Weekly Update – Friday 8 April 2022
Stop Channel 4 Privatisation
The Government is making a huge mistake by privatising Channel 4 and they must be stopped.
Channel 4 is a hugely profitable organisation, funded by advertising but owned by the public with a remit to produce unique programming which isn’t offered by any other service. The decision to sell it off is economically illiterate, ideologically driven and will mean that many of the unique and ground-breaking films and programmes produced by Channel 4 will cease to be made. Instead, Channel 4 will become yet another commercial broadcaster.
The Government ‘consulted’ with the public on this proposal but simply ignored the response. More than 80% of the public wants Channel 4 to stay in public hands. The reasoning behind the sell-off is based on the absurd idea that it is essential for Channel 4 to ‘compete’ with the likes of Netflix. Yet Channel 4 is a hugely profitable organisation and Netflix is not – relying on huge borrowing to survive and making loss after loss. In addition, there is no public good that can be served by destroying a unique public asset and replacing it with yet another privatised streaming service.
During the ‘consultation’ period I openly opposed the privatisation of Channel 4 and I will continue to do so as the Government pushes legislation through parliament to make it happen. This reckless attempt to destroy a cultural icon must be stopped.
Government failing Ukrainian Refugees
This week the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, apologised for the failure of the Government’s Ukrainian visa scheme. Despite there now being more than 4.3 million externally displaced Ukrainian Refugees, only 12,000 have so far been allowed into the UK. That’s 0.2% of the total.
Countries that neighbour Ukraine, like Poland, will understandably support a disproportionately large number of Ukrainian refugees, but countries across Europe like France and Germany have waived VISA requirements and have taken in a far greater number of Ukrainians than the UK.
As with the Syrian and Afghan refugee crises, the UK is failing to do its duty as a member of the international community. Yet, across the country there is overwhelming support for doing more to help Ukrainian refugees.
More than 100,000 people have applied to house a Ukrainian refugee, but the ridiculous barriers put in the way of refugees has meant that only 1,200 refugees from Ukraine have so far been housed under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme. The UK wants to help, but the Government is standing in our way.
In Germany when hundreds of Ukrainians began to arrive at train stations, hundreds of Germans were there to meet them to offer them housing. I have no doubt that if the same were to happen in the UK, the public would react in a similarly humane way.
Unfortunately for us and even more so for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, we have an inhumane government whose central policy platform is the isolation of Britain from our European neighbours and the building of barriers not bridges between nations. Until that central focus changes, the UK will continue to fail those fleeing all conflicts and Priti Patel’s repeated apologies will be meaningless.
Register to Vote!
In just under a month, on 5th of May, we will all get the chance to vote in Local Elections and it has never been more crucial to stick with the democratic process and make our voices heard.
Sadly, most people never vote in local elections. Turnout at local elections is normally only around 30%. That means that 7 out of 10 residents in Edmonton have no say when it comes to issues as diverse as social care, bin collections and planning. Turnout is even lower among younger voters.
But no democracy can function properly if most people never vote. It means that election outcomes are determined not by who the country would like to see elected, but by who can be bothered to vote. Those are two very different things.
For example, in 2017, most people in the country wanted a Labour Government but most of those who voted wanted a Conservative Government. That is true of many previous elections and the failure to turn out and vote has been the determining factor in deciding the course this Country has taken over the last few decades.
It’s time to change that and the place to start is 5th May 2022.
The deadline to register to vote is midnight on 14th April.
Registering to vote takes 5 minutes and can be done online here.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest update, if you have any issues that you would like to raise directly with me then please do email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always happy to help whenever possible.
Kate Osamor MP