Sunday, 25 November 2007

Conferences and sheep

This week has seen the parliamentary interns very busy indeed - with lots of events, courses, conferences, and I went on a constituency visit to Ashford in Kent!

Life in Damian's office continues apace - my colleague was away for much of this week so i was required to step up to the challenges of taking on some extra work, keeping me busier than usual. I attended a Library presentation on UK population and migration statistics, which was very helpful for Damian's immigration work, and I attempted to summarize the details in a short briefing note for him.

On Wednesday I managed to obtain a ticket to watch Prime Minister's Questions from the public gallery which was great fun - a real experience. We were all sat behind a giant security screen so that did take away some of the atmosphere, and my eyesight not being great it wasnt as clear as watching it on TV - but great to have a view of the whole chamber and hear the roar of the debate. Also very interesting watching the key players assemble in their places just before the session started.

Friday involved a 6:30am start to catch a train from Charing Cross down to Ashford to accompany Damian on some constituency duties - involving visiting a charity organisation, a local business (making unmanned drone aircraft) and a skipping event at a local primary school - I managed to escape having to skip, but Damian wasnt so lucky! He also drove me around the constituency, which outside Ashford town itself, is very rural - it was a lovely sunny day and we saw the countryside at its best, complete with many flocks of sheep! Great to get out of London for a bit, and get a better sense of the area and the people we are working for up in parliament.

Yesterday we had a very interesting conference at Notre Dame University on "Faith in Your Future" featuring many impressive speakers from a variety of backgrounds, including the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, and the editor of the Tablet. It was very refreshing to see such prominent public figures willingly discuss their faith, what it meant to them, and how it influenced their careers.


Monday, 19 November 2007

Winter sets in...

The unusually warm and pleasant winter we've all been experiencing over the last few months unfortunately appears to be at an end - I was forced to put my umbrella to good use on my walk to work this morning, a particularly dark and damp November day - and my shoes got wet!

At least the world of politics isnt anywhere near as depressing as the weather - had an absolutely manic fw days last week, with lots more immigration stories to deal with here in the Green office - such as the Home Secretary's announcement on the illegal security workers, which caused quite a stir! One of the team is away at the moment, so I have taken on a lot more responsibility than I