Sunday, September 30, 2012

Events last week

Tuesday: Meeting at the Equality and Human Rights Commission: Jeremy Corbyn MP, self and Meena Varma representing the APPG on Caste with John Wadham, General Counsel, Razia Karim & Esther Maynard, lawyers, and Ellie Rose, Head of Parliamentary Affairs, to discuss their policy on caste. We were pleased that they support the activation of S 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act, to add caste to the list of protected characteristics, and that they will post a statement accordingly on their website. Wednesday: Meeting with Lulu Todd and Dr Ahmed, to discuss recent developments in the Horn of Africa, and the prospects for enhancing Somaliland's relations with the Commonwealth, the AU etc, as steps towards eventual recognition as an independent state. Thursday: Meeting at the Irish Travellers Movement in Britain offices in Holloway Road, to review the situation at Dale Farm and prospects for a solution that would avoid a further eviction onto yet another roadside. For as long as there are no vacant sites to which Travellers can go. eviction is a zero-sum game: the problem isn't solved, but moved to another location within the same local authority or somewhere else in the county. At the same time the health, education and future prospects of the families who are shunted around the countryside are damaged, leading to increased burdens on taxpayers for decades to come. In the evening, attended the annual meeting of the Sarawak Association where I unexpectedly met cousins John Philip and Marjatta Cunynghame, and Simon Tanlaw, President of the Association, whose mother was the daughter of Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, last of the Rajahs of Sarawak, who ceded the territort to Britain in 1946.

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