Jonathan Wallace

About me, my life, my politics, my travels, my thoughts

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Swalwell Remembrance Sunday wreath laying

I attended the Swalwell Remembrance Sunday wreath laying to film the event for Councillors Chris Ord, Sonya Hawkins and Peter Craig. This is the video.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day and as usual, I attended the parade in Whickham. I also laid the wreath on behalf of residents of my ward, Whickham South and Sunniside. This year I was also able to get to Swalwell for the wreath laying service.

I have a full set of photos on this link.

Saturday, November 08, 2014


Feeding the dog on action days

We held the next of our Blaydon constituency action days in Whickham North today. As is almost always the case when out delivering, my ward colleague, Cllr John McClurey, was accompanied by his labrador Coco. The dog's main job is to drool next to each person attending the action day when the lunch is being served long enough to be offered some food. Sandwiches, sausages, chocolate biscuits or crisps - they all get consumed so fast that they never have time to touch the sides. Today was no different, as Cllr Chris Ord discovered - see photo above.

The action day saw Swalwell delivered with the latest Focus and surveys delivered in Whickham. And back in HQ, a tonne of administrative jobs was sorted. I had to leave at 3pm to milk the goat and feed my hens.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


Planting up Swalwell

Austerity cuts have meant the end for many flower beds in public locations throughout Gateshead. (Labour overlooks the fact that the cuts to flower beds started well before the 2010 general election.) Anyway, Swalwell residents and their three Lib Dem Councillors have not taken this lying down. Instead, they have taken on the job of planting up and maintaining the flower beds themselves. Most of the work has been done on the beds next to Holy Trinity Church.

Alas, I was persuaded recently to lend a helping hand by Cllr Sonya Hawkins who negotiated a load of plants from the neighbouring B&Q store. My job was to help plant them. Fortunately it took three of us only an hour to do. We were reasonably satisfied with the results.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


My vote in the Presidential election goes to....

I got back from a trip to London yesterday afternoon just in time to milk the goat, collect the eggs from our poultry and get to Gateshead group meeting before going to the Lib Dem Presidential hustings in Newcastle. All three candidates were there: Sal Brinton, Liz Lynne and Daisy Cooper. I have met Sal and Liz in my previous days as a policy officer in HQ. I have met Daisy once before when I did some filming for her before the 2010 general election outside Parliament. Sal mentioned to me her interest in my self-sufficiency activities.

I had gone to the meeting with a vague idea in which I would put the candidates. By the end of the meeting I had changed that order. My 3rd placed candidate moved provisionally to first. I have not yet made a final decision and I think all are capable of doing the job.

So, I shall be voting for all the candidates! As to what order I will place them, that's for you to guess and me to guard.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Prize winning in Gateshead

After the trouncing we gave Labour in Gateshead in the local elections in May, Gateshead Lib Dems have now won an award from the North East regional party. Labour had assumed they would win all but one of our seats on the council. Their campaign was a flop. They gained none of our seats and came close to losing one of theirs to us.

The award was announced on Saturday at the regional conference, held at the Jurys Inn hotel on the Gateshead Quays. Former Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, presented the award.

Sadly I wasn't in the photo - I had to take the pictures!

Friday, October 24, 2014


Moving a chieftan tank through the streets of Newcastle

A chieftan tank has been parked outside the Vickers tank factory in Scotswood, Newcastle for years but Vickers recently wanted rid of it. They offered it to Tyne and Wear Museums (I am a member of the the Museums and Archives Committee) and we agreed to accept it and relocate it to the car park of the Discovery Museum. Some people impress the neighbours with an expensive, flash car on the drive. We now have a chieftan tank though sadly without an engine (or ammunition!) The move took place on Wednesday and it involved lifting the tank onto a gigantic lorry. Shuffling it into the Discovery car park was something to be experienced.

Anyway, this is the video I shot on the day of the move. Enjoy.


eFocus Whickham no.90

The latest edition of our monthly email newsletter was published last night via Mailchimp. This edition leads with the latest on Labour's greenbelt building plans but also features some of the work being done by volunteers (and Lib Dem councillors) on planting and maintaining up flower beds and verges in the area. Lots of other news as well. You can read the newsletter here.

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