Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Southwark and North Bermondsey’

Simon Hughes @ Troia SE1

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 6th April, 2010

London’s (Turkish) Kurdish community hosted a fundraising dinner for Southwark and North Bermondsey’s Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes at the Troia Restaurant opposite County Hall on the South Bank this evening. (Lord) William and (Lady) Helen Wallace — both experts in international and European affairs respectively — were also guests. Simon, who was a lawyer before becoming one of Britain’s most hard-working constituency MPs, spoke about the need to encourage further political and constitutional change in Turkey to facilitate greater rights for the country’s minorities. He said that both the British parliament and the EU should be doing more to encourage the process which Recep Tayyip Erdogan has initiated, in the face of fierce oppsition from ultra-nationalists and many in the military. Of course the issue also concerns the Kurdish situation in Syria, Iran and Iraq, though paradoxically Kurds in Iraqi Kuridstan have won the greatest freedoms, under the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), as I outline in my contributions to a book on the region that is due to be published by Stacey International in June. 


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An Evening of European Culture (and Cheese)

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 9th February, 2009

The entire National Liberal Club reverberated melodiously this evening, when the mezzo-soprano Henrietta Bewley (Chair of the Hammersmith and Fulham Liberal Democrats local party) gave a delightful performance of arias by Bizet, Verdi and Puccini as part of a cheese-and-wine fund-raising event for the London European election campaign. I had certainly never realised what brilliant acoustics the David Lloyd George Room provides, with all those flat surfaces and shiny tiles. The event was mistress-minded by Dinti Batstone, Number 3 on the London list for the Euro-elections, who had also assembled an impressive smorgasbord of items for auction, which raised several thousand pounds for the campaign coffers. Aficionados of the Antiques Road Show (and similar TV programmes) may be interested to learn that the suprise estimate-buster of the evening was tea with Paddy Ashdown in the House of Lords — which proved so popular, in fact, that it was sold twice! 

Simon Hughes, MP for Southwark and North Bermondsey, arrived on cue to give a rousing motivational political speech, reminding people that the LibDems only missed winning a second Euro-parliamentary seat in London in 2004 by 0.6 per cent (despite getting the highest-ever London vote for a single candidate or list). Given the number of council seats the party has won since then and the fact that the London LibDem MPs are now up to eight, there is every reason to believe ‘Yes, We Can Make It Two!’


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