Category Archives: Labour Party

Parliamentary Assistant in Brussels

I am recruiting for a Parliamentary Assistant based in the European Parliament in Brussels.

JOB DETAILS

Providing office administration and diary management, including travel arrangements.
Supporting and implementing political campaigns relating to the MEP’s priorities.
Helping coordinate the activities of the MEP with the rest of their group.
Collating and presenting policy-related information.
Liaising closely with the Constituency based staff on operational matters.
Handling both written and electronic correspondence.
Contributing to the MEP’s communications including social media and the website.
Ensuring proper financial management is maintained, including appropriate logging of receipts and expenses.
Maintaining regular communications with the rest of the team

CANDIDATES SHOULD HAVE

Experience of campaigning, research and policy work.
Excellent organisational, analytical and communication skills.
The ability to write confidently and to task.
Fast and accurate word processing and use of relevant IT packages.
A sound knowledge of the EU and its institutions.
A good knowledge of the the Labour Party and its policies.
A multi-tasker with good time management skills and able to work independently.
Full fluency in English is essential, a good working knowledge of French, with knowledge of other major European languages would be an advantage.
The candidate should be flexible, adaptable and conscientious.
Able to cope with a wide variety of contexts and have an ability to respond to urgent work and act quickly.
Tact and diplomacy, as well as enthusiasm and initiative are essential personal qualities for this post.
Previous experience in a political office would be beneficial.
A proven commitment to equal opportunities

Closing Date: 1st November 2016

Interview/Start Dates

Interviews will be in Central London. First Interview Thursday 3rd November. Second Interview 11th November

The job will start in Brussels in December 2016 or January 2017, there is some flexibility on the exact start date.

Application Details

Applications should consist of a letter of application and a CV. Any queries should be raised by email please. Please email your applications to matt@maryhoneyball.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Labour Party

Why hard Brexit is a damaging fantasy

Martin Woolf in yesterday’s online Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/939c7ed0-8e32-11e6-a72e- hit the nail on the head:

“Formal sovereignty is not power. The UK government announces its intentions. The reaction of others determines results.

“By a thin margin the country voted for some kind of Brexit. But the government has no mandate for the rather extreme version it is choosing. Triggering Article 50 without parliamentary approval might be impossible. It surely ought to be impossible. Moreover, Brexiters insist that their goal is to restore parliamentary sovereignty. Why then does the government plan to ignore parliament when these decisions are taken?”

It’s actually worse than that since Government Ministers also seem to be ignoring their officials, taking the Leave side’s contempt for “experts” to a new low. Brexit Minister David Davis is now accusing Treasury civil servants of trying to undermine Brexit negotiations as part of a “desperate strategy” to keep Britain in the single market. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/11/david-davis-accuses-treasury-officials-of-trying-to-undermine-br/

 The redoubtable Mr Davis whose capacity for fantasy is on an exponentially upward leap, is understood to believe that the warning is part of a “succession of treasury briefings that are damaging negotiations”

Whatever Mr Davis thinks, the Treasury is not making this up. Why would they? Surely their lives would be easier if they went along with the Government and threw the well-being of Britain to the winds. Instead, the much derided officials are doing their duty, warning , amongst other things, that according to leaked draft Cabinet papers, if Britain leaves the Single Market without a new deal it will cost the Treasury £66billion in tax revenues.

Meanwhile the City of London, one time cheer-leaders for the Conservatives, are increasingly worried about the impact tougher immigration controls and departure from the single market could have on their revenues. Miles Celic, chief executive of the influential industry body TheCityUK is on record as saying: A “hard Brexit” that takes Britain clean out of the single market, and leaves the U.K. to trade with the EU under WTO rules, will do “significant” harm to the financial services sector.”

Back to Martin Woolf: “What drove Leavers was, we are also told, “the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK”. The currency markets demonstrate the emptiness of that principle. Britain’s EU partners are about to do the same. The premise of the Leave campaign was false: a host of decisions that affect the UK will always be taken outside it.”

It would be comic if it wasn’t so serious. We are not talking about cosy sofa politics or even the Oxford Union debating society. This is about people’s lives, their quality of life, their health, their education and just about everything else which relies on government to deliver it. Ultimately, it’s about today’s young people and future generations.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Labour Party

Keeping London Open to the World for Business

The letter below was sent by LM of Stonebridge to all London MEPs. I am publishing it because I agree that London is the world’s greatest city because it is so cosmopolitan. “We are stronger together, not apart.”

