wwwpradio.co.uk talks to Hazel Blears MP and Theresa May MP

http://www.wpradio.co.uk
Women’s Parliamentary Radio

June 20th 2011

http://www.wpradio.co.uk asks Nigel Nelson to talk to Hazel Blears MP on “Prevent” and The Rt Hon Theresa May MP celebrates 5 years of Women2Win

Face to Face Encounters: Hazel Blears MP talks to the Political Editor of the People Nigel Nelson

Hazel Blears, the Labour MP for Salford since 1997, who served as the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Minister of State for Policing and Counter Terrorism has a lot to say on the new Coalition government’s “Prevent” strategy to combat terrorism. It was launched in 2007, when Hazel was a Minister, to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Almost £80 million was spent on 1,000 Prevent schemes, in the battle against al-Qaeda. But it was dogged with controversy and allegations money went to the wrong groups. So what does Hazel think of the new Coalition government’s “re-focused” Prevent strategy? Nigel Nelson the Political Editor of the People asked her in this special wpradio.co.uk “Face to Face Encounters” interview.

Read Nigel’s blog: http://www.blogs.people.co.uk/nigel-nelson

• Hazel told Nigel: “The spin that has been put on this deliberately is fundamentally wrong. I was meticulous in having audit and making sure money went to people who shared our values. I took some strong stands on this and I was disappointed in the way it was presented by the government.

• “The groups I wanted to encourage were moderate mainstream Muslims. To say this perverted fundamentalist views of Islam is wrong, that is where I focused the resource. “

• “I don’t think the whole things was a success, it was completely new territory, but we were miles ahead of anything in Europe, people weren’t tackling these issues, and when you start a new programme some things will work and some won’t, but right across the World people said ‘you have done some excellent work’. There are always things you can improve and I wish the Home Secretary, in the refresh of Prevent, would acknowledge there has been progress.”

• “I think we now need to look at some of the causes of extremism, not just Islamic but far right extremism too. What drives people down these paths and what are the trigger points in people’s lives? What is it that actually triggers this particular action amongst young people?

• “I set up the Muslim Women’s Advisory Group and I set up the Young Muslim Advisory Group as well which have been abolished by this government, and I am very disappointed that all of that structure has been abolished. “

• “I am in strong agreement with the government that Universities have a strong responsibility to moderate what happens on campus. Sometimes some of the statements that people make can create an atmosphere in which the more extreme ideas that come about can be fostered. Free speech is important but to be pumping out messages of hatred and division between people is wrong. “

• On her new “Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements” initiative to get paid interns from all backgrounds into Parliament Hazel said:” Our first intake of 12 will start in the Autumn. I want it to transform the lives of people who come, they will have a contact book to die for! And I want to see people who do a job of work get paid not just in politics but in journalism, the law and other professions too, it is rife, they should be paid the national minimum wage. “
• “I just feel talent will come through, but if you can’t get into politics because the doors aren’t open to you we are missing out on all that talent. I want politics, my Cabinet, my government to take in people who have a range of life experiences.”

Women2Win: Looking Towards 2015 – The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

It was a five year birthday party and a packed celebration of the Conservative Women2Win Campaign that saw a record 49 of their women MPs elected to Parliament in the 2010 General Election. But not content with their numbers the campaign is marching on to get even more Conservative women MP elected in the next General Election probably in 2015. So could the event panellists envisage a gender balanced parliament in the next ten years? Our intrepid reporter Linda Fairbrother talked to them as the celebrations came to a lively and vibrant conclusion.

