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Caroline Strafford
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I would be happier if the political parties did not nominate their own candidates.
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Why not start all public employee pensions at 65 instead of 50 for firemen, teachers, council employees, civil servants, and also the armed forces. All these people when they take such early retirement rush off and get another full time job. Can the country really afford this? Of course, this suggestion will be unpopular with those who are affected, but for the sake of our financially strapped country, it would be fair. State pensions don't start at 50. Another difficult suggestion would be to find a proper way of testing if all the people with disability pensions are really disabled. Has the NHS really failed so many people that patients are permanent disabled? I don't think so, but are doctors under pressure to say people are disabled?
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I was quite surprised that a friend of mine who lives in the constituency said Bercow is well regarded locally as he looks after constituents problems, and they are proud that he was elected Speaker.
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Tim Could you please insert somewhere that party members and not the party machine should select candidates. (I think Cameron will find this difficult to say!) If councillors want to set an example, how about reducing councillors' expenses, particularly those of committee chairmen. Also why on earth are county councillors being given pensions? Cut out that perk immediately. When you get to defence, could you please say that we will bring our troops home from Afghanistan. They are being asked to perform an impossible task which is not in British interests. They are also being sent to fight with inadequate resources. We are all proud of our armed forces it goes without saying.
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It may be tradition that the Speaker of the House gets a peerage when he or she retires. But then it is not normal for a Speaker to be forced out of office. So just why is failure being rewarded? Surely that isn't British? One more thought. Is there no limit as to the amount of peers allowed in the Upper House? Bring on elections to the new Senate. A referendum to see if the public are happy with a new elected upper House at the General Election would clear the air.
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Well done Ali. This is a very thought provoking article. Since I believe that half the Shadow Cabinet benefited from grammar schools, why would they wish to prevent others from achieving excellence? It is abundantly clear that not everyone has the same intelligence, and this country needs to encourage excellence, whilst not forgetting under achievers. Bright children are held back when educated with slow learners who need extra help. Buckinghamshire has wonderful grammar schools but now needs an extra one. In a democracy if the people want such a school, and they do around here, just what is wrong with that?
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I disagree with every world of Carl Menson's comment. You only have to talk to ordinary members of the public to find out that the reputation of MPs is still extremely low. I say that with sadness as I have always believed that to be an MP was a privilege and serving one's country. If MPs want to earn a lot of money, then they should find another career. One word of warning, MPs did not find it easy to find other employment when a lot of them lost their seats at the '97 election.
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