Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Taking on Poplar and Limehouse

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 26th November, 2009

This evening, at a packed AGM of Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats at Oxford House in Bethnal Green, I was adopted as the LibDem PPC for my home constituency of Poplar and Limehouse (new boundaries, having lost all the bits in Newham). It’s an extraodinary seat, illustrating both the huge diversity of London and also the yawning gap between rich and poor. It also looks like being a right royal battleground at the forthcoming general election, not only because the sitting Labour MP, Farming and Food Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, annoyed the large local Muslim community a while back by walking out of a Muslim wedding because he couldn’t sit next to his wife, but also because ‘Gorgeous’ George Galloway (Respect) is trying to move over from his current perch in neighbouring Bethnal Green and Bow. So we can expect some vigorous campaigning and lots of media attention. Having first moved into the area in 1985, I have seen huge changes — some good, some bad — and whatever the result at the end of it, I am determined to enjoy the next six months or so and to be part of a LibDem renaissance in Tower Hamlets.


10 Responses to “Taking on Poplar and Limehouse”

  1. Good luck Jonathan, a stiff task but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  2. Best wishes Jonathan, I do hope that given the current MP’s ‘indescretions’ and your strong advocacy for Lib Dem policy you’ll be representing Poplar and Limehouse in a few months’ time!


  3. […] writes about Poplar and Limehouse on his blog: It’s an extraodinary seat, illustrating both the huge diversity of London and also the yawning […]

  4. Robin Young said

    Packed meeting, huh? That’s not a bad start if I understand which meaning of the word “packed” it is that you mean to convey. All best wishes anyway! Ihope you can keep packing them in.

  5. The best of luck! And whatever happens, don’t let George Galloway win!

  6. Rob said

    Hi Jonathan

    I am a constituent in Tower Hamlets. I am Irish and my fiancee is dual Maltese/Australian so we both have votes in the election. The constituency has quite a few of our type of immigrant.

    I want to know why you think we should vote LibDem for you rather than Conservative for Tim Archer or indeed Respect for George Galloway. I am very unhappy with Jim Fitzpatrick who is a very poorly performing MP.

    In terms of politics we are socially conservative, economically middle-of-the-road but quite left-wing on foreign affairs. We are not happy with the Labour Party pandering to visible minority groups while doing-down EU immigrants such as ourselves. We also think that a lot of the anti-immigrant views coming from British nationals are coming from those caught up in the benefit culture, whose benefits immigrants like us are paying for with our taxes.

    We dislike Nick Clegg, possibly more than David Cameron. We think he is very dictatorial as regards the party, e.g. re the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, where he and the LibDems behaved very shabbily, and re the recent sacking of Jenny Tonge. We see him as just a much an ex-public school never-had-a-real-job type as David Cameron. We would be much more comfortable voting LibDem if Charles Kennedy were still leader or even if Chris Huhne were leader (although given his role as founder of one of the rating agencies responsible for the credit crisis, he’s unlikely now ever to get that role). We’re also not happy with the bashing of the Catholic Church that comes from people like Dr Evan Harris and some LibDem activists.

    Right now we think Tim Archer seems like a good candidate – a genuine guy who is local to Tower Hamlets and not some Tory A-lister parachuted in from Chelsea to mingle with the plebs here for a few weeks. We also like some of the what the Conservatives say they will do around incentivising marriage and making people take responsibility for themselves. Given Clegg’s actions we don’t see any prospect of the LibDems changing Britain’s position on Israel/Palestine to one less wedded to political Zionism (i.e. changing it to a position in line with that of the Irish and Maltese governments).

    Rather than the relatively anodyne stuff that you’ve written above, tell us why we should bother voting for you.



  7. Maureen said

    Hi Jonathan,

    I am a constituent of Poplar and Limehouse.

    There is a debate this evening at the Crusing Association in Limehouse. The conservatives, labour and, of course, George Galloway are all down for making an apperance, but it seems you do not plan to attend? Why is this?


  8. jonathanfryer said

    The disgraceful reason, Maureen, is that I was specifically not invited. Even when I said to the organisers that is was totally undemocratic to exclude one of the major British political parties (currently running out in front in the latest opinion polls!), I was told by the Chairman of LCF that they onyl wanted to have ‘the three candidates most likely to win’! I hope you and other local residents will go along and protest at this!

    Jonathan Fryer

  9. Chani said

    Hi Jonathan,

    Like Rob, I’m also looking for further information on your specific ideas/pledges for the Poplar & Limehouse area should you win. I’m new to the area and surprised by the lack of information I’ve received from local candidates (usually it’s the opposite!). Thanks to the PM debates, I’m clear what Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems aim to achieve on a national level but my vote must go to a local candidate and I would like to know what your plans are locally?

  10. […] the local elections. Fast forward four years and he’s the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate in Poplar and Limehouse where he will be in among a likely dust-up between in Jim Fitzpatrick and George Galloway in east […]

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