Rob Blackie on how the Lib Dems can win in London

How can we win in London?

We’re at a crucial moment in British politics.

Brexit is the biggest threat we’ve faced in the 20 years I’ve campaigned for the Lib Dems. Which is why the most important job for the London Mayor right now is fighting Brexit.

At it’s best London is the leading liberal city in the world. Anyone, from any background, has incredible opportunities here. Openness has always been one of London’s best qualities.  But the Brexit vote has affected our city’s reputation for being an open and welcoming place. If we don’t change direction and fight Brexit, more Europeans will have to leave, or they will never come in the first place.

This affects every important policy in London. For instance one in six people working at my local hospital (King’s College) are EU nationals. London’s NHS will struggle without them. But, more, importantly it’s about our friends and neighbours. There are 1 million EU citizens in London. Everyone in London has a European friend who is threatened by Brexit. The government continues to refuse to give them reassurance that they can stay in Britain if there’s no Brexit deal.

The ‘3 Million group’, representing Europeans in Britain, recently pointed out that the UK government has made no plans for EU citizens if there is No Deal. It’s also made no plans for what happens to our British friends and family living in Europe. That means that every EU citizen in the UK is in the dark about what happens with No Deal.

And that’s why Brexit is crucial to us winning in London.

It’s a moral issue about treating our friends and neighbours with dignity. It’s a practical issue that affects almost every policy that London government deals with. A\

And, if we campaign right, then it could be a crucial part of us winning in London in 2020. Labour and the Conservatives are committed to Brexit, in a city that voted Remain.

A million Londoners are Europeans. And millions more recognise that Brexit is a looming disaster. So, if we campaign effectively, then we can win in London.

Rob Blackie is on the Lib Dem shortlist for Mayor of London.
Rob can be found at: 








A warming Malaysian dish for the cold weekend ahead – Penang Nyonya Fish Curry

Quick Info:
Serves: 4 with accompaniments
Difficulty: easy
Time: 30 mins
2 Sea bream, about 650g to 750g – cleaned and gutted, or 4 Mackerel fillets
3 Tbsp Fish curry powder or 2 Tbsp curry powder with 1 Tbsp of coriander powder if you prefer the curry to be less hot. If you are a Malaysian and like it hotter, add more chillies.

Ingredients A
6 Shallots
3 cloves Garlic
2 cm Ginger
2 tsp Ginger paste ( from jar)

Other Ingredients:

6 Ladies fingers or okra cut into 3 cm lengths
1 Onion – cut into 6 or 8 wedges
½ Egg plant – cut into 1 cm x 1 cm x 4 cm
1 large Tomato cut into 8
4 Bean Curd Puff or Tau Hoo Pok sliced into 3 pieces each (optional)
1 sprig Mint leaves
2 Tsp Tamarind concentrate mixed with 50 ml of water
200 ml Coconut milk
1 Lemon grass – use whole, the fat bulbous part only, smashed.
1 sprig Curry leaves

Spices to pop:
¼ Tsp Fennel seeds
¼ Tsp Cumin seeds
¼ Tsp Black Mustard seeds
¼ Tsp Fenugreek
1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
Salt, sugar to taste

Put A in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add in the curry powder and some water and blitz it to get a paste.
Heat up the oil in a pot, or wok, and throw in the spices and let it pop.
Then add in the curry paste and fry till fragrant. Add in the lemon grass and curry leaves.
Add 200ml of hot water, the tamarind and bring to boil.
Add in the okra, egg-plant, tau hoo pok and onion.
Boil and add in the fish, then the tomato, and gently stir the content or swish it around. Add in the coconut milk and bring it to a quick boil. Add a bit more water if necessary to just cover the content.
Season with salt and some sugar to balance the sourness. Adjust to suit your taste. The flavour should be sour with a balance of sweetness and saltiness.
Garnish with mint leaves before serving.
Serve with rice.

This wonderful Malaysian recipe was provided by Loretta Lee who blogs at

Affordable workshop on interview techniques in Central London

Are you thinking about changing jobs, forging a new career or are wanting to apply for a volunteer post even?

I am hosting a 2.5 hour workshop on how you can prepare for and ace job interviews. With a new year looming large you may be thinking of factoring in a career or job change to your 2019 list of resolutions.

