Manchester User’s Network, have longed campaigned for the government creation of a dedicated minister for mental health . So last week we were tweeting Jeremy Corbyn @jeremycorbyn to please create a minister for mental health, as we desperately need one. Even if that’s just to sort out the terrible services, Service users are presently receiving in Manchester under a Manchester Labour Scrutiny Committee, who go on and on allowing the failed operation that is Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, allowed to still run the service, where it has long been known the problems could not be fixed .
Manchester User’s Network said : “We were delighted to see the new appointment of a dedicated mental health minister, the fact that it was M’s Berger is a double whammy. MUN have watched her success and was in no doubt she was cabinet material she is also from an historic Labour lineage . She is the great niece of Emmanuel “Manny” Shinwell who ended his days in Parliament as Father of the House, the position is today held by a fellow Jew: Sir Gerald Kauffman MP @geraldkaufmanmp .
MUN elected chair and spokesperson Paul Reed, went on to describe that MUN is also friends with Ivan Lewis MP the now former shadow Secretary of State for the office of Northern Ireland, who has amongst his ministerial offices held the office of junior Minister for Mental Health in the Blair government and would of been equally good at doing the job of shadow Mental Health minister in Her Majesty Official Opposition Government.
MUN has many peer advocates who are Jewish and they will be very happy as Jews too see both a women and a man being able to achieve such high office. It is good to See the Corbyn shadow government start the needed debate on the main issues effecting patient/service users by Jeremy Corbyn’s insistence on giving the service the very important government ministerial role, it goes towards a better change.” Concluded the MUN spokesperson.
Below is how the newspaper The Jewish News reported recent events :
When a newspaper like ours mentions “cabinet material”, silver candle sticks and kitsch Judaica might automatically spring to mind. But the phrase assumes an entirely different meaning in today’s special issue of the Jewish News. Just a few weeks ago, we held a Q&A session between our readers and Ed Balls. He answered some prickly questions on his party’s relationship with Israel and suggested he would not want to be part of Labour if it wasn’t “unequivocal” in its support for the Jewish state. What followed did not draw the same level of applause from the audience, but a pride that was palpable across their faces. Discussing the possibility of a Labour-led government, Balls said the Jewish MP for Liverpool Wavertree and current shadow public health minister, Luciana Berger, was ‘absolutely cabinet material’.
Luciana, who grew up in Wembley, did not have an easy start to life in Merseyside. She was unable to answer questions on Liverpool’s contemporary football and music history and was then tricked into taking part in a radio interview with the former editor of The Sun, Kelvin Mackenzie, who is a persona non grata in that city for his reporting of the Hillsborough disaster.
Despite those initial challenges, Luciana has won widespread favour among her constituents and fought tirelessly on behalf of Liverpool, pressing the coalition for its perceived lack of investment in the city.
In Westminster, Luciana has developed a reputation as a fiery and forthright MP. Recently, she has called for improved mental health provision in the NHS, worked to end loopholes allowing corporations to dodge health and safety responsibilities, and successfully campaigned to outlaw drivers smoking with child passengers in the car (government passed legislation to that effect last October).
Luciana is also one of Parliament’s most prominent voices on food poverty and in 2012 produced and directed a film, Breadline Britain, about food banks.
She spent three years as a shadow minister for Energy and Climate Change (a position once held in government by co-religionist Ed Miliband) and was handed her current portfolio over public health in 2013.
Luciana, a Haberdashers’ Aske’s alumnus, is the daughter of a businessman and an NHS Palliative Care worker, but politics runs in her blood. She is the great niece of Emmanuel “Manny” Shinwell, an East End Jew who was a Labour MP for decades and served as Minister of Defence in the post-war Attlee government.
There is poetry in Luciana’s activism against food poverty: in 1940 Manny in fact turned down a position in Churchill’s wartime coalition as Minister of Food.
If only the job still existed, it would surely be on her wish-list. Manny died aged 101 in 1986, when his great niece was just five years old. Luciana showed signs of following uncle’s footsteps into politics as a student; while studying for a part-time masters in government, politics and policy at Birkbeck, University of London, she served on the National Executive Committee of the Nation Union of Students, a renowned incubator of left-wing politicians.
After graduating, she worked in the Government Strategy Unit of management consultancy firm Accenture, advising the then Labour government, and later headed for the NHS Confederation, campaigning on behalf of the heath service in Whitehall. The rest is history (in the making).
Luciana, a former member of youth movements BBYO and RSY-Netzer, has faced ugly anti-Semitism across her political career, starting when she represented the UJS and NUS. She resigned from the National Executive a month before finishing her term, accusing the committee of failing to tackle anti-Semitism.
The abuse has not abated as MP either. Last year, a man was imprisoned for four weeks for sending anti-Semitic tweets to Luciana online. Police reported that in the space of 72 hours in December 2014, she had been subject to 2,500 messages on Twitter using the same anti-Semitic hashtag.
The abuse has clearly been impossible to ignore for Luciana, who was director of Labour Friends of Israel for three years and a member and former trustee of the London Jewish Forum. She has never attempted to conceal her Jewish roots, though, and proudly declares coming from a “close, Jewish family” on her constituency website.
Luciana represents Liverpool Reform Synagogue at the Board of Deputies and is also a patron of the Jewish AIDS Trust.
Luciana foxtrotted to first place on our list.
She is likeable and intensely ambitious for herself, her party and her vision for social justice in Britain.
All So By:MUN Reporter