Community

PressRelease2-e1485356245296-540x720

RORY BACKS ‘BREAKS FOR KIDS’ CAMPAIGN

Penrith and The Border MP Rory Stewart visited YHA Patterdale last week to find out how YHA is working to improve the lives of school children across the country. During his visit Rory met with YHA staff and was given a tour of the hostel which was being redecorated ahead of the next busy summer […]

Left to right: Centre Director Sean Day, Stables Manager Henri Carew, and Rory Stewart MP

The Community of Cumbria

Last Friday, I came home on the train, feeling that parliament and even Britain was out of sorts. But twenty separate meetings – starting in Penrith, on to Wigton, and finishing at a memorial service for Mary Burkett in Carlisle – changed my view. First, we broke the foundations for the new Sunbeams Music Centre, […]

Books

Bringing to life better minds

Yesterday, I was asked to explain to school-children what I liked about reading. I found it very difficult to do, without describing particular books. Recently, for example, I came across a book by the British monk Gildas. It caught my eye, on a shelf, when I should have been doing something else. I opened it, […]

20140629_191435 (1)

On Scale and Economic Growth

Penrith and the Border has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Britain – at last count 572 people were receiving job seekers’ allowance, out of about 65,000 adults in the constituency. We have one of the very highest rates of self-employment, and of people working from home (more than a quarter of our population). […]

older women

Our culture excludes the old when they have so much to contribute

First published in The Observer on 9 November 2013. Parliament talks ceaselessly of “the next generation”. But, in Cumbria, where I’m an MP, voluntary activity and politics are generally driven by people over the age of 55. Every village seems to have a retired engineer attempting to build a community fibre-optic cable network and baffling the most […]

National Citizen Service

CITIZENS OF BRITAIN

Last weekend I met some charity volunteers in Alston. It was a warm, late summer day – none of the leaves yet falling – and the volunteers were heading cheerfully into the hills. Twenty other groups were setting off at the same moment: all from different points along a route that Alfred Wainwright first walked […]

changing the world from cumbria

Last Sunday I sat with six professors who were discussing how ‘to change the world.’ They included Central European dissident, a computer specialist, and a seventy-five year old French communist.  At times they seemed hardly conscious of each other, and the words they used were puzzling (the Frenchmen for example liked to talk about ‘the happiness of dissatisfaction’). But it […]

P1000452

In support of dairy farmers

Half a century of pain – with five dairy farms going out of business every week since the Second World War – has terminated in crisis. At least half of all dairy farmers are now being paid less than their cost of production, and will soon be driven – unless something changes – into bankruptcy. […]

Rorydebate1

Rory’s speech on the Big Society

Transcript I honour the hon. Member for Dagenham and Rainham (Jon Cruddas) for giving a good defence of many of the good elements of the big society, and a good warning on some of its dangers. Much of the debate, however, reminds me of sitting in a room with a group of philosophers looking at […]

rory_NTSkidstrees

THOMAS JEFFERSON ON THE BIG SOCIETY

  A very wise quote from Thomas Jefferson who would surely have approved of the Big Society… “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to […]