Visited Passmore Edwards Sheltered Housing in Bounds Green yesterday to celebrate their 20 years of being. What was a lovely surprise was that prior to my cutting the cake – there were three singers with guitars and violin – singing with the residents. Their voices were stunning and it was just a lovely and uplifting part of the day.
Sounds like you enjoyed the time there. I am involved with a project currently for this type of work and know how hard the managers work to ensure that everyone is included with all the activities. Unfortunately a lot of the work is invisible but rewarding nevertheless.
Are they all coming to live with you from about October?
It’s great to hear you supporting such an important anniversary.
Do you have anything to say about the London hospitals closures campaign that appears to be back on? I’m deeply concerned that now you’re in government, you won’t be around to fight for the Whittington. Could you confirm where you stand?
This program of closures cannot be allowed to happen – it will cost lives.
Bob – soon after I was re-elected, I secured a meeting with the new Health Minister, Simon Burns, to make the case for the Whittington Hospital.
The most important thing I wanted him to understand was the anger in our community over how the last Government had acted against the wishes of local people – only saved at the last minute by a huge campaign and the election.
The good news was that the coalition Government health team put a stop to the review that put the Whittington A&E’s future at risk. The not so good news was that the same team were being sent back to the drawing board with the stipulation that any decisions about changing the way health is provided must involve local people every step of the way.
I have also arranged to meet the North London Sector team (the review team) to understand exactly what ‘involving local people every step of the way’ means.
If it is genuinely going to be based on what local people want – then I can’t imagine that the Whittington would be under threat again. But – there is a requirement for the new reviews to be produced quite quickly – and that doesn’t seem to me to give much time for genuinely working with local people and GPs on the way forward.
After my meeting (hopefully beginning September) I will know more.
Nick Clegg’s speech to the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference 2008:
“This talk of alliances comes up a lot, doesn’t it? Everyone wants to be in our gang.
So I want to make something very clear today. Will I ever join a Conservative government?
To Alan Passmore:
Nick Clegg has not joined a Conservative Government, he has formed a coalition government bringing the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats together. This happened because no party won an outright majority at the last election. Coalitions are perfectly normal in Scotland, Wales, on many councils in the UK and throughout Europe.
The difference between joining another party and working with another party is one that most people are able to understand. It means that neither party gets to do everything it would like to do, but proposals are discussed, compromises are reached and policies are enacted. It’s a bit like what happens under a one party government but it is more open and transparent.
Lynne,did you read Jenny’s post on Assessing Incapacity.I have and she sounds in a bad way.Life events and The Atos non Medical assessors seem to be pushing her to the brink.Do you care about people like Jenny who are having Suicidal Thoughts.
Oh and on a feminist point,how do you feel about the Fawcett Society whom you addressed earlier this year taking the Government to court over Discrimination against Women in the Emergency budget.If they win will it prove that the LibDems in Government are incompetent for agreeing to a discriminatory budget.After all being in coalition means you get half the blame.And perhaps being a Woman you should consider your position,and support the Fawcett Society’s Brave move.
Brilliant. This is the best misconstruction of language I have ever seen.
Try this in a letter to voters:
“Most peoploe remember the damage the last Conservative government did to this country. Record unemployment, cuts to frontline services and politics
riddled with sleaze.
Todays Conservatives haven’t changed.They are funded by billionaires and city bankers- the kind of people that helped cause the economic meltdown.
The Conservatives want to cut taxes for millionaires while giving the rest of us a VAT hike.
That’s not the future Britain needs.”
Bet you can’t guess who said all that.
It is easy to pick bits of speeches and leaflets from election campaigns gone by and try to embarrass politicians by reminding them that they do not always appear to be consistent. No one is innocent. I sometimes think that the Labour Party enjoys opposition more than government because its supporters are so good at it.
However, the real job of politicians and activists is to make a better society for everyone. That is why we are in politics. Let us take our eyes away from partisan point scoring and look at what proposals are out there. Will they work? Will they move us towards a fairer society? Will they help the disadvantaged? Will they lift future generations out of poverty? etc.
The activities of the last government have brought this country to its knees. How are we going to recover as quickly and painlessly as possible? It is not going to be easy. Are bigger cuts now likely to be better for everyone in the long run? Economists are divided on this.
Most people are in politics to make a difference. Look at what people like Frank Field are trying to do. Let us have a real debate not a bunfight.
I fear you may be missing the point. Yes, the job of politicians is to make a better society for everyone. But the job of voters is to make a decision based on the policies proposed by the political parties. If the words of parties on the hustings are meaningless, then how can we persuade the next generation to vote at all?
I really don’t understand how you can so glibly dismiss the concerns of those who expect politicians to show some integrity after an election.
Your point is?
I am guessing, but if you mean that politicians argue for their own policies before an election but then may have to compromise in a coalition afterwards, this is a given and I think most people understand this.
