Samson Dada

Posts Tagged ‘Political interviews’

Exclusive: Samson Dada talks to Duncan Hames

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 at 11:51 am

How would you describe your time so far in parliament? Most people outside politics do not like arcane parliamentary traditions like MPs addressing each other as “Honourable” and “Right Honourable” members. Do you think there are any parliamentary traditions that should be scrapped or amended?

Exhilarating but exhausting. I think it’s more important to make the voting system fairer and elect the House of Lords than worry about changing the traditional pomp and ceremony.

In your maiden speech you mentioned that you hoped to open a constituency office in Chippenham town centre. Forgive my cynicism, but will this be an opportunity for you to file expense claims for pieces of furniture or art?

My office is simply there to help me do a good job for my constituents.

You voted for your government’s emergency budget which increased VAT to 20%. Isn’t that an act of betrayal from you as your party released a poster warning against a “Tory VAT tax bombshell”?

Labour left a poisonous legacy in the huge levels of public borrowing. I considered the VAT rise a necessary alternative to even deeper spending cuts.

You believe that national housing targets should be scrapped. At a time when many communities are crying out for new homes, how will this help many youngsters who are moving into their first home?

I believe in local decision-making. Let communities decide for themselves how and where to meet this need.

In 2006, you campaigned against the NHS cuts in Chippenham and Melksham when Conservative councillors did not. Have you had any heated policy disagreements with any Conservative MPs in the chamber?

Yes, I spoke in a debate to challenge a Tory back bencher who wanted to stop the UK Youth Parliament having a debate there when we were away.

You disagree with tuition fees. So do I. I am a working class boy attending university this September. It is ok to disagree with it, but do you have an alternative policy that could replace tuition fees?

In the current circumstances, I’m very sympathetic to a Graduate Tax to replace fees. I’m hopeful Vince Cable will be able to make this happen.

As you are an Oxford University graduate- isn’t it an outrage according to the government’s higher education access watchdog, that only 1% of the poorest university students in England go to Oxford and Cambridge?

Yes. That’s why the Lib Dems have fought for a Pupil Premium to target extra funds in the schools teaching these students so that they can do better at school and more of them can get degrees from top universities.

You have been an advocate for jobs in the green energy sector in your constituency. Can you explain as concisely as possible to my young readers, what is the green energy sector and why it is important for their future?

The green energy sector develops alternative and more sustainable sources of energy, such as wind, wave and solar energy. Traditional non-renewable fuels are increasingly scarce and considered insecure because of trouble in the parts of the world they are often found. Burning fossil fuels to produce power also contributes heavily to the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and therefore to man-made climate change. The recent floods in Pakistan and the drought and recent floods in Niger demonstrate the destruction that climate change can cause to millions of lives. The green energy sector is crucial to ensuring that future generations do not have to pay the price for our current over-consumption of natural resources.

Your main policy areas of interest are education, housing and the environment. Fancy a ministerial job in one of these departments in the future?

As a new MP, there’s a lot to learn. I’m always happy to lend a hand, but I’ve got more than enough to be getting on with.

Many ordinary young people who see the coalition government making unpopular decisions like cutting their public services – may begin to wish that the coalition collapsed. What do you think will hold the coalition government together for five years?

A sense of responsibility to give the country the best government we can. I think people want their politicians to stop squabbling, roll their sleeves up and learn to work together.

One of your hobbies is running. Reckon you could beat the Prime Minister in a 100m sprint?

I’m not sure – I generally train for longer distances.

Some people may perceive politicians to be “political geeks.” Will you be reading any political books, like Peter Mandelson’s “Third Man” this summer?

I won’t be reading about politicians. I will be reading “Prosperity Without Growth” by Tim Jackson which you might find a bit geeky I suppose.

Finally, you are engaged to fellow Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson. Will your impending marriage mean you will sit together in the House of Commons?

You’ll have to wait and see!


