Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Prescott to give up Dorneywood

Just heard this on Sky News. So a house and a few croquet mallets have been thrown to the circling pack. What remains to be seen is whether this will be enough for the parliamentary party to call off the dogs.

The game is up in Iraq

Great piece in todays Guardian about the continued presence of British troops in Iraq. Leaving aside the question of whether or not we ever had a right to be there in the first place this piece makes it absolutely clear that we will have no right to remain there beyond the end of 2006. I must admit I had missed the news that we had been asked to leave last week by the new Prime Minister of Iraq. However, it is incomprehensible that Blair has decided to reject an exit strategy when he has been offered one on a plate. I hope that the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party will take every opportunity to raise this question. It is certainly something which should play to Mings strongest suit at Prime Ministers Questions.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Once you are the story it is time to go

Or at least that is my paraphrasing of Alistair Campbells position as mentioned in the BBC report. Prescott appears to be seriously damaged and in real trouble particularly with the Parliamentary Labour Party. However, Blair wants to hold onto him particularly as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party to prevent triggering an election for Deputy Leader which might lead to calls for an election for Leader. Is there a possibility that Prescott will go but only in his capacity as Deputy PM and not in his capacity as Deputy Leader? If so who might Blair pick to be interim Deputy PM? I think my money would be on Reid or Beckett.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Jowell Mills saga continues

At least according to this piece in today's Sunday Times. The article implies that Tessa Jowell may have known about the gift / income earlier then she says and if so she should have declared it. My reading of the article however does not necessarily lead to the same conclusion. Mills could just as easily have been alluding to how he thought Tessa would react if an when he were to discuss it with her. What riles me is not the possibility that she knew early (which is debatable) but the approach which Mills takes to these matters as witnessed by his own statements. The article quotes Mills as saying - I kept it to myself. It was a big problem for me. I didnt want to worry her about it. I only told her about it when I had decided that I would pay the tax. Brilliant I wonder if I can get away with making decisions about what parts of my income I should pay tax on. Somehow I doubt it!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thaksin to return

Reports in The Nation indicate that Thaksin Shinawatra is to resume his duties as Prime Minister after standing down in April. He feels that the vacuum needs to be filled. He originally stood down pending the formation of a new government. However, a new government could not be formed as the elections were not completed due to a number of unfilled constituencies. The courts annulled the election results and ordered a re-run within 60 days. The Electoral Commission has however decide the elections should take place in October. Meanwhile the court has decided that the Electoral Commission should resign and that the date is illegal. The Prime Minister could legitimately argue that as the election results were annulled and as he stood aside pending the formation of a new government he has every right to resume his duties. However, his opponents will be likely to argue that he has resigned and therefore cannot resume his duties and so the acting Prime Minister should remain until a full set of elections can be completed and parliament can appoint a new Prime Minister. Don't be surprised if we see the protests starting up again.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Absolutely gutted by yesterdays shambles of a performance by Leeds. Quite simply most of the team did not turn up on our big day. We defended poorly and lacked any real creativity and pace. Congratulations to Watford - Their whole team did turn up and did them proud. Quite simply the best team on the day won. Good luck in the Premiership

Friday, May 19, 2006

An interlude will now occur

Cannot get my head around blogging about anything much at the moment. Head is too full of football and too nervous and excited to think about anything else. Normal service will be resumed sometime after the Play Off Final on Sunday after a period of celebration or depression. Got our two tickets and will be setting off very early on Sunday. Cardiff here we come

The BBC Preview can be found here

But for a Leeds view you cannot beat Leeds United Life

For Leeds United Life view of the Leeds Team Selection click here

or for the Leeds United Life view of the Watford Team Selection click here

We are Leeds, We are Leeds We are Leeds
We are Leeds, We are Leeds We are Lee-eeds
We are Leeds, We are Leeds We are Leeds
We are Lee-eeds WE ARE LEEDS

