• June
  • 12th
  • 2009

No Turning Back tomorrow with Compass

Chuka will be speaking at tomorrow’s “No Turning Back” Compass national conference.

In the morning he will be chairing the “Tax justice: the missing link in the fight against international poverty?” seminar, organised by the Foreign Policy Centre, ActionAid and Christian Aid. Speakers include John Evans, General Secretary, of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, Dr Claire Melamed, Head of Policy Coordination at ActionAid, Richard Howett MEP and Mark Ashurst of the Africa Research Institute.

In the afternoon, Chuka will also be chairing the “Change is coming: how online engagement changes campaigning as we knew it” seminar, organised by Blue State Digital who ran Barack Obama’s online presidential campaign.

At the end of the day Chuka will be speaking on the Question Time panel with the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, Professor Ruth Lister, journalist and broadcaster, John Harris, BBC Newsnight’s Paul Mason and Liberal Democrat MP, Dr Evan Harris.

Tickets for the event are still available – 1000 have already been sold. For further details visit the Compass website here: Compass.

  • June
  • 4th
  • 2009

Today’s Election

VoteOn the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, it is important for us to remember the significance of living in a democracy. In China and other states like it, people are denied the freedoms we take for granted – to surf the internet freely, to read and discuss what we want and crucially to choose who governs.

The right to vote was won through struggle and determination, in this country through movements such as Chartism and the Suffragettes. In more recent memory we might reflect on South Africa, where within my lifetime black people voted for the first time.

Despite recent events and the temptation for people to turn their back on politics, we must not take our rights for granted or forget the sacrifices of previous generations which allow us to cast our votes today.

Therefore I urge you to use your right to vote today. In the first instance, of course, to vote Labour, but crucially to vote. Apathy could be a route for the BNP to gain representation in London – which would be a huge blow to a city which is rightly proud of its diversity.

Chuka

  • June
  • 2nd
  • 2009

Chuka on 5 Live

chuka-5live-pic1Chuka appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live this week, taking part in Front Bench on the Up All Night show, discussing the expenses revelations alongside other candidates including pop star David Van Day.

To listen, follow this link (opens Real Player)

Or alternatively, listen on iPlayer – Chuka’s contribution is at 2hr30 in.

  • June
  • 2nd
  • 2009

Trees and Better Streets for Streatham

Lambeth Council is undertaking a programme of street improvement and tree planting as part of the borough’s £3.5m Better Neighbourhoods initiative. Pavements and roads will be resurfaced while outdated and uneccessary street furniture and signs will be removed to enhance streetscapes.

TreesThe programme includes major improvements for Streatham High Road, taking place this summer. Dozens of new trees will be planted along the road intersection while crossings and busy sections of the pavement will be widened.

Other neighbourhoods will benefit from more trees and better pavements, having been earmarked as being in most urgent need of environmental improvements. These include Streatham Vale, Brixton Hill and the Poynders Estate in Clapham.

Some of the initiative’s funds are targetted specifically for estates, bringing improved play areas and recycling facilities alongside tree planting. Across Lambeth, around 250 of the new trees will be planted on residential streets, helping to make our area greener and more attractive.

  • June
  • 1st
  • 2009

Hyde Farm CAN

Recently, Chuka visited the community garden set up by Hyde Farm Climate Action Network on Radbourne Road, and was shown around the site by co-founder Adrian Audsley.

Chuka gets stuck in at Hyde Farm Community GardenHyde Farm CAN was established in 2007 and includes over 150 households on the Hyde Farm estate in Balham. It is a grassroots organisation which puts into practice reducing the community’s carbon footprint. The Radbourne Road gardening project has recently been established to create capacity for local food growing, allowing local residents to grow their own vegetables. Alongside this, Hyde Farm CAN has helped residents insulate their homes for the winter to reduce fuel usage and energy bills.

The organisation is inspired by the transition towns movement, which involves urban areas finding ways to adapt to the challenges of climate change and rising oil prices. Hyde Farm CAN’s ‘think global, act local’ approach is to be applauded, and provides an excellent example of how, by working together, urban living can be made more sustainable.

For more information, check out Hyde Farm CAN’s website.

  • May
  • 25th
  • 2009

Compass Conference – No Turning Back

Chuka will be speaking at the Compass No Turning Back conference next month, at London’s Institute of Education on Saturday June 13th.

The conference will address the need for a new political and economic settlement following the failure and collapse of free-market ideology. Discussions will touch upon renewing democracy, creating equality, fairness, the control of markets and environmental sustainability – issues which now sit at the centre of political debate. Chuka will be taking part in the conference’s question time session at 14.45 alongside Guardian journalists John Harris and Polly Toynbee, BBC Newsnight’s Paul Mason and Prof Ruth Lister CBE of Loughborough University. Other participants include Harriet Harman and Jon Cruddas alongside representatives of leading think tanks, trade unions and pressure groups.

To find out more about the conference and booking details, follow this link.

  • May
  • 25th
  • 2009

Daily Politics

daily-politics-pic2

Chuka was a guest on the BBC’s Daily Politics show last Friday, discussing the expenses revelations, the reform of Parliament and the future of politics.

To watch the programme on iPlayer, follow this link.

  • May
  • 25th
  • 2009

Ever wondered what an MP does?

With the continuing expenses revelations and debate about the role of Parliament, it is helpful to go back to basics and look at what MPs actually do.

emily-thornberryLast week Emily Thornberry, Labour MP for Islington South let Guardian journalist Aida Edemariam follow her to find out about what her job involves on a day to day basis. One theme which emerged is the importance of constituency casework, an aspect of MPs’ work which has grown exponentially. Emily Thornberry receives over 1,000 queries from constituents a month, each of which is answered individually, on issues including housing, benefits and asylum applications. This important work, however, needs to be balanced with legislative duties in the chamber and in committees.

Emily’s work is, of course, very similar to that of our own MP, Keith Hill. Chuka has been assisting Keith with his surgeries for the last 4 years, dealing with much the same case work and helping local people with their problems.

Read the article in full here.