John’s Monthly Newsletter July 2018
Below is a brief summary of just some of my activities locally and in Parliament in the last month.
Launch of Federation of Master Builder’s research report 2nd
I spoke at the launch of the FMB’s independent research report which details the benefits of introducing a licensing scheme for the whole construction industry and puts forward a proposal for how it could work. The vast majority of builders want to see the construction industry professionalised and it is time for the Government to act. It’s unacceptable that more than half of consumers have had a negative experience with their builder. This is not surprising given that in the UK, it is legal for anyone to set up a building firm without any prior experience or qualifications. In countries like Australia and Germany, building firms require a licence and I support the FMB’s demand that the UK Government regulate our industry in a similar manner.
Treasury questions 3rd
Today I called on Philip Hammond to show a bit of grit & make clear that no responsible Chancellor could remain in a cabinet that so recklessly put our economy at risk from a no deal Brexit. Tellingly, he remained silent. Some would say clearly he hasn’t ruled out resignation.
NEF report ‘Co-operatives Unleashed’ report. 3rd
I was pleased to speak at the launch of Co-operatives Unleashed by the New Economics Forum last night. It was full of inspiring proposals and ideas for expanding co-operative ownership, including an Inclusive Ownership Fund https://twitter.com/CoopParty/status/1014076278922792961
UNITE Policy Conference
I spoke with economist Anne Pettifor at UNITE’s policy conference, presenting to the conference Labour’s economic strategy to invest in our economy and raise productivity.
Poor Peoples Campaign 5th
I hosted the Poor People’s campaign in Parliament which was organised by the Global Women strike. Margaret Prescod spoke about the new multiracial mass movement that has swept across the US with six weeks of Non-Violent Direct Action where over 2,000 people were arrested. The campaign is committed to the leadership of those most affected by the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation and to building unity across lines of division. It takes forward Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign 50 years ago.
Which Future for Social Democracy?” at the University of Westminster
I participated in a debate with Belgian Socialist Paul Magnette which was introduced and moderated by Professor Chantal Mouffe. Chantal has launched her interesting book on Left Populism.
Hayes Carnival 7th
Public Meeting with Anne Le Strat 9th
I shared a platform with Cat Hobbs, We Own It, David Hall from and Anne le Strat who was Deputy Mayor of Paris when the city brought its water supply into public ownership and control in 2010. With a nationalised water system now firmly on the UK political agenda, Anne spoke about the experience of Paris and how it fits in a global context of countries and cities taking their utilities into public ownership and under democratic control.
Hillingdon Primary School 11th
Had a fantastic morning at Hillingdon Primary School which started with a meeting with our school governors and senior leadership team. I then attended the school assembly and spoke to pupils about my role in parliament and the local constituency and answered some very interesting questions from the children. This was followed by a tour through their early years’ provision.
WASPI meeting 10th
I met with the WASPI campaigners to discuss the plight of these women who have been denied their pension rights. I agreed to commission research into options for addressing their concerns.
People, Pits & Politics Festival 13th
I spoke at the People, Pits and Politics Festival in Durham about A Socialist Economy in the 21st Century. I also paid tribute the organisers of the festival. The continuing popularity of the Gala is a tribute to the determination of the organisers. I am amazed but not surprised because of the commitment that there was from the miners, from the NUM, that we would not lose our tradition. Over the years, in the most difficult times, when money was short and it was difficult organising events like this, they kept at it and I think they have preserved something we will always have now. I always say we discovered a secret at the beginning of the industrial revolution, that was in the workshops, in the mines and in the fields and that was a secret which we put on our banners – ‘Unity is Strength.’ Injury to one is an injury to all. What the gala does is it gives us a time we can come together yes, to celebrate our history but celebrate the principles of solidarity and most importantly, put them into practice.
Hemsworth, West Yorkshire CLP Fundraising Dinner – Jon Trickett
I spoke at a fun evening of entertainment and politics with Jon Trickett raising funds for his CLP in Hemsworth at the Featherstone Rovers Rugby Club for a night.
