Posts Tagged ‘Ed Vaizey’

If gay couples can’t get married, my parents shouldn’t have been able to either

12/12/2012, 07:00:19 AM

by Mark Stockwell

At a recent event for “Conservatives in communications”, I was gently upbraided (cruelly mocked, some would say) by culture minister Ed Vaizey for my all-too-apparent ignorance of the fact that the government’s proposals on same-sex marriage would fall under the remit of his boss at DCMS, Maria Miller. In common with most of the population, I simply hadn’t given the issue a moment’s thought. So it had not occurred to me that the culture secretary, in her dual role as minister for women and equality, would be responsible for the legislation.

In all honesty, I’d rather not be writing this. I’ve got Christmas shopping to do, for one thing. And it’s not as if I’ve got skin in the game. I’m pretty certain I’m not gay. To the best of my knowledge and recollection, I’m not married either. As for the religious aspect, well, the closest I come to belief in the power of a supernatural being is my blind, unquestioning Tory faith in the guiding force of Adam Smith’s invisible hand.

In other words, the whole issue just didn’t seem that important to me. Certainly not important enough to spend time thinking or writing about. Until now.

I’m not sure whom I should blame for the fact that I now find myself hunched over my laptop typing this when I could be hunched over my laptop buying overpriced wooden toys for my nieces and nephews, and working out how to ship some of them to New Zealand in time for the big day. (Just in case my niece and nephew in NZ are reading this, yes, of course Santa will bring all your presents and no, he’s not a supernatural being, he’s absolutely real. I’m afraid you’ll have to ask your mum what “gay” means.)


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The government’s empty promises on broadband

14/12/2010, 04:40:32 PM

by Ian Lucas

Jeremy Hunt says he will introduce high speed broadband across the UK by 2015. His deputy, Ed Vaizey, says the government does not know how much this will cost. Confused? That is exactly what is intended. It suits the government to envelope the topic of broadband in a freezing fog because it is trying to sell a bum deal.

Universal broadband, that is, broadband to every community in the UK, was guaranteed by Labour by 2012. It was to be paid for, as specified in Stephen Carter’s “Digital Britain” white paper, by £230 million left over from the digital switchover fund. This was a major step to enable public service delivery by broadband.

The Tories and Lib-Dems have set back even the target for universal broadband to 2015, dealing a major blow to real progress to online services in this parliament. To fog the issue further, the government have mixed in Labour’s second goal – high speed broadband.

Labour gave a manifesto commitment to fund a national high-speed broadband network through a levy on phone lines. This was controversial but costed. In contrast, the Tories have asked those nice people from the BBC to pay £600 million over four years as a contribution to the cost of high speed broadband. £300 million of that money is not available until after the Government’s target date for completion and is payable in 2015/6 and 2016/7.

The Government does not know how much its commitment to high speed broadband will cost. Ed Vaizey said so in the answer to a parliamentary question on 1 December. But it is trying to sell its realisation by 2015 anyway.

So, be sceptical. Unless and until the Government tell us how much their high speed broadband will cost and where that figure will be sourced, its achievement by 2015 will not be credible.

Ian Lucas is Labour MP for Wrexham and a shadow business minister.

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