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mixed messages on energy

Blair wants nuclear although his statements appear to prejudge the governments own energy review due out in July. Elliott Morley the former environment minister wants renewables and I tend to agree with him. Meanwhile perhaps the best news of all is that Yvette Cooper minister of state at the new Department for Communities and Local Government is to announce plans to revamp designs for a new town of 10,000 near Cambridge and according to this article in the Guardian "among the ministerial demands for the buildings are good insulation, solar energy devices such as roof-mounted collectors for hot water, large windows on south-facing walls, water recycling, water-efficient fittings, and porous paving to keep rainwater in the ground rather than running into drains". Good news indeed but I just wish the government would stop taking baby steps and start to make some serious inroads into this issue by making these sorts of things compulsory in all new build.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thailand - more poll chaos

Further chaos with regard to the rerun of this Aprils General Election ordered by the courts. The Election Commission has picked a date of 2nd October. The court had suggested that the elections should be rerun within 60 days i.e by early July. Just to add to the confusion the courts had suggested that the Election Commission should resign but they do not appear to have the power to remove them. They have now said that the meeting which was held and which agreed the October date was illegal as not all the commissioners were present. Just to add to the problems this piece from the BBC seems to suggest that the Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has started to resume some of his duties despite standing aside a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

His and Hers Fatboys

Just had to post up a photo of the "his and hers" Fatboys posing together. Sadly Purple and Black does appear to clash a bit with Pink and Blue but they are both beautiful machines and in the long run the Purple and Black beastie will look a bit different. The plan is to switch the double seat for a single seat and give the paintwork a completely different look which is currently in the research and design phase. Meanwhile the latest catalogue of potential customisations has turned up. It is about 800 pages long so that should keep me quiet for a while!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The English don't want a Scottish PM

So doubtless all English electors will refuse to vote Lib Dem or Labour at the next election. This just proves that you can get opinion polls and statistics to say almost anything you want. Note how the question was loaded. According to the article they were asked whether it was right for a Scottish MP to be prime minister now Scotland has its own parliament. A pity they did not then go on to ask whether or not a Scottish MP as leader of a party at a general election would be sufficient cause for them to change who they voted for.

Thailand praised for response to bird flu

See link. Good news indeed. Must admit we did think about it a bit when we visited in January - not that it would stop us from visiting this lovely country.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Give the guy a chance

I didn't vote for Ming in line with my policy of never voting for the winner but the sight of people laying into him or briefing against him at such an early stage is not appealing. Unless we are yet again at the stage where the parliamentary party knows things which the rest of us do not (and I doubt that is the case) then we have to give Ming our support and give him a chance to grow into the job. Lets not forget how rough a start we had to the year and how well we have done to recover to where we are now.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Email received, credit card debited

Email from Leeds United this morning confirming I have a ticket. Checked the credit card and it looks as if they have taken for all three tickets I applied for on Wednesday.

Cardiff here we come

Super, super Leeds,
Super, super Leeds,
Super, super Leeds,
Super Leeds United

Friday, May 12, 2006

Leeds to take part in most lucrative game in world football

Unless of course anyone knows different. I don't think any single football match anywhere in the world is as lucrative to the winners as the Championship playoff final. Kevin Blackwell described it as a £40m game bit I calculate that it could be worth over £47m to Leeds

The figures are made up as follows :

  • Share of Sky Revenue £9,000,000
  • Overseas TV revenue £6,500,000
  • Live matches £1,750,000 (say 5 at £350,000 each)
  • Central Sponsorship £500,000
  • Locally negotiated sponsorship £2,000,000
  • Gate Receipts £9,660,000 (say a 12,000 increase to 35,000 at £35/person say 19 league games + 4 cup)
  • Other £4,000,000 (perimeter advertising, merchandising and merit payments £475,000 per place)
  • Parachute Payments £14,400,000 (over following 2 seasons if relegated)

    Grand Total 47,810,000

And this is if the promoted club is relegated back to the championship the following season. If not then the parachute payments will not be payable but according to The Observer the clubs share of TV money will rise to £28m a season from 2007/08 onwards. Of course this also means that next years play off final will be worth a further £19m valuing this one off game at over £66m!!

We are Leeds, We are Leeds We are Leeds

We are Leeds, We are Leeds We are Lee-eeds

We are Leeds, We are Leeds We are Leeds

We are Lee-eeds WE ARE LEEDS

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Shambles at Elland Road as fans rush for tickets

Meanwhile chaos at Elland Road yesterday. The website said that the queue for tickets would close at 7pm. I hot footed it up the motorway to get tickets for myself and a colleague who is a Season Ticket holder. I arrived at 3.45pm to be told that the queue was closed. Near riot and after two hours about 200 of us were told to join another queue. Ten minutes later and we were told that we should not have joined this queue as it too was closed. Queue second riot and arrival of Radio Leeds who got the Chief Executive out to answer questions. Credit to him for coming out I guess but not much credit for such a complete and utter shambles.