Parkash Celebration 14th
I was happy to address 5000 people at the Parkash which was organised by the Sikh community in Hayes which was held at Guru Nanak Sikh College. It was an amazing event which I attend each year meeting local families and friends.
Land Report Launch 17th
I spoke at the launch of the New Economics Foundation’s major new report into the broken land system. The report showcased new research revealing how high land values both drive the housing crisis, and put up significant barriers to any attempts to solve it. Discussion centred around one of the major factors behind the growing housing disaster in the UK being unaffordable, inflated land values and the vital first steps to ensure that land is used for the benefit of everyone
Launch of Definable Traces in the Atmosphere 17th
I spoke alongside Jeremy Corbyn and Mark Steele at a packed event in London to mark the publication of the late Mike Marqusee’s Definable Traces in the Atmosphere, available now at http://www.orbooks.com
Islamic Relief’s #HonourHer campaign 18th
I was happy to support a fantastic new campaign by Islamic Relief. The #HonourHer campaign aims to raise awareness about violence against women and girls worldwide. I was shocked that 1 in 3 women globally will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
Friends of Lake Farm 19th
I attended the Friend’s meeting to discuss the future maintenance of the park and plan our activities for the year. It was encouraging to hear the report of the Hayes Hawks BMX club’s success at the London games.
Canal Partnership 20th
I was pleased to hear confirmation at the partnership meeting of my decade long proposals for residential moorings in Hayes come to fruition.
Tolpuddle Fringe Event 20th
I spoke at the Institute of Employment Rights/Campaign for Trade Union Freedom fringe meeting at Tolpuddle about workers rights under a Labour Government. I was overwhelmed by the warm welcome I received from a packed audience. What an incredible show of solidarity. This is what a Labour government means to working people.
The Road to rebuilding the economy: Hastings 21st
This was the first in a series of events around the country where we looked at the impact of austerity on our towns and at the tools and policies Labour will use to rebuild the economy and get our towns and cities back on track.
Peter Dowd and I spoke about our vision for a sound economy, our industrial strategy and the National Transformation fund that will help rebuild communities. We looked at community wealth building.
But most of all, we wanted to hear from Party members and supporters, trade unions, local businesses and community groups how these policies and programmes will work for Hastings. We heard form Peter Chowney, The leader of Hastings Council and PPC, Lara McNeil, Young Labour NEC and Cllr Martyn Rawlinson from Preston City Counil, who spoke about Community Wealth Building and the Preston Model.
NEON Summer Gathering
I spoke at NEON’s Summer Gathering about The state of social movements in 2018 and where are we now and where do we go from here? NEON is a network of organisers and campaigners for social and economic justice. The Summer Gathering is their key event of the year and is a chance for leaders from struggles including in the trade union, environmental, financial reform, housing and racial and migrant justice movements to gather together and share perspectives and plans.
At the end of a long day I visited Southlands LIVE, the annual music day fest to support culture in our local community. It was a fantastic event with varied music styles from folk, rock and mainstream, all with local connections. There was an array of stalls including food, craft, fashion, children’s activities and event bars .
International Deaf and Disabled People’s Solidarity Summit 22
I spoke at the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) International Deaf and Disabled People’s Solidarity Summit at The Old Town Hall in Stratford East London. The discussion explored issues relating to their shared struggles against oppression, resistance and international solidarity. In particularly I paid tribute to Marcelo and Rose from Bolivia and the fantastic campaign they fought. A minute silence was held for 6 Bolivian Disabled People who died during their long struggle
Oliver Donohue’s funeral 25th
I attended the funeral of Oliver “Hammy” Donohoe. Hammy was a firm friend over the decades, always at the heart of campaigns for justice, peace and socialism in this country and Ireland. It’s Sad to lose a great trade unionist and Labour Party stalwart but so proud to have known him