Friday, September 24, 2004

Can't argue with Foxes

Brighton MP’s double celebration

David Lepper, Brighton Pavilion Labour and Co-operative MP, is looking forward to a double celebration on Wednesday 15 September- his birthday and the day the Bill to ban fox- hunting is reintroduced in Parliament.

David says: ‘It’s a birthday present I can share with most of my constituents. After seven years, support for a ban on fox-hunting remains the single national issue on which I've been contacted most by constituents.’

David first voted against fox-hunting as a new councillor on Brighton Council in 1980 when Brighton decided to ban hunting on land it owned - including parts of the South Downs - and he has consistently campaigned for a ban since becoming an MP in 1997.

He was on the parliamentary committee dealing with the government's hunting bill in 2001 which failed to get through before the election that year because of lack of co-operation by the House of Lords.

He welcomed the Labour commitment in its 2001 general election manifesto to settle the matter before the next general election.

‘It is sensible that the government is devoting only one day to all the stages of the Bill,’ says David Lepper.

‘There has already been a lot of debate over the past seven years. If the Lords decide to spend more time on it that's up to them, but by bringing the Bill in now it's possible for the Commons to use the Parliament Act to pass it later on even if the Lords vote against it.’

David Lepper says foxes are a pest but hunting with hounds is both the least efficient and cruellest way of controlling their numbers. There is also no evidence that hunting plays a significant role in the rural economy.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Green party target David Lepper's seat

Looks like David Lepper is the numero uno target of the Green Party for the next election. I guess this is because of Brighton's half-deserved reputation as a bastion of greenness.
'The party's number one target is Brighton Pavillion, currently held by Labour's David Lepper.'

I guess Is David Lepper hasn't been too slouchy on this subject, issuing three press releases on green issues in July alone: energy efficiency ‘I’m glad our efforts have paid off,’ he says. ‘The chancellor’s spending review means an extra £95 million provided per year by 2007-8 compared with 2004-5, for improving the energy efficiency of homes under the Warm Front scheme.’ ; wildlife jewels 'A report from the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has welcomed the government’s ambitious targets to ensure that 95% of England’s most valuable wildlife and geological sites are in favourable condition by 2010 but warned that government must ensure the funding is provided to meet the target. The inquiry was chaired by Brighton Pavilion Labour and Co-operative MP David Lepper whose Wildlife Bill in 1998 paved the way for the increased protection given by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.'; and renewable energy 'Welcoming visitors to an event to spotlight renewable energy on Brighton’s Level open space today David Lepper MP said being a non-driver was one way in which he helped to combat climate change. David Lepper was speaking at the third “Brighton Sunny Day” event organised by Brighton Solar Projects and backed by Brighton and Hove City Council and Friends of the Earth.'

Whether this will be enough come the election remains to be seen, but Is David Lepper obviously has an interest in and an eye on this subject.


Summer Holiday Arrangements

Is David Lepper writes on his ePolitix website:
Because of summer holiday arrangements there will be no advice sessions on Saturday 28th August or Friday 3rd September.
My next Advice Session is on Saturday 25th September at Old Boat Community Centre, Carden Park, Carden Hill.


Summer is a quiet time on the Westminster front and who can begrudge our hard working MPs some quality time with their loved ones of whatever hue. Is David Lepper has no doubt spent his with the Mayor of Brighton.
Almost David Lepper is just back from a patriotic romp in the Outer Hebrides. It was splendid and almost totally deserted, sunny and midge-free. Recommended.
Now we're almost back in the saddle we will be blogging Is David Lepper for all we are worth and then some.

Friday, August 13, 2004

New mayor faces challenging year

You may ask what the Mayor of Brighton has to do with the Real David Lepper. Well, she's his wife.
Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Tony and Cherie Blair.
David and Jeanne Lepper.

David Lepper signs Thank You letter to Prime Minister

A big thank you.
It's unfashionable to congratulate politicians in public but we're going
to anyway – to say thanks for increasing the funds available to tackle
world poverty now and for committing to reach the UN aid-giving target
by 2013 at the latest.

David Lepper's, some of your constituents blog!

Oh yes, Almost David Lepper is not alone. These people also blog, and they may vote for you as well.

Did you know I wrote a book about John Wayne?

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."
John Bernard Books (The Shootist)

Blackmailing David Lepper?

This Is Brighton and Hove web site posts a news item about this site.

