Sunday, April 06, 2008

Who is Samir Jeraj?

Apparently he is the Green candidate for Town Close Ward, where I live, and must be odds-on to be our next councillor, especially as the LibDems seem to have given up on a ward they used to regard as safely theirs.

However, I do chat to a lot of my neighbours and nobody knows anything about him. How long has he lived in Norwich? What does he do for a living? What's his background?

He could just be a political newcomer, and you can't be criticised for not having a political background if you are new to the game, but it is noticeable that their newsletter which was delivered today makes no reference to who he is or what his background is.

I should, of course, delcare an interest. Of the 4 candidates going for this seat, the Conservatives have by far the most well known - businessman Tak Man-Li, who went to school at the Hewitt and whose family still live and work in the ward. I think people should know about their candidates and the Greens, who are normally very good at this, don't seem to have given out much information. People want to know.


Andreas Paterson said...

Samir knocked on my door while canvassing, which was rather entertaining. I told him politely that since I was his Labour opponent I wouldn't be voting for him. We the proceeded to have a nice chat about the Vauxhall Street post office and how closing it would be a very bad thing.

Anyway, allow me to enlighten you on your Labour candidate Anthony. I'm UEA 2000 vintage, resident in Norwich since 1997 and Town Close since 2005. I'm a software developer by trade and work for one of the large employers in Norwich that isn't Norwich Union.

Antony said...

Nice to have you on the blog Andreas. I was also UEA 1997-2000 - did we know each other at uni?
Thanks for the info, I look forward to reading your info - I hope it isn't that god awful "Ambitions for Town Close" stuff that is normally produced. I hope a new candidate means new life too! I also like to tell my friends and neighbours about the candidates. I think Felicity will be missed in my part of the ward - she is popular and got a lot of Tories to tactically vote for her.

Of course I shall still vote for Tak but, hey, good to hear from you.

Antony said...

So you didn't find out anything about him then, Andreas?

Andreas Paterson said...

I doubt we met at UEA, I wasn't a particularly political animal in those days. I was a SYS kid myself, so I'm not sure if we were on any similar courses.

I'm afraid that my editorial tinkering didn't stretch to changing the infamous "Ambitions for Town Close" tagline. But I'll admit that some of our leaflets could do with a little more flair.

On Samir, all I can say is that he seemed like a nice enough lad. I felt it would have bee impolite to give him an iterrogation.

Anonymous said...

Samir was a student and Green Party member at York University who must have graduated a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

Tell me Andreas, how do you have the nerve to stand on peoples doorstep when your party is taxing the lower paid more and more, and shutting the post office's.
Hope you are not saying vote labour for a better future.

Anonymous said...

Andreas, I suppose you spent your time bemoaning the Labour government's attack on the "most vulnerable in society" during the debate on Vauxhall Str PO closure???

It's strange that nearly all the closures affect some of the most deprived wards!

Andreas Paterson said...


The government does subsidises the post office to the tune of £150 million a year, even on the back of this subsidy, the network of post offices still loses £0.5 million a day. Technological changes have rendered a large number of post office services obselete, the cost of running the post office network has gone up, you may want to blame Labour for that, but that ignores the wider picture.

On the specifics of Vauxhall Street PO, it is of a busy post office with a good volume of visitors and is loved by the local community. Capacity at Castle Mall is already seems stretched to the limit. To that end, I'm opposed to this specific closure.

On taxation, those who suffer the absolute worst of the current set of tax changes will be around £5 a month worse off. They will also be people who don't have to cope with the additional burden of children. Given all the current Labour government has done to help the worst off in society, I don't intend to howl in false outrage about this minor matter.


Anonymous said...

So which post offices should be shut? There's hundreds like Vauxhall Street PO that face closure with 2 faced labour ministers fighting the closures!

Andreas Paterson said...

Firstly, apologies to Anthony for continuing this thread on his blog I'm suspect you're tired of approving comments so I'll try to make this my last.

Anonymous, or Dan or whatever your name is, I sense I'm being goaded here and will not take this debate any further unless I know who you are and who you represent politically. I will continue the debate with a post on my own blog.

Anonymous said...

Really Andreas,
So supermarket checkout staff who lose £4 per week as a result of the tax changes is a minor matter for people on £8k per year?

Yet Antony little gets rebate, ho hum, no wonder they call it Blue Labour

Andreas Paterson said...

What is your point anonymous? If your trying to say some people will be worse off as a result of this tax cut then yes, that's correct.

Saying that this tax cut means that Labour have abandoned the poor is another matter completely. I challenge you to fill in a few more blanks (hours worked per week, housing situation etc) for your hypothetical checkout staff member and prove to me that they are worse off.

PS: I did get my figures slightly wrong earlier, the exact figure is £2.93 a week worse off for those earning £7455.

Anonymous said...

Post Offices are closing because the Labour government is allowing the Post Office to do so.

Additionally, national New Labour has no plans to expand services or amalagamate say libraries and post offices. No policy other than letting the PO hacket fall.

I will take my hat off to Steve Morphew though; at a local level he has quite a grasp of the PO situation and desire to remodel abandoned POs. The unfortuate think is that it is often uop to local people, the local paper or councillors to shop their local PO from closing. This Brown government hasn't a clue and abandons local PO and communities, especially rural areas.

A note Andreas is a government spin line spowter on POs, ie its not govts fault, its the Post Office, no its lost making POs! no its all the fault of the "wider picture". At least Samir is a fresh face, and a has a few bright ideas rather than excuses on how to save or modify threatened POs.

Anonymous said...

This is all getting a bit heated. Good luck on May 1st Andreas and Samir - I salute anybody who will put their head above the paripet and stand for local government.

I am not standing this year but I might make it out with a bundle of leaflets

Anonymous said...

Whoever the lad is, he won!