Last night Kingston Liberal Democrats hosted a very successful Bulgarian evening at the Bulgarian House restaurant in Surbiton. This is one of a whole series of social events initiated by former MP Ed Davey to celebrate different member states of the European Union. Those of us who felt bruised by the outcome of the EU Referendum welcome such opportunities to savour European diversity, and what better way than through sharing food? It is interesting to note that according to opinion polls the popularity of the EU has gone up in the UK since June 23rd; perhaps people are beginning to realise just what we seem to be about to throw away. It’s a pity more was not done to celebrate EU membership before the Referendum; successive governments failed to make the case, instead lazily falling into the habit of blaming Brussels for anything that went wrong while claiming full national credit for anything that went right. It is telling that on the morning after the Referendum the most common google search in the UK was reportedly “What Is the EU?” If only more people had taken the trouble to find out before they voted! As the UK will remain a member of the EU for at least another two-and-a-half years, however, it is not too late to make up for lost time, not just celebrating the cuisine and cultures of our 27 partners but championing the cause of Europe as well. At the very least we should stay in the Singe Market, but of course, if we do that, we might as well stay in the EU as well. This should be an option in any future referendum that might occur after Brexit negotiations have produced a putative deal.
Posts Tagged ‘Kingston Liberal Democrats’
Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016
Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 24th November, 2012
Don Foster has long been one of the most entertaining Liberal Democrat public speakers and since becoming a government Minister he has not lost his touch. Last evening he addressed the AGM of Kingston Liberal Democrats at Kingston Rugby Club, only occasionally letting his eye wander to the screen at the end of the room that was showing (silently) a match with his home team Bath playing. For two years he was at the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, thus enjoying a grandstand view of this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics. But in the recent reshuffle Don was moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government, under (fortunately not literally) Eric Pickles. As Don said last night, it has been a steep learning curve but he is a committed believer in local government. However, much of his speech was an amusing take on this week’s Away Day of LibDem parliamentarians at an anonymous hotel. After all the pep talks there was some light-hearted banter about some of the tweets LibDem MPs have posted, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, as our elected representatives show widely varying talents in the medium. The Twit of the Year, in Don’s view, was clearly the Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael, who hit the jackpot with his tweet: “Nadine Dorries, I served with Lembit Opik, I knew Lembit Opik. Let me tell you, Nadine Dorries, you are no Lembit Opik.”
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Alistair Carmichael, Bath, Don Foster, Eric Pickles, Kingston Liberal Democrats, Kingston Rugby Club, Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrats, Nadine Dorries, Narine Dorries, Twitter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 28th July, 2012
It was perhaps perverse for someone like myself who lives so near to the London Olympics stadium to go right across town to the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to watch last night’s opening ceremony, but I’m glad I did. Kingston Liberal Democrats had decided to combine a celebration of their recent win in a local council by-election in Grove ward with the launch of the Rose Theatre’s Big Screen coverage of the Games — and it was a triumph. Local activists gathered in the Circle Bar for drinks and snacks while the theatre filled to capacity with Kingstonians there to enjoy the first of what will be daily screenings of the Olympics events, free of charge. The screen itself was huge and the BBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony was several notches above its relaying of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee earlier this summer. Moreover, a theatre was the ideal setting in which to watch Danny Boyle’s remarkable show, which was (as I said in a tweet at the end) referential rather than reverential, with lots of splendid jokes. The James Bond sequence with the monarch and two corgis was a classic spoof and Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean in the symphony orchestra under the guidance of Simon Rattle was an act of comic genius. Moreover, the atmosphere in the theatre mirrored that in the Olympic Stadium itself. People roared approval of the highlights, stood up for the National Anthem, and few were left dry-eyed. As an overture to the London 2012 Olympics the show was brilliant. And as a way of bringing people into the Rose Theatre, which was conceived and brought to fruition by Kingston’s Liberal Democrat Council, last night’s event was a master-stroke.