A few small suggestions for the club should they be faced with a similar situation in the future.

1. Offer season ticket holders priority (I am not one) they deserve it

2. Don't offer season ticket holders 2 tickets

3. If you decide not to do 2 then do 1 and then do 4

4. Offer members 2nd priority after the initial period for season ticket holders

5. Finally if and only if there are other tickets left after season ticket holders and members then open sales up to the general public.

6. Do not under any circumstances allow people who are not a) season ticket holders or b) members to join as new members on the first day of sales and then promptly sell them play off tickets!

7. Open up the phones lines so that people can buy tickets that way. (Incidentally this also saves the environment from people like me who making 400 mile round trips)

8. Use internet sales - again saves the environment

9. Put on extra ticket office staff when you know you are going to have a rush

10. Don't put one thing on your website and then do something else

11. Communicate openly and honestly with the fans (For instance in each sales period explain how many tickets you have left and how many people fall into the relevant categories)

12. If you do put statements on your website which effectively say its every man jack for himself and its first come first served then do not be surprised when the world and his wife turns up.

Oh and incidentally the upshot of my attempt to buy tickets was that I have left completed postal applications which I have been assured will be fulfilled. Ho hum

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thai court acts to resolve position of Election Commission

The Thai Supreme Court has asked the commissioners to resign and has effectively stated that it will take control of the rerun of the election. The commissioners could in theory hang on but I find that hard to believe given that the King asked the Supreme Court to sort the mess out in the first place. The opposition has agreed to take part in the elections which will probably take place in early July given that they have to take place within 60 days and also given that one of the reasons for annulling the results of the previous elections was that they had taken place in too short a timescale so disadvantaging smaller parties.

Tag Thailand

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Local Election Analysis Part 2

Newbury Liberal Democrat Paul Walter has produced a brilliant summary and analysis of the local elections results. Part 2 below looks at the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats

Beat Labour in the national vote with a 27% share. This is a 22% (or 5 percentage point) improvement on their share of the vote at the general election in 2005. This is only the second time that the Liberal Democrats have been ahead of Labour on that measure. A remarkable achievement for a party written off just a month ago.

The Liberal Democrats gained Richmond council from the Tories – winning a staggering 17 seats from them. The Liberal Democrats now have twice as many councillors as the Conservatives who used to run the council before the election!

The Liberal Democrats gained control of St Albans with 31 seats against the Tories’ 18.

The Liberal Democrats gained control of South Lakeland gaining 9 councillors while the Conservatives lost 2. The Liberal Democrats now have 31 councillors against the Tories’ 18.

The Liberal Democrats gained four seats in Waltham Forest, overtaking the Conservatives to become the second party on the council, which remains under no overall control. The Conservatives lost 3 seats in this London Borough.

The Conservatives still do not have a single seat in Gateshead, while the Liberal Democrats won a seat off Labour to consolidate their position as the second largest party on the council.

The Conservatives still do not have a single seat in Knowsley, where the Liberal Democrats gained a seat off Labour.

Lib Dem gains in Brent were very impressive, Lib Dems taking 13 from Labour and 3 from the Conservatives to become the council's largest party there.

Liberal Democrat gains from Conservatives resulted in the Conservatives losing control of Harrogate and West Lindsey (Lincolnshire).

And the Conservatives lost their last seat on Cambridge Council, with the city joining Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Oxford and others as Tory-free zones.

Lib Dem Chris Maines moves the party up to second place in the Lewisham Mayoral contest, beating the Conservative candidate.

Four Lib Dem gains in Gosport took away the Conservatives' majority there.

The Liberal Democrats held Sutton against a strong Conservative challenge.

The Lib Dems won 3 seats on Woking to become the largest party on the council, while the Conservatives are only in second place.

The Lib Dems gained three seats off the Conservatives in Worthing.

The Lib Dems remain the largest party in Bristol, where they gained a seat. The Lib Dems have more than two and a half times as many councillors as the Conservatives in Bristol.

