Although not a Rotarian myself, I have always seen their organisation as a force for good. I was therefore delighted to welcome their London District 1130 Rotary, to the Devonshire Quarter last Friday, especially as they were the first conference that we have hosted since the lifting of the Covid lockdown. Having made my welcoming speech, I was sitting in the audience listening to other speakers, when Stephen Pound, the former Labour M.P. for Ealing North who is one of their members, came and sat beside me to relay the devastating news of the murder of Sir David Amess M.P.. This horrific act has been rightfully condemned by politicians of all parties. For democracy to be effective, politicians should feel able to meet with those they represent without living in fear of the consequences. My thoughts are with Sir David’s family and friends at this tragic time.
I have referred several times in the past to the importance of addressing climate change. I was therefore delighted when the Lead Member with responsibility for this area at the County Council, at his own Lead Member meeting, made the decision to recommend the Council support the cross-party, Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which is coming before Parliament. When, however, his report was presented to the Full County Council meeting, he did a complete U-turn, saying that he had reconsidered and would no longer ask the Council to agree to this support. The Conservative majority on the Council then proceeded to support him despite opposition from: Liberal Democrat, Labour, Green and Independent Councillors. This is the first time that I can remember such a dramatic change of direction and I wonder if we should now fear for the line that Boris Johnson may take at COP26.
If you are looking for a little escapism, Wyntercon VIII is taking place on the weekend of 30th/31st October at The Devonshire Quarter. Starting at 09.30 each day, this is an opportunity to enter the world of Sci Fi, as their website says, “It doesn’t matter what world you come from, you’re welcome in ours.” Tickets are available at https://www.wyntercon.org/wyntercon-viii many people attend in costume, so why not go along and spend a day in another world!