I am teaming up with a top coach who works in the city to offer the following:

Workshop – Interview Techniques

  • Knowing yourself
  • The first 2 minutes – Introduction of yourself
  • How to reduce nervousness at interview
  • Reason for leaving current or last post
  • Competency answers
  • Structure of answers
  • Private Sector verses public sector interviews
  • Salary questions
  • Your weaknesses
  • Questions to ask
  • Telephone or Skype interviewing
  • Summation
  • Negotiation of offers

The workshop will be held by Roger Manning who has over 8 years practical experience in coaching people by guiding and training individuals and groups to maximise their potential. He has extensive recruitment experience across multiple sectors and offers, both, bespoke and workshop coaching to all levels from CEO’s, CFO’s through to entry level roles both here and abroad. He is the author of several workshops.


Date: Saturday 27 October 2018

Time: 2pm to 4.30pm

Venue: Community Hall, Doreen Ramsey Court, The Cut, London SE1 8LN (situated next to 108 The Cut).

Cost: £25 – payable on the day prior to the start of the workshop

Please email me, Jane Chelliah, at to confirm your place as spaces are limited to enable people to receive personal attention.

Handy quotes on the EU to remember while marching for a people’s vote

1. Winston Churchill

“I look forward to a United States of Europe, in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible.”

(21st October 1942

2. Margaret Thatcher

“Just think for a moment what a prospect that is. A single market without barriers — visible or invisible — giving you direct and unhindered access to the purchasing power of over 300 million [now 500m] of the world’s wealthiest and most prosperous people.”

(18th April 1988: Speech opening Single Market Campaign

3. John Major

“Parliament has a duty also to consider the “wellbeing of the people”.”

“I know of no precedent for any Government enacting a policy that will make both our country and our people poorer”.

“So far, the promises have not been met and, probably, cannot be met”.

“It’s as necessary to speak truth to the people, as to power”.

(1st March 2018, Speech at Somerset House

4. David Cameron

“The EU amplifies our power. Brits don’t quit. We get involved. If we left, they’d be making decisions about us, but without us.”

(21st June 2016

5. Theresa May

“If we look at the challenges we will face, of security, trade and the economy – Britain’s prosperity will be more secure if we’re inside the European Union.”

(The Andrew Marr Show, BBC1, 24th April 2016)

6. Boris Johnson

“If we left the EU we would end this sterile debate and we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by Brussels, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills and a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capacity and infrastructure.”

(Daily Telegraph, 12th May 2013

7. David Davis

“If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”

(Speech “Europe: It’s Time To Decide”, 19th November 2012

8. Jacob Rees-Mogg

“Indeed, we could have two referendums. As it happens, it might make more sense to have the second referendum after the renegotiation is completed.”

(24th October 2011

 Column 46, National Referendum on the European Union)

9. Tony Blair

“To absent ourselves from the biggest of our markets and the largest political union in the world is an extraordinary self-defeating act if you want this country to remain strong.”

(29th March 2018 at Conference Article 50: One Year On

10. Michael Heseltine

“UK businesses are in despair, and with no option but to consider postponing investment, or moving their money and investment from here to the continent. The downsides are becoming more evident as time passes.”

(2nd March 2018, Interview with The Observer

11. Nick Clegg

“When you win in a democracy you have to take responsibility for delivering the commitment that you made to the British people. May seemed to de-legitimise close on half the voting public. You can’t do that in a mature democracy.”

(9th October 2017 Nick Clegg on BBC1 Breakfast, 8.40 am)

12. James Moore (Chief Business Commentator- The Independent)

“Brexit is an act of economic self-harm.”

(30th January 2018

13. Sir Ivan Rogers (Head of the British representation in Brussels – resigned 3rd January 2017)

“Senior ministers, who will decide on our positions, issue by issue, also need from you detailed, unvarnished – even where this is uncomfortable – and nuanced understanding of the views, interests and incentives of the other 27. I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power.”

(3rd January 2017 Resignation email to his staff

We keep trotting out this phrase “global Britain”. We are diminishing that by removing ourselves from a very helpful trade relationship with 50% of our partners.”

(2nd February 2018, Radio 4 News, 18.07-8)

14. Dr Meredith Crowley, Economist – University of Cambridge:

1. UK firms are able to integrate themselves into cross European supply chains, have their manufacturing networks extend across countries.

2. Large multinationals co-located their investment and jobs in the UK in order to take advantage of the European market.

3. As part of the larger EU trading bloc, the UK was able to extract concessions in negotiating agreements with other countries like China that they might not have been able to extract if they were operating individually.”

(5th February 2018, BBC TV News 18.00)

15. Winston Churchill

“It sometimes happens that the same Government, the same Party have to execute this volte-face. It may be their duty to do so because it is the sole manner of discharging their responsibilities, or because they are the only combination strong enough to do what is needed in the new circumstance.”

(1929 election campaign, Epping– “My Darling Clementine” by Jack Fishman, 1963, P.89)