Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘City Hall’

Time in Turkey

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 15th May, 2012

Turkey’s largest-circulation daily newspaper, Zaman, celebrated 25 years of publishing today at London’s City Hall with the launch of an exhibition of images of Turkey through the eyes of 25 celebrated international photographers. The contrasts between tradition and modernity as well as between west and east shout out at the viewer, as do different perpectives and presentations of Turkish men and women. The photographers each give a résumé of their approach to their craft and their choice of theme in an accompanying catalogue which can serve as a lasting legacy. It is maybe invidious to make comparisons between different styles and subjects, but I was particularly struck by Samuel Bollendorff’s sweeping Anatolian panoramas, in which small-scale women stare into infinity as if searching for something or someone lost. Steve McCurry meanhile captures the mysticism as well as the exoticism of Sufi whirling dervishes and musicians in Bursa, while Massimo Mastrorillo exposes the anonymity and ugliness of urban sprawl in his set “Nowhere” Close to Everywhere. All in all this is a collection which merits lingering long before each photograph, whether at the exhibition itself, in the basement of City Hall (and several other locations round the world), or while reading and contemplating the excellent catalogue.

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LibDem Who’s Who at City Hall

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 20th May, 2010

While media attention has been focussed on the dramatic developments at Britain’s national government level, more prosaically, but importantly, changes have been happening at the seat of London government: City Hall. On the Liberal Democrat front, Caroline Pidgeon has become the new group leader in the London Assembly and she has already highlighted several issues she wants to promote:

— the vital importance of tackling crime and the fear of crime that affects every area in London;

— faster improvements to London’s public transport, including the tube upgrades

— real action to improve London’s environment, especially tackling the capital’s poor air quality

— a real increase in affordable housing.

Dee Doocey has become the new Chair of the London Assembly and will lead for the LibDems on the Metropolitan Police Authority, while remaining involved in overseeing the Olympics brief. Mike Tuffrey, who led the LibDem group ably over the past four years, now takes the lead for the group on the London Fire Authority, as well as retaining the lead on budget and performance, environment, housing and planning.

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London Life after Ken

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 7th September, 2008

It is only four months since Boris Johnson became Mayor of London, but already critical appraisals are underway. This afternoon, at an (indoor) garden party hosted by Hackney Liberal Democrats, Caroline Pidgeon AM, Fiyaz Mughal and non-party political Josh Ryan-Collins (from the New Economics Foundation) gave their assessment of where the capital is now.

Caroline gave a juicy account of Boris in action at City Hall — he has plenty of broad-sweep positions and makes jokey statements, but he is weak on detail, not least on transport — while Fiyaz questioned Boris’s record on diversity, which has lacked a certain gravitas, as the Mayor prefers to make jolly remarks about his partially Turkish ancestry and the fact that his wife (daughter of veteran BBC TV journalist Charles Wheeler) is half Indian, rather than showing a great grasp of the issues. Josh looked forward to the Olympics 2012 and focussed on the reality behind the razzamatazz, notably the fact that despite promises, small businesses in Hackney (and in my own brough of Tower Hamlets) look likely to see very little direct benefit. Iindeed some have already been evicted or have had to close down. Tory Central Office is of course hoping that Boris will make no mega-gaffes between now and the European elections — Londoners’ first chance to pass their own verdict on the various political parties.

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