John’s Monthly Newsletter November 2018
Below is a brief summary of just some of my activities locally and in Parliament in the last month.
I wish you all a happy Christmas and peaceful New Year. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your support and assistance during 2018. I am so grateful for the warmth of support provided to me by our local community. Rest assured I will continue to work hard in 2019 on behalf of my constituents and my community.
We are facing some hard times in the local area as a result of 8 years of harsh austerity but I am always proud of the way our community is coming together to assist those most in need.
Blackpool Town Seminar 1st
We started the day discussing the local economy and how it can be improved- what sort of investment is needed. Some real issues were highlighted that we will be building into the development of our policies. I can totally understand why people are frustrated that they’re not getting the fair deal that they need. So when Labour goes into Government we will be re-writing the rules so that every area will get the investment that they need. There’ll be a fair distribution of that investment but it will be based upon what local people are saying is needed because they’re the people who know where the investment needs to go both in infrastructure and skills. The key thing is to put money in people’s pocket. Proper wages and decent jobs then that will create the vibrant economy that we need.
Move on up? Social mobility, opportunity and equality in the 21st century 3rd
I spoke at the launch of “Move On Up? Social mobility, opportunity and equality in the 21st century” which is a collection of essays by a range of authors on the future of social mobility. The collection, published by IPPR, seeks to enrich our understanding of class in Britain today, to analyse what goals government needs to set and to consider what it would mean to have a more equal economy and society. Tis initiative was led by a member of my team, Lyn Brown MP who has worked incredibly hard to raise the profile of the issue of inequality in our society.
EC at 7pm then film showing of The Beast of Bolsover 5th
I was delighted to welcome Dennis Skinner to our constituency. He is a warm, genuine and passionate politician & campaigner. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about his history and what drives him and of course watch his film “The Beast of Bolsover”. We will be following this in the New Year with further talks and films on various campaigns and our socialist history.
European Union Withdrawal Act: Discussion on the Economy 6th
In my contribution to the debate on the EU Withdrawl Bill I focused on four points. My first point, on which I hope we can find widespread majority and common ground across the House, is that we must seek to prevent a no-deal situation occurring by either imposition or default. Secondly it is increasingly obvious that the Prime Minister’s deal is neither politically nor economically acceptable, and neither is it capable of bringing the House or country together.
Thirdly, as the House looks for an alternative, Labour has proposed a plan that we believe could unite the country, by addressing the concerns raised in the referendum campaign while securing the benefits of a close and collaborative relationship with our European partners. My fourth point was an expression of a worrying concern, given the current state of our economy, about the impact of a bad deal on our communities. The full debate can be viewed here
Scotland 7th and 8th
I spent a couple of days in Scotland to support Richard Leonard’s campaign to transform the Scottish economy. This included setting out our plans for a £70b boost to the Scottish economy to secure investment in the Country’s infrastructure and in the much needed public services.
I met with both trade union representatives and major businesses to discuss Brexit and our economic policies.
Later in the day I spoke at a gathering of young supporters, which demonstrated the huge interest in our ideas amongst young people.
click here to see a short video.
Airdrie Town Seminar 8th
The focus of my presentation at the Airdrie Town Seminar was around enhancing democracy at work. Following a contribution from John Keenan who recalled the spirt of workers at the Rolls-Royce factory at East Kilbride in the 1970s in the aftermath of the Chilean junta’s overthrow of a democratically elected government. They refused to carry out the vital repairs of engines for Hawker Hunter fighter aircraft, used during the brutal right-wing military coup on 11 September 1973. Our programme of workplace reform will restore the balance between employer and worker, and it will do so by installing basic trade union rights in law again.
I told the 180 audience that a Labour Government will transform the world of work, providing security, decent pay and equal rights for people from day one, including sick pay, holiday pay and protection against unfair dismissal. We will introduce a new Ministry of Labour to give workers a voice in parliament, sectoral collective bargaining to raise wages and conditions, and repeal dangerous anti-trade union legislation.”
Hayes Cricket Club AGM 9th
Although I was unable to attend this year’s AGM I was pleased to accept the honour of remaining the Club’s patron for another year.
Treasury Questions 11th
I asked the Chancellor if he was aware of what the FSB has said about the current Brexit position. Its chair has said: “Planning ahead has now become impossible for a lot of firms as we simply don’t know what environment we’ll be faced with in little more than 100 days’ time…the economic warning signs are now flashing red.”
The Chancellor knew full well in our debate last week that the Prime Minister’s deal was not going to receive the support of the House. Is it not only right that he is straight with her by telling her that businesses cannot face any more uncertainty and that a decision on the deal cannot be delayed and put off until late January, as some around her are suggesting?
Both sides of the House have to address the seriousness of the situation we face. The director general of the British Chambers of Commerce has said: “Firms are looking on with utter dismay at the ongoing saga in Westminster”.
Today’s Treasury Committee report is devastating in its criticisms of the way in which the Government have sought to assess options not even on the table. A month ago, the Chancellor committed his support to a deal that guaranteed frictionless trade with the EU. Will he now be absolutely straight with the Prime Minister and tell her that unless she comes back with a deal that does fulfil his promise of frictionless trade, it will not succeed in protecting our economy and could not be supported?
Amnesty International’s Annual Human Rights Day Reception 12th
I attended Amnesty International’s Annual Human Rights Day Reception. The focus for this year’s celebration was on the shrinking space for civil society actors and human rights defenders, emphasising five key cases linked to South Africa, India, Venezuela, Ukraine and Iran. The event was also be a celebration of activism undertaken by Amnesty International activists all over the country in support of their campaigns.
Interview with Peston
I spoke with Robert Peston about leaving the EU and exemplified my concerns about its impact on Heathrow Airport and our local economy. We must ensure that he aviation sector is protected, that workers jobs and wages are not cut as a result of any deal or failure to have a deal. No deal would be a disaster for us. We must make sure we get something that is of benefit to us all.
Charvile Academy 14th
I met with pupils in years 5 & 6 pupils who put me through my paces, with robust questions about my life as an MP, with a focus on the British Values and how I upholds these. I then enjoyed a singalong with the Nursery children.
Hayes Royal Mail Depot
I called into Hayes Royal Mail depot early in the morning to thank the staff for their hard work in securing the local Christmas delivery and to meet Babis and Matthew our local CWU reps.
CLP and Community Christmas Coffee Morning and Foodbank Collection 15th
Thank you so much to all the Hillingdon Play Association volunteers for organising such a successful Christmas fair for our local children today & to all our Labour Party members & supporters who came to our coffee/mulled wine morning to support our local food bank.
I visited this year’s Winterfest organised by Hillingdon Play Association, which I chair. Thanks to Valerie Mohamed and her volunteers the event was a huge success, giving so many children a happy day out.
Visit to religious Centre 16th
I was delighted to visit with my colleague, Helen Lowder, a religious gathering of largely elders in our local community, coming together to sing and chant. The group included followers of Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam & Christianity sharing their songs, prayers & lessons.
Harlington School 17th
I spoke with Liz Horrigan, the Headteacher at Harlington School and the Chair of Governors to offer my full support for the board to develop the new school building.
I will be attending and speaking at Labour’s SME annual celebration of the work of Small and medium Sized Enterprises in our economy.
I will be undertaking my last campaign visit of the year to support the campaign in this key marginal.