Sewing lessons

I can’t sew! But this morning, I went to a small women’s training group that teaches sewing, English and maths and IT skills for women. I was there to present the end of term certificates – but first we had a session where they all told me about themselves. There were women from many places in the world – and this lovely small helpful organisation is working away to give them access to jobs and skills. And they were all so lovely – from the two 16 year old sisters from Afghanistan who are clearly going to get to grips with everything in super-quick time (they had certificates in everything) to another girl who had just passed her Britishness test and was telling us all (to much hilarity) what the questions were. Native Brits would almost certainly fail unless they studied for it!

And they asked me to tell them about being a woman in politics. So I did. I rarely speak on that subject or about myself – but amongst this group it seemed appropriate. The group is run by Rafat Mughal who was a Labour councillor when I first was elected to Haringey Council. She left some time back, but her son, Fiyaz, is now a Lib Dem councillor here in Haringey (Noel Park ward – gained his seat from Labour in May).

I think it’s rather good that we can all have different political views, even within families – that should be how it is. We can all believe or think different things, dream different dreams, have different desires – but that is what makes the world go round. I can’t imagine how dreadful it would be if we were all of one mind!