Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Roger Roberts’

Team London in Worcester Park

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 15th February, 2012

Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, GLA list candidate Shas Sheehan and I joined Paul Burstow MP, leading Sutton councillors and of course the Worcester Park by-election candidate Roger Roberts this evening for a final eve-of-poll push in that pleasant part of suburban South West London. The Liberal Democrats seem to have been running Sutton for ever, winning many ‘green’ accolades in the process, but nothing can be taken for granted at the moment, even in a fight that is essentially against the Tories. The Conservatives have been strugggling for years to try to wrest back control of Sutton, yet despite the ongoing gentrification of many of the streets in the borough they’ve so far failed to make the breakthrough. Indeed, in the 2010 local elections — held on the same day as the General Election — they not only failed to snatch either, let alone both, of the parliamentary constituencies in Sutton but also proved unable to dent the majority of the Liberal Democrat council. This only goes to show that the electorate appreciates local campaigners who work hard on their behalf. Labour, of course, are the ‘also rans’ in this part of London, and it will be interesting to see if UKIP manages to push them into fourth place. I’ve never really understood why UKIP fights local elections, frankly, but I suppose it is to prove that they are a grown-up political party. It’s a pity some of their elected representatives in the European Parliament demonstrate the contrary. Anyway, tomorrow is polling day in Worcester Park, with the weather promised to be considerably milder than it has been of late, so London Liberal Democrats’ Team London will once again be out in force, getting out the vote. And it would be great to see Roger Roberts back on the Council.

Link: http://sutton-libdems.org.uk

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When Nick Clegg Came to Worcester Park

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 27th January, 2012

As Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has more than enough to fill his diary, but it is good that he continues to meet with LibDem members from time to time, to hear their concerns and field their questions. He seems to relish the latter, not only at party conferences, but also at gatherings such as the one organised at short notice in a school hall in Worcester Park in Sutton this afternoon. The event was cleverly timed so that those activists with a free hour or so afterwards could join Roger Roberts and  his campaign team in the forthcoming Worcester Park council by-election. Flanked by the borough’s two LibDem MPs, Paul Burstow and Tom Brake, as well as London Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, Nick was bowled a series of difficult balls, including queries about a possible war with Iran, the replacement (or not) of Trident and the future of the euro (what an internationalist party we are!). Actually, on that last issue, the questioner asked whether Nick could ever envisage Britain joining the euro, to which he rightly replied (here I paraphrase) that one should never say never but it was hardly a likely scenario in his political lifetime. In the meantime, he stressed, it is important that Britain is not isolated from the EU. I can imagine he must have some free and frank discussions with the PM on this, but I hope in the run-up to the Euro-elections he will champion the benefits of Britain’s membership, as well as the need for some reforms. Otherwise, given the Eurosceptic drift in the Tory Party, the nature of the popular Press and Labour’s weak stance on European issues, the matter will go by default, with serious longterm consequences for Britain (as well as for the Liberal Democrats).

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Obamamania in Welsh

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 5th November, 2008

Every mainstream political party in Britain is celebrating Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election. The messages of change and hope resonate as loudly on this side of the Atlantic as they do on the other. I stayed up until 3.30am watching the states being called, going to bed happy to know that Colorado had clinched it. Then this morning, I was up early again to attend the Presidential breakfast organised by the Welsh Liberal Democrats, appropriately in the Lloyd George Room of the National Liberal Club in Westminster, the profit going to fund the Welsh Euro-campaign which will be trying to get Alan Butt-Philip elected next June as the first LibDem MEP for Wales. It was good to see at least three Welsh LibDem peers at the event — Alex Carlile, Richard Livesey and Roger Roberts.

There are many lessons the LibDems can learn from Obama’s campaign, both in the quality and the consistency of his messages and in the military precision of his campaign. The Democrats’ use of the Internet was particularly impressive, as was their ability to motivate sections of the public who usually give elections a miss. I loved the 104-year-old black woman for Georgia who was casting her ballot for the first time. Martin Luther King must be grinning from beyond the grave. Interesting, too, to see just how many people in multicultural London are visibly excited by what has happened. For Europe and for many other parts of the world, this is the best news we have had in a generation.

Links: www.welshlibdems.org.uk and www.nlc.org.uk

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