Linda began with the Guest Speaker, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, then together she chatted to Helen Grant MP, Priti Patel MP, Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics, University of Bristol and Jackie Ashley, Columnist, The Guardian.

http://www.wpradio.co.uk would like to thank: Brooks Newmark MP & Baroness Morris of Bolton Co-Chairmen of Women2Win & Alexandra Robson & Baroness Jenkin of Kennington Director of Women2Win & Co-Founder of Women2Win. Find out more http://www.women2win

• The Rt Hon Theresa May MP told Linda: “In terms of Constituency and boundary changes, Women2Win will carry on the work we are doing. We are looking forward to encouraging more women into Parliament in 2015 there will be boundary changes and we are now in government, not in opposition so we are not in the process of having a very large number of seats to win to get into government. “
• “The Party did do quite a lot, we didn’t go all the way to create All-women shortlists, but the creation of the “A” list the “Priority” list, the Open primaries, the all postal Open Primaries too. We have done a lot in the past of course we will have to look at the new scenario and what needs to be done in future as well.”
• Priti Patel MP told Linda: “Women2Win has transformed and revolutionised the desire and conviction in the Conservative Party to get more women elected and getting more women involved in public office. We have had tremendous support from Women2Win, it has been tremendous in telling us what it is all about.”
• Helen Grant MP told Linda:” Women2Win was a fantastic recruitment and development organisation for women. It attracted women into politics and helped to grow them into politicians and the help could be anything from holding your hand with media interviews to attending influential events. Marvellous!”

Footnotes:
1. Wpradio.co.uk is a web based broadcaster supported by all parties. Latest web stats show in March 2011 for the previous 6 months we are consistently getting over 2500 visits per month. Downloads have ranged between 25GB and 36GB per month.
2. We don’t share our content with others in order to inflate our stats, you have to visit our website to listen to our content. We have over 500,000 hits in a year.
3. Our web stats show that our visitors are loyal, they return, tune in for some time and to more than one item and they enjoy our documentary making too. In March 2011 there were 1,250 downloads of individual podcasts, with our top ten downloads published on our site.
4. The top four downloads show our cross-party appeal to our listeners: 1. Hazel Blears Interview 203 2. Sally Keeble How the budget is helping grandparents 171 3. Theresa May Interview 159 4. Anne Begg Parliamentary Education Service Question Time 123. 5 Anne Begg – Parliamentary reform and MPs expenses. The ERS documentary on women MPs had 99 downloads.

5. wpradio also carries international content and has interviews with women MEPs in Europe, and women politicians in Africa and the Middle East.

6. Our supporters include Theresa May MP, Jo Swinson MP, Harriet Harman MP,and many other female politicians listed on our site. Jackie Ashley, of the Guardian, is our Chair.

7. The British Library archives all the interviews on wpradio.co.uk in its new web collection.

8. For more information contact Boni Sones OBE on 07703 716961.

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Ann Treneman interviews Gisela Stuart MP and more!!

http://www.wpradio.co.uk
Women’s Parliamentary Radio
June 10th 2011

http://www.wpradio.co.uk The Times Parliamentary sketch writer Ann Treneman interviews Gisela Stuart MP on reform of the Commons and the Lords, Penny Mordaunt MP tells us about her “Special Educational Needs” Bill and we hear how Queen Mothers in Ghana are leading the feminist fight for equality

Ann Treneman and Gisela Stuart MP “Face to Face”

In a packed programme Women’s Parliamentary Radio hears from The Times sketch writer Ann Treneman in the third of her special “Face to Face Encounters” series on reform of Parliament. This week Ann talks to Gisela Stuart the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston since 1997 and Editor of the House Magazine.

Gisela tells Ann: “The biggest change I have witnessed in Parliament is that it is no longer unusual to see a women on either side of the Benches and the age profile has also improved but not the social profile, we need to reach out to people in the real world who have done a real job rather than those who have been special advisors. There has been progress but the other thing that is different is that we are in the age of irreverence – the status of MPs’ has changed, we had to learn the meaning of that phrase “humble servants”.”

“On MP’s salaries IPSA has not solved the problem yet. Claimable expenses became a salary supplement and allowances which was wrong. We have now gone to the other extreme with IPSA with a regime that is punitive and highly bureaucratic; we are coming step by step to a workable solution there will always be a tension. But remember no-one goes into politics because of the salary.”