It's fairly negative, taking the most negative view possible on all points (quotes from the article in italics):

A spoof web site lampooning Brighton MP David Lepper ... become the latest victim ... a national campaign to 'blackmail' politicians into starting web log (blog) online diaries.
Some of the "proxy-blogs" are openly hostile to the targeted MP and Mr Lepper will now consider legal action to get the site removed.

I don't intend the site to be 'openly hostile' and I don't think anyone reading it would take that view, would you? I took my cue from Tim Ireland's suggestion that we start proxy-blogs for our MPs in order to shame them into blogging - which is of course only communication with the people who pay their salaries. I have to say that a threat of legal action is not exactly what I expected from my MP. I thought I might get an email from him first, asking what was going on. I thought we might have a discussion and I might get a better understanding of his position on online communication. I am committed to going along to his surgery, so it would probably be better if he doesn't try to sue me. Then we can have a sensible discussion.

Mr Lepper said: "It's highly objectionable that someone is posting information on the internet claiming it has been written by me. "

Well, the site is called 'Almost David Lepper' and it states at the top of every page:
'I'm NOT David Lepper, the MP for Brighton Pavilion. ... I believe MPs should blog. If David Lepper, MP, did blog, it might look something like this. '
I don't believe that anyone could believe that this was really written by The Real David Lepper.

"The Almost David Lepper site steals some of the content from the MP's own site, making it appear genuine".

It's got genuine content and links to the 'real' David Lepper site so that visitors can see what and who David Lepper is. The 'real' David Lepper site is on ePolitix, a site that does not anywhere declare its ownership or background or sponsors or supporters. How do we know that the ePolitix site is the 'real' David Lepper site anyway?

"But it also includes jibes against Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott - following the Falmer decision - and other senior politicians. "

Oooh, now we come to the real problem. There's a poke at John Prescott (and he's a SENIOR politician) on the site. Trouble. ... what are my views on ... Fatboy Prescott's handling of our new football stadium?

"I'm particularly concerned because there is an email address given which purports to be my own. I would hate anyone to think the responses from this address came from me."

Do you think anyone would make this mistake? Maybe you should get an address of your own, eh?

The MP believes he was contacted by the author of the web site who complained his real web site has not been updated.

I phoned up his office to ask his view on the Falmer Stadium site decision and the West Pier situation, as he didn't mention them on his site. I really wanted to point out that these sorts of issues needed a response. I told them I was doing a web site. They asked me to send them details. I asked for an email address, but they said they didn't have one and asked me to fax the details over. Well, darling, I don't do fax. So that was the end of that.

David Lepper is a serious and dedicated MP and does not deserve to be ripped off in this way.

Oh come on. This is 2001. Call it satire, call it irony, call it humour. But don't get so het up about it.

Chill out, David.


How about a People Release rather than a Press Release?

Nothing whatsoever to do with Almost David Lepper, The Real David Lepper himself posts four new press releases covering More Funding for AIDS fight , An open letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor , Welcome for £5.5million boost for GP surgeries , MP takes pride in Pride festival .

On Aug Almost David Lepper asked: So what does your MP have to say about this? And what part is he playing in Pride this year? Good question. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find an answer. I'm sure he's in there somewhere, probably riding a float in tiny silver shorts and handing out prizes at a post party hoe down. But if he is, it's a mystery to me.

The Real David Lepper says:
‘Pride is just simply the best event of its kind in the country and means a great day out for everyone.
‘It’s a highlight of the year for so many and that’s why it attracted more than 90,000 last year. Each year it attracts more interest from the business community and it’s right that the city council and local companies should support it. In 2003 Pride raised almost £17,000 for the local lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community.‘


That's real good to hear. Now, this site is not about David Lepper's view's on anything. It's about how to communicate (hear that, David, communicate) with we, the people, in a way that is meaningful to us.
This site welcomes the press releases. But think on this: Press Releases are for the Press. The Press generally won't print them, because, face it, they aren't exactly new news.
We, the people, don't generally read Press Releases in the raw. And often we don't read them at all.
So how about some People Releases? That's what a blog is: a People Release. Try it, it's great.

