Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Holborn and St Pancras’

Campaigning in Chinese London

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 18th April, 2010

I spent the first part of today on an open-top bus, hired by the BC Project to encourage British Chinese to register to vote before the deadline on Tuesday and to vote in the general and local elections on 6 May. This is particularly important because Britain’s Chinese community traditionally stayed aloof from politics, though that is beginning to change, not least thanks to the efforts of the bus’s compere, Joseph Wu of Spectrum Radio. The bus’s tour began in my own constituency of Poplar and Limehouse, as Limehouse was the location of the first Chinese settlement in Britain, founded by Chinese sailors who left ships that came into the old London docks. The docks have long since gone and so too many of the Chinese, though there are still some fine Chinese restaurants in the area. Our bus (which contained three TV crews and several radio and print journalists, as well as many eager young Chinese activists) then moved westwards to Hammersmith, where we called by the Chinese church at Brook Green, where we were joined by the Chinese LibDem parliamentary candidate for Hammersmith, Merlene Emerson and the LibDem peer, Navnit Dholakia, who has been very active in inter-faith and mutlicultural issues. Next to Holborn and St Pancras in Camden, where we were briefly joined by the Chinese Conservative parliamentary candidate, George Lee. Lunchtime was in Chinatown in Soho, with Mark Field (seeking re-election as the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster) and his Labour opponent, Dave Rowntree. We ended the tour in Hampstead, at the offices of local LibDem Councillor Linda Chung — winner of the sensational Hampstead Town by-election in 2008 — whose efforts to get two fellow LibDems elected this time got a simultaneuous boost from a fleeting visit from Mirian Clegg.

Link: www.bcproject.org.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

John Kampfner Launches CamdenJo

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 12th April, 2010

The young lawyer Jo Shaw was formally adopted as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Holborn and St Pancras in North London this evening at a packed event addressed by former New Statesman editor, John Kampfner. Mr Kampfner — who is now CEO of Index on Censorship — came out as a Liberal Democrat at a press conference with Nick Clegg recently, having finally given up all hope of New Labour abandoning its authoritarianism (though he had already voted LibDem in the 2005 general election, because of the Iraq War). His verdict on the Labour Party today was that it is ‘tribal, brutish and ideologically bankrupt’, which Jo Shaw said reminded of her of a particular Camden Labour councillor, who had better remain nameless. The LibDems have high hopes of taking outright control of Camden Council on 6 May (currently running it in an arrangement with the much smaller Conservative group), and although Hampstead & Kilburn is a top target seat for the party (with a notional Labour majority of only 474, based on redrawn constituency boundaries), a shock result in Holborn & St Pancras can’t be ruled out. As the 2005 general election candidate, Cllr Jill Fraser, reminded people, the swing that catapulted her into second place on that occasion was so large that the TV thought there must have been a computer error.

Link: www.shaw2win.org.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Paul Burstow Whips up Support

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 28th June, 2009

Paul BurstowThe LibDem Chief Whip and and MP for Sutton and Cheam, Paul Burstow, was in upbeat mood at the annual summer party of Holborn and St Pancras Liberal Democrats this afternoon, saying that although we had failed to gain the second Euro-seat in London, the party’s performance in target and held Westminster parliamentary seats at the European elections had been encouraging. In Sutton borough there was actually a small swing from the Tories to the LibDems, which bodes well in the super-marginal Nonsuch ward by-election this coming Thursday, in which Gerry Jerome is the candidate. Obviously, when the general election comes round, the LibDems will be fighting hard to hold on to seats where Tories are the main challengers — in London’s case, basically in the ‘golden croissant’ of the boroughs of Kingston, Richmond and Sutton — while hoping to make some gains from Labour, including in Camden. By then the message might have got across to the electorate that in the recent (indeed, ongoing) expenses revelations, LibDems have fared pretty well. As Paul pointed out, not a single London LibDem MP has claimed a second home allowance, and none has been guilty of ‘flipping’ homes or claiming for phantom mortgages. The Conservatives, in contrast, might well find themselves hard pushed to justify their record. Over half of all Tory MPs have so far had to ‘own up’ to some excess or misdemeanour and pay some money back.

Link: www.paulburstow.org.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sarah un-Teathered

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 27th July, 2008

Sarah Teather was the guest of honour at the Holborn and St Pancras LibDem summer lunch today, in the home and garden of Camden councillor David Simmons and his wife, but she didn’t have to speak, which was probably a relief for both her and the guests who were lapping up the sun and the generous hospitality. It’s important that politicians have ‘time off’, even when they are at a political event, just to chat to people and enjoy themselves. Sarah Teather works her socks off as MP for Brent East — which is why she not only held her seat after the sensational 2003 by-election but actually increased her majority in 2005.

The neighbouring boroughs of Camden and Brent — alas not coupled as a GLA constiuency, otherwise the LibDems would be in a good position to win it — have seen a great swing to the Bird of Liberty in recent years. As has been well trumpeted, that makes the new seat of Hampstead and Kilburn very interesting for LibDem candidate Ed Fordham. The Tories see it as  three-way marginal, but after boundary changes, the figures make it a close fight between Labour and the LibDems. Moreover, given Labour’s unpopularity, Frank ‘Father Christmas’ Dobson’s Holborn and St Pancras is also highly winnable — which is why the young barrister candidate Jo Shaw is working her socks off, a la Teather, too.

Link: www.holbornandstpancras.org.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »