Here’s my Christmas message for the Haringey Independent:
Christmas approaches – and we are all wondering how much the recession will affect us. But first let’s think about the good things that have happened this year. We got a Climate Change Bill that has some rigour. 42 days detention without charge was defeated. Our neighbourhood police have had some success in bringing local crime stats down. And having been to many Christmas Shows and concerts by local children and some not so young local people – there are a wealth of good people out there doing good things.
Not so good this year – the Government closed five of our local post offices despite magnificent campaigns by local people. Our Haringey schools still get £1,000 less per child than neighbouring boroughs despite the Prime Minister agreeing with me that it’s an anomaly. The awful tragedy of Baby P – and the parlous state of our Children’s Services revealed by the subsequent investigation. And many people already suffering – or worried they will be shortly – thanks to the recession.
So much still to do next year – as well as holding those now charged with helping us get the best Children’s Services in the land to account.
Knowing that winter is coming, that fuel bills are high and that times are hard – perhaps it’s also time that we thought a bit more about what we each can do to help others around us. We should check on our neighbours, be generous as we can with our time and if we have spare anything – we should share it. We could also resolve to get fitter – that costs nothing if we just walk every day but can bring huge health benefits. We could all resolve to volunteer if we aren’t already – that not only makes the world go round, it makes us feel really good and worthwhile.
Of course, if you lose your home or your job, you are not going to be full of Christmas cheer – so for those of us who remain in work and with a roof over our head – it’s time to demonstrate community spirit and love – actually!