions accused the government of selling off the line that the profit could go to shareholders instead of the public purse.

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Keep East Coast British

East Coast train near Durham 1 Oct 2013

Dave has attacked plans for Eurostar and a French company to take over the East Coast Main Line.

ECML is publicly owned and its profits go the taxpayer, but Dave says instead of the profits going to foreign companies, they should be used for the public good in Britain.

Dave said,

"A foreign company running a British public service is an absolute disgrace. East Coast is at last making money and this Government should be re-investing these surpluses in making Britain a better place.

"Instead, it is continuing the work that Margaret Thatcher started and this is absolutely wrong."

The line has a history of failure in private ownership but state run, it is profitable and has expected to earn £800 million for the taxpayer this year alone.

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Dave backs bees

Honey bees 18 Sep 2013

Dave is asking people to bee good and sign a petition to save the bees on which we all rely.

Bees are in decline but are major pollinators of the food we eat, and the government is supposed to be busying away on a Bee Action Plan but need reminding of the public concern about this.

The next few weeks are critical in shaping the plan. And again it's down to 'Bees Minister' Lord de Mauley to lead the way. When 20,000 people asked him for a Bee Action Plan in June he listened. Can you help us keep the pressure growing by adding your voice?

A better life for bees is within our grasp. A good Bee Action Plan could help all bee species and tackle all causes of decline. It could create bee-friendly habitat in every county of the UK and help farmers grow crops using fewer pesticides.

Sign up here.

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Rare disease drugs need protection

3 Sep 2013

Dave has called on the government to protect funds for drugs need to treat rare diseases.

He has tabled a Commons motion asking for a ring-fenced fund for rare disease drugs and for other agencies involved to speed up access and for specialist to be available.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:

FUTURE OF ACCESS TO HIGH-COST DRUGS FOR RARE DISEASES Session: 2013-14 Date tabled: 03.09.2013 Primary sponsor: Anderson, David Sponsors: Durkan, Mark. Hancock, Mike. Meale, Alan, Ritchie, Margaret, Shannon, Jim That this House welcomes the new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign on raising the issue of access to high-cost drugs for rare diseases; notes that difficulties in authorising new treatments could mean essential drugs don't reach families that need them; recognises the need for a simplified approval process for multi-centre trials; acknowledges that hospital trusts should promote research more effectively amongst rare disease patients; calls on the Government to establish a ring-fenced fund for rare disease drugs; further calls on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and NHS England to speed up access to life-changing drugs after the final stages of clinical trials to ensure there are no major delays in treatments reaching children; and further calls on NHS England to ensure specialist centres are equipped with an appropriate range of health professionals to deliver treatments.

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Vulnerable need protecting

29 Jul 2013

Following the publication about the impact of benefit changes in Gateshead, Dave has said that welfare reform was necessary

But he also said that the system was overstretched and that those in genuine need should be protected.

Dave said,

"People's problems have become more complex and pressing but those who can help them are working hand-to-mouth and find it more difficult to prevent problems as opposed to dealing with them when they erupt. Welfare reform and reducing the deficit is necessary, though how they are done and over what timescale is another matter.

"No-one wants a minority of people to swing the lead but the vast majority of those who need welfare services and benefits - and they could be any of us - don't take the proverbial and deserve much better than this."

The Gateshead report, entitled "Impact of Austerity and Welfare Reform on Mental Health in Gateshead", shows just how badly many in Gateshead are being affected by the government's welfare changes. The benefit cap and the 'bedroom tax' have struck hard at many in the borough.

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North-East firms for North-East contracts

19 Jul 2013

Dave is backing a campaign for the government to rethink how it awards contracts in the public sector.

At present the system favours large national companies, often based down south, at the expense of perfectly capable, if sometimes smaller, North-East firms.

Dave said,

"I am delighted to support this cause. The Government's hands off approach is exactly what we don't need .

"There should be an in-built presumption that regional firms are given priority unless there is an overwhelming case against them."

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New factory brings jobs

17 Jul 2013

Dave has opened a new factory on Team Valley with up to fifty jobs.

Clearspace builds quick to construct timber classrooms and feels there is a market as pupil numbers rise and the previous government's school building plans were dropped.

Dave said,

"Clearspace Buildings is a fantastic good news story for the region. Everybody wins; jobs are created and kids get classrooms that are cost effective and environmentally friendly.

