I am remiss in blogging the things I am doing outside of the Equality Bill – but I am still doing the usual level of meetings, events and so on. I met with the Gurkhas at Parliament to support the campaign for equal pension rights. I met with a local woman who is starting a campaign to get a counsellor (talking therapy kind – not Haringey Council) into every primary school. I think this is a very good idea – and in principle am supporting her campaign. I met with a Japanese reporter who wanted my assessment of the key issues around the Baby Peter case as they have a similar case in Japan – where they don’t have children’s social services. I did a lecture on ‘ A Different Future’ to a progressive group – expounding my theories that we mustn’t return to the same old same old greed and avarice – both in banking and in politics. I did an interview with the programme ‘How to Look Good Naked’ and no – it didn’t involve me in taking my clothes off – and no I am not going to reveal here what it was about! All will be revealed in the autumn when the program goes out! I did an interview with the Westminster Hour (pre-recorded) on the Parliamentary procedures around Bill Committee – don’t get me started – just so wrong.
I visited a local hostel run by St Mungo’s – famous for its work with rough sleepers and the homeless. This hostel works with those coming out of prison – and is doing really great work with some of the most difficult and challenging persistent offenders. They are having quite a lot of success in reducing re-offending – which in my view is the way to go. Currently re-offending rates are astronomical – but often because those in prison have mental health or substance issues and come out with no skills, sometimes illiterate and no home or job. The work that St Mungo’s do is to give people the ability to take their place back in society by helping them with all those things.
I went to Abyssinia Court – a local sheltered housing scheme – where a local volunteer had organised a fantastic afternoon. Yolanthe had persuaded local therapists and nutritionists to come into the home to talk about important, really important things for the not so young – like nutrition, exercise, yoga, homeopathy and many other alternative therapies. There were talks explaining the different things in the main room – and then you could go to any of the advisers or therapists for a taster. What a fabulous thing to do for our older citizens. And then there’s been the the Hornsey Carnival and Bazm-e-shero adab at Wood Green library!