The Lib Dems gained two seats in North East Lincolnshire, overtaking the Tories to become the largest party.

The Liberal Democrats outpolled Labour in Haringey in terms of votes cast, although narrowly (30-27) fail to take control of the council from Labour. There were 11 gains for Lib Dems from Labour. The Conservatives still do not have a single councillor in Haringey.

Lib Dems made 10 gains in Lewisham, south London, depriving Labour of overall control of the council. The Conservatives only have a measly three seats here.

Three Lib Dem gains from Labour in Oldham remove Labour's majority. The BNP fail to win a seat on the council, which they had targeted. The Conservatives lost a seat so that they only have one remaining seat in the town where Winston Churchill was the MP.

The Lib Dems also won half the seats in Rochdale, narrowly missing out on overall control. The Lib Dems now have three times as many seats as the Conservatives in Rochdale.

In Salford, the Lib Dems gained two seats. The Conservatives failed to gain a single seat and have lost their straight second place on the council.

The Lib Dems gained a seat in Solihull where the Conservatives failed to gain a single seat.

The Lib Dems gained a seat in St Helens where they now have more than three times as many seats as the Conservatives.

The Conservatives failed to win a single seat in Stockport where the Lib Dems remain in control with more than three times as many seats as the Conservatives.

Despite David Cameron holding up Trafford as a shining Conservative success, the Tories actually lost a seat to the Lib Dems on this council.

The Conservatives came a cropper in Walsall where they lost two seats to Labour.

Despite David Cameron holding up Wigan as an example of Conservative greatness, they are only narrowly the second party there with only one more seat than the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservatives made no gains in the Wirral, while the Liberal Democrats gained a seat.

In Camden there were 13 gains for the Lib Dems, making them the largest party with 20 councillors to Labour's 18. The Tories are a distant third.

Kingston-upon-Thames was held by the Lib Dems, restoring the three council 'band of gold' in south and south-west London with Sutton and Richmond.

The Lib Dems retained control of Islington on the mayor’s casting vote.

The Liberal Democrats retained control of Cambridge, Eastleigh, Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Pendle, Stockport, Sutton, Three Rivers and Watford

The Lib Dems still have nearly twice as many councillors in Liverpool as Labour, in this, Labour’s former traditional heartland.

Dorothy Thornhill retains the mayoralty in Watford. Dorothy became the first Lib Dem directly elected mayor four years ago, and this time gained more than half of all votes cast to retain the post.

Good news for Lib Dems from two university cities. The party hold Cambridge and overtake Labour to become the largest party in Oxford, for the first time ever.

There were 2 Lib Dem gains in Jack Straw's Blackburn council which would have removed Labour's overall majority but for the recent defection of an independent councillor to Labour.

There were four Lib Dem gains in Warrington which deprived Labour of control of the council.

Lib Dems have held Stockport and gained St Albans. The latter was previously run on the chairman's casting vote - now Lib Dems have a majority of four.

Lib Dems have increased their majority on Newcastle-upon-Tyne Council to 18 seats. Lib Dems have also increased their majority in Three Rivers Council in Hertfordshire, as well as holding neighbouring Watford.

Four gains for the Lib Dems in Derby deprive Labour of their majority on the council. The Lib Dems have a third more seats than the Tories here.

Lib Dems have held Pendle Council in Lancashire, retaining a majority of 11. Also in the north west, Lib Dems have gained three seats on Rochdale, giving the party exactly half the councillors on the authority.

The Lib Dems are now the largest party on John Prescott's local council, Hull, having made four gains to overtake Labour.

The Lib Dems won a seat in the heart of Labour territory in Reading.

The Lib Dems won a seat on North Tyneside council.

Monday, May 08, 2006

We are Leeds, We are Leeds, We are Leeds

What a night. What a game. The players did Leeds proud. They fought for every ball and every square inch. Slowly they earned the right to play and then two goals in five minutes secured the right to play at Cardiff on 21st May. Sadly two players were sent off and will miss the final - particularly sad as Cresswells dismissal came just minutes before the end for a second yellow after kicking the ball away.

We're Leeds - and we're proud of it!
We're LEEDS - and we're proud of it!
We're Leeds - and we're proud of it,
We're Leeds and we're proud of it...

