Friday, 28 May 2010

Diane: Hackney like pit village facing mine closures

Writing in the Mirror Diane Abbott said: "The front-runners in the Labour leadership race all assume that, sooner or later, we have to have big cuts in public expenditure to fill the hole in the public balance sheet.

"But as an MP from the inner city, I know that these cuts will hit my people twice. Firstly, they will have a worse service, but secondly they will lose their jobs. I live in an area where 90 per cent of people work in the public sector.... Just as closing the mines devastated many pit villages, big cuts in the public sector could devastate some inner-city areas."

In yesterday's Hackney Gazette, Mayor Jules Pipe, listed his Labour administration's achievements (London Fields Lido, Clapton Library etc...) then said: "We have been able to achieve this through sound financial management and it is this sound management which means we are in a better position than many to weather the inevitable storms ahead, protecting services that matter to people."

Can they both be right?


Meanwhile Meg Hillier maintains her usual low profile. The Aberdeen Press and Journal describes her as "Labour home affairs spokesman" but her role in the opposition will probably be related to who she supports in the Labour leadership contest and whether they win. In one of the few post election news stories about her, she appeared to have burnt a couple of bridges.

The Times reported: "Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South, said sadly: “It looks like it’s becoming a beauty contest of young men in their forties in smart suits.”"

But it's worth noting that the it was the Times that added "sadly" without which it appears to be a judgement-free observation.

Before the election, she told Blood and Property: "Were the Conservatives to get in they would be bored of the word Hackney because I’d be bringing it up so often. I’d be looking endlessly at the Parliamentary end of things, looking at the detail of everything going through, every funding formula, any slight amendment or tweak that could benefit Hackney. Whether or not we could ever change it is another question but we would have to be ever vigilant."

Will she be able to do this properly and hold a major role in the opposition? Especially if she's not able to employ the staff that she needs to run her constituency (Guardian).

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