Tactical Voting Strategic Mistake
May 23rd, 2019

Today I voted Labour.

I didn’t vote tactically; I voted strategically

I voted against the Tory Brexit chaos, against Farage’s far right populism, and against the hypocritical LibDems who helped the Tories launch their cruel austerity nine years ago, betrayed their pledges on tuition fees and even backed the benefit cap.

I voted for  £10 an hour minimum wage

for an end to austerity

for nationalisation of British steel saving thousands of jobs

for a Green New Deal creating hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs defending and restoring our environment

There is only one party that can stop a Tory hard Brexit.

There is only one party that can beat Farage in London

There is only one socialist party that works to transform Britain, for the many, not the few.

That’s why I voted Labour today


Syrian Refugee Support Game – Tickets on sale now
February 17th, 2016

Southwark Council is working with the amazing Dulwich Hamlet, Southwark Refugee Community Forum and the British Red Cross on a Syrian Refugee Support Game.

Last autumn the British public showed their humanity in an unprecedented wave of sympathy for Syrian refugees, after heart-rending photographs emerged of three-year old Aylan Kurdi drowned on a beach.

But since then attitudes have started to harden again. The right wing press is running daily scare stories to whip up hate and fear. They are trying to undo the sympathy and solidarity we showed in September by associating the victims of terror with terror itself, to get us to turn our backs on refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.

Meanwhile people continue to drown while our Tory government refuses to take anything like a decent share of responsibility for welcoming desperate victims.

It is time for as resurgence of sympathy and solidarity. Let’s encourage ordinary people up and down the country to organise clothing and money and basic support for people who have already suffered enough.

We need great examples to inspire people. So please work with Dulwich Hamlet, Southwark Council, British Red Cross and Southwark Refugee Forum to make sure the stadium is as full as possible on March 2nd. Every penny raised will go to refugees.

Dulwich Hamlet vs FC Assyria
Wednesday 2nd March Kick Off 7.45pm
Champion Hill Stadium, Edgar Kail Way,
London, SE22 8BD

Tickets on sale now!
You can pay on the day or show your support with advance purchase of your ticket
£5 or £2 concession
Please contact jasmine.ali@southwark.gov.ukIMG_4455 for your ticket

Bellenden Big Tree
December 12th, 2015

image1Invitation to the Bellenden Big Tree 

Community members on Bellenden Road are excited about their first Bellenden big tree lighting and the gift collection for Southwark day centre for asylum seekers.

The lights come on at 5.30 12 December 2015 in the Sun Shine Garden on the corner of Choumert Road and Bellenden Road. Building on the success of the Bellenden Road big lunch, the Bellenden big tree was inspired by a local resident Anne Bowers’ memory of a similar event in her hometown as a child and a real appetite to build in the community spirit of the big lunch.

Everyone is invited and if you can please being a gift for the families that attend our local day centre for asylum seekers. Hats, gloves, socks, underwear, nappies and toys for children will be gratefully received

The event has been sponsored by local residents with a lot of support from the Bellenden Road businesses including Melange chocolate shop,Threads, Flock and Herd, In Car Multi Media, The Begging Bowl, Trio, the General Store, the Village Grocer, and Paul’s Custom Cycles.  Gareth James property have paid for the tree which is very generous.

The lights will be Christmas Tree light’s will be switched on at 5.30 by

Southwark Mayor Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle MBE and our own Paula from the launderette

Please come and join local residents, our local businesses, the Mayor, me and my fellow Councillors Jamille Mohammed and Councillor Nick Dolezal.





Price and Prejudice – why is black Barbie dearer than white Barbie?
November 28th, 2015

I noticed that my daughter’s letter to Santa included a request for a ‘Barbie doll’. I thought I’d help Santa out by doing some research. I was pleased to see that this type of doll had come along way since I was Franky’s age. I was shocked to see the price differentiation.

The ‘I can be president’ white blonde doll costs £12.95, the Asian doll with the same aspiration costs £79.24 and the same Black doll costs £97.65

It’s ironic that as a cash strapped mum I was searching for a bargain on ‘Black Friday’. I certainly got less than I bargained for as the Indian Barbie I wanted cost between £80 and £136.

I posted all of this on Facebook and got more WTF comments than I had seen before along with comments from economist parents who put it down to popularity driving price. But one of my friends wondered about the production costs, asking “What are the differences and then what is the mark up, profit on each doll per unit?”

Of course the price difference will and must impact on the popularity and therefore the sales.

So come on Barbie manufacturers! You at least acknowledge that Barbie can be more than just a glamour model. Since I last owned one they come in lots of nationalities and even aspire to be president. Now let’s have some equity of price so that our toys can help smash the gender and diversity glass ceiling by representing the little girls that own them.


Facing reality and fighting back
May 11th, 2015
Voting with wing commander

Voting with my wing commander May 7

It was wonderful to watch every Southwark Labour candidate win their seat on May 8. As the dawn broke over the town hall, Neil Coyle made history by winning Bermondsey and Old Southwark back for Labour.

This made it even more infuriating to see the Tories returned with an absolute majority after everything they’ve inflicted on working people and our families over the last five years.

Yes we need to look reality in the face, however bitter it may be. But at the same time it’s crucial not to exaggerate what has happened, to be clear on the facts, to react calmly and effectively to the new situation.

Yes, the Tories have upwards of 100 seats more than we do. But this was no Tory landslide. The Tories increased their share of the vote by just 0.8%, and gained 400,000 votes since 2010.

Too much, clearly. But look: in terms of votes, we gained twice as much as the Tories. Labour increased our share of the vote by 1.5% and gained 800,000 votes since 2010.

Yes, we were smashed in Scotland, and need to reflect on why that was. Not because we were too radical, I’ll hazard.But look: we grew in London, increased our vote, caught the mood, like in Bermondsey where I’m so proud of Neil Coyle’s tremendous win.

The Tories have a small majority, much like the Wilson/Callaghan government did in the 1970s. After a couple of years, beset by the mid-term blues, these small leads erode. With just eight LibDems, one UKIP and few Ulster Unionists to rely on, Cameron is not guaranteed to make it all the way to 2020.

So the Tories will use the first year or so to push through the most unpopular and socially regressive parts of their programme. Housing association homes will be sold off. Benefits will be cut. The NHS will continue to be sold off piecemeal. Zero-hours contracts will be known by another name, but will still spread like a rash.

The Tories are in a hurry, because they want to do this while the population is stunned by the unexpected result, and – they calculate – while we descend into a destructive post-mortem.

Yes, we need to analyse and regroup. But we should do so on the basis of facts, not myths. In England and Wales we are intact, with millions of people supporting us, with a hated government that has a very small majority. We have good prospects for recovery.

I will carry on working with my local community, my fellow Lane ward and Southwark councillors to campaign hard, against the Tories. We must make sure our most vulnerable constituents don’t bear the brunt of Tory policy and make sure our children grow up in a more equal society

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