Thailand - elections annulled

The Constitutional Court has decided to annul the election results from the 2nd April and has determined that a new general election will be held. Quite where this leaves things is uncertain. A new general election will need to be held (date not clear yet) and it is by no means certain that the opposition parties will take part in this one either. Nor is it certain that Thaksin Shinawatra will not be involved given his popularity in the rural areas which adds so much to the support for his party Thai Rak Thai. If the opposition parties do take part and the election can be completed there is no certainty that Thaksin will feel obliged to stand by his resignation as Prime Minister. In any case it is not clear what the path will be for agreeing and implementing democratic reforms. Additionally the position of the Election Commission must be somewhat perilous given the courts ruling but where they to resign or be removed there appears to be no way to constitutionally replace them!

Local Election Analysis Part 1

Newbury Liberal Democrat Paul Walter has produced a brilliant summary and analysis of the local elections results which I will reproduce here. Part 1 below looks at the Conservatives and Part 2 (which I will post tomorrow) looks at the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservatives

Their national share of the vote was only two percentage points more than that achieved when Michael Howard led the party in 2004, which was followed one year later by the Conservatives losing the general election with 158 seats less than Labour.

The BBC’s Nick Robinson, himself a former Conservative, has said that there is no truth in the assumption that the Conservative party have demonstrated a broadening of their appeal. He explains that they have merely consolidated in their heartlands in the South, with no reaching out to broader areas of voters. Robinson says that “Traditional Conservative voters are simply no longer embarrassed to vote for their party.”

Robinson’s interpretation is borne out by the BBC’s estimate that the Conservatives had a swing of 4% to them across the South, but they remained static in terms of votes cast across the north of England.

This lack of even the beginnings of a breakthrough is further supported by the fact that there is still not a single Conservative councillor in Manchester, Liverpool or Newcastle. The Conservatives made no gains in Sheffield where they have only two councillors. The Liberal Democrats have 36 councillors on Sheffield City Council, as well as 38 in Manchester, 47 in Newcastle and 59 in Liverpool. The Conservatives have only 2 councillors in Hull, where the Liberal Democrats have 22.

It is remarkable that there were no Conservative councillors elected in Liverpool, bearing mind that David Cameron took his whole shadow cabinet there shortly before the elections, amidst much publicity. Likewise, the Tories held their Spring Conference in Manchester, with an identical flat-lining amongst their public support there.

There are also no Conservative councillors in Oxford.

The Conservatives lost their last councillor on Cambridge City Council, so that there are now no Conservative councillors in our two great University cities.

In London, most of the Conservative gains were in West London, traditional Conservative territory – not in the East of the capital, where the Liberal Democrats did very well.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Thailand chaos continues

It seems that this saga is going to run and run. At every turn there are problems and it is very hard to see a way out of this. There is a Prime Minister who has won an election but has been forced out of office yet still leads his party. The election is incomplete and so potentially invalid and yet many candidates have been legitimately returned. Parliament cannot convene and elect a new Prime minister. The Election Commission is under threat and yet Senators cannot be confirmed and if the Election Commission were to resign then there would be no mechanism for replacing them. If they do not resign how could they be trusted to administer a new general election. Watch this space.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Leeds vs Preston - still all to play for

After a long trip to Elland Road last night (returning at 3am) there is still all to play for in this tie and effectively it starts at 0-0 on Monday night after the 1-1 draw last night. In my opinion (although slightly biased) Leeds were unlucky not to win this match. The referee was diabolical (both ways) and Leeds should have had at least one penalty. Preston clearly think they have the contest won especially judging by the behaviour of their manager at the final whistle and hopefully this will play into our hands. I felt Leeds gave it a really good go last night I was impressed with Kelly particularly in the first half and I thought Stone was a great addition when he cam on in the second half. If he can last the full ninety minutes ( and I am not sure he is fit enough yet) then he should start in my opinion. Meanwhile Watford have just thrashed Palace 3-0 at Palace in the first leg of the other semi final and look like tough opponents for whoever reaches the final.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cheaper Fuel Prices? Maybe

