The events of last weekend underlined the huge range of issues an MP is expected to deal with. On Saturday my usual brisk street surgery at Shoreham Farmer’s Market brought a multitude of local issues from potholes to Royal Mail deliveries.
Then Councillor Kevin Boram and I moved on to Shoreham Beach to join a large group of supporters of the residents of 27 Beach Green who we have been working with to secure their long-term home run by the charity Leonard Cheshire. What was very evident was just how important a part of the local community the residents of 27 Beach Green are and what a great support network there is for them on the Beach. Splitting them up or moving them away could prove costly both financially and socially.
A few hours later my phone exploded as I was asked for comment on the Sunday Times scoop on an alleged spy in Parliament working for the Chinese Government. As one of 7 Parliamentarians sanctioned by China simply from speaking out against China’s human rights abuses, I am in the frontline of their attacks along with many Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers who live in fear of their lives and have confided in us to represent their case for protection in the UK.
For those who think this is nothing to do with the UK and that I should be spending more time on local potholes, the tentacles of the Chinese Communist regime now extend into so many aspects of our lives and institutions in the West and we need to be more aware. If you have little interest in human rights but are interested in the environment, then the 2 are inextricably linked. China is responsible for 29% of global harmful emissions and produces most of the world’s solar panels we buy to help combat climate change. Yet almost half of the key plastic material used in them comes from Xinjiang province where much is produced by slave labour. Global is local.