This guest blog post comes from the south Wales RESULTS group leader, Rob Green, who recently met with Ivan Lewis, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, to discuss labours vision for the new framework that will replace the MDGS in 2015 and other development issues.
I was pleased and excited to be invited to an event by a newly found friend and supporter of RESULTS, Stephen Doughty MP for Cardiff South and Penarth. The event took place in a church in the Penarth area called Stanwell Road Baptist Church and ran from 16:00 till 18:00. A broad variety of people attended the event; some where members of the church, some were members of the party, some were from the community with an interest in the international development and some were from youth organisations. Each and every one of us was really passionate about the topic of discussion and really keen to meet Ivan Lewis MP in person.
The event started with a very charming introduction from the reverend of the church and a prayer. He introduced our guests Stephen Doughty MP and Ivan Lewis MP and then passed onto Stephen. Stephen spoke quickly as he was keen to hear from Ivan. He mentioned how proud he was of his constituents. Firstly for the organisation of how quickly the event was put together, second of the great attendance of people all over Cardiff South and Penarth. Then he passed onto Ivan for a short speech and a Q&A from the floor.
Ivan opened his address with an engaging and passionate speech that drew the crowd in straight away. He covered everything from recent events in the UK and globally, to a few digs at the current coalition governments policy’s. One thing that particularly interested me was his 2015 vision and equality 2030 which got me excited about asking him some of my questions.
When it came to the Q&A, there were lots of people eager to get their questions answered. I waited patiently with my hand held high and eventually got an opportunity to ask my questions:
Q1. How does Ivan propose that the international development framework be applied to the UK?
A1. Ivan said that the framework should not only apply to the poorest countries but all countries across the globe, including the UK.
Q2. Does that justify spending a greater proportion of UK aid money on diseases like TB that are major killers abroad and have a heavy impact on the poorest people in the UK, particularly the bottom 10%?
A2. When it came to explaining about the justification of spending the large proportion of aid he firstly started by telling us a touching story of how he lost his granddad to TB. He went on to explain about how the UK has become better for it and has the answer to stopping TB and other known challenges the poorest face on such a scale and the spending of the money is on a proven solution.
All in all, the event was excellent and a great opportunity to maintain a strong relationship with Stephen Doughty, my MP.