Lynnette was born in Coventry in 1962 to parents of irish and Scottish backgrounds. Intensive family history research has found all roads lead to Ireland but all branches characterised by poverty. Married with 4 children, which means she needs to keep searching for that elusive rich ancestor.
Lynnette has lived in Coventry, London, and Brunei. She has a degree in applied social science from Coventry University and a PhD in Ethnic Relations from University of Warwick. Lynnette worked for a while with refugees from Bosnia, and used that experience as the basis for her PhD. She has also worked as a research fellow at Warwick, working on areas related to immigration and refugees, ethnic minorities and health. She is now a councillor for Henley ward in Coventry, and is Coventry Labour Party's spokesperson on issues relating to children and young people.Here blog can be found here.
What made you decide to start blogging?
I met Louise Baldock, a Liverpool councillor, and she inspired me.
What is your best blogging experience?
When I got a comment on my blog from someone in the US - it's nice to know its looked at from so far away!
And your worst?
When I realised that when people say 'don't write anything that may not look good taken out of context' YOU REALLY SHOULD LISTEN!!! I was accused in a council meeting of supporting child neglect because of a joke I made about my nephew and niece needing baby sitting. And then the Tories took that one sentence out of context.
I censor myself much more now.
What do you regard as your best blog entry?
Dedication to the cause, back in around October last year. Politics and humour wrapped up together. A good one, even if I say so myself.
Or it could be is global warming all my fault in march 09. That's probably the funniest. But read them all!!
I have to say my Mum's - Wynnefirstname.lastname@example.org, and also Louise Baldock's - a great example of using a blog to show what work you are doing
What inspired you to go into politics?
I kind of fell into it- I am unable to keep my mouth shut and can't bear moaning for the sake of it, I will do complaining but seeking a solution too.
That and Thatcher getting elected before I was old enough to vote, then proceeding to destroy British society. Before her the Daleks were the scariest things on telly.
Its tough for all of us within the Labour Party at the moment, but how are Labour in Coventry doing and what signs of encouragement do you see for the Party there?
We are doing really well considering the national picture. We lost control of the council five years ago, the year I got elected (the two are NOT connected) and have made gains every election since then. We are confident of taking back control of the council next year. In my own ward we increased the majority again even though we had a new candidate and he was running against a sitting councillor who was kicked out of the labour party, and to increase the majority despite those factors proves we're on the up!
What is the best and the worst thing about being a councillor?
Best thing is when you can make a positive difference for someone, whether that be getting a new play area put in or just making sure someone gets the right advice over their debt problems. The worst is the abusive phone calls. They aren't regular, but they are unpleasant, and I always worry that one day my kids will have to listen to a tirade of racist abuse.
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
Loads of places, but one day I will go to Canada to visit family there.
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
I'd love to go back to Bosnia. When I was last there it was only a few years after the fighting had stopped, there was some reconstruction going on but there was still a lot of rubble, and a lot of divisions. I'd like to revisit the catholic church in Konjic- it was being rebuilt and had been deconsecrated. And I'd like to see if the cafe is still serving a blob of mayo in the middle of its pizzas. (we were told they traditionally had egg on them, but because of the war and shortages they used mayo. I don't know if this is true, as pizzas aren't really part of the gastronomic history of the Balkans are they?) And I'd like to spend more time in Sarajevo, and I'd like to see Mostar again. In Mostar we went in what was billed as an original authentic Bosnian house, kept in the same way for hundreds of years. It was free to enter, we wandered around, thought it didn't look that special, and then when we went to wander out again this little old couple who had been sat around ignoring us suddenly leapt into action and demanded money. We had a choice of coughing up a huge (in Bosnian terms) sum of money or flattening them, as they were between us and the door and they weren't moving! Despite being accompanied by two members of the UN Mission to Kosovo on their day off, I thought paying up was safest. Little Bosnian ladies can be very scarey. I learnt a new Bosnian phrase when I was there - roughly translated it was 'this building has not been cleared and may contain mines'. Ah, happy days.
Who, excluding the present leader and Prime Minister, do you regard as the best British Prime Minister, and if different, the best Labour leader?
Wilson was probably the best prime minister, but as far as leaders go I'm torn between Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock. Foot may not have won an election, but he knew what he stood for and stood by his principles. Kinnock laid the foundations for party reform AND got rid of militant.
Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?
I've been inspired by too many to mention. But it was Thatcher that convinced me I couldn't sit idly by. Party round my house when she finally does the decent thing and pops her clogs!
Favourite Bond movie?
The one where he dies at the end. Haven't they made that one yet?
Favorite Doctor Who?
Has to be David Tennant.
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
Vanilla every time
Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?
In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?
Would have to be Oxford so I could get to the libraries
Favourite national newspaper?
What would you say your hobbies were?
Hobbies? I don't have time for hobbies.
I do British Military Fit when I can, that's about it.
And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?
London Calling - The Clash
American Idiot - Green Day
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
Private Peaceful - Michael Morpurgo (its a kids book but it is brilliant - read it in an afternoon lying on a beach in Cyprus with tears rolling down my face)
The Sound of Laughter - Peter Kay
Freakonomics - Levitt and Dubner