When I was first elected to Parliament 11 years ago, mental health remained largely a taboo subject. One of my first acts was to contribute to a book called ‘The Forgotten’, a collection of policy ideas by Conservative MPs first elected in 2005. I chose to write about mental health, specifically the need to tear down the stigma around depression what deters so many sufferers from seeking treatment.
One of the most heartening trends of the last decade has been a greater awareness of the need to put mental health on parity with physical health alongside greater efforts to break down the stigma that still exists.
In the Windsor constituency we are well aware of the devastating impact that floods can have on people homes, lives and livelihoods.
Almost every winter the River Thames swells and our flood defences are tested. Three years ago we watched with alarm as the gauges on the Thames reached the highest levels recorded since their introduction as we were hit by serious winter floods.
The recent decision on airport expansion is deeply disappointing. Yet in some ways it’s understandable given the groupthink surrounding a third runway to which the Airport Expansion sub-committee has been subjected.
We need new airport capacity and we need it fast. But it needs to be introduced in the most cost-effective and least environmentally damaging way possible.
With the publication of new Investigatory Powers legislation due this week, Adam Afriyie MP, a former technology entrepreneur and Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has said that a crackdown on encryption technology would be economically irresponsible and ultimately futile.
In an article, published on the Telegraph Online, Adam Afriyie writes:
“The Government is rightly concerned about the risks of digital encryption technology, in the same way that it was concerned about invisible ink, encoded letters and faxes in the past. If there is substance to rumours of a crackdown on encryption in the publication of new Investigatory Powers legislation, it would be as mistaken as it would be ineffective.