Today saw the TUC bring their conference to Brighton where senior Trade Union officials and their members meet to discuss policy matters and campaigns ahead.
With the Trade Unions split on whether to oppose or support a Third Runway at Heathrow, my friends at Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) decided to run a coach full of campaigners from Harmondsworth to the seaside to put their side of the story and convince the Unions that opposition is the best course of action.
Leaving the Village at 9.30am, we arrived in a wet and windswept Brighton just before 11 and formed up outside the conference
We were joined shortly for a briefing on the latest developments by Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell, who posed with the team from SHE for photos afterwards (Below)
With the wind whipping up, the two of us holding the long banner were struggling to hang on to it – after John McDonnell commented on the weather, I joked that we were about to get some impromptu kite surfing in at this rate. His response was to quip, ‘ what’s that, the UKIP air force?’ – he obviously hasn’t heard the news! Whilst it was strange to be joking with a man who I have locked horns with politically for many years (Some of it quite unpleasant), it shows the strength of feeling against the runway that such diametrically opposed characters can come together and work alongside people of all backgrounds and political views on a subject that transcends politics and affects so many.
Last Saturday (12th July) saw one of the first important Resident’s meetings in Heathrow Villages after the local elections on 22nd May, which returned sitting Councillor June Nelson in Heathrow Villages and saw Peter Money and Manjit Khatra join her as Labour took all three council seats.
UKIP ward representatives Bryan Tomlinson and Christine Taylor both regularly attend Resident’s meetings, and turned out on Saturday to see what ideas the new councillors would bring to the area. Below are their reports, which contrast the campaigning we saw before the elections with the reality we see now
After being exposed as totally ignorant of important local issues, Heathrow Villages Councillor Manjit Khatra has offered to resign saying, “I’ll go away if you wish and you can get someone who knows.”
Cllr Khatra showed she was out of her depth at a public meeting on Satuday 12th July that she co-hosted with fellow newly-elected Labour Councillor, Peter Money. The third Labour councillor, June Nelson, had booked St Mary’s Church Hall in Harmondsworth but did not turn up.
The congenial gathering turned into a Baptism of Fire when it became apparent that neither councillor could answer any of the residents’ questions. The councillors’ responses left residents open-mouthed with disbelief.