Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Stockwell’

London’s Portuguese Gala

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 12th April, 2010

After speaking at an Hispanic church in Canning Town last evening, I was taken to meet several hundred members of London’s Portuguese community at a Gala Awards Ceremony and concert in the magnificent Great Hall of the Battersea Arts Centre. The Gala was organised by the Portuguese-language newspaper As Noticias, which serves Portuguese expats in Britain — 27,000 of whom live in the borough of Lambeth. One of the recipients of an award was the long-standing Liberal Democrat Lambeth Councillor Anthony Bottrall, who has worked closely with the community and is currently studying the language. Interestingly, the first-ever prospective Portguuese Councillor, Fernanda Correia, is a Liberal Democrat and is standing in Lambeth’s Stockwell ward. As Noticias’s Director General, Joao Noronha, and his colleagues had lined up some terrific musicians flown in specially from Lisbon for the event, which was being filmed and will appear online.

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Paddy Ashdown chez Chris Rennard

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 14th December, 2009

Few local party fundraisers attract three members of the House of Lords, even when one of them is the host, but (Lord) Chris and (Lady) Ann Rennard opened their house in Stockwell this evening for a soirée in honour of Vauxhall’s LibDem PPC, Caroline Pidgeon, GLAM, at which the star attraction was former Liberal Democrat leader (Lord) Paddy Ashdown (whose London base is in Kennington) — and at which the Party President, (Baroness) Ros Scott, was also present. Paddy was eloquent over the cocktail sausages about the three challenges he believes are facing Britain: financial, international and existential. Perhaps the last needs a little explaining, before people run for their Jean-Paul Sartre: in other words, the environmental threats to our planet. As world leaders haggle over climate change-related targets in Copenhagen, the Conservatives under David Cameron are trying to paint themselves green, but unconvincingly so, in Paddy’s opinion. He also, for what it is worth, thought Gordon Brown will go right through to May, rather than risking a March general election. Either way, there will be many thousands of leaflets for activists to deliver in Lambeth and beyond. 


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What People Are Asking at Euro-hustings

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 22nd May, 2009

Shepherd's Bush 3I’ve done a fair number of hustings meetings in this European election campaign — far more than ever before — and they aren’t over yet. What is notable is that people who come to them really are interested in knowing what the candidates of different parties think about European issues, rather than national or local concerns. At the hustings put on by the Wandsworth Society last night, for example, there was not one question or comment about MPs’ expenses. Instead, the issues of the economy and the environment, and what the EU can do about them, were the hot topics. Political anoraks may draw some comfort from the fact that there were also several interventions about the electoral system, including a request for details about how parties choose the order of candidates on their list.

There was not an ounce of aggro at all, either there or at the hustings the previous evening, at Durand Primary School in Stockwell (Lambeth). Similarly, when my team and I were out campaigning yesterday morning in Shepherd’s Bush Market, not only did everyone we spoke to know that the European elections were happening, but there was a very friendly reception and lots of pledges from former Labour voters that they will vote LibDem this time. Of course, there is still everything to play for, but these could turn out to be the most interesting European elections in Britain since they began 30 years ago.


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