Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Dulwich and West Norwood’

Matthew Oakeshott Keeps the Faith

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 14th July, 2013

Matthew OakeshottSince standing down as Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman in the House of Lords in 2011 after describing the Coalition Government’s Project Merlin as “pitiful”, Matthew Oakeshott has made full use of his political freedom. Journalists and broadcasters often turn to him for a meaty quote and he has starred on BBC1’s Question Time. Having worked closely with the late Roy Jenkins he is a keen European and he had early working experience in Kenya. Despite being an investment manager he is often identified as being on the left, or at least Social Democratic, wing of the Party. He also does his fair share of the rubber chicken circuit, though certainly that would be an unjust description of the splendid Dulwich and West Norwood LibDems’ garden party this afternoon, all of whose funds raised were dedicated to the Evelina Children’s Hospital Appeal. In his short speech, as guest of honour, Matthew urged activists present to Keep the Faith in next year’s combined European and London borough elections. Being in coalition with the Conservatives was never going to be easy, but it was the right thing to do and there have been several major Liberal Democrat wins — for example the raised tax threshold — which would never have happened if a purely Conservative government were in office. Matthew lives in Lambeth and there is of course close cooperation between LibDems in Southwark and Lambeth (which together form a GLA constituency). Moreover, it was clear from conversation with councillors present this afternoon that the current Labour administrations in both boroughs deserve criticism. Mainstream political parties in general have been haemorrhaging  members over the past few years, but with just 10 months to go till polling day it is vital LibDems get out on the doorstep and sell what we have been doing and what we have to offer.


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Stan Hardy’s 90th Birthday

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 21st February, 2010

Every political party has its Golden Oldies, vintage stalwarts who have not only put in many years of service to the party but continue to soldier on. But few such have as long a record and as much energy left as Stan Hardy from Dulwich, whose 90th birthday was celebrated at a joyfully noisy gathering taking up the whole second floor of Kettner’s Restaurant in Soho last night. Speeches of tribute came from Susan Kramer, MP or Richmond Park (and candidate in Dulwich and West Norwood in 1997) and Simon Hughes, MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey, as well as a response from the birthday boy hinself. Over the years of Stan’s involvement, Southwark borough has shifted from being something of a desert for Liberal Democrats (and predecessor parties) to having one LibDem MP with a majority of nearly 5,500, and second places in Dulwich and West Norwood (achieved for the first time in 2005 by Jonathan Mitchell, who is currently PPC) and in Camberwell and Peckham (Richard Porter in 2005, but now having as its PPC a popular former Mayor of Southwark, the Sierra Leonean Columba Blango).

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