"I am delighted to help Clearspace in any way I can and am inviting them to parliament later in the year so they can share the Clearspace story with MPs across the country."

Clearspace, which started up in Alnwick 16 months ago, claims to construct extra classrooms or even entire school in as little two weeks and is eco-friendly.

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Commons call to keep ECML public

15 Jul 2013

Dave has sponsored a Commons motion to keep the East Coast Main Line in public ownership.

This highlights the profitability of the ECML which exceeds that of any privatised line and says privatisation would lead to higher fares and staff cuts and that the whole network should be publicly owned.

Dave's early Day Motion reads:


Session: 2013-14
Date tabled: 15.07.2013
Primary sponsor: Lavery, Ian
Sponsors: Anderson, David, Crausby, David, Hopkins, Kelvin, Sheridan, Jim, Turner, Karl

That this House commends the public ownership of the East Coast rail franchise which has paid £602 million in premium payments since 2009; recognises this is £232 million more than National Express paid back during its tenure and over £209 million more than the amount paid in by Virgin/Stagecoach on the West Coast Mainline since 2009; notes that Europe's more unified publicly-owned railways cost less to run and provide cheaper fares; is aware of the recent report by the Centre for Research on Social-Cultural Change at the University of Manchester which found that private rail investment and innovation is minimal and that passenger increases have been due to economic growth not privatisation; is concerned rail privatisation is leading to ever higher fares and staff cuts; believes there is now overwhelming evidence that the interests of passengers, taxpayers, the economy and environment could be better served by a unified railway under public ownership, with fairer fares and proper staffing levels; and calls for early consideration of how this could be achieved along with the retention of the East Coast franchise under public ownership.

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ECML privatisation 'pointless'

East Coast Main Line train in County Durham 20 Jun 2013

Dave has argued that the government's plans to sell off the sate owned and profitable East Coast Main line is pointless.

He accuses the government of trying to sell off this successful public sector line to their friends in the City.

Dave said,

"It's completely pointless and counterproductive to privatise the East Coast Main Line. It's working well as it is for passengers and staff. Other private lines pale by comparison with our successful public sector line and make me deeply suspicious that this accounts for the foolish rush to privatise it. Only this government would want to dismantle a successful organisation that is delivering on all counts to taxpayers and customers and give it away to their friends in the City."

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End the scandal of cold homes

20 Jun 2013

Dave has signed a petition to end the scandal of cold homes.

Cold, badly insulated homes damage the health of our most vulnerable citizens, including older people, children and people with disabilities. This costs the NHS almost a billion pounds each year.

The campaigners say that cold, badly insulated homes damage the health of our most vulnerable citizens, including older people, children and people with disabilities. This costs the NHS almost a billion pounds each year.

You can sign the petition at http://www.energybillrevolution.org/

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Red Cross Awards

12 Jun 2013

Dave is asking for young local heroes to be nominated for a Red Cross Award.

The scheme is open to under 25s in four categories; first aid, volunteering, community action and fund-raising.

Dave said:

"We hear so much about young people causing problems but the truth is that the vast majority are not trouble makers and many of them are making an often unsung contribution to society.

"This is a chance for local young people to be recognised for their efforts, and I am asking constituents who know an inspirational young person to put them forward for an award."

Nominations can be completed at http://www.redcross.org.uk/theaward and nominations close on 14 July. All nominees will receive a certificate and winners will go to an awards ceremony in London on 5 October.

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Supporting Afghan women

Dave with the campaign card
Dave with the campaign card
7 Jun 2013

Dave is backing a campaign supporting the rights of women in Afghanistan.

Women there face danger and discrimination, they are marginalised in peace processes and their safety is ignored.

They are subject to violence in the home and the community while attacks on women human rights defenders are on the rise.

Dave is calling for the UK government to put women first in dealings with policy and aid for Afghanistan.

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Back American workers

17 Apr 2013

Dave is urging support for port workers in Washington State, USA, who have been locked out by their employer.

Workers at the Port of Vancouver, Washington, USA have been locked out by their employer, Japanese conglomerate Mitsui-United Grain, since February 27, 2013.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) believes the lockout is an anti-union attack and an attempt to avoid negotiating with workers in good faith over their collective bargaining agreement.

The workers' latest agreement expired in September 2012 leaving them without a contract and open to abuse by their employer which has now taken extreme and aggressive action.

We've been asked by the ITF to help flood the employer with messages demanding that they end the lockout.

