Letters to the editor (15/06/17) with readers’ thoughts on election and London Bridge terror attack

(15 June, 2017) Letters

Messages to people of Bermondsey and Old Southwark from Neil Coyle and Simon Hughes, and readers' reflections on London Bridge terror attack

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Sue’s love of  Borough Market

As Borough Market re-opens, I thought you might like to publish a poem written by my 81 year old mother, Sue Adams.

She lives in sheltered housing just behind the Market and heard the terrified screaming of people feeling the attackers yards from her bed.

Catherine Adams, via email

 

Borough Market

I love The Borough Market

This is where I am

This is where I choose to live

I love the place

I love the people

I love the colours

I love the fact that it’s so cosmopolitan

I love the confusion

I love the history

I love the welcome here for everyone

I love the roof and the pillars

and I can assure you I am absolutely not afraid

___

A band of committed companions to form

As a local resident, who walks down Borough High Street several times a day and visits Borough Market every week, all my thoughts have been on Saturday evening’s horrific terrorist attacks.

I am a Londoner born and bred. I respect and admire our courage and our resilience. This time, though, it seems to me that we need to find the words that go beyond our wish to carry on as normal.

We have to reach out to each other, to take a stand, and to begin the painful process of recognising the terrible losses our community faces.

I am not sure that we can go back to carrying on as normal because, in some way, I suspect that things can never be quite the same again.

Our neighbours and our visitors are bereaved, and many are lying in hospital. Local residents are shaken and traumatised by what they have seen. A lot of us are facing the difficult task of explaining this this to our children.

My Jewish tradition, in common with Islam, teaches that one who destroys one life is like someone who has destroyed a whole world. Those people’s lives, and their worlds, are lost.

And though our London world has not been destroyed, it has been changed. We will all be a lot more watchful now. I am determined, also, to watch out for my neighbours.

This includes members of the local Muslim community, who are as shocked, puzzled and perplexed as I am. They, too, lack the language to explain this experience.

At 8am on Sunday morning, I was trying to reach Father Jonathan Sedgwick of the St George the Martyr Church, in Borough, on his mobile phone. At that moment, he was trying it get into the Church, which lay inside the security cordon, for a family service to celebrate the festival of Pentecost. Later that morning, I was on my way to the Baitul Aziz Mosque on Harper Row to speak to leaders there.

On Sunday afternoon, we all came together to walk around our community as a group of local faith leaders. I am certain that we saw, in that moment, that we must grasp this task, creating security out of common ground, committing to what we have in common, and doing what none of us can do alone.

I am looking forward to bringing together this group of faith leaders into what we call in Hebrew a chevre (a band of committed companions).

Perhaps, like the wonderful, diverse, and strong community we have here in Borough, we can lead the way in treasuring our differences, challenging violence, and in using the power of our courage to stand up to those violent extremists who wish to force us to live our lives in fear.

Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu is rabbi at Kehillah North London

___

Returning MP Neil Coyle – ‘An honour’

I’d like to extend my thanks to all of you who have put your trust in me to serve you again.

You chose a Labour agenda focused on delivering the housing we need, investing in our education and NHS and ensuring the police have all the resources and powers they need.

That the Lib Dems chose lies and deceit in their shockingly negative campaign says enough about their disgraced party and why they lost so heavily here.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart: you’re the best and it is an honour to represent you!

Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark

____

Lib Dem candidate Simon Hughes – ‘I will continue to serve’

I want to say a personal thank you to the thousands of people who voted for me and supported me during the election.

I am profoundly grateful.

In Bermondsey and north Southwark, although Labour won this time, Liberal Democrats did not go backwards. We increased our vote here to 18,189 – more Liberal Democrat voters here than in 5 of the last 9 elections. And we have won 8 out of the last 10 parliamentary elections in this seat.

Liberalism and liberal democracy in Bermondsey and the rest of Southwark is strong and resilient. Liberals are proud of the ways in which we have served and will continue to serve our borough – one of the most challenging, diverse and wonderful places in England.

I invite all who supported me to continue to work with me to challenge the Conservatives nationally and the Labour council locally. Please join or support us: simon@simonhughes.org.uk or 02072378444.

Everybody in Southwark can be confident that I and all other Southwark Liberal Democrats fully intend to get back to winning ways here and around the country as soon as possible.

Simon Hughes, former MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark

____

Cheated of my vote

I live in the Silverlock Estate which is Rotherhithe SE16.

Imagine my shock when I went to vote for my chosen candidate only to be told I couldn’t as I now come under Peckham/Camberwell.

Apparently this is due to the boundaries being moved. I think this is disgusting .

I feel I have been cheated of my vote as most of the names on the ballot paper I have never even heard of.

Surely it’s my right to vote for who I want not someone forced on me?

Christine Mann, Rotherhithe

___

Visionary manifesto

A Heartfelt congratulations to all three of our Southwark MPs returned for Labour with significant increases in their majorities, on the back of a visionary manifesto.

Whatever the national result, I hope that here in Southwark, MPs and constituents can work together in campaigns to make these ideas law.

Jasper Richardson, Peckham

Does Coyle not recognise Corbyn?

One guesses Neil Coyle MP of the constituency of Bermondsey & Old Southwark will be all smiles and pumped-up self-satisfaction after his greatly enhanced win in the general election.

Let’s hope he recognises and accepts that Labour activists young and old wholly loyal to the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP, who knowing of Coyle’s strident anti-Corbyn stance, decided to bite their lips over Coyle’s disloyalty to the Labour leadership.  And, yet those loyal Labour members still joined enthusiastically into his constituency campaign to bolster Neil Coyle’s successful candidacy and re-election in a tight marginal that could so easily have gone back to the LibDems.

Any humble pie to offer all the loyal Corbyn helpers who won it for you and to celebrate your win Mr Coyle?

Patrick O’Dowd, Peckham

____

MPs, will you oppose Heathrow expansion?

Noise from low-flying planes en route to Heathrow, starting from 4.30am seven days a week, is blighting the lives of many Southwark residents.

Expanding Heathrow with a new runway would be the most damaging infrastructure project in the UK for climate change and air pollution.

Southwark Green Party calls on the borough’s re-elected MPs, Neil Coyle, Harriet Harman and Helen Hayes, to tell us: will they act in the interests of Southwark residents by opposing airport expansion?

Their constituents deserve a straight answer.

Eleanor Margolies and Phil Vabulas, Co-chairs, Southwark Green Party

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