Maurice for Lambeth and Southwark
Empowered communities are indestructible
Through the years, I have been involved in some important campaigns. I often use my media platform to promote campaigns or to change minds. These are just some of my more recent articles and campaigns.
Deportation flights to Jamaica
The PM claimed the Home Office was to deport up to 50 'serious foreign criminals' to Jamaica. It turned out many of the men had come to Britain as young children and that some had lived in the UK for decades. They had been convicted of a wide range of offences.
Movement for Justice, Barac, BAME Lawyers For Justice and Lambeth Unison Black Workers were joined by activists, family members of those threatened with deportation and MPs including Florence Eshalomi, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Zarah Sultana and Nadia Whitmore.
Following a legal challenge, some men were removed from the flight but some were deported. The fight goes on.
Whitehall: 10 February 2020
Is there a place for black politicians in Labour?
As Labour holds its leadership contests, there is a lot of talk about how the Party needs to win back its traditional heartlands in the North. This is very important but it is also important that we don't forget about our other heartland, inner cities and BAME voters. Dawn Butler would ensure race stayed part of the conversation and I wrote for various papers supporting her candidacy as Deputy Leader.
The Voice: 11 Jan 2020
Outsourced security guards at St George's
I was proud to stand alongside striking security guards at St Goerge's Hospital in Tooting. The guards are employed by an outsourced company and, with their union, The United Voices of the world, are demanding the same pay and rights as the hospital's own staff. I believe councils and other public bodies should bring services in house where possible.
Corbyn’s Labour was backed by 10m voters. We’re defeated, but not finished.
In the hours after the general election defeat, I thought it was important that, while acknowledging the scale of the loss, Labour didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater and ditch the very things that made the party relevant again. As a campaigner, I've always believed that it's important that you sometimes eschew the choir and talk to those who disagree with you. I wrote this for The Spectator.
The Spectator: 14 Dec 2019
More community space for the Doddington estate
The Doddington Estate in Battersea witnessed two tragic murders in just six months recently. Residents I spoke to said that young people hanging around on the estate with nothing to do was a part of the problem. The old activity centre on the estate has been closed for years following some leaks and the Council were considering just abandoning the space. Along with my fellow councillors, I have been running a campaign to support residents' demands and have the centre reopened.
Wandsworth's poor handling of fire safety after Grenfell
Following the Grenfell tragedy, Wandsworth announced it planned to retrofit sprinklers into all of its tall tower blocks. Leaseholders were to pay around £4,000 each for the installation.
I worked with residents and fellow councillors to draw attention to this case. Eventually, the Court struck out the Council's case.
The Guardian: 21 Aug 2018
Black History Month
More than five years ago, Wandsworth decided to rebrand Black History Month as Diversity Month, claiming they wanted to 'celebrate all communities'.
Working with the GMB Union, Battersea Labour and Marsha de Cordova MP, we put pressure on the Council and pointed out that this was not the time to be ignoring black history. Last year, Wandsworth brought back the month-long celebration and we put on our very successful event in Balham.
The Guardian: 3 Oct 2018
Travellers and Gypsies
When Wandsworth tried to ban Travellers and Gypsies from stopping anywhere within the borough, we argued that this was a discriminatory policy. We argued for negotiated stops. Wandsworth ignored us but last month The Court of Appeal, looking into a similar plan in Bromley, ruled that Gypsies and Travellers have an “enshrined freedom” to move from one place to another.
Wandsworth Labour will be putting pressure on the Council to rethink its attitude to this already marginalised community.
Raheem Sterling, racist media coverage
The negative coverage that Raheem Sterling and other black celebrities get is racially motivated and serves to remind black people that, even if they succeed in life, they should behave in a particular way to prove they are worthy of their position.
The Guardian: 30 May 2018
When an Airbnbhost racially abused some Asian customers, she was fined and made to go on an awareness cause.
I argued that while cases like this seem minor, they help to reframe the wider converation. But obvious incidents of racism like this are just window dressing and we will only really move foward when we confront more subtle systemic racism.
The Guardian: 14 Jul 2017
All images above are screenshots from my online articles in the Guardian, the Independent, the Spectator, the Voice & Media Diversified.