Nobody is glibly dismissing concerns. There are debates going on within parties and between parties. If you think that some politicians lack integrity, you have to name names and provide examples. If you listen to programmes like the Westminster Hour on Radio 4, you get some pretty mature discussions between MPs of all parties with minimal pont scoring and much rational debate. It can be done.
If you want names and examples of politicians lacking integrity, aren’t the words of Nick Clegg, quoted by Adam above, a reasonable place to start? They seem fairly unequivocal in my view, yet his subsequent actions seem to suggest he believed the complete opposite.
kemlyn, I think you are missing the point now. As I said earlier, “It is easy to pick bits of speeches and leaflets from election campaigns gone by and try to embarrass politicians by reminding them that they do not always appear to be consistent. No one is innocent. I sometimes think that the Labour Party enjoys opposition more than government because its supporters are so good at it.”
This is what you are doing now. It is a waste of time and does not move the debate forward by one iota. Find a politician who has never said anything he or she would rather not be reminded of and you will have found a politician who has never done anything either.
Coalition government means parties have to work together even if they have previously been involved in a robust election campaign. The alternative for the Liberal Democrats could have been sitting on the back benches and voting on every proposal as it came along. This has the advantage, from your point of view, of allowing the party to claim to have kept its integrity intact.
The disadvantage would be lack of influence over what the government decided to do and how it did it. You might think the LibDems have minimal influence anyway, in which case you won’t be voting LibDem.
I disagree. I didn’t vote LibDem only to see the party turn down the first opportunity of being part of a government in my lifetime. Yes it means compromise, but so does being a member of any party. Ask any Labour activist if he or she agrees with everything the last government did.
We are now seeing Liberal Democrat policies enacted. This has never happened before in my lifetime. And we are seeing repressive measures like ID cards and Contactpoint being abandoned and steps taken to take the lowest paid out of taxation altogether and pensions are regaining a link with earnings. These are the kind of things I voted for.
Yes, I suppose compromise is a personal concept. Personally, having voted LibDem, I draw the line at the dismantling of the NHS, at increases in VAT, at more Faith Schools, at attacking disability benefits, at an unnecessarily austere budget which sucks growth out of the economy.
I wonder where you would draw the line? I certainly wonder where Lynne Featherstone, my local MP, will draw the line when it comes to compromise.
Marvin you are basically a spokesperson for the Lib Dem party and fair enough you have been completely clear about that.
Many of the really angry submissions on this blog are from people in her constituency who voted for Lynne because of what was in the manifesto, the missives she sent out locally and again to be completely fair her conspicuous presence throughout her first parliament as an MP.
Whether you like it or not they did not vote for her so that her party could jump into bed with a right wing bunch of brigands simply and expediently because the opportunity was there.
If you believe in dismantling the welfare state, privatising schools, the NHS and local government services, again fair enough. You are perfectly entitled to believe in that.
I happen to believe passionately in the free and public provision of all those things funded via taxation and that the above view is wrong. I also believe in compassion in the way I treat people (except politicians who can take the heat). I don’t think I even recognised it in myself until I started very early on in this experiment to see what we were dealing with. I am not a party activist and I think most of the people commenting from our constituency are not. I am just more angry about this than anything else I have experienced before because it affects the lives of so many people who are not high up the social pecking order.
I don’t see any compassion from you for the many people with issues and/or difficulties of all types on this blog. Where were you at the weekend when one person was saying she wanted to kill herself? Where for that matter was Lynne? We haven’t heard from that person since.
Finally, my experience is that there are plenty of Lib Dems who do not agree that they are seeing Lib Dem policies enacted. They do not believe that these policies will improve peoples’ lives at all. Quite the opposite. I totally agree with them.
Nice one Adam.Marvin no doubt wants to go into politics were lying is fudged as compromise.We have a government that is more right wing than Thatcher and the LibDems are a part of it.That is the sickest part.
We all know now that Nick Clegg served under Leon Britton.The arch typical Tory.He also was a Journalist.What do Politicians and Journalists have in common.Spin and lies.So Nick was well trained for his position as Traitor of the LibDem party.I am just surprised so many joined him.Not for P.R. but A.V.Which is at best third prize,which will not go through because you are tying the number of M.P.s in the Commons to it so Labour unsurprisingly is saying go swing your hook.And LibDem voters are so disgusted with you they will not vote for anything that might help you.We want our votes back you silly man.
You have got a taste of Government have you.Well its left a rather Toxic taste in our mouths thank you very much.You go with a Toxic Tory Party and become Toxic yourself.
I have out of curiosity been visiting Tory Blogs.You should do the same and you will find out what they really think of the LibDems.Go and have a look.Google Tory Blogs and see how they are using you and our wasted vote you silly little man Mr Marvin know it all Brown.
Passmore Edwards House carries the name of the former Wood Green Hospital, given to the community by John Passmore Edwards, the Victorian philanthropist and great Liberal reformer. 2011 is the centenary of his death and a series of events is planned for all of the surviving passmore edwards buildings to celebrate his life and work. Support the centenary project by joining the facebook group PassmoreEdwards100