'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A message from Zac Goldsmith

As politics is just too nasty at the moment, I thought it would be worth posting the dignified note everyone here in Richmond Park has received from Zac Goldsmith this morning. Whatever your politics, Zac has been a diligent constituency MP who has responded to all my missives (and I am one of those people who write to their MP a lot) promptly, and politely, even if we seldom agreed.

I made a point earlier in the year, shortly after the sad events surrounding Jo Cox, to respond to the 'thank your MP' campaign on Twitter, and I'm happy to thank Zac once again this morning for all his work.

Here's his note.

Dear Resident,

As the dust settles following the recent by-election, I wanted to write to you to thank you for the opportunity many of you gave me to represent our wonderful community in Parliament for the past six years.

The by-election happened because I kept my word and resigned over Heathrow expansion – as I had always promised I would. It was not a calculated decision, but I didn't enter politics to break promises or mislead my constituents. Despite everything I still believe it is preferable to lose doing the right thing than to win on a deception.

It has been an immense privilege to have represented my community in Parliament for the past six years. I’m proud of the the things I achieved in that time, particularly in relation to the environment. My commitment to those issues remains undimmed, and I will do all I can to contribute, albeit as a resident and not as an MP.

I wish our new MP, Sarah Olney, well, and I thank you again,

Best wishes,
Zac Goldsmith 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Celebrating Sarah Olney's first day in The House

A few pictures from College Green this afternoon

Photographers waiting.

A few famous faces in the crowd - there's Floella

.and Susan Kramer (and yes, that is the back of Gareth Roberts head)

..and Brian Paddick

Former Party leaders start arriving. First Nick..

And then Paddy. 

A few more of the great and the good from the press turn up - here's Kevin Maguire...

And then...they're here! Tim and Sarah

What a bank of cameras looks like from the wrong side...

Obligatory stickers

Four leaders together with the new MP - Sarah, Tim, Nick, Paddy and David

Obligatory random protestor

And then a trip past the Supreme Court - as a reminder what's at the heart of this victory...

Sunday, 4 December 2016

People act against their own economic interest quite deliberately every single day...

My latest musing on Lib Dem Voice...

"I’m hearing the same argument uttered over and over again  - ironically by both sides  - in the #Brexit debate.

Remain supporters keep saying ‘no-one in Britain voted to be worse off in the referendum campaign’, on the presumption that folk don’t vote against what they believe is in their economic interest.

Leavers, for the same reason, believe that they’ll get a great deal in their Brexit negotiations because ‘its in the remaining EU member countries economic interests to do so’

Both sides are of course wrong. People make quite deliberate decisions against their economic interest every day. The reason why political folk don’t realise this is because they are brought up in a culture of Fiscal and Monetary economics. The real world works rather more like Behavioural Economics...."

Saturday, 3 December 2016

And so, a return to blogging

So after a brief period away while I set up my own business, I'm back . And what better reason to start blogging again than the return of a Lib Dem MP in my own constituency and the home of Ham Common - Richmond Park and North Kingston.

This is my first 'home' by election after 20 odd years living here in Ham, and its been quite an experience. Others have blogged about the amazing number of activists who've arrived from all over the country and have done such a brilliant job (for which of course a million thanks), but here's a few highlights of my own experience in the last few weeks.

First, off, there was the stake in the ground, and getting our retaliation in early. This was my first tweet of the campaign...

And we had a leaflet out days before we'd even formally selected Sarah as our candidate - I was distributing rounds by Oct 26th and delivering my own rounds by 27th.  I think the party delivered or posted 29 different  pieces of literature over the campaign. In truth, I lost count after a while...

And let's not forget - we came from a long way back....

The selection meeting - which sadly I missed as I was away - held at our local school on Ham Street...

...followed shortly after by a visit from the boss

Interestingly The Times called it right and early

In those early days, parties pulled out left right and centre, making it quite hard read as an election..

Though others made a different choice...

And then there was just a lot of campaigning. During the course of the campaign Autumn seemed to arrive and leave again....

2 days before the election we had the excitement of Channel Four news, Michael Crick, Quentin Letts, Uncle Tom Cobley and all on the Common; here's a few screen shots....

And finally, the day arrived. 7 am on 1 December found me armed with a rossette and a clipboard , telling outside the Ham polling station. It was below freezing. The ink in the pens kept drying up. Fortunately the good natured cross party telling operation was in full swing and the nice lady with the Zac rossette even gave me a Mars bar. 

After I finished my stint, I ran into 2 deliverers for the Lib Dems, from Streatham and East Dunbartonshire (!) - one of whom read this blog. So I thought if we win, I know what I'll have to do....

I didn't stay up. I got the news the next day. The party invited me to go to the Richmond Green celebratory announcement but sadly I had work commitments - but I did wander past the waiting media on the way to the station... Oh, the glamour

Good luck Sarah. You'll be a brilliant MP

And in every sense - its nice to be back.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Laura Webb

Thinking about my colleague Laura Webb on the tenth anniversary of 7/7. Much missed, never forgotten.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Zac Goldsmith confirms he will resign as MP if he becomes Mayor

Zac Goldsmith has declared that he is to seek the Tory nomination for Mayor - and is balloting his constituents in Richmond Park (of which I am one) to get their 'permission' to do so.

My ballot and covering letter arrived on Friday - but what wasn't clear was what happens if he wins and becomes Mayor. So I asked him and he was good enough to reply immediately

So - I think that's clear now.

What's interesting talking to constituents this weekend (yes, the new 'Comments' is out - for non local activists that's our version of Focus) - most hadn't realised this. 

But if Zac wins - there'll be a Summer by election in #hamcommon next year.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015