Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Neil Kinnock’

British Kebab Awards

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 8th January, 2015

British Kebab AwardsThe British Curry Awards have become a firm fixture in the UK’s gastronomic calendar, but they now have a vigorous rival in the form of the British Kebab Awards, whose third annual event was held last night at London’s Park Plaza Hotel. It was a tribute to the driving force and organising ability of Ibrahim Dogus — with whom I work as a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) — that 1,200 people gathered for a slap-up meal (no kebabs, but Oriental mezze, followed by stuffed chicken and desert), including a range of MPs and other politicians from all three main political parties, including a blast from the past Lord (Neil) Kinnock. Keith Vaz MP joked that the Indian restaurateurs in Leicester are really worried about the competition from the Turks and it’s fascinating how quickly kebab outlets — from humble takeaways to smart restaurants like London’s Sofra and Sarastro — have become part of the UK’s culinary landscape. There was a wide range of categories of winners chosen by a panel of judges that included Keith Vaz, Nadhim Zahawi MP and Baroness (Meral) Hussein-Ece. Among the laureates in London (and therefore ones I might try) Super Ocakbasi (Best Takeaway), Durum Ocakbasi (Best Customer Satisfaction), Selale Restaurant (Best Value) and Pivaz Restaurant (Best Newcomer).

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Move over Glenys, Chris Bryant Is the New Attack Dog!

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 12th October, 2009

Chris BryantGlenys Kinnock 1Former MEP Glenys Kinnock has been relieved of her responsibility as Minister for Europe and has been shunted sideways — some might say downwards — to look after Africa. Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, will take her place. Though doubtless some of the tabloid press will snigger, given the unfortunate affair of Mr Bryant’s publicly-displayed Y-fronts some years back, the move is a good one. The Labour Party has identified, rightly, that Europe is the Tories’ Achilles heel and they intend to bang on about it from now up to the general election. Chris Bryant is a firm pro-European who can argue the case strongly, most importantly in the House of Commons. Baroness Kinnock (twice a lady, being the wife of former Labour leader, Lord [Neil] Kinnock, as well as having been made a peer in her own right, in order to take on ministerial responsiblity) would have found it much more difficult to land blows on William Hague and his shadow Foreign Office team from the other end of the parliamentary corridor. Standing up against Tory Euro-scepticism is the right thing to do, and interestingly it is not as unpopular move as some might think. In an opinion poll taken during the smmer, the Tories scored lower than Labour on only one area of policy: Europe.

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