“Coming to the hours Parliament is here to be a battle of power and a battle of ideas. Caroline Lucas MP comes from a European tradition which believes that through discourse you come to a right answer, but this is Anglo-Saxon politics which is based on the best solution at any moment and one side wins and one side losses. This House is Anglo-Saxon and comes alive at night, you eyeball each other from swords distance, and if you are not still standing at 10 O’clock you probably don’t deserve to be standing. We need to battle out which idea carries the greatest weight and that might deprive you of your sleep sometimes.”

“The Lords is one of the most British processes I have ever come across. We are having huge debates about the composition of a body without defining what it should do. We should have a debate about its function then its composition would logically flow from that. If it is a revising Chamber, I would have no problem with it being fully appointed but for two ten year terms, why for life?”

Scroll down and you can also hear Ann interview Natascha Engel MP (Lab) who chairs the Backbench Business Committee and The Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas MP in the same series of “Encounters”. Thanks Ann. These interviews are special.

Penny Mordaunt MP and her “Special Educational Needs Bill”

Penny Mordaunt the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North has introduced a Private Member’s Bill on “Special Educational Needs” provision. Penny wants the money to follow the pupil and even though such Bills rarely become law her Bill is already attracting the attention of Government Ministers and may be taken up as an issue by them in the future eventually leading to change. Penny talks to Boni Sones OBE our Executive Producer.

• Penny tells Boni: ”Provision is one thing, my Bill isn’t addressing should there be more special needs schools, what we need to do is to increase the power parents have and enshrine in law that their children should have access to the best education to help them for their particular needs. It includes other practical measures such as to change the funding flows and ensuring LA’s must publish all the provision that is available in the area to help parents get what their children need.”

• “Most Private Members Bills do get killed off. Labour MP David Blunkett MP is helping with this, it is cross-party, and it is going in the direction of travel of government policies but it is not going far enough. We are trying to get the Government to go further and allow the funding about £5,500 to follow the pupil so special needs places can be purchased by the parents or others. Already it is having an influence, Schools Minister, Sarah Teather MP, has spoken to me about my Bill and we are hoping it will influence the Green Paper on Special Educational Needs.”

To support Penny go to http://www.pennymordaunt.com Good luck Penny.

The story of Queen Mothers in Ashantiland, Ghana – Dilys Kyeiwaa Winterkorn

The role of women in the Arab Spring uprisings and now in Bahrain is highlighting the different cultural values placed on the role of women in today’s “global village society”. In one African Country, Ghana, Queen Mothers have traditional had a powerful “feminist” role to play in organising their communities and providing a safety network within them. On issues such as politics, agriculture and education the women speak up and get their voices heard, all thanks to a “golden stool”, and a Queen Mother called Yaa Asantewaa the Great. Dilys Kyeiwaa Winterkorn will tell you more. She spoke to our Executive Producer Boni Sones OBE.

Footnotes:

1. Wpradio.co.uk is a web based broadcaster supported by all parties. Latest web stats show in March 2011 for the previous 6 months we are consistently getting over 2500 visits per month. Downloads have ranged between 25GB and 36GB per month.
2. We don’t share our content with others in order to inflate our stats, you have to visit our website to listen to our content. We have over 500,000 hits in a year.
3. Our web stats show that our visitors are loyal, they return, tune in for some time and to more than one item and they enjoy our documentary making too. In March 2011 there were 1,250 downloads of individual podcasts, with our top ten downloads published on our site.
4. The top four downloads show our cross-party appeal to our listeners: 1. Hazel Blears Interview 203 2. Sally Keeble How the budget is helping grandparents 171 3. Theresa May Interview 159 4. Anne Begg Parliamentary Education Service Question Time 123. 5 Anne Begg – Parliamentary reform and MPs expenses. The ERS documentary on women MPs had 99 downloads.

5. wpradio also carries international content and has interviews with women MEPs in Europe, and women politicians in Africa and the Middle East.

6. Our supporters include Theresa May MP, Jo Swinson MP, Harriet Harman MP,and many other female politicians listed on our site. Jackie Ashley, of the Guardian, is our Chair.

7. The British Library archives all the interviews on wpradio.co.uk in its new web collection.

8. For more information contact Boni Sones OBE on 07703 716961.