Friday, October 9, 2009

Our Friends in the North

Sometimes the day you've just had sets you up for the one to come. This morning I am full of energy. Brimming in fact. Up at daybreak I ran through the first light which, within a couple of miles had become yet another sky blue Autumn day.

Yesterday till lunchtime I spent at our Youth Parliament for South Yorkshire, held in Barnsley. Here elected "MPs" with disabilities got into some serious dialogue about public transport with politicians (three local Westminster MPs), Councillors (about 5 attending) and various senior officers and transport company reps.

The young people acquitted themselves extremely well. Presentations were professional, brief and to the point. The responses were less brief but, generally of a high quality. The Parliament has a really interesting mix of purposes: empowerment, confidence-building, awareness-raising, creating new networks and, of course, building commitment towards change. Because it doesn't have any `power', it has to rely on influence - and this is I think what the dynamic of the day was all about. Very impressive and a reminder of what I am here to do.

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