“Dear MEP,

I want to share my views as a resident of London.

In the news I have seen increased headlines about the pound dropping in value as a reflection of government devaluing ‘Great’ Britain and I ask my elected representatives

How are we appreciating and valuing that greatest if we are closing ourselves away from the world? dismissing overseas advice, excluding and segregating workers, medical professionals and students and registering them for working in international companies, naming and shaming companies for not employing British workers, which this alone has an air of antisemitic legislation from 1930’s Germany written all over it. These are not ‘foreigners’ these are human beings just like you and me, no different and without them London and Britain would not be what it is today.

If Britain stayed on this island and never invaded or explored anywhere else we wouldn’t have the diverse and multicultural life that we have let alone the standards that today make Britain what it is – look at tea for a very tiny example, something world known to be ‘British’ and yet it’s origins are Indian. This small example alone shows that as a nation we are not a stand alone ‘great British race’ of people but a collective of many different and varied backgrounds, we are not separate from the EU nor the rest of the world and continuing to peddle the perception that we are is not only to our detriment but the whole world misses out on what we can bring.

What I am getting to here is the fact that regardless of view about Brexit one cannot deny that our lives have been enriched by experiencing different parts of humanity and without this and leaving in a ‘hard Brexit’ or any Brexit for that matter we would be devaluing ourselves even further. We are stronger together, not apart so I ask you to consider this letter when representing London in the European Parliaments.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Labour Party

Keeping Freedom of Movement in the European Union

Since the EU referendum result hundreds of Londoners have written to me with their concerns about the impact on their lives. I’m publishing below a letter from a Mr. Bartholomew of Hackney who rightly makes the point about ensuring British citizens who currently have the right to move freely around the European Union retaining this, rather than facing the cost of visas and other difficulties in carrying out business across Europe. As a London MEP I know that the vast majority of London citizens and businesses welcome the opportunities that access to the European Union offers them and I will be continuing to fight for this.

“I am extremely concerned about the path being taken by the UK

Government in relation to “Brexit” following the EU Referendum. In

particular, I am concerned about the “hard Brexit” stance being adopted

by Theresa May and her three Brexiteers.

Despite what the media headlines and MP talking points say, there is no

clear mandate to leave the European Union. The country is divided in

two, while Londoners clearly voted to remain in the EU.

Not only has this referendum split the country, the tone of the UK

Government is becoming increasingly isolationist and xenophobic.

Xenophobia and racism have been legitimised, resulting in a significant

increase in hate crimes on our streets.

Indeed, the Home Secretary’s recent remarks suggesting that businesses

be compelled to report the number of “foreign” workers they employ is

bordering on the totalitarian.

I am deeply concerned about the direction my country is headed and,

against my will, once “Brexit” is implemented, I will be stripped of

the advantages and responsibilities of an EU citizen.

I ask you, as my MEPs, to work with your colleagues in the European

Parliament to offer EU passports to those British people who wish to

remain part of this amazing European Union.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Labour Party

Standing in Solidarity with the Women of Poland

Today, along with fellow Labour MEPs, I stand with thousands of women in Poland who have downed their tools to go on strike from both professional work and domestic responsibilities in protest at the Polish government’s moves to ban abortion.  This proposal that will criminalise all women seeking terminations threatens the dignity and safety of women.

As the law stands, Poland already has some of the most restrictive laws in Europe on accessing abortion. Legal termination of pregnancy currently applies only in cases where the life of the foetus is under threat, where there is grave risk to the pregnant woman or where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

The change in the law will mean increased criminalisation of women, with those who seek abortion facing up to five years in prison. Consider a case where a 14 year old seeking the termination of a pregnancy resulting from rape will herself be seen as a criminal. Doctors who assist with terminations will face a prison term and women who have miscarriages will also be under greater suspicion.

It bears repeating that sexual and reproductive rights remain human rights enshrined in international human rights mechanisms. As a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Poland must guarantee women’s rights to decide freely and responsibly about the number and the spacing of their children.

Women must also be able to access information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights. Constricting access to abortion is an assault on women’s human rights and dignity, and countries that criminalise women who seek abortion inevitably put women’s lives at great risk.

These moves to restrict abortion access follow intensive trading between the Polish government and hard-line anti-abortion factions and it is clear that women’s reproductive rights are being treated as inherently disposable.

