John’s Monthly Newsletter July 2019
Below is a brief summary of just some of my activities locally and in Parliament in the last month.
Treasury Questions 2nd
During our regular topical questions to the Chancellor in the Chamber I asked whether he would join us and commit himself to doing everything he possibly can to oppose the prorogation of Parliament to try to sneak no deal through, and also to voting against no deal?
He replied “I have been consistently clear that I believe that a no-deal exit would be bad for the UK, bad for the British economy and bad for the British people. We cannot rule out that happening, because it is not entirely in our hands, but I agree with him that it would be wrong for a British Government to seek to pursue no deal as a policy. I believe that it will be for the House of Commons, of which I will continue proudly to be a Member, to ensure that that does not happen.”
Railway Estate Residents 4th
I attended the Railway Estate residents meeting to discuss the follow up on actions to address the environmental problems on the estate.
Mencap Home in Yeading Lane 5th
‘Who Cares’ Showing 5th
I attended a screening of ‘Who Cares’ at the Arts Depo in Finchley. The script was adapted from real-life testimonies of young carers living in Salford. Who Cares is an award-winning piece of documentary verbatim theatre that follows the real life stories of three young people who look after their parents. It was a deeply moving event.
Hayes Carnival 6th
This year’s carnival was another resounding success with thousands of people flocking to Barra Hall Park to enjoy the free entertainment and activities on offer. This event continues to celebrate the diverse cultures and communities of Hayes. A fantastic day was enjoyed by all members of our community.
Andrew Marr 7th
I spoke with Andrew Marr about The labour Party’s position on Brexit. The interview can be viewed here
Water Drop 10th
Ahead of the 30th anniversary of water privatisation, I attended, along with other Labour MPs the launch of the People’s Plan for public ownership of water in the House of Commons.
NHS Parliamentary Awards Terrace Pavillion
I nominated the Digital Citizen Education Programme, NHS North West London STP for the NHS Parliamentary Awards. It was great to meet them. They are an exciting and dedicated team. I was pleased this initiative reached the final national shortlist and pleased to meet this dedicated team.
The Making of a Democratic Economy
I was pleased to say a few words at the launch of ‘The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few’ which was written by Ted Howard and Marjorie Kelly. This book is a timely and important reminder of the urgent need to democratise our economy. The experiments it discusses provide inspiration, and food for thought, for activists and policy-makers alike.
Labour in the City Summer Reception 11th
I spoke at the Labour in the City reception, at the Association of British Insurers, to Labour city members about Labours economic plans and approach to the financial services.
Canal meeting 12th
I attended our local canal partnership meeting to discuss improvements to the canal locally.
Belmore summer fair
I was pleased to attend the local school fair and had a great time chatting to the pupils and parents.
I visited Barnhill School to meet the headteacher and to be updated on the school’s excellent academic progress.
International Social Forum 13th &14th
I was proud to launch labour’s first International Social Forum of progressive political leaders, campaigners and economists to discuss far reaching institutional reforms to combat the climate crisis and global inequality. This two day conference is part of Labour’s preparation of a policy programme that will harness the full might of the Treasury in government to tackle climate change, end austerity and erode soaring inequality.
I opened the conference alongside the former president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, Jayati Ghosh, an economics professor at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi and acclaimed author and climate activist Naomi Klein (pre-recorded video message).
Other speakers over the weekend include Tina Ngata, an indigenous New Zealand campaigner on climate change, Asad Rehman, the executive director of War on Want, Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, Fiona Tregenna, Professor of Economics at the University of Johannesburg and Richard Kozul-Wright, the director of the division on globalisation and development strategies at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The conference was concluded with presentations from Jeremy Corbyn and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
I hope to establish ongoing contact and joint work to develop our ideas, convening again in July 2020 to take our ideas forward. A short video can be viewed here
Further information and videos will available shortly on my website.
