Thank you to all those constituents asking me to sign the Blue Belt Charter to help protect 4 million square kilometres of ocean around British overseas territories. Anyone who watched the fantastic Blue Planet II series by Sir David Attenborough cannot but have been moved to want to do more to preserve our precious marine life. The revelation that over 12 million tons of plastic make it into our oceans each year has spurred many people into action and as usual lobbying the MP is the first port of call.
The British Government actually has a good record here but it is large islands which have the greatest impact on polluting the seas. Working with world respected ambassadors such as Sir David to promote the cause we are in a strong position to bring about global change. It all starts with changing attitudes which is why educating our children is so important and why this is such an important issue for the eco-warriors of the EYE (ECO, Young & Engaged) Project I set up I the constituency 10 years ago.
There is further good news on animal welfare this week with details from Environment Secretary Michael Gove of how we are going to write animal protection recognising animal sentience into British law, after the fake news furore last month suggesting we had somehow voted against this. More details on my website. I have also posted on my website a new podcast about damage to heritage sites and in particular recent sickening vandalism at Shoreham Fort. I met up with Sussex police officer Darryl Holter who is responsible for helping combat crime against our historically important sites across the county. He has been a great help to the Friends of Shoreham Fort but if we are to combat this we need everyone to be vigilant and hep out.
I spent a fascinating hour skyping a sixth form politics class at the Vernon High School in Sussex County not in the UK but in New Jersey, USA. This followed on from my widely reported call for Twitter to take down President Trump’s Twitter account for promoting hate crime after he crassly retweeted incendiary videos from extremist group Britain First which in any case turned out to be fake. Alarmingly only about half of the class agreed with my sentiments despite being a very well informed group of students with detailed questions about the WASPI pension campaign, constitutional reform and Brexit. Looks like Trump could be with us for a while!
Congratulations to all those involved in making Shoreham’s late night fair last Friday the biggest and best yet. The tow was absolutely heaving ad several stalls out of food. There certainly seemed to be few hangovers amongst the shoppers at the following morning’s farmer’s market! My last street surgery of the year will be at Lancing from 10-12 on Saturday followed by Worthing Town Centre outside Laura Ashley.