Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From Choose Youth to Dinosaur Planet

Myself and my children attended today's "Choose Youth" (http://chooseyouth.org/) rally and lobby of Parliament (http://chooseyouth.org/events/).

I initially turned down a "Choose Youth" sticker since I thought it would make me look like I was on a quest for the fountain of youth, or perhaps cosmetic surgery.

I needn't've worried, as we joined the well attended (and overwhelmingly youthful) rally at Central Hall at the point at which the young new General Secretary of UNITE, Len McClusky, was giving a stirring oration, shortly followed by our own, evergreen, Keith Sonnet who was cheered to the rafters for calling for tax justice, the cancellation of Trident and bringing troops home from Afghanistan as alternatives to cutbacks in youth services.

There were numerous moving contributions at the rally from young people and youth workers. It's plain that restricting the life chances of working class young people isn't some unfortunate byproduct of Coalition policy - it is a central and deliberate goal of that policy.

We left rather than listen to Stephen Twigg (I won't let my son watch the Horror Channel) in order for the youth contingent of our lobby to talk to our constituency MP, Caroline Lucas (http://www.carolinelucas.com/cl.html), who proved herself a diligent and attentive constituency MP - who had also already signed the relevant Early Day Motion (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-12/1013).

We then spent a while in the gallery of the House of Lords, which is a bit like watching Dinosaur Planet inside a Faberge egg.

My only advice to other parents, contemplating active citizenship as a half-term treat, would be to bear in mind that you can't get out of the Palace of Westminster without passing the gift shop, where the prices ensure that you will have an opportunity to do your bit to help the Chancellor deal with the deficit within one Parliamentary term.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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