Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Next in Line -
Conservative No 4 Caroline Attfield

A career woman not a career politician

My name is Caroline Attfield. I was once a career banker, working my way through what was then a very male-dominated world to management roles. In 1993, I became the first woman executive appointed by RBS. I was in charge of the Global Sales, Marketing and Distribution of all the bank’s Treasury and Capital Markets products, running a business with sales revenues in the hundreds of millions and staff based in 15 dealing rooms around the globe. From outside I have seen the demise of a well- regarded Institution through Internal and external management failures.

I left full-time work in 1996 to raise my children but continued working part-time as a consultant in various roles .My children are nearly grown up now and should be ready to look out for themselves but I am deeply concerned for the financial future of their generation. Eye watering levels of debt have become a way of life both at individual and governmental level and we need a return to an understanding that budgets should be balanced within the lifetime of the people responsible for the borrowing. Nowhere is this problem more obvious than in Europe.

The financial recklessness of the Blair and Brown governments has eroded our country’s financial credibility. Our ability to renegotiate our role in Europe is impaired by the fact that we cannot offer the City as an example of financial competence. Yet, historically, that is exactly what it was and must be again. In London and, by extension in Europe, the Conservative party must champion financial prudence, personal accountability and sensible regulation with the objective of making the City a driver of our economy of which we might once again even be proud.

The Next in Line for the main 5 parties in the London Region Euro elections have been offered 300 words on this blog. They will be published if and when they are received. This is the second. I have created a new label below which readers can click to see them all together.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Next in Line
– LibDem No 2 Jonathan Fryer

Jonathan Fryer, No. 2 on the Liberal Democrat London Euro-list, writes:

Brussels often seems distant from the concerns of East London, though it’s only two hours away by train. A lot of the blame for that has to be put on the UK media, which rarely covers EU stories, except to take the mickey. I was a journalist myself in Brussels for seven years and deliberately chose to write for outlets like the BBC that were taking issues of concern to European citizens seriously. That included covering the development of the European Parliament itself, which now has a direct say in almost every measure passed by the EU – which is why it is so important that people in London actually vote this May.

Liberal Democrats are the Party of IN in Europe because we see the benefits that Britain has gained by being an EU member, not least unfettered access to the largest single market in the world. Many jobs in London are linked to our trade with the rest of the Europe and one in seven jobs created here have been in businesses started by EU migrants. In more deprived areas of East London European funds have also helped many new start-ups.

EU standards protect consumer safety and European cooperation on the environment means that we can do more to limit climate change and counter pollution. We are moreover all safer by being part of the European Union and therefore cooperating on things like the European Arrest Warrant, which means that criminals can’t just run away to the Continent and hide.

I’ve lived in East London for over 25 years, since I returned from Brussels, and I have seen huge changes. But we should celebrate the vibrancy of our capital today. It would be a huge honour for me to represent it!

Twitter: @jonathanfryer

The Next in Line for the main 5 parties in the London Region Euro elections have been offered 300 words on this blog. They will be published if and when they are received. This is the first. I have created a new label below which readers can click to see them all together.

The Next in Line
– Euro Elections, London Region

Unless you have retreated to an election-proof bunker you will no doubt be aware that we have elections on May 22nd, both for the locals and the Euros (yawn!). Since we are doing hustings for the locals I am intending to do a series of posts here on the blog on the European Elections entitled – The Next In Line.

The thing about the Euro elections is that they are much simpler, using the D’Hondt method of Proportional Representation in a List system (don’t ask). We do not vote for individuals, we vote for a party list. Depending upon how many votes that list gets and a complicated mathematical formula will determine how many candidates on that list get to be MEPs, starting from number 1 down to number 8.

Now, we know who the existing MEPs for the London Region are and we know they are all standing again in their respective positions on their party list. We also know that each of the five main parties will be going into the election with the aim firstly to maintain what they’ve already got and then to increase their number in the European Parliament at the expense of one of the other parties. So, what I want to do is to have a look at who these potential new London MEPs are and I will be offering ‘the next in line’ a dedicated post on this blog of up to 300 words each.

I will publish them as and when I receive them.

Blimey! I only sent the invites out this afternoon and I’ve already hooked one. I wonder if he knows the story about the Tortoise and the Hare?