MP hits back over spoof weblog

From This Is Brighton and Hove
First published on Monday 09 August 2004:
MP hits back over spoof weblog
by Brendan Montague
A spoof web site lampooning Brighton MP David Lepper has been posted on the internet.
The Pavilion MP has become the latest victim of a national campaign to 'blackmail' politicians into starting web log (blog) online diaries.
Some of the "proxy-blogs" are openly hostile to the targeted MP and Mr Lepper will now consider legal action to get the site removed.
Other high-profile victims include Parliament's youngest MP Sarah Teather and former health minister Alan Milburn.
The Almost David Lepper site steals some of the content from the MP's own site, making it appear genuine. But it also includes jibes against Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott - following the Falmer decision - and other senior politicians.
Mr Lepper said: "It's highly objectionable that someone is posting information on the internet claiming it has been written by me.
"I'm particularly concerned because there is an email address given which purports to be my own.
"I would hate anyone to think the responses from this address came from me."
The MP believes he was contacted by the author of the web site who complained his real web site has not been updated.
Dr Nick Palmer, secretary of the all-party Parliamentary internet group, said: "Blackmailing MPs into creating blogs is not the best way. If they want the MP to blog, they should get in touch and ask.
"David Lepper is a serious and dedicated MP and does not deserve to be ripped off in this way."
The culprit behind the fake David Lepper site calls himself Ivor.
He said on the site: "People had been asking: 'Who the hell is David Lepper MP and what does he do all day every day?'
"What are my views on the pier that fell into the sea? Fat Boy Slim's beach party? Fatboy Prescott's handling of our new football stadium? These are pressing issues, alongside reform of the residential leasehold laws and a national park on the South Downs."
But there has been a growth of genuine blogs by MPs following successful internet campaigns in the United States.
Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, was the first parliamentarian to start writing a blog, now among the most popular in the country.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Brighton Pride, David Lepper salutes you

Well, that's another glorious crazy Pride festival, with the most amazing hot sunny weather to boot. I spent a glorious afternoon meeting and greeting (and getting down to some banging tunes) in Preston Park. The top of my head was burnt to a cinder by the end of the day, but it was worth it. I'm sure some of you burnt even more of yourselves, a lot of flesh was exposed! Well done to everyone involved.

Pride In Brighton & Hove is a non-profit members' organisation serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of Brighton and Hove.
It brings the LGBT community together throughout the year and runs the UK’s biggest and best free festival of its kind in the country.
Voted the best Pride in 2003 by Gay Times and Boyz magazines it hosts a week of community events every August culminating in a carnival parade through the city by the sea and a busy festival in Preston Park.
2003 saw more than 60 floats and walking tableaux on the parade and 90,000 people in Preston Park. Success breeds success and we fully expect a similar turn out this year.
Pride in Brighton & Hove continues its commitment to the local community and 2003 raised more than £16,000 by volunteer street collections for our grant scheme for the LGBT voluntary sector.
Pride in Brighton & Hove runs a number of exciting events to help fund the organisation, the festival and the grant fund for the local LGBT voluntary sector as well as bringing a wide range of people together who otherwise might not have such social access. Plans for this year include the Stonewall / Pride Fundraiser at Wild Fruit and Day at the Dogs in May, Day at the Races in June and the hugely popular Dog Show in July. Local businesses including bars and clubs support Pride with their own events, including quizzes and cabarets. We hope you will support this fundraising effort to help ensure we can continue to deliver a FREE Pride Festival for the LGBT community

Friday, August 06, 2004

Brighton MPs and their web sites

There are three Brighton Labour MPs: David Lepper, Ivor Caplin and Des Turner. They are all listed at this Brighton Labour Party page. Of the three, only Lepper has no email. Curiouser and curiouser, the other two list email addresses @parliament.uk, which can only be provided en-masse by, um, parliament itself. So why doesn't Lepper avail himself of this facility? Does he have no computer with which to read the stuff?
Ivor Caplin takes the top prize by having his own website with his very own domain name: http://www.ivorcaplinmp.com/. While I take my hat off to Caplin, I have to point out to him tha the won't be able to use his own website during the next election, because he won't actually be an MP at the time, just a candidate. I have emailed him and asked him about this.
Interestingly, Caplin's website states: This website is funded by the House of Commons Incidental Expenses Provision provided in order to inform constituents about the work of an MP and to provide contact details for that MP.
While it is true that David Lepper, MP, has a 'website', it is provided by a strange outfit called ePolitix. It's not very interesting and it's not what you'd call interactive, and I guess David never got within a mile of it. I will ask him why he doesn't spend some of his Incidental Expenses Provision on a nice new (up to date) website and blog.