Please take 60 seconds of your time to show your solidarity with the workers:


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'I will never forgive her'

Margaret Thatcher stands amid the industrial desolation her poicies wrought. 9 Apr 2013

Commenting on the death of Margaret Thatcher, Dave said that while the death was a sadness for her family, he personally was not sad.

He went on to recall how a way of life had been killed by her policies and how thousands of men lost their livelihoods because of her.

Dave said.

"A hundred years from now it would still be too raw, she still would not be forgiven. I spent the weekend at Hetton-le-Hole where I was a miner. I looked out the window and saw a patch of ground that used to be my house.

"It was torn down by her, because of Thatcher's policies, the jobs went because of Thatcher's policies and hundreds of thousands of men were thrown on the dole and had their way of life destroyed as

Download Dave's speech (.mov file, 153MB)

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Blaydon taxes - and millionaires

9 Apr 2013

Tory Chairman Grant Shapps sent Dave an email saying how the people of his constituency would benefit from tax changes.

He might be regretting this now as Dave fired off an open letter in return asking some pertinent questions on the same issue concerning millionaires in Blaydon, extra VAT, benefit cuts and the 'bedroom tax'.

Dave's letter, published in The Journal, reads,

An open letter to Grant Shapps, Chairman of the Conservative Party:

Thank you for your email which seeks to detail how people in my constituency will benefit from tax changes. Clearly you have done your homework. With that in mind, perhaps you could use the same resources which have given you this information about Blaydon to address the following vital questions.

Can you tell me how many millionaires will be getting a £100,000-plus tax handout in my constituency? And while you are on, can you tell me how much Blaydon residents have paid in extra VAT since your party came to power ? And how many constituents have seen their living standards reduced?

And how many public sector workers have lost their jobs? And how many vulnerable and disabled people have seen their desperately needed benefits cut back or removed all together? And how many people will be subject to the bedroom tax, or as you would have it, the spare room subsidy? Can you advise how many people will move home and how many will pay the additional levy that this policy demands?

I look forward to a speedy and detailed response

Dave Anderson MP
House of Commons, London SW1

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To bee or not to bee

5 Apr 2013

Dave is backing a petition calling on the government to save British bees.

There's mounting evidence that some pesticides are killing bees. But the environment minister recently refused to support a European vote to stop the pesticides being used.

Dave said,

"We've got just a few weeks to change the minister's mind before he votes again.

"Bees and other insects pollinate about three quarters of our food, so it's incredibly important to protect them. Countries across Europe including France and Italy have looked at the mounting scientific evidence and already started banning these harmful pesticides. But our government are dragging their heels.

"Please sign the petition now:"

You can sign the petition at:


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Conference Centre bid continues

2 Apr 2013

Dave has criticised the government for a lack of urgency over Gateshead's proposed conference centre.

This would be built next to The Sage (on the car park) and it is hoped would bring over 2000 jobs and kick-start economic development.

Dave said,

"It would be a tremendous thing for Gateshead and the North East and was a tremendous idea when it was first put forward. It would bring lots of business and tourism to the area.

"However it would appear there does not seem to be any sense of urgency from central Government despite this centre being exactly the sort of thing needed here to put some growth back into the economy."

There is a September 2013 deadline for detailed plans and a funding bid to be ready and the council is working with The Sage to meet this.

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Retrospective law change endangers democracy

26 Mar 2013

Dave has defied Labour party leadership to vote against workfare and against changing the law in the past.

He voted with his conscience against government workfare plans (Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill,), when the Labour front bench policy was to abstain, but Dave felt that legislating to change the law in the past to circumvent the Court of Appeal sets a dangerous precedent and is asking people to sign a petition against this.

Dave said,

"The government acted unlawfully in denying over 230,000 jobseekers claimants their money, but when told so by the Court of Appeal, instead of abiding by the law, they changed the law in the past to avoid the payout. This is a dangerous precedent unworthy of a democracy, and is a tool beloved of dictators past and present."

The petition can be found at:


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Bankers, not nurses, ruined the economy

The Budget Box 20 Mar 2013

Dave has lashed George Osborne's budget as the government was punishing ordinary workers.

In particular, he condemns the 1% cap on public sector pay rises and being a disincentive for public sector workers to stay in a job where they are not recognised.

Dave said,

"People have already paid a very, very high price for the situation we find ourselves in, yet public sector workers are here been treated as though they were the enemy.

