Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Putney and a Message of Hope

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 4th February, 2009

Haringey Councillor Fiyaz Mughal and I did a double act at last night’s annual dinner of Putney Liberal Democrats, Fiyaz talking about community cohesion in Britain and I about European issues and the European election campaign. The interesting common thread — though we had not conferred in advance — was that of outreach. Fiyaz stressed how the Liberal Democrats (as well as various institutions of British society) need to reach out more to different community groups and to facilitate exchanges between diverse ethnicities and religions, particularly at a time where there are certain inter-communal tensions and there is a lot of anger among Muslims about recent events in Gaza. They are looking for understanding interlocutors, maybe for hope.

For my part, I spoke of the need for Liberal Democrats during the four months until the Euro-vote to reach out to all sorts of different groups and individuals in London, many of whom may not identify themselves as Liberal Democrats or even have voted for the party before (or at all). In fact, that is partly what my campaign is trying to do, not least through employing new technologies and networking opportunities, allowing not just for one-way communication from my side but also for interaction. Already, now that I have a functioning Facebook Campaign Group page (Jonathan Fryer 4 Europe), and Twitter (, as well as a website ( , dialogue is growing with people of all types and ages. For me, that is what politics should be about: interchange, not preaching. The message we’ll be putting out in the campaign is one of hope, too: that even at this time of financial crisis and recession, a more united Europe can offer solutions in the fields of economics, the environment and cross-border security, amongst others, which a medium-sized country like Britain acting on its own can no longer do. 


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