Thursday, 8 July 2010

Hackney's 'groups of friends' problem. Diane on religion

Today's Hackney Gazette has a quote from Detective Chief Inspector John Macdonald who led the Eddie Thompson murder inquiry. In a piece on page three called "Assassination gun hidden in boy's bag" the Gazette refers to the murderers as "reckless gangsters".

Discussing the history of the gun used in the killing, DCI Macdonald opted for less inflamatory language: "I think that firearm was used by a group of friends as and when they needed it and used other people to hold it." Is he purposefully avoiding the word gang?

A couple of days ago Blood and Property asked whether the 15-year-old carrying the gun used to kill Eddie Thompson might have been the same 15-year-old described as a member of a Vietnamese gang by the Mirror's crime correspondent.

Diane Abbott on religion: The Church Times reports: "Diane Abbott, who was the first black woman to be elected to Parlia ment, said that more people in her constituency in Hackney attended a faith meeting on a Sunday than any type of political meeting; “so I take issues of church and faith very seriously.”

“The lesson for the Labour Party from Christian Socialist history is that we are all human beings,” she said. “We have to stay close to people, and listen and respect people. Politics can’t be about just the next opinion poll, but practice based on values.”

On her website Diane provides stats showing 47% of her constituents are Christians.

Back in February
Diane told Blood and Property pretty much the same thing: "A large proportion of my constituents go to church so understanding religion is important to me. Huge amounts of money are being poured into the Christian Party here in Hackney, as your blog has pointed out. This seems to suggest religion may be on the agenda of politicians in the future but it will only really make a difference if candidates can win the support of people outside of their churches as well as within them."

Diane did not give away her personal views on religion and the supernatural when Blood and Property asked - except to say she hasn't had any supernatural experiences (Do Hackney Politicians believe in ghosts?)

But in a 2009 speech in parliament she said: "We have to look at how we work with the Churches. I admit that I am not a regular church-goer myself, but often the only bastion of order, values and boundaries in inner-city areas is the Church."

So she does go to church which is more than we know about Meg Hillier? When Blood and Property interviewed Meg she said: "I don’t really want to talk about my personal situation. It’s not relevant to my job." And on whether or not she believes in ghosts she said: "To be brutally honest I’ve got better things to do with my time than answer questions like that."

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