Wannabe MEP - Haroon Saad, Independent

By jamesup Last edited 115 months ago
Wannabe MEP - Haroon Saad, Independent

Haroon Saad.jpg

Londonist got in touch with some of the candidates for today's election and asked a few Londony questions. Click the 'European Election' tag for more in this series.

Where do you call home?

I feel most at home in London. I grew up in Wandsworth and have also lived in Southwark. At the moment I am in Walthamstow. I have been lucky enough to have lived and worked in Bristol, Birmingham, Amsterdam and Brussels but none of them conjure up such a sense of ‘home’ for me.

What do you think you can do for the city as an MEP?

Without wanting to come across as arrogant, I would hope to offer Londoners’ a better service than the majority of the current 9 MEP's have. I am part of a European Movement called WE CAN EUROPE; one of the key concerns underpinning the movement is that the European Parliament has become more and more detached from every day people. It is a citizen free zone. So my starting point as an MEP would be to support (with the resources that an MEP gets) the setting up and management of a series of online communities." My goal here would be to really support the development of "we think" proposals on key policy areas. I believe that it is essential to bring together a wide range of actors and thus try and make politics an inclusive process.

I'd want to work with these online communities in order to attract EU funding for concrete ideas. I'd support greater cooperation and collaboration between member states. I'd campaign for social innovation in our public services, the legalisation of cannabis - and I would be totally transparent about my expenses

What will you miss most and least if you're away in Brussels?

My wife and a good south Indian restaurant is what I would miss most. The tube in the rush hour the least. However, I do not see myself as really being away in Brussels. Part of the problem currently is that MEP's spend far too much time in Brussels and not enough here in London in order to connect with people more effectively. That is why only 5% of voters actually know who their MEP is.

You're having your parliamentary colleagues over to London; where would you take them to show them the best of the city you represent?

Firstly it would be about them meeting Londoners - so they could speak to them directly about how they see the European Parliament. It would also enable Londoners to get a better sense of how MEP's from other member states see London/England. As for places this would be dependent on the interest(s) of the group visiting. For example, if they were interested in the creative industries I would take them to Shoreditch and the surrounding area. If they were interested in enterprise I would take them to the hub in Islington. If their interest was in education then it would be Richmond or Bromley. If it was about diversity for them then it would be Brent, or Newham, and finally if it was culture they were after I would take them to The Southbank and/or Tate Modern.

Last Updated 04 June 2009