Introducing Father Christmas

Off to the YMCA Annual Christmas Show at St Mary’s in Hornsey earlier today. Children of all ages perform ballet, tap, modern and gymnastics – and it is so gorgeous. Watching the little ones beaming outwards into the darkness that is the audience – hoping to catch sight of their parents. And when they do – a little shy wave. All ranges of ability – all shapes and sizes – and every faith or culture imaginable. That is integration in action – far more effective than any legislation. When people have a common bond – differences fade into the background.

I get to go up at the end and make a speech. Given there were about 150+ children standing on the stage behind me having taken their bow – I thought brevity might be appreciated! Especially as at the end of my speech I was introducing and welcoming Father Christmas.

I just congratulated everyone and then basically – given our good fortune in Hornsey & Wood Green where we of different backgrounds can live together in peace – sent our thoughts to the people of the Middle East – of Palestine, of Lebanon, of Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan and of course, Darfur, to wish them peace on earth at this time of peace and goodwill.