About

HELLO!

My name is Darren Eurwyn Lewis. I live in Bristol but I’m from Pontardawe, a small post industrial town in the Swansea valley.

I’m a reasonably active member of the Labour Party

I’d say my main political motivation was growing up in the Welsh valleys in the aftermath of the Miners Strike. I watched the farce of Tory governments calling men striking for their jobs the “enemy within” and then “dole scum” when they were made redundant. The strike itself is much romanticised but it does cast a long shadow over those families involed. It drove me to want to be self employed so that I could never be sacked at someone else’s whim and to go into politics to protect the people caught in the whirlwind of other peoples decisions.

I’m blogging to share my thoughts and to play a small part in an important mission: to turn Bristol Red. A Labour stronghold for the benefit of the people living here.

 

Darren Lewis is the 2011  Labour Candidate for Bishopsworth Ward. The political elements of this blog are Published and Promoted by B. Chalmers on Behalf of the Bishopsworth and Hartcliffe Labour Party and Darren Lewis both of: 74 Chessel Street, Bristol BS3 3DN.

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7 responses

3 12 2010
Elisabeth

Hi Darren, I found your blog through Twitter and I like it. I like the fact that you are keeping watch on the inconsistencies and unfairness of this current Con-Dem Coalition government.

Mind you, I got pretty disillusioned with New Labour’s ruling elite too. I have been voting Green in last few elections – I know you must wonder if voting Green helped to let in the Conservatives. But I voted with my heart (not tactically) and for once it felt good.

However, I get a sense we are roughly on the same side and perhaps asking similar questions:

How can we work towards a government that does not solely represent mega-business and how can we legislate against corruption?

3 12 2010
turningbristolred

Thanks for that

I think the time is ripe to legislate against corruption. After the World Cup going to Russia and a general perception of at least dodgyness (and Panorama exposing corruption) the idea has captured the public imagination. (as opposed to just us political activists)

It’s not something I’m an expert in and am always interested to learn more.

I think there is scope for Labour and the Greens to work together on a number of issues whilst respecting differences. I’ve had many an interesting chat with my opposite number in Bristol West Greens Gus Hoyt. Nice bloke.

The one thing I’d say about voting with your heart at the moment is that for the time being it is a dangerous strategy depending where you are (though I can understand why anyone would). If even half the people who voted Green in Bishopsworth in May 2010 voted for me they’d have a Cllr now with whom they’d at least get a fair hearing and a decent amount of their agenda advanced.

27 01 2011
Paul Bemmy Down

Hi Darren
Pontardawe, I’ll look out for the signs on my way to Llansteffan. But surely not from there straight to Bristol? You’ve missed a fair bit in between and as one of those Green voters from Bishopsworth who you may be courting, I’m interested to know.

28 01 2011
turningbristolred

Off to Llansteffan? Beautiful place, if you have the time cross over the estuary and take a look at Dylan Thomas’ boat house in Laugharne.

Ha. Well I studied at Neath College where I felt that I was “pushed” by really great lecturers for the first time in my life. I then studied Law in the University of Warwick. I lived in Leamington Spa for 2 of my 3 years at Warwick.

I had hoped to have studied MA International Labor Law or Labor Relations in Georgetown University and lined up funding for it but on the day of my graduation I bundled myself onto a train from London and was interviewed for and was offered a pupillage at Farrar’s Building which is a Barrister’s Chambers in Temple, London. A pupillage is a 1 year apprenticeship/interview (which is exactly as stressful as it sounds). Most people don’t get a pupillage offer whilst at Uni and so I accepted it in a heartbeat.

I studied my professional qualification (the Bar Vocational Course) at the Inns of Court School of Law in London. This was a stupidly expensive course which, in my opinion, was not good value for money given what we were taught. In order to become a Barrister you have to attend 12 dining sessions. Which is usually a talk followed by the poshest dinners I have ever attended. There’s a lot of talk about the four Inns of Court being elitist. I have to say, whilst the environment was intimidating at first, my Inn, Inner Temple made a huge effort to making the process as inclusive as possible. There are very few profession where someone just starting out will be plonked on a table next to someone at the very top of their game. I’ll never forget my first dinner where an older gentleman came and sat next to me, smiled and introduced himself as Stephen Sedley (thats the Right Honourable Lord Justice Sedley to the rest of us). He’s a brilliant legal mind and a very generous, funny and thoughtful person. That one conversation taught me that at the Bar, the horror story of thwarted plans, embarrassment or madness that you experience today becomes a funny story tomorrow. It’s a good way to approach the more maddening parts of the job.

Pupillage over, I practiced in London for a few years. I was doing a fair amount of work in South Wales and the South West. The journey from Paddington every morning or stays in grubby B&Bs were not something I particularly wanted for the rest of my life and so I decided to move out of the City. I knew Cardiff Chambers traditionally don’t let you specialise in an area of law until you’ve been practicing for 7 years and since I already specialised in workplace personal injury and employment law I didn’t want to take a step back. I’d heard very good things about St. John’s Chambers in Bristol. At the Bar it’s always good to be around other good Barrister’s as you learn off each other. So I moved to Bristol.

People now probably have enough info for a bit of identity theft!

28 01 2011
turningbristolred

As a Green voter in Bishopsworth the only candidates likely to win are myself or Richard Eddy. Greens and I won’t be in lock step on every issue but if 1/2 the Green voters last time support me and 1/4 of the Lib Dems, then Bishopsworth citizens would lose an illiberal Cllr who has taken every opportunity in the last 10 years to rubbish social programmes and green agendas. They’d gain someone who has learned a lot working with Paul Smith (a good Red/Green Labour Politician) and a Cllr who understands the importance of decent public transport to encourage people out of cars (not least because I only use public transport)

28 01 2011
Paul Bemmy Down

Hi Darren.
You have done very well and should be very proud of your achievments. But (and you must have guessed there would be one), you fall into the same catagory as so many others in the Labour party. Why is the party so dominated by Lawyers, ex journalists, or Uni. to politics types. Thats what I was getting at in another post. Where are the working people representing working people? I know it’s not the same on a local level, but even here you must take note of national policy and thats dominated by Oxbridge types. I know the other parties are no different but it seems so much more an issue with Labour. Anyway, thanks for such a comprehensive reply, and see you in Bishopsworth.

11 02 2011
Paul Bemmy Down

Corrie Tap. I was drinking there 40 years ago when it was a real pub. Three pints of Rough and you certainly new ( or didn’t) you had had it. Happy Days!

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