Thursday, March 11, 2010

The week so far

Monday we had a meeting with Dr Sam Paul, a long time advocate for the rights of religious minorities and Dalits, who is Secretary of the All India Chrisrian Council. The AICC has provided assistance to the victims of communal violence in Orissa, , and cooperates with other groups working for peace and against impunity.

Tuesday, spoke at a tea organised by the All-Party Group on Kashmir. We were all agreed that the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan was to be welcomed, and that the people of Kashmir should be fully consulted before any agreement is reached on the political status of the territory. I added that our Foreign Secretary had to be careful what he says about the dispute, remembering that Milliband and before him Robin Cook had both trod on sensitive corns.

In the evening, to Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, arriving in the nick of time after circling the one-way system several times trying to find the theatre, in spite of the satnav. It was packed out, no doubt because Judy Dench was playing Titania, but Julian Wadham was an excellent Theseus.

Wednesday, took part in exchanges following John Sandwich's Question on Sudan, and in the evening spoke at the Orpington Circle's 3rd Annual Dinner, with Ming Campbell, David Steel, Ros Scott and David Chidgey We had to rush back to the House in the middle of the main course, to vote on an Order dealing with parking in Richmond, a source of great concern to the residents. The Tories abstained when we put a fatal motion to the vote.

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