Yesterday, having spent the hours between 6am and 9am writing, emailing etc about the leadership contest – as it is all an add on and not instead of my day job – I catch up on emails, letters etc from residents before going to West Green Learning Centre for ‘Politicians’ Question Time’ organised by Haringey Youth Council (Adam and Shayan).
As ever, the young people who come to this sort of event are as bright as buttons. I absolutely love hearing what they say – and particularly this time as one of the girls made several comments of phenomenal depth, with well-observed views made with passion.
I have suggested to her and her school friends who were there that they come up to Parliament to see me to take the discussions on. I am already tabling Parliamentary Written Questions based on those submitted through Adam and the Youth Council.
But as my young friend said – she doesn’t want to be a tick box for politicians to make them feel good about having ‘engaged’ with young people and she wants the issues for debate to be what she wants – not what politicians decide they want to discuss! Very impressive!
The standard of questions and comments from everyone else was pretty high. Issues the came up included the balance between punishment for young people behaving badly and alternatives and the ‘labelisation’ of young people with the ‘ethnic minority’ tag (very interesting discussion!). Much food for thought.
I’ve also agreed to go again to Hornsey School for Girls – as the Headmaster thought that there would be about 100 students interested enough to come to a similar event there.