"You can see a situation where people might not stay in their jobs as a result of this, that they will feel they are stuck in a job were their hard work is not recognised, as it should be, with pay progression.

"It wasn't nurses who ruined the economy, it was bankers, yet they are the ones been asked to pay the price here."

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Swap Fags for Swag

Smoking 7 Mar 2013

Dave is backing no Smoking Day on March 13th.

The British Heart Foundation is marking No Smoking day on 13 March with a campaign to demonstrate how much money smoker can save by giving up.

With each cigarettes costing about 40p, smokers could save £7 a day, or £49 a week and £2,555.00 a year.

Dave said

"The benefits to both health and pocket of giving up smoking are clear to see, with a possible annual saving over two and half thousand pounds, enough for a good holiday! I urge all smokers, even if you've failed before, to try again."

Although nearly one in six UK adults smoke, two thirds want to quit. Smokers wanting to quit can go to http://wequit.co.uk for help and advice.

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Poorest are carrying the can

2 Feb 2013

In a letter to the local press, Dave says there is no excuse for the state of the economy.

He lays the blame at the government's door for failing to learn the lessons of history and instead cutting services, decimating public services and laying the heaviest burden on the poorest.

His letter to The Journal reads:

There is no excuse for the mess this nation's economy is in today.

The Coalition ignored the lessons of history as well as the fact that the departing Labour government had stimulated growth by investing in public infrastructure by, for example, agreeing to rebuild or refurbish the secondary school stock in my Blaydon, Gateshead, constituency.

They also ignored the impact on growth on things like the car scrappage scheme which had seen Nissan return to full output after a slump. The ideologues in this Government refuse to accept that there is a role for the public sector to play in tandem with the private sector to move this country forward.

They ignore the history of the New Deal in getting the USA out of the depression and the reality that public investment in military hardware drove UK growth at the same time.

They do so because supporting a positive partnership role for the public sector destroys their narrative that the public sector is ineffective, bloated and unnecessary.

If they lose that narrative they lose the argument for decimating the public sector, imposing the types of cuts to services we are seeing in our towns and cities and the case for forcing the poorest in this nation to carry the can for the failures of the global economic system.

In doing so they are risking putting this country back into recession to make a party political point. We in the North expect little better from the Tories, but some, at least until recent times, expected more from the party of Lloyd George and Beveridge.

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Threat to Mary Seacole

29 Jan 2013

Dave is supporting the campaign petition to keep Mary Seacole on the national curriculum. The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove has proposed that Mary Seacole be removed.

A nurse, born in Jamaica, Mary Seacole travelled to the Crimea to tend wounded soldiers at her own expense and returned to Britain as a national heroine. She was recently voted the Greatest Black Briton.

The government's proposal has been met with outrage by the public with over 32000 people signing a petition calling on Michael Gove to keep Mary Seacole on the Curriculum and a recent open letter in The Times signed by over 50 well known personalities including members of Parliament.

EDM number 919 in 2012-13, which Dave has signed, proposed by Alan Meale on 15/01/2013.

"That this House is aware of history which records the many heroic and compassionate acts carried out unselfishly by renowned war nursing heroine Mary Seacole for innumerable wounded soldiers injured on the Crimean War's bloody battlefields; notes her efforts have rightly become part of the nation's schools educational curriculum with further recognition of her contribution shortly to be revealed by the unveiling of a large bronze statue in her memory to be erected in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital facing the Houses of Parliament; is therefore greatly alarmed by reports that the Secretary of State for Education has announced plans to overhaul the core history content taught to our nation's schoolchildren which won't include the story of her exploits on behalf of others; reminds the Minister that at the age of 50 years she paid her own way to the front to help establish a centre to administer the sick and tended to the wounded on the battlefield throughout the war much of the time under bombardment, brave and caring acts which led to her being little rewarded for all of her distinguished service in the field as she returned to Britain impoverished and had to declare bankruptcy; and believes the nation and its children are best served by being reminded of such unselfishness and hopes the Secretary of State will desist in his attempt to undermine her memory."

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Remembering the Holocaust and new genocides

The gates of Auschwitz 16 Jan 2013

MPs have pledged their commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day this Sunday and honouring Holocaust victims.

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson who signed a Book of Commitment in the Commons, said:

"January 27th marks the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and extermination camp which is the site of the largest mass murder in history. It was a solemn duty to support the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment in the Commons and help honour those who were persecuted and killed during the Holocaust and encouraging constituents to work together to combat prejudice and racism today."

