robert halfon

The Commons, for the second time in a year, returned last week to debating the Kurdistan Region and, specifically, British relations with it. This is very unusual given that Kurdistan is a faraway place of which most British people are unaware. Such debates can change that.
Currently, a full time worker on the minimum wage earns just £12,500 per year. This is simply not sustainable. For a fair day's work, one should receive a fair day's pay. Not only is it morally just to do this, but it is also economically effective. Increasing the Minimum Wage eliminates the poverty trap, cuts the benefits bill, and encourages more people to get back into work.
British ignorance of and even an element of wariness towards the Kurdistan Region have been replaced in recent years by a growing recognition of its potential by MPs and Ministers alike...
The British hero of the diplomatic breakthrough with Iran was seen by many as the European Union's foreign affairs and security supremo, Cathy Ashton, who had been derided by some as a lightweight...
The British Government is now rightly seeking to mobilise the international community to raise a billion dollars a month to help the Syrian refugees and, as a British minister argued, to help prevent the Middle East erupting into continuous conflict.
Today the Iranian people go to the polls for the first time since 2009's controversial reelection of President Ahmadinejad... Unfortunately, with hundreds of candidates disqualified and all the current Presidential hopefuls part of the ruling establishment and links with Ayatollah Khamenei, it is unlikely that there will be any reforms.
The more countries that mark the Kurdish genocide, through parliaments, governments, towns, civic groups, school talks and visits the better. There is a handful of memorials in Britain. There should be more. The 25th anniversary of Halabja has helped develop an international momentum that puts the past Kurdish Genocide and the future of the Kurdish people firmly on the map.
Concerted efforts over the last year by Kurdish and British campaigners have scored a major result. The British Parliament will discuss the genocide against the Iraqi Kurds in a special and historic debate from about 2.15-5pm on Thursday 28 February.
The current campaign to win formal recognition of the Kurdish genocide is nearing its finale in Britain. Last week, leading supporters of the all-party group on Kurdistan urged a business committee, which allocates time, to endorse an historic parliamentary debate on the Kurdish genocide and its contemporary relevance.
Leon Trotsky, not someone I usually quote, once said that people may not be interested in politics but politics is often interested in them. British people may be wary of foreign interventions but foreign crises can profoundly affect domestic politics. The suffering that we see every day in Syria won't go away and will have to be addressed, sooner rather than later.