PCS Strike at the Depatment for Business, Energey and Industrial Strategy 15th
I joined striking outsourced support staff on their picket line at BEIS. They are some of the lowest paid staff in Government. They are employed by Aramark and ISS as porters, cleaners, security, catering and post room staff. Following months of walks outs, including a 5 day strike last month, the members have now taken the brave decision to begin indefinite action, the first time the union has seen such action in many years. I applaud the courage and conviction of these dedicated members. a clip can be viewed here
Following the launch of ‘Heathrow’s Preferred Disasterplan’ We have had 3 packed public meetings in Pinkwell School, Heathrow Primary School and Yiewsley & West Drayton Community Centre to discuss these plans. Heathrow’s Masterplan for expansion is a disaster. Not just for local residents but for our climate, air quality, schools, green spaces, biodiversity, historic environment & much more.
NPC EC 16th
I spoke at the meeting about issues that many of our pensioners are facing including pensions and universal pensioner benefits – TV licences and bus passes, social care and also about Labour’s plans for intergenerational fairness
Love Socialism, Hate Brexit
I was unable to attend the Love Socialism hate Brexit event but sent a statement in support.. Love Socialism, Rebuild Britain, Transform Europe is a group of radical and socialist Labour MPs who are fighting to stop Brexit, holding regular events and speaking out alongside Labour members and communities.
Launch of the Resolution Foundation’s Living Standards Audit 17th
The main focus of my speech at the resolution foundation was about eradicating poverty in our first term in office. I want to see a society with higher living standards for everyone as well as one in which nobody lacks the means to survive or has to choose between life’s essentials. I told the audience that as Chancellor in the next Labour Government, I want you to judge me by how much we reduce poverty and how much we create a more equal society…because that is our number one goal. My full speech can be viewed here
It was so good to meet Year 6 classes of Dr Tripletts School when they visited Parliament. I had a really good discussion with the pupils about a range of the local and national issues they are concerned about, plus lots of clever and topical questions.
I was really honoured to speak at the PCS rally in support of their members striking against poverty wages in the government’s BEIS department. Solidarity to this brave group of trade union members.
TUCG Rally on outsourcing
I joined the PCS rally opposing privatisation and outsourcing in support of the union campaign to protect their members.
Universal Basic Income Liverpool
I spoke to a packed audience in Liverpool on Why the Labour Party want to introduce pilot programmes for Basic Income alongside Ann Obyrne, Alison McGovern and Peter O’Dowd and Guy Standing.
Extinction Rebellion Demo 19th
I joined Extinction Rebellions March from Waterloo to Westminster. “I’ve supported them from the start. Our children and grandchildren will never forgive us if we don’t now act. Not only do I welcome what they’ve done, I take pride in what they’ve done.”
Thanks also to young doctor from West London who lent me a waterproof in the pouring rain. It’s acts of care & kindness like that which warm my heart. Solidarity in this great campaign. clip can be viewed here
Community Wealth Building and Launch of the insourcing report 20th
I spoke at the Launch of the report, hosted by Unison at their headquarters, about the catastrophic effect local government outsourcing has had on our services. A video of Andrew Gwynne MP and my contribution can be viewed here
I attended Southlands Live, our brilliant local music festival in West Drayton. Thanks to all the volunteers at Southlands Art Centre, who work so hard to make this festival and all the centre’s activities such a success.
Simon Baker’s Memorial Service
It was a privilege to attend the commemoration of the life of Simon Baker. The moving, heartfelt speeches were a testimony to how loved and respected Simon was and what a contribution he made to our movement and to all our lives. Tears flowed at “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Launch of A New Public Banking Eco-system 23rd
I was proud to speak at the Launch of the report which was written by Christine Berry and Laurie MacFarlane. The report recommends building on the pledges in Labour’s 2017 manifesto in relation to: setting up a Post Bank; establishing a National Investment Bank supported by a network of Regional Development Banks; and reviewing alternatives to the re-privatisation of RBS.
It outlines how a Post Bank, with a clear public service mandate and in democratic public ownership, would put the Post Office on a sustainable footing; provide banking services to the financially excluded and small businesses; and be a central part of a transformative economic programme under a Labour government.