Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Ben Mathis’

London LibDems’ GLA Hustings

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 5th September, 2015

GLA hustings 1GLA hustings 2Last night, at Hamilton House in Camden, London Liberal Democrats held a hustings for shortlisted candidates who had put themselves forward to be selected for the “top-up” list of 11 members of the London Assembly (the other 14 being elected in geographical constituencies). As there were 16 hopefuls and all had to make short presentations as well as answer a few questions it was quite a marathon affair, but aided by the grace and good humour of the Chair, Baroness (Liz) Barker. One candidate, Duwayne Brooks, challenged the worth of asking candidates about elements of policy and walked out half way through, while another, Annabel Mullin, was legitimately absent because of a work commitment abroad, but the others battled on bravely. Housing came across as the biggest single issue of concern in London, with other oft-mentioned subjects including transport and the environment. We currently have just two GLA members (Caroline Pidgeon and Stephen Knight, both of whom are standing for re-election) but in the past we have had as many as five, so it is a realistic goal as part of the LibDem fightback to hope for a minimum of three in 2016, now the Party is not tainted by being in coalition with the Conservatives. Given London’s population profile, it is to be hoped that at least one of our successful candidates should be from an ethnic minority and certainly there was a very diverse choice on offer last night with almost half of the shortlisted candidates not being Anglo-Saxon white. All London LibDems members can vote for the order of the GLA list via a quick and easy electronic link that is already up and running. Caroline Pidgeon is also standing as the Party’s candidate for London Mayor and is unopposed for that.

The full list of candidates is: Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, Annabel Mullin, Ben Mathis, Caroline Pidgeon, Dawn Barnes, Duwayne Brooks, Emily Davey, Marisha Ray, Mark Platt, Merlene Emerson, Pauline Pearce, Rob Blackie, Stephen Knight, Teena Lashmore, Zack Polanski.

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Cruising the Thames with Brian Paddick

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 10th December, 2011

London Liberal Democrats scored a ‘first’ last night when about a hundred of us were entertained on a Thames river cruise aboard the M.V. Eltham. We were blessed with a clear night, which meant that the illuminated buildings on either shore looked truly magnificent. The new vista of Tower Bridge with the half-completed Shard of Glass rearing up not that far away was particularly striking. The event was a fundraiser for the London 2012 Mayoral and GLA campaigns, with mayoral candidate Brian Paddick and most of the GLA candidates on board — indeed one of them, Merlene Emerson, was the prime organiser of the event. After a supper of lasagne and salad, we were given a performance of African music and dance by a group from the university where I teach, SOAS, and the evening was compered with Yuletide panache by LibDem activist Ben Mathis, whose jokes were as corny and seasonal as those inside Christmas crackers. I was roped in to be Santa Claus — my fault for growing a white beard, I suppose — and doled out the raffle prizes from a scarlet sack. The whole evening was a great success, as well as being fun; the London campaign is more advanced and already better funded than in 2008, and Brian Paddick is positively fizzing and popping with energy for the fight ahead.

Link: http://libdems4london.org.uk

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