Dave Anderson added:

"Campaigners and Holocaust survivors work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured through thousands of commemorative events arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations nationwide. Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance."

Dave Anderson commented:

"Genocide is not some academic historic issue. I also know, for example, how Saddam Hussein conducted genocide against the Kurds of Iraq and am backing a campaign to encourage the UK to recognise what happened to them as genocide. If we don't take a moral stand it only makes it easier for others to seek to eliminate peoples."

Dave at Auschwitz in November 2009 with pupils from Ryton Comprehensive School
Dave at Auschwitz in November 2009 with pupils from Ryton Comprehensive School

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

"We are proud that Dave Anderson is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day this year. It is vitally important that we both remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust - as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge all forms of hatred and bigotry."

Holocaust Memorial Day was established following an MP's visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Holocaust Educational Trust. Moved by his visit, Andrew Dismore MP proposed a bill,

"to introduce a day to learn and remember the Holocaust" on 30 June 1999.

The Holocaust Educational Trust has been closely involved in the establishment and development of Holocaust Memorial Day since its inception in 2000. Holocaust Memorial Day is now co-ordinated by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

The theme for the UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 is 'Communities Together: Build a Bridge', honouring those communities that were destroyed in the Holocaust persecution and in subsequent genocides, as well as reflecting on the importance of coming together to oppose prejudice and hatred.

About the Holocaust Educational Trust

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Children living with cancer

FACT logo 15 Jan 2013

Very often, children's lives and routines are disrupted as a result of a diagnosis of cancer within their family.

Dave is backing the charity FACT who want to give them some special time and attention. They may have had a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle diagnosed with cancer, or a maybe even a school friend.

Fact is hosting a free children's event - its for children who have had a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer and children can enjoy it, and in turn the family benefit from it.

It's at 10am-1pm Saturday 19 January at FACT Premises, Team Valley, Gateshead.

Any child, aged 5-10 years, who has been affected by cancer in any way is welcome!

Parents and guardians need to stay on our premises during the session and will also be provided with refreshments.

The form can be downloaded here

FACT has obtained lottery funding to provide a series of events for local residents either to support them through the cancer journey, cope with treatment, bereavement, or to help with lifestyle issues that may prevent lifestyle implicated cancers. In addition they are also able to offer practical support to the wider community about various issues, such as financial advice, nutrition, exercise, etc.

The current sessions run from now until June 2013.

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Turtles in trouble

14 Jan 2013

Dave is one of seventy MPs backing a campaign against cruelty and neglect to turtles.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has produced a report on turtle farming in the Cayman Islands highlighting 'systematic cruelty, neglect and major animal welfare concerns' for the 7000 turtles at the farm.

The MPs have signed an Early day Motion which reads:

Session: 2012-13
Date tabled: 19.10.2012
Primary sponsor: Bottomley, Peter
That this House notes with concern the need to work in international partnership to reduce wildlife crime with long-term stable funding in the UK; respects the evidence given by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) at the hearings of the Environmental Audit Committee; and calls for action following the WSPA report on serious welfare concerns about the Cayman Turtle Farm in the British Overseas territory.

Josh Kaile of WSPA says that they have tried to work with the Cayman Turtle Farm at every stage and yet the Managing Director of the Farm still states that the claims against them are unfounded.

More information is available by going to here and on social media here.

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Police Commissioner calls for answers

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner,
Vera Baird QC

4 Jan 2013

Dave is backing a call for local people to put forward their views on policing.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC, is urging all residents of Northumbria Police force area to take part in her Police and Crime survey.

Ms Baird launched the survey on the 2nd January 2013, and is encouraging as many people as possible to take part.

Ms Baird said,

"Part of my role as Police & Crime Commissioner is to produce a Police and Crime plan for Northumbria. During my election campaign I said that I wanted as many residents, businesses, voluntary sector and charities to help me determine what the priorities for our local police force should be. The questionnaire will allow local residents to tell me exactly what they want from their police force, what is going well and what could be improved"

Questions range from deciding what a persons top five policing priorities are to deciding what budget areas should have more / less investment.

Ms Baird said,

"I really hope as many people as possible take a few minutes to complete the questions. This is our local police force and it is important that they continue to deliver for every community across Northumbria. I want to hear your views".

The questionnaire remains open until 31st January 2013.

The questionnaire can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/northumbria_pcc

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