Tag Archives: john barrett

Can you help John Barrett raise money to support an Ethiopian family?

I caught up with John Barrett, former Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West, the other day. He told me about his recent trip to Ethiopia. He first visited the country as an MP 15 years ago and has had a particular interest in international development ever since.

He talked about how he and his wife Carol have been supporting a family in recent years. As a result of a conversation on their trip, he is now trying to raise £2000 to get them a fridge, a water purifier, a cooker and a washing machine.

He explains why on his Just Giving page:

Ten years ago I met Gimacho Ermias, a tailor, and his daughter Sarah in Ethiopia ,in the small town of Hosanna. Seeing how little they had of everyday things we take for granted, Carol and I have helped them out in a small way for the last 10 years and will continue to do so. Last month we visited them in their home town to see how they were.

He is still working as a tailor, earning a few pounds a day, and his wife, who suffers from asthma, has a full time job 25 miles away to make ends meet, so she can only return to be with her family at weekends. When I asked them what would change their lives, the answer came quickly. “Something to filter our drinking water, a fridge to keep food fresh, a cooker to replace their single electric ring and to make bread, and a washing machine.

I have decided to set up this page in the run up to Christmas to see what can be done to help them out. If you can help in any way, they would really appreciate it.

Why do we need to raise so much? These items, in Ethiopia, cost two to three times what we would pay for them here. I have contacted various places to see if we can get them at a more reasonable cost and if so we will be able to do more with any money we raise.

Two grand seemed like quite a lot for these items. John told me that this was because of massive import duties charged by the Ethiopian Government:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 1 Comment

LibLink: John Barrett: Independence is about country, not cash

Former MP for Edinburgh West John Barrett has made a surprise intervention in the debate on Scottish independence. Writing in the Scotsman last Saturday, he became the only senior figure so far to say that he doesn’t yet know how he’s going to vote in the referendum on 18th September.

He said that the debate so far has become polarised and is switching people off:

There are good people on both sides, who genuinely believe in what they are arguing for. Unfortunately, as they are entrenched in their own positions, they are often unable to view many important issues in a non-party

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Former MP John Barrett talks about his Cancer – and how screening saved his life

I know that many party members across the country will be concerned to hear that popular former Edinburgh West Lib Dem MP John Barrett has recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his colon. He’s decided to talk about his experience in order to persuade others not just to leave the screening kit the NHS sends to over 50s to one side gathering dust, but to make sure they use it.

He spoke to the Scotsman about what he’s gone through and his forthcoming chemotherapy. It’s obviously been a huge shock and upheaval, but he’s recovering well from the operation

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The 7 retiring Lib Dem MPs (and the 7 candidates hoping to replace them)

Seven Lib Dem MPs have announced they’re retiring at this year’s general election. All seven are men: of their replacements, four are women. Here’s the list in full:

John Barrett (LD) – Edinburgh West

Majority: 13,600 (30%) – second safest Lib Dem seat in the UK.
Reason for leaving: to spend more time with his grand-daughters.
Hoping to succeed him: Mike Crockart.

Colin Breed (LD) – South East Cornwall

Majority: 6,507 (13%).
Reason for leaving: not stated.
Hoping to succeed him: Karen Gillard.

David Howarth (LD) – Cambridge

Majority: 5,058 (11%).
Reason for leaving: “to concentrate on my other life, as an academic.”
Hoping to succeed him: Julian Huppert.

Paul

Posted in General Election | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 6 Comments

Edinburgh, brace yourself: the first Lib Dem Bloggers’ Unconference

Just under three weeks to go now – but there’s still time to register for the feast of blogging talent and advice that is the Lib Dem Bloggers’ Unconference.

I’m pleased to announce that Tavish Scott, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has agreed to give a Bloggers’ Interview around lunchtime.

Also joining us: Jo Swinson MP, John Barrett MP, Mike Crockart (newly-selected PPC for Edinburgh West), leading Scottish bloggers, Andrew Reeves (prolific blogger and Deputy Director of Campaigns for Scotland) as well as Lib Dem Blogfather Jonathan Calder and members of the Lib Dem Voice team.

Posted in Blogger Interviews and Events | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Mike Crockart selected for Edinburgh West

Ex-policeman Mike Crockart has been selected for Edinburgh West, the constituency currently held by Lib Dem John Barrett who is retiring at the next general election. The Press Association reports Mike Crockart as saying, “I’m over the moon to be elected, but I’m taking nothing for granted.”

Best of luck with the campaign Mike.

Posted in Selection news | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Top MP blogs published

TotalPolitics (in association with Iain Dale) now have published their list of top MP blogs, as voted for by over 1500 readers.

In the top 30 are Lynne Featherstone, Willie Rennie, John Hemming, Steve Webb, and John Barrett.

Only one party leader features in the list, and that’s Nick Clegg.

Posted in News and Online politics | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #6

It has been a busy time in Scotland over recent weeks and what with Holyrood in recess for a month before Westminster broke up, there have been holidays to work around, babies being born, MPs standing down and candidates being selected all over as well as an away day for all parliamentarians and campaign staff.

Archie Scott was born earlier this week, weighing 8.5lbs to the delight of Kirsten and Tavish, our sincere congratulations to them both.

Alison and Mike Moore also have recently had a baby, Ella Louise. Now, Ella Louise was born prematurely so Mike …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

Lib Dem MP John Barrett to stand down at general election

Here’s how The Scotsman reports it:

EDINBURGH West Liberal Democrat MP John Barrett is to quit at the next general election. After eight years in the Commons he said he wanted a change and to spend more time in Edinburgh. He was due to tell local party members of his decision at a special meeting this afternoon.

He said: “I’m now 55 and if I do the rest of this term and another one, I’m going to be 60. My health is good and I’m definitely not planning on retiring – but I would like to do something else.” Mr Barrett said it was the right time for himself and for the local party for him to move on. He said: “The constituency is in fine fettle. I had a majority of 13,600 at the last general election, the second largest Lib Dem majority in the whole of the UK after Charles Kennedy – and I always think in politics it’s good to go out at the top.”

Mr Barrett has two grandchildren living in Edinburgh, one of whom is disabled, and he said he wanted to have more time for them. But he pledged there would be no let-up in his efforts between now and the general election. “I will be working flat out for the next year doing everything I have done for the last eight years,” he said.

Lib Dem bloggers have already paid their tributes to John’s work:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

PPC News: Edinburgh West & Bexhill and Battle

Congratulations to John Barrett MP, re-selected to fight the seat next time round, and also to Mary Varrall who has been selected to take another shot at Bexhill and Battle.

Posted in Selection news | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments
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