The more observant of you will have noticed a new button on my sidebar just below the Lib Dem Blogs button. This button takes you to Pipeline which claims to now have 340,000 members and is attempting to negotiate a discount with a major fuel retailer with the aim of offering its members a discount of between 5p and 7p a litre. While this scheme is getting off the ground it may be worthwhile visiting to see what the best deal is in your area. All in all worth considering as I start my 400 mile round trip to Elland Road for the play off semi final tonight.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Government tables changes to abolition of Parliament Bill

At least according to this piece from the BBC but I guess we will have to wait for the details to see whether or not these changes are the substantial ones that would be required to make this piece of legislation even half way acceptable.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

There is no plan B

There is no plan B for Wayne Rooney's injury at least according to the BBC and Tord Grip. I find this absolutely gob smacking in the extreme. Even if Wayne Rooney were to be fully fit there surely must have been some form of Plan B given what happened in the European Championships two years ago once Wayne was lost to injury.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lead needed for people to live a greener lifestyle

I will admit that I have never heard of the Sustainable Consumption Roundtable. Apparently it is a joint initiative between the Sustainable Development Commission and the National Consumer Council and has been funded by Defra and the DTI.

Anyway they have produced a report entitled "I Will If You Will" which recommends that the government needs to take the lead if significant progress is to be made. It also concludes that people are generally happy with measures which bring positive environmental benefits as long as those measures are applied fairly. They also specifically recommend two things which I have banged on about here before namely;

  • Making on-site energy generation common in homes and public buildings
  • Rolling out "smart" meters to raise awareness of energy consumption
If anyone wants to download the report then go here

Monday, May 01, 2006

Learning Disabilities, Relationships and Sex

This my contribution towards Blogging Against Disablism Day.

The whole issue of sex and relationships for those with disabilities is a difficult one.

Those with a disability have just as much right to happy and loving relationships and sexual experiences as the rest of the population.

Of course in practice this is often not the way it turns out. Their disability can get in the way both in terms of how others see them and in more practical ways as well.

Added to this is the issue of how those who care for those with a disability feel about getting involved in facilitating such relationships particularly where they may be sexual in nature.

The issues I have outlined above become even more complex when the person concerned has a learning disability.

A few interesting points come to mind

  • The majority of women with a learning disability have sex standing up. Why? Because the opportunities to have a sexual relationship in "normal" surroundings do not exist and liaisons have to be snatched as and when they can.
  • Masturbation is a big issue for those dealing with teenagers with a learning disability. Pretending otherwise will not make the problem go away.
  • There are examples of couples who have been "going out" with each other for years and yet neither has visited the other ones home. Why? Because the carers or the system will not enable to happen.

Sometimes they may suffer from physical disabilities as well but the key issue becomes one of consent. Obviously where people are vulnerable we need to ensure that they are protected from abuse and abusers. The important thing is can the person understand the issues involved and can they be helped to make informed choices?

However, just as importantly can we as a society accept that they have a right to happy relationships and a fulfilled sex life just as much as anyone else. Can we find ways to help them to make informed choices and enable them to act upon these choices once they have made them?

So what needs to be done?

1. The issue needs to be talked about. People with learning disabilities and those who care for them and support them and work with them need to discuss this issue. We need to gain a better understanding of the issues involved and the current state of play with regard to various areas which may have an impact as this issue is taken forward such as the law and current research

2. Information and Training needs to be designed and made available. This needs to be aimed at both those with learning disabilities and those who care for them be they parents, carers or those involved through charities and social services. This information should help those with a learning disability to make informed choices and support their carers or parents in helping them to act on the basis of those informed choices

3. Research needs to be done. Admittedly I am not sure what has already been done in this area. However a number of bodies could get together and pool current knowledge / research before deciding what gaps need to be filled. I would like to see some specific research on the benefits of long term relationships and the benefits of a healthy sex life to those with a learning disability. I would hypothesise that those who were enjoying a healthy sex life and /or were in long term relationships would find a number of benefits to their life. I suspect that their health would be better; I suspect that they would be happier; I suspect that they would require less medication and I suspect that they would be more able to partake in other activities.

4. Campaigning may be needed to ensure that the research is funded, to ensure that legislation is changed and ultimately to ensure that appropriate resources are made available to ensure that those with a learning disability have an equal chance of forming happy and healthy relationships

This is undoubtedly a very difficult area but just because it is does not mean that it should not be tackled.