It turns out that Jacob Rees-Mogg and his Brexiteer cheerleaders who’ve argued for years that leaving the EU will be so simple, can’t even organise sending 48 letters. All hot air and bluster, yet their arrogance and ignorance has led this country into the mess we are now in with barely more than 100 days to go before a Brexit that will leave us economically and culturally worse off.
I gave my inaugural address as President of London 4 Europe on Monday night, where I set out why I believe our membership of the EU goes far beyond the economic benefits of trade. It is about shared values of co-operation and internationalism and a strong belief in working together to tackle issues that transcend national borders whether that be climate change, tackling terrorism, promoting human rights or addressing the refugee crisis.
I also added my name to the successful Finance Bill amendment, forcing the Government to publish an economic impact assessment comparing the draft Brexit deal with the current deal we have as an EU member. The Tories were forced into accepting Labour’s amendments because they couldn’t rely on the DUP to prop them up anymore. A Government that can’t get through key confidence votes like the Finance Bill is a Government that is in office but not in power. We desperately need a General Election then Labour can take over.
On Tuesday I met with Royal Mail bosses to urge them to think again about closing Muswell Hill Delivery Office. I presented a petition signed by well over 1,000 residents, united in opposition to this terrible, short sighted plan. I was particularly concerned that Royal Mail haven’t carried out an impact assessment, looking at factors like jobs and the community, as well as the impact on the local economy. I argued that they should consider the human implications of the potential closure and hold a full, public consultation before any final decision is made.
I attended an event on Wednesday in support of my colleague Bambos Charalambous’ Private Members’ Bill recognising the important role that hospices play in a ‘Good Palliative Care Experience’ and calling for specific provision to funnel funding for hospice care. The Bill also addresses the need to recognise the huge, unpaid and often unsupported role that carers play in looking after their loved ones – sometimes at the risk of losing their jobs due to increased caring commitments. End of life treatment is never going to be easy, but it is made so much more distressing for families when there is a postcode lottery for funding of crucial hospice care. It has to be made equitable and sustainable.
Back in the constituency, I had such an enjoyable visit to Greig Academy, seeing some of the fantastic work the pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 have done on the Windrush Generation as part of Black History Month. I also spent an interesting morning at Wood Green Works, talking to some of the businesses based there and the young people from the Digital Academy. I also met the Co-ordinator of the new Wood Green Business Improvement District to find out more about their work to promote the area and make it safe and attractive for shoppers.
My regular advice surgery at Wood Green Library was as busy as ever, but it felt like the festive season had truly started when I opened the Hornsey Parish Church Christmas Market. The only Christmas present I want this year is a People’s Vote.