Sunday, June 22, 2008


Friday I had a meeting with Khalid Azizi, General secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, and Swara Mouloud, the Party's UK representative, for a discussion on the situation in Iranian Kurdistan, which is deteriorating, as it is in Iran generally. One of the problems we discussed is that of communicating with the Foreign Office, on which I am in touch with officials.

Saturday Lindsay and I attended the Bye Bye Blasphemy party, organised by the National Secular Society. They gave a splendid presentation on the history of blasphemy, and there was a recitation by Sir Ian McKellen of the Gay News poem by James Kirkup which led to the last conviction for blasphemy. Its funny, that now the Government have acted, there's not a squeak of protest, either from the churches or Christian Voice, who were so vociferous during the select Committee which sat for a year after my last Bill, in 2002. Maybe they've been reading the story of what happened to Chicken Licken.

In the evening we saw Ariadne at Covent Garden, with Deborah Voigt in the title role. It had good reviews, deservedly I thought. Gillian Keith was an agile gymanastic Zerbinetta, a bit of a contrast with Ms Voigt, who had a stomach tuck operation after a previous invitation to Covent Garden had been cancelled because she was so vast. She's still pretty large, and so was the Bacchus, Richard Margison, a Canadian like Gillian Keith. I only wished my dearest Aunt Tordie, who died last year, could have been with us - coming from Toronto, and being an avid opera fan, she must have known both of them.

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