Positive role models

Morning went to the start of an all day event / seminar by Friendship Global – titled ‘Peace, Friendship and the 2012 Olympics’. This is a group started in Haringey by the suggestion of two little girls who after 9/11 wanted to do something to stop such terrible things happening again. So their father started this peace group – where the basic idea is that through friendship we can stop wars.

From there I went straight to make a speech and give out awards at the Haringey African and Afro-Caribbean Awards for excellence. A huge hall full of children and their proud families thronging the Alexandra Palace. Now, as much as they all obviously loved me – I can’t help thinking that myself and George Meehan (Labour councillor) were not the main attractions. Kwame and Lemar (spelling of both iffy) were the main event. After my speech – Kwame and myself gave out the first batch of around 30 awards. I felt the kids would feel cheated if they came up on stage for their award and they just got it from me rather than him – so made sure they all got to shake hands and have a quick word with him.

I had to leave before Lemar did his bit – but the screams and clapping when he came in were pretty impressive. I thought the whole event was fantastic. So much negative stuff about black under-achievement – and so great to have an occasion celebrating the positive. I am absolutely committed to aspiration and inspiration. If you are treated like a failure – you will fail. It isn’t rocket science – and this was positivism in action.

The evening took me to Holborn & St Pancras where I was a panel guest on a Question Time format for the University of London with students from London’s universities come to grill us. Slightly to my surprise, they didn’t ask about ID cards or civil liberties. They did ask about taxation. They did ask about cannabis. They didn’t ask that much about the environment. They did ask about the Lid Dem leadership. They did ask about smoking bans. They did laugh when I told them that I once went barefoot and wore flowers in my hair! What’s so funny?! Anyway – I had good fun as I took a bit of license and went way off message. Well – a bit of blue skies thinking is always good for the soul.