Thursday, March 11, 2010

Annual Tawney Lecture 2010

Last night I attended the Annual Tawney Lecture at Westminster Central Hall, although to be fair the word "Lecture" is perhaps inaccurate. What it consisted of was a discussion between Ed Balls, Elaine Storkey, and Ann Holt on the issue of families and their importance.
What was good about the discussion is that where there was disagreement there were the expected platitudes, but also the understanding of other views, a respect for those views, and indeed taking them into account. Ed Balls (seen here in the white shirt in the photos) spoke on families being the No 1 priority for his Department and that whilst the DCSF might not have helped poorer families as much in the past that is certainly changing. There was also the assertion, contradicting Elaine Storkey slightly that teenage pregnancies were falling not rising and that, contrary to media speculation, most single parents tended to be over thirty as opposed to being teenagers.
I am not sure what will entirely come out of this, but there is the reassurance that family values are a top priority for Labour, albeit coupled with a refusal to stigmatise those who do not fall into that category and that those individuals/groups are just as valued.


Anonymous said...

I was at the Dialogue and it was noted that the chair told the only two black women to speak to shut up. It was also note that he allowed an older white man speaking from the floor to continue talking and dialoguing with Ed Balls.

If my memory serves me right, he was just a dismissive of people at last year's dialogue and left a bad impression on me then.

Do you think that it might be time to change the chair?

Paul Burgin said...

Well I didn't stay for the whole of the Lecture this time (living in Herts and having to be up early the following day), also it may well be that he has a manner which is not thoughtful. I know of one or two people who can be difficult, but I know it's never meant how it seems