Over the past year our group have been discovering more and more people whose opinion we like and whose conduct we respect, and often at meetings we have said ‘have you heard of so and so…’. To formalise this we have decided at each meeting to encourage a member to introduce somebody who is positively exemplifying core Momentum values, but not just to the group. We will be naming a Swanley Momentum Hero of the Month, and running a feature on our area within the Swanley Labour Party website. On Twitter and Facebook we will link to the page and feature an image connected with our hero, emblazoned with an imprint reading ‘Approved by Swanley Momentum’. We hope others will Like and Share these posts to further spread the word about the excellent work and amazing characters to be found among our supporters.
Swanley Momentum Hero no 1 – Richard Burgon
I had never heard of Richard Burgon MP before I attended the recent rally at Parliament Green on the day of the so-called chicken coup. Quite early on in the speeches I suddenly became aware that I was not hearing the usual generic words but a passionate and well thought out argument as to why we were all right to be out supporting Jeremy Corbyn. The speaker was Richard Burgon who as a new MP was clearly not being intimidated by what was happening over the road. I especially remember being impressed by his physical presence, exemplified by just his index finger of his right hand. It was jabbing the air to make his point, and made an amazingly powerful image. ‘Voters are going to agree with and like this guy in the future’ I thought, not fully realising the impact he was having already among those protesting and on social media.
I soon found and followed him on Twitter, and Liked his Facebook page so have been regularly reading even more common sense and forthright opinion every day. I would urge others to do the same.
On reading about him I am even more impressed. He represents East Leeds (and could clearly be a great role model for another Leeds MP should he be minded to pay attention), a constituency in which he was brought up and still lives. How many other MPs can say that? He was the first member of his family to go to university, not any university but to Cambridge. He could easily have been influenced by others in his time there but he remained true to his roots and returned to Leeds to take up a job as a trade union lawyer. On his website he explains:
For more than a decade I helped care workers, nurses, dinner ladies, bin men and other working people in East Leeds who face redundancy, discrimination, pay cuts they simply can’t afford or other problems at work through no fault of their own.’
A real MP having done a proper job before entering Parliament.
His loyalty has recently seen him be named as Shadow Justice Secretary, a role for which he is ideally suited. I am sure that this is the first step to even greater involvement with those in need across the whole country now coming under his watchful, caring and attentive eye. The future of our movement is clearly in good hands and I am sure we are going to hear a lot more about Richard Burgon MP very soon.
For further information please click on the following links:
His own website as MP for East Leeds http://www.richardburgon.com/
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/richardburgonmp/