Autumn Statement

Next week, the Chancellor will make his Autumn Statement and is expected to acknowledge that cutting the deficit is proving harder than anyone expected. On the same day, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility will cut its forecasts for economic growth. Yet, the following day, on 30th November, most public sector unions are going on strike over the Government's plans to reform public sector pensions.

Remembrance Sunday

Mine is the first generation in my immediate family in which nobody served in our country's armed forces. My grandmother lost her father and two brothers in the First World War. My grandfather was a commander in the Royal Navy. My father served in the Rifle Brigade in the closing months of the Second World War. For those of us who have not known war, it is easy to lose sight of its place in the lives of almost every generation that went before. That is why Remembrance Sunday is so important.

Bright side

As the leaves fall, the days get shorter and the temperature drops, the prospects for our country can seem a little bleak. Consumers are cutting their spending because of rising energy bills. Businesses are holding back from making investments because of fears of another banking crisis in Europe.

Palliative Care in Grantham

If you have been driving up Barrowby Road of late, you may have noticed a gleaming new building on the right hand side of the road as you drive out of town. When I drove past for the first time, I did a double take.

Celebrating the Jubilee

Next summer, the British people will celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. The Queen will have been on the throne for 60 years, longer than any monarch other than Queen Victoria. She has set an extraordinary example of uncomplaining public service and this is a milestone that the British people will want to mark in all sorts of ways.


There is little more inspiring than the sight of people coming together spontaneously to address the needs of some of the least fortunate people in their community. And there was no shortage of inspiration at Harrowby Road Methodist Church last Friday when the Grantham branch of Foodbank was launched.


It is not often that MPs are asked to play dead and I expect that many readers of the Journal might wish we did so more often. I would be the first to admit that I achieved more in the ten minutes I spent lying on the floor of a classroom at King's School than I have done in many hours of hyperactivity in Westminster.