Exclusive: Samson Dada talks to Tony Lloyd

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

International development is a very important issue that is close to your heart. Can the country realistically afford to set money aside for international aid when the country is in so much debt?

Obviously at a time of global financial crisis there will be pressure on all manner of spending but international aid is still vitally important. We know that we pay a much higher price in countries like Afghanistan when things go wrong and military intervention takes place. Development assistance is a long term cheaper option. We know that issues like climate change require everyone to play a role and that is why Britain must continue to for practical reasons as well as moral or humanitarian ones; to be a key supporter of international development.

Do you believe that a place like East Manchester that statistically has high levels of crime and unemployment can be seen as a place where people can get a good job and get onto the property ladder?

Many people in East Manchester do get on to the property ladder and work hard for themselves and their communities. Crime has been going down in East Manchester although unemployment is still a massive issue, particularly for younger people. But even in the present recession East Manchester is still a great place to live and will only get better as new institutions like the new secondary school come in to being.

One Advertiser reader commented “that some local councillors and you see no problems within East Manchester and everything including employment is rosy.” Has there been a serious acknowledgement of the seriousness of the recession among you, other councillors and Greater Manchester MPs, and that voters cannot be smooth talked about jobs being created when unemployment is so dire?

I don’t know where the quotation has come from and certainly never said anything like this myself. At a time of global recession, we know that unemployment will increase; and it has increased. The action that the government is taking has diminished the very worst impact of the global recession but not done away with the problems. The Work Guarantee that the government has announced includes a guaranteed offer of work or training for every 18-24 year old at risk of becoming long-term unemployed. The government will also fund 250,000 jobs in the public and private sector with more than 150 companies and organisations having already signed up. We need to make sure that we fight for existing jobs and create new ones. No one can pretend that it isn’t a serious issue.

A problem with the recession is that skilled workers have to take on unskilled work that does not make the most of their skills and qualifications. Does Manchester Central have enough skilled jobs to be competitive?

The centre of Manchester is the economic capital of the north of England with many skilled jobs. The future of the economy in Manchester and in the UK is not in long term unskilled jobs but in upskilling the work force.

Seen as the leaders who are setting lengthy emission targets will not be in office, or even alive, are these targets truly realistic?

Setting targets for 2050 is important to making long term and sustainable reductions in carbon emission and it is important that the UK is the first country to introduce the idea of a legally binding target. A target for 2050 is not a way of putting off changes but of making sure that they form part of a long term plan. The Climate Change Bill which the government has laid out contains not only a target for an eventual 80% reduction in emissions, but crucially a carbon budgeting system to set out the trajectory to 2050.

The Guardian newspaper revealed that up to 120 Labour MPs will step down at the next election. As one of your constituents, will Tony Lloyd be standing for Manchester Central at the next general election?

I will be standing for re-election in Manchester Central at the next general election.

Do you have any ambitions to become a minister again?

I have never had particular ambitions for office apart from doing my best for the people of Manchester and the country.

Are you one of the more rowdy MPs in the chamber who likes to shout ‘Hear, Hear’? Who are some of the more rowdy MPs in the chamber, or what party has the more rowdy MPs?

I don’t tend to take part in the parliamentary noise!

Can you give me a sense of how a Labour Parliamentary Party meeting works and how it feels to chair the party?

Obviously meetings of the PLP are by its very nature private but they do vary enormously. Given the great variety of issues, they can sometimes get heated but it is always a great privilege to chair a meeting of the Parliamentary Party.

Do you tend to send the odd ‘tweet’ during sessions in the chamber like some of your colleagues?

No I can’t say that I’ve ever used Twitter in the chamber!

How did you spend your summer recess?

Most of the time I was working in the constituency but I had a short holiday.

Are you a football fan? What are your views on Manchester City’s spending this summer?

I am a lifelong Manchester United fan although I have always wanted to see Manchester teams do well. United have always been regarded as a rich club and certainly can’t cry foul when Manchester City spend. For all of us however, maybe football today is taking leave of reality for normal people with the ridiculous sums of money involved.