Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rae Voller - Labour’s Voice for Romford

After canvassing for Rachel Saunders in Mile End East Ward, I then went last night to a reception for Rachel (Rae) Voller in Committee room 5, House of Commons.

Rae is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Romford in the next general election. She is also a UNISON activist and elected member of UNISON National Labour Link committee (and its deputy chair).

Local Romford Labour Party members and UNISON members who live in Romford had been invited to meet Rae and discuss local issues.

I was there with my colleague, John Gough (London Ambulance Service) on behalf of the London UNISON Labour Link committee.

Rae gave a confident and very coherent “off the cuff” talk (without any notes!) about who she was, her background, why she joined the Party, her trade union and why the Party was so important for her and what she believed in. She mentioned her passionate belief in better social and childcare facilities for young and old. Her fear that the Tories have committed themselves to cutting Surestart. Rae is a midwife by profession and her colleagues, who are community based, are horrified at this prospect since they see the good that these centres achieve with families. For her Politics is all about making a difference, changing real peoples lives for the better, its not about the politicians you just see on TV.

Rae spent most of the meeting taking questions and comments (and asking questions back herself) about what Romford people think is important and what we should do to as a Party and her as a candidate to earn the votes of the people at Romford at the next general election.

Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw popped in to say "hello" and give a short speech reminding everyone that, although he represents the Northern consistency of Blackburn, he is really an Essex boy! Born in a LCC Council estate in Harold Hill. Romford and the surrounding area was his old “stomping ground”. His Mum aged 87, still lives in the area and had served as a local Councillor until she was nearly 80.

He describes life in politics at this moment as a “roller coaster”. He is still optimistic of victory at the next election, the maths are with us (we have some 356 seats while the Tories have under 200). He talked about his belief that politics is about improving people’s chances and how we need to defeat the BNP. We must win back the traditional solid Labour LCC estates. The BNP only succeed when we leave a vacuum in local politics for them to move into.

Victory in Romford in 2010 (or before) will be tough to achieve since the sitting Tory MP has an 11,500 majority. However, from 1997 to 2001 it was a Labour seat and the constituency is surrounded by sitting Labour MPs. If anyone can do it, it will be Rae.

Afterwards, some of us went to watch the debates in Parliament, while others managed to have a quick sherbet or two in the “Sports and Social” while putting the world to rights. I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess which option I took.


Anonymous said...

You can do it Rachel

were all behind you

Anonymous said...

What happened to Margaret Mullane?

london said...

not because you can do it, but because we really need people like you who believe in what they want to do and who would be willing to do their best to put things right.

just be you and people will feel your true words because you are a genuine person.....

All the best, merry xmas to all and happy new year.

James Caspell said...

What you lack in credible political analysis, you clearly make up for in blind optimism, I'll give you that.

Labour doesn't stand a chance in Romford, or anywhere in Havering. Former Socialist Campaign Group MP John Cryer was excellent in Hornchurch and lost his seat entirely because of the national swing against the Iraq war in 2005. Eileen Gordon (Romford) and Keith Darvill (Upminster) were both New Labour cheerleaders however and got what they they asked for essentially: letting the Tories take Havering with their union-jack waving, Queen-loving, immigrant-baiting populism.

In Romford Rosindell has increased his vote to nearly 60% - the second highest Tory share of the vote anywhere in the country, so you might as well save your sycophantic blogging efforts for a swing seat somewhere.

Romford and the "LCC" (sic) council estates which you cite are a lost cause to Labour, as they are across East London now, because of over a decade of neglect from New Labour and vaccuous cheerleading from people like you. Johnny-come-lately former No 10 boot lickers like Jon Cruddas are not much better either and are as responsible for the rise in support for the BNP as the right-wing media in our country. It is nothing short of deplorable how Labour have neglected their heartlands and still seek to impose a brand of "market socialism" (if that) on people who don't want markets and privatisation dressed up as "choice", they want decent public services for all. If you care so much about your Party's fortunes in these areas then surely it makes more sense to endorse policies which working-class people would actually support, rather than blindly support every candidate who is signing up to another supine manifesto of privatisation, war and job cuts?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
From your statement it seamed to me that you are very well behind the Tory party and nothing wrong with that. There are cretin things that no party can change i.e. Wars and other activities that are in the hidden agenda of any government and not even the Tory can change. Our only HOPE is to have great people that are welling to help and that they speak their heart and really and truly represent the people of Britain. (Rachel is that type of person) I don’t belong to any party but would give my vote to Rachel Voller and wish that we would have more people like her and I don’t care what party they belong to. I agree with you that we all want the best for Britain and not just for a party of Britain. Let’s vote for the right individuals.

Rachel! Keep your head high and I wish you all the best.


Damien McKee said...

What's your view onRomford's present Mp Andrew Rosindell given that he's a devout Thatcherite and once dressed his bulldog Spike in a Union Jack waistcoat?

John Gray said...


Do you really need to ask?

Rae would have made a brill MP. Romford will be Labour again. One day...

Damien McKee said...

Wasn't Romford Labour from 1955 to 1970?

John Gray said...

it was Labour 1997-2001!