John’s Monthly Newsletter June 2019
Below is a brief summary of just some of my activities locally and in Parliament in the last month.
Launch of USDAW’s Industrial Strategy for Retail 5th
I spoke at the launch of USDAW’s Industrial Strategy for Retail. An estimated 148,000 retail jobs were lost in the sector in 2018 and the further 160,000 expected to go in 2019. This is a national crisis that the Government have failed to respond to with a clear or coherent strategy. The discussion focused on the key issues facing the retail sector and discussion around the many different possible responses.
Meeting with Unite branches at Heathrow
Seema Malhotra MP and I met, in Parliament, with representatives from the various Unite branches at Heathrow to discuss workplace issues.
Unite Manufacturing Combine Meeting
I spoke at the meeting about what the future of manufacturing looks like in a sustainable economy, and the campaign for a million green jobs. The labour Party is looking at investment, state intervention and public ownership alongside automation, technology and AI, the redistribution of wealth and productivity gains from technological advances, shorter working time, shared work, corporate governance and collective bargaining as well as worker and trade union rights. In the video clip which can be viewed here
I expressed my disappointment with the Ford Motor Company about the way in which they treated their own workforce but also the future of the automotive industry in this Country.
I spent the afternoon campaigning in Peterborough with our PPC Lisa Forbes. She is a superb local candidate.
I spoke with Robert Peston about a general election, a Brexit deal that goes through parliament going back to a public vote, the way the party is dealing with Antisemitism and suspensions and the prospect of having two deputy leaders to balance gender inequality. The interview can be viewed here
Global Academy 7th
I was interviewed by Global Academy, which is a UTC (University Technical College) state school for 14-19 year olds interested in a career in the Media. Global Academy run a radio station called ‘Youths Choice’ which recently started recording a Podcast series entitled ‘School Days’ and asked me about my life at school.
Southampton TWT 8th
I spoke at The World Transform event in Southampton about providing radical solutions to stand up to neo liberalism and tackle rising inequality. There was a great atmosphere with a brilliant turnout. Thanks to all who attended for very interesting discussions and a great atmosphere. It was terrific to hear views of the local community. And great to see my old friend and superb campaigner Liz Davis
Street Celebration Arjun Dev Ji 9th
I was pleased to attend the commemoration of Arjun Dev Ji organised by the Pink City restaurant in Hayes Town, distributing gifts to local passers by in celebration and holding a prayer ceremony.
Longford Res Association
I had a really good discussion with the Longford Residents Association in the White Horse Pub., about their concerns for the future of the village with the threat of a 3rd runway and various other local issues.
The Times CEO Summit 11th
I spoke at the Times CEO Summit to an audience of FTSE CEOs, Times commentators and the rising stars from the UK’s fast growth sectors about Britain’s prosperity in the face of Brexit, trade and inclusive growth.
Young Leadership Programme 12th
I was delighted to speak, along with Jeremy, at the Young Leadership Programme event. Really enjoyed meeting the participants, outlining Labour’s policies that work for the many, not the few! Participants asked engaging and pressing questions.
Thompson Foundation Lecture 13th
I gave the annual Thompson lecture setting out how Labour in government will restore basic employment rights in the UK.
Chingford and Woodford Green Town Seminar 15th
I am really enjoying our Road to Rebuilding the Economy campaign. In Chingford we had a terrific grassroots discussions that will help to develop our next manifesto.
Harlington village fayre 15th
I attended the Harlington Village Fayre which was hosted this year by The White Hart, Scouts and miniature railway. It was a really enjoyable afternoon, with the Punch and Judy show exciting the little ones and everybody enjoying the train rides.
PCS Strike 19th
I was proud to support catering & cleaning staff at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy striking for the 4th day of 5 today in a dispute over the London Living Wage. They have also been joined by porters & security staff whose 3-day strike ends today.
Labour Business Summer Party
I spoke at the annual party for labour Business congratulating the group on its hard work in advising Labour on policies for business.
RMT Picket Line 20th
I joined RMT strikers at their picket line at Waterloo Station in support of their call for reinstatement of railway staff travel facilities which has been withdrawn and now only applies to those employed prior to privatisation.
I spoke at the rally about the pending ‘General Election and now it is time for a Corbyn Government and how we can offer a shining example to the world of what socialism can achieve in practice today.
UK Finance 24th
I launched an independent inquiry into the role and activities of shadow banking in our economy to examine what state intervention may be required to increase the transparency and accountability of this sector to ensure it plays its full role in addressing the climate change emergency that we face. I explained to the 150 audience of bankers and journalists that the review would cover commercial banks, investment banks, pension funds, hedge funds, private equity, asset managers, derivatives and securities traders and exchanges, and any other aspect of the finance sector of relevance. A clip can be viewed here
The Parliamentary launch of ‘The Three Dimensions of Freedom’
I hosted the Parliamentary launch of Billy Bragg’s “Three Dimensions of Freedom”. Billy outlined the key ideas in his book and his broader arguments in favour of the democratisation of the economy. We had a great discussion about discussion on the ideas in his book and how we democratise our economy.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders International Automotive Summit 25th
I spoke at the SMMT Summit about the disastrous effect a no-deal Brexit would have on jobs and the economy, including for the car industry. The Labour Party understands the damaging impact that the introduction of tariffs will have on UK car exports, imports, and component parts.
The CBI reported the sharpest contraction in car manufacturing since March 2009. Honda announced in May that it would close its Swindon plant in 2021. Estimates are that 3500 jobs at the plant and possibly 12,000-14,000 jobs across the country could be lost as a result of the decision. In February Nissan cancelled plans to build its X-trail in Sunderland, which would have created hundreds of jobs. Jaguar Land Rover has announced it would move production of its Discovery to Slovakia, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.
We see the automotive industry as a key part of our future and therefore must redress the imbalance where lending is tilted towards property over productive technology – has to be turned around if we are to kickstart technological innovation: including, in the automotive sector, in electric, autonomous, and hydrogen vehicles.
Rose Network Summer Event 26
I attended this round table event for Labour members, explaining Labour’s economic programme and listening to views on how we can take this forward.
Local Tamil meeting 27th
I was pleased to host a meeting of the local Tamil community to discuss the issues facing Tamils both here in the UK and in Sri Lanka.
Unite Rally Premier Inn – 15 Bath Rd Cranford TW6 2AB 28th
I spoke at the Unite rally, which was organised by the union as part of its pay claim campaign. I will continue to support this campaign as we seek a fair pay settlement for employees at Heathrow.
Stroud Town Seminar 29th
Stroud was the last stop on our Town Seminar, Road to re-building the economy, until the autumn. We had a packed room of local people wanting to discuss the issues that they felt were fragmenting their services and community. Using Labour’s policies and community wealth building strategies participants overwhelmingly felt that the focus should be on the Green economy and 4th Industrial Revolution of Robotics being kept in the public domain to ensure decent jobs and standard of living for everyone regardless of where they live.
I spoke with Sophie Ridge the declaration of a climate emergency which has now become the priority for the next labour Government. A clip can be seen here
I spoke at the left field event at Glastonbury setting out labour’s plans to promote trade union rights.