Sunday, December 27, 2009

David Taylor

David Taylor, the Labour MP for North West Leicestershire died from a heart attack on Boxing Day.

There is no-one I admired more than David. He was a dedicated, able and active MP. He showed everyone what a back-bench MP can achieve via an extensive and intelligent use of the formal and informal avenues that are open to them.

He was a committed democratic socialist who cared deeply about the well-being of his constituents and for underprivileged people throughout the world.

In 2007 he won the award of "Commons Backbencher of the Year" on the vote of his fellow MPs. Yet as a non-doctrinaire member of the Socialist Campaign Group he was not a natural for such a recognition. It was his dedication and serious intent (often with a tinge of humour) which came to impress those around him, many of whom did not share all of his deeply held views. I had been lucky to be amongst those who not only admired his dedication and commitment, but also shared his general outlook on life and politics.

I met him before he became an MP, saw his impressive and regular output in the Commons when we were fellow members between 1997 and 2005 and only recently spoke to him at St. Pancras Station in passing as he rushed to catch his train back to Leicester. For he was always as active in his Leicestershire Constituency as he was in the Commons.

If Parliament is to restore its reputation then we need MPs who follow the example he has left behind him.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Failure At Copenhagen

For the scale of the failure to tackle Climate Change, see Johann Hari here on the discarding of three key ideas in Copenhagen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Merry Xmas and a Socialist New Year

For the third year running, here is the same seasonal greeting. It comes from a 1894 drawing by Walter Crane. Your not likely to find anything better. Pass it on.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tuesday In Baghdad

Doctor Mohammed is a 25 year old dentist in Baghdad. On Tuesday the hospital he was working at was hit by one of the five terrorist explosions which killed 127 people. He then ran home to find that a further explosion had also hit it - the above photo shows what remained of its windows.

Luckily his wife and young child who were in the house, were not physically harmed.

Dr Mohammed runs a blog entitled "Last of Iraqis". See his telling account of his experiences and feelings here along with the photographs of the incidents.

For more on my comment's about his blog, use the link below.

When peace, tranquility, prosperty and hope are finally established in Iraq it will have been achieved by people such as Dr Mohammed, his wife and child whose lives provide a telling example for others in today's harsh conditions.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Today In Baghdad

Dr Mohammed is a 25 year old dentist living and working in Baghdad. Here is an item he posted on his blog called "Last-of-Iraqis" a month ago about the massive but ineffective system of traffic checkpoints which operate in Baghdad.

With a series of car explosions killing 127 people and injuring 448 today, the checkpoints have again failed to protect the Iraqi people. A streamlined and more effectively operated system of checkpoints, better intelligence and no parking near public buildings; might all be part of the means by which Iraqi people can be protected. But no one should still be in doubt as to whom their main enemies are at this point of time - Al Qaeda style terrorists.

I can only hope that Dr Mohammed is not amongst the victims. I hope to read of his own experiences and thoughts about today's terrible events as I see him as a friend whom I have been in contact with over time.