Saj Reports Back
North West England
March 2009 Edition
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Another busy month has passed and I have a lot to tell you. I hope you enjoy reading through this report.
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Saj in the North West
Meeting with Michael Law-Riding, our PPC for Blackburn, 13th March 2009
I met with Cllr Michael Law-Riding to discuss mutual help in our campaigns. As a true local man who has represented his Council ward for the last 12 years, Michael certainly knows the area like the back of his hand. I am really looking forward to working closely with him and his colleagues in Blackburn in the future.
General Meeting in Ribble Valley, 13th March 2009
It was really very interesting to hear about the work that the Ribble Valley Conservatives have been involved in. It was really good to meet the Members again and I hope they too enjoyed the interaction too!
I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the newly elected officers, County Cllr Albert Atkinson as Chairman and Mr Bowker as the President. I always enjoy coming over to see the Ribble Valley Conservatives, thanks again for having me!
Procession in Pendle to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, 15th March 2009
I went across to Nelson in Pendle for the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and participated in the procession; there must have been about 5000 people there by the end!
This was clearly a major event for the Muslim community in Pendle. I addressed the gathering and stated:
"I welcome such a celebration of our diversity and a promotion of the core
message of peace that is Islam. To celebrate prophet Mohammeds birth in this
way allows Pendles muslims to reach out to their fellow Pendle citizens."
"The mosques in conjunction with the police arranged a truly first class
event. I hope this will grow year on year and I strongly encourage people to
feel free to contact Pendles mosques if they wish to discuss or learn more
about Islam or their fellow Pendle people who are muslim."
Andrew Stephenson, our PPC for Pendle, commented:
"It was fantastic to take part in such a well attended event. The turnout, spirit and organisation of the procession was wonderful. I was extremely proud to be involved in an event that represents the diversity of the constituecy in which I a standing. It was great to have our local MEP, Saj Karim there to rally up the community spirit!"
Pendlebury By-Election campaign day, 15th March 2009
I was really pleased to be able to get across to Pendlebury to help our candidate, Jillian Collinson with the by-election. We delivered newsletter and talked to local voters in Clifton. It is great to be back helping our Salford Conservatives and it is always nice to be welcomed, as I was last year in Eccles.
Although we didn’t quite make it, we did manage to increase our majority and certainly delivered the Conservative message to many interested parties!
Cumbria County Council Conservative Group Meeting 16th March 2009
I attended a Conservative Group meeting with Cumbria County Council to discuss our campaign strategies for the County and Euro elections. I attended with Sir Robert Atkins MEP, the Rt Hon. David MacClean MP and Bob Neill MP.
I was very reassured to meet a confident team of eager and effective campaigners in Cumbria. I have no doubt that Cumbria's Councillors will give the campaign 110% and deliver the Conservative message across the whole County.
As always, it was great to meet some of Cumbria's Conservatives and I really look forward to working closely with them in the future.
North West Regional Conference, 20th and 21st March 2009
This year’s North West Regional Conference was a true success. There were such a lot of attendees. We were extremely lucky to hear Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague MP, Shadow Minister of Health Mark Simmonds MP and our Party Chairman Eric Pickles MP.
I was really pleased to take part in ‘Any Questions’ chaired by Alistair Burt MP along with Cllr Susan Williams, our PPC for Bolton West and North West Journalists Jim Hancock and Rob McLaughlin.
At the conference were also discussions on Progressive Partnerships with the NWDA, the Transport Commission for the North, the Manchester Hub and a detailed campaigning session.
I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and we’re all thoroughly geared up to fight a strong and effective campaign in coming months.
I’d like to take this opportunity to send a BIG thank you to the Sue and the North West Campaign Centre staff for everything they did to organise the conference. What a fantastic team!
Southport Conservative’s Annual General Meeting 20th March 2009
It is always a real delight to visit our association in Southport and meet with keen activists and members.
It was interesting to hear Mrs Jackie Glover, Chair of the Association, speak about the achievements of the course of the year. I was really delighted to meet our PPC, Cllr Brenda Porter again and listen to her wonderful stories about the area and to hear of her grit and determination.
I am really looking forward to going again over to Southport and to building on our strong relationship with the association.
The split from the EPP
William Hague MP and Marc Francois MP visited the European Parliament to see EPP-ED leader Joseph Daul MEP and in over an amicable meeting, our intention was made clear. We will be establishing a new grouping in the European Parliament after the elections in June.
Meeting with Conservative Home, March 17th 2009
On a visit to the European Parliament, I was very pleased to meet Jonathan Isaby and Tom Greeves from Conservative Home. They had travelled to Brussels to learn more about the European Union Institution and, I understand, were fascinated by the experience. I was pleased to read later, that Tom reported to have left with a greater admiration for the Conservative delegation in Europe!
A Study into Hate Education Since Annapolis, 17th March 2009
I was invited by Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament and the Tax Payers Alliance to the launch of a study into Hate Education since Annapolis. We debated Hate Education in the Middle East, which drives the ongoing violence leading to the kind of destruction seen in the recent Gaza conflict.
6 Key think tanks and taxpayers groups across Europe have been collaborating efforts to campaign for greater transparency and accountability in the provision and distribution of European Union aid.
The goal of the event was to ensure that European taxpayers’ money does not support hate education that harms the long-term prospects for peace in Israel and Palestine.
EU-India Free Trade to Benefit the North West, 26th March 2009
I was commissioned to author a European Parliament Report on the EU-India FTA. The benefits that this free trade agreement will bring to the North West of England could be endless.
The report states that the agreement between the EU and India will improve access for goods and services, containing provisions on regulatory transparency in areas relevant to mutual trade and investment, including standards and conformity assessment, intellectual property rights, public procurement, trade facilitation and customs. Human rights clauses also comprise an essential element of the FTA.
At a time when - despite the rhetoric to the contrary - all nations risk retreating into protectionism, it is all the more important that we achieve ambitious and far-reaching trade alliances. A free trade deal with India will increase investment and provide a much needed boost to global trade.
If you have any questions about my work or you’d like to add your name to the one seat campaign, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Sajjad Karim MEP - Putting The North West First