Poland must respect the will of Polish women in their call for sexual and reproductive rights, ceasing immediately these legal manoeuvres that deny the dignity of Polish women and put their safety at risk. Today, across Europe, we stand with Polish women who demand that they are heard and their human rights are recognised.

 

To keep up-to-date with today’s protest and share your support for Polish women’s right to access safe abortion, follow #CzarnyProtest on Twitter.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Labour Party

Underrepresentation of women in the Labour Party

Throughout my 5 decades of activism with the Labour Party women have always been underrepresented. Now though this is more glaring. Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP is First Minister of Scotland. Arlene Foster of the DUP heads the Northern Irish government. Conservative Theresa May is Prime Minister. Caroline Lucas jointly leads the Green Party. Leanne Wood leads Plaid Cymru. Diane James leads UKIP. It was brilliant to see Sadiq Khan elected Mayor of London and Marvin Rees Mayor of Bristol. I was disappointed that our recent Mayoral selections resulted in a full slate of men. Sion Simon in the West Midlands, Steve Rotheram in Liverpool and Andy Burnham have served and will serve Labour well.

The pattern though is clear with  a few notable exceptions. Kezia Dugdale leads Scottish Labour. In Europe we have a majority of female MEPs lead for many years by Glenis Willmott. I am delighted Glenis has been elected Chair of Labour’s National Executive as she will ensure that Labour addresses gender underrepresentation. Her record in this is unsurpassed. Glenis will also be a vital voice on Europe and Brexit at the heart of the Labour Party.

Yesterday I discussed this problem on Sky News with Adam Boulton, Ivana Bartoletti and Sonia Sodha. You can watch our debate below.

Leave a comment

Filed under Labour Party

Guest Blog – Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Today’s guest blog is from Hendon Labour Party activist David Beere. I have campaigned with David for 4 decades and he was always a great supporter when I was a councillor in Barnet. David’s email was prompted by an email from Jeremy Corbyn on Iraq.

 

 

I have been a member for 47 year and have no intention of going anywhere. 

Dear Mr Corbyn,

 

In 2003 I voted at my General Committee against intervention in Iraq.( I well remember the figures 10 against-6 for).

 

I was not convinced by the arguments for intervention at the time and neither were many others . Having been a party member for 47 years I have known who you were for many years.

 

Whether we like it or not the fact that the Commons followed the lead of the government in approving intervention set a precedent for military action.The government of the day should be given the credit for this.

 

The decision having been made, military personnel at the time deserved support. I think it fair to say that you did not agree with this.And yet I now note your sympathies for those families who lost military relatives.  This is not consistent ,to put it very mildly.

 

Your increasingly frequent missives are no doubt connected with the fact that you do not have the confidence of the Parliamentary Labour Party. No doubt many members will feel that you deserve loyalty. I do not. I was emphatically what would now be called a critical friend of the New Labour Government. As a very ordinary member of the party, however, I was not disloyal and did not align myself with anti-Labour organisations such as the Stop the War Coalition. Its leadership seems to have comprised various strands of trotskyism , communism and Greens. You had every right to vote against the Labour whip. I would probably agreed with you on some counts. However you took your disloyalty  to phenomenal levels. Given this can you seriously expect those of us who have had continuous membership of the Labour party for all our adult lives to take you seriously because you have a ‘mandate’ from people who have just managed to bring themselves to join or part with £3?

 

Given constraints of work and family I have done what I can for Labour over the years, whatever the leadership and whatever the policies-and whatever the source of those policies.

 

Polling suggests that 90% of Labour members supported Remain. You did not support those members at all. You seemingly declined many opportunities for publicity and your comments in favour of Remain seemed measured to the point of indifference. You showed no leadership over Europe at all. In your campaign to become leader you made much of the fact that you believed you could motivate those who were normally non-voters to follow your lead. On June 23 the ‘extra’  voters (beyond the General Election turnout) were undoubtedly Leave voters. And they were overwhelmingly in what used to be called Labour heartlands. In class terms they were massively the least well-off. Your actions ,or rather lack of them, have given many such people the chance to identify with UKIP and vote for it in the future.

 

You should take responsibility for this.

 

For the sake of the Party you should resign.

 

David Beere

 

P.S.To “the team’.I don’t suppose this will get anywhere near The Emperor but I hope somebody will tell him about his new clothes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Labour Party