Wed, 10:09

How should we respond to the evil of terrorism?

There are many poor Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Christians in the world, but they don’t go blowing other people up, or themselves up, because they have a grievance with their lack of financial status.

The horrific terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS in Paris, Bamako and Beirut were at the forefront of everyone’s minds in Parliament this week. There is no justification whatsoever for such abhorrent violence.

Home Secretary Theresa May has achieved the interesting feat of uniting the Christian Institute and the National Secular Society in common cause.

Recently I spoke at the Olympic Stadium to mark 10 years since we won the bid to host the 2012 Games, and to mark the official launch of the Foundation for FutureLondon, a charity that will deliver arts, culture and creative education programmes on Queen Elizabeth Park and in surrounding boroughs.

David Goldstone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation

We now have one more major event left: the Race of Champions on November 20 and 21.

We’re in the season of remembrance; we’ve had All Saints Eve, or Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day when we remember all those people who have died who weren’t recognised saints – almost everyone then! - with Remembrance Day and Armistice Day soon after it’s appropriate that we recently had a conference called Dying Well in Newham

Earlier this year I focussed a column on the need for a local history museum in Newham - something the borough has not had since the Passmore Edwards Museum at Stratford, which was closed by the council in 1994.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms will miss West Ham

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I hosted a reception in Parliament for West Ham United Foundation the other week.

Our residents in Newham are enjoying a trickle of good news about the extended opening hours of libraries!

The government decision to cut tax credits have once again been in the news over the past week. This time because the House of Lords got involved and voted to delay to tax credit cuts until the government come forward with protections for low income families for at least three years.

Like many children, I used to love the old rhyme, “Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot!”

About 10 years ago, and certainly before the Iraq war, people with an interest in world affairs would say that if you solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, you will cure the ills of the Middle East.

For me Remembrance Sunday is a poignant time of the year, linking us with those who fight in the conflicts of today and with those who did so in times past.

Weather experts are forecasting the coldest winter on record for over 40 years.

Parliament’s first debate last week was about superfast broadband. From all sides, MPs complained about inadequate broadband speeds and long delays.

The kerfuffle over Jeremy Corbyn not singing the national anthem may have died down, but the issues have not gone away.

International rugby league is coming to Newham and being from East London, I can’t wait.

I am very proud to have made a choice to live in Newham, the community here is very vibrant, diverse and has countless opportunities to progress in every walk of life.

The findings of the Department of Communities and Local Government English Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015 indicated that Newham had progressed from being the second most deprived local authority in England in 2010 to now being the 25th most deprived authority.

The Tory Party conference in Manchester was an unedifying spectacle.

The English indices of deprivation 2015 were recently published by the government.

Do you know the story of the 13 people who were killed by being burned to death locally in front of a baying crowd of onlookers?

Many of my patients have a friend or relative who care for them because they are elderly, unwell or have a disability requiring extra support.

I was in New York for the third meeting of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief last weekend.

Hurrah. Dave – the builder – Cameron has announced that one million new homes are to be built in the UK in the next five years. How he plans to do this, I do not know, as the building trade is reportedly short on skills.

Suddenly, since the newly-elected leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, appeared not to sing God Save the Queen at a recent memorial service, people are talking about the National Anthem.

As a child, I loved Paddington Bear. With his floppy hat, his duffle coat and his liking for marmalade, he was a very appealing character, and the stories about his life with an everyday London family were great fun.

Even by Parliament’s standards, it’s been an interesting fortnight. Our new leader faced Cameron like Jeremy, (or should that be David), versus Goliath.

In case you missed it, two of the latest adornments to the House of Lords have now been revealed.

I recently had the opportunity and privilege of visiting and experiencing the Brick Lane Music Hall, located in Silvertown squeezed in between Tate and Lyle and London City Airport. A stunning authentic music hall has been recreated in the former St Marks Church.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has set aside £525,000 of public funds to fight the expansion of London City Airport.

This August has seen the commemoration of a particularly gruesome milestone in human history, the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

While September marks back to school, for the park, it signals a return to the stadium, as we gear up for an autumn of world class events.

Song lyrics and books conjure languid images of “lazy, hazy, long, hot days of summer,” with blue skies, dappled shade, far horizons and idyllic tranquillity.

If you received a letter from your utility supplier which stated as follows “Your contract will renew automatically, your prices will be protected and your supply will not be affected” what would you think?

Ironically, given it is the one thing we all have in common, death is, for the vast majority of us, something you just don’t think or talk about, let alone plan for.

The former council tenants who sold their Covent Garden flat recently for £1.2million, having bought it in 1990 for £130,000, have done well.

Thousands of young people have been tearing open envelopes containing their exam results. I paid a visit to Royal Docks Community School and Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre to meet students as they received their results.

Local people told us they wanted to see a GP at their own GP practice without having to wait a long time for an appointment.

Just once, I forgot a funeral I was supposed to be conducting!!

Last week, I met the local team from Pension Wise. It’s the government-backed advice service on the new flexibility being allowed in drawing down pension savings. In Newham, the service is provided by East End Citizens Advice Bureau.

Thousands of local residents are enjoying the celebration parties held to mark the 50th anniversary of London Borough of Newham.

It’s incredible to think that three years have gone by since the London 2012 Games.

Newham’s heritage is deep and rich and it has often been so influential in shaping our national heritage too, especially in respect of the growth and development of the working class along with the wider labour movement.

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