Thursday, September 20, 2007

Homeward Bound

The last day of the conference dawned grey and wet, so no regrets at leaving the seaside this time. We'd decided on a morning train because the later ones were prohibitively expensive so we weren't around for Ming's speech. We did have time to hear the debates on the two Emergency Motions of the day, neither of which should have been needed in a civilised society. The first called for the government to grant asylum to those Iraqis who've been working for the British forces as interpreters. These people have been working in very dangerous circumstances which now mean they are marked men. Once our forces don't need them they're expected to go home and live a normal life as though they never had anything to do with the occupying army. Absolutely disgusting and yet again made me ashamed of this government.
The second was on Darfur, led by Liberal Democrat Youth and Students, and included a moving speech by a Darfuri asylum seeker who described life in Darfur and then in England. He was given a standing ovation at the end and not one person complained that his speech had slightly over-run its allotted time.
Our train journey was uneventful but irritating in that there is still no apparent will in the London Underground to help people who are not actually disabled but do have problems negotiating stairs with suitcases. Victoria station not only didn't have an escalator or lift but didn't have any interested staff. It made me question the requirements of the DDA to take reasonable steps to accommodate people with disabilities. I couldn't see any changes since the first time I'd used the underground twenty years ago.
Once back home there was just time to go through the post for any urgent items before going out to Parish Council where the most exciting item turned out to be the possibility of a new office for the Council. For many years the clerk has used a room in her house as the office and the Council has paid what is now a paltry sum for the electricity and inconvenience. A few years ago we had looked for other premises but anything reasonable was too expensive to consider so the idea was shelved. This week a happy coincidence had led the clerk and chairman to a real possibility. The Council decided to go ahead and to establish a small sub-committee with delegated powers to spend the necessary money for removal of furniture and equipment, purchase of any necessary new furniture or equipment and installation of the telephone. A real sense of achievement pervaded the rest of the meeting.

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