When Henryy Bonsu (Colourful Radio) said, on air, that I had something about me of the Helen Mirren – I could have kissed him. I tried, thereafter, to intimate that we were probably twins separated at birth………..
Henry’s assertion was based on my Russian ancestry as we were talking identity issues and I was saying that we all have multiple identities. Take me – I’m partly of Russian descent, single mother, ex-designer, current politician, short – from Haringey, Hornsey & Wood Green, Highgate, London, England, Britain and Europe – and I could use any of those to identify me. Apparently Ms Mirren has Russian blood too.
Colourful Radio were doing a half hour interview between me and three of them – Henry Bonsu, Juju and Toby Kell-Ogg. It was fun – and it wasn’t the usual formal, sound-bite interview – it was (I thought) a lively discussion ranging over MPs’ expenses (but in a debate way – not an all MPs are scum of the earth way), about equalities and the appalling differential in pay which is at its greatest disparity when we compare white men with ethnic minority women.
I was able to give an airing to our LibDem policy on ‘no name employment’ (where applicants use something like their National Insurance number rather than their name on job applications to remove subliminal discard at first sift).
We discussed education – and Toby thought my parents had paid for my education – so set him straight – as ironically my mother really didn’t believe in education, would never have dreamed of paying for it and would have had me working in her shop from the age of fifteen if she could. It was my Headmistress, Ruby Jobson at Highgate Primary, who called my mother in to school and told her that she had to allow me to sit for a scholarship for South Hampstead High School. In those days one third of the girls were on scholarships. Nowadays I believe it is mostly private – but I may be wrong.
First time I’ve been to Colourful – fantastic to have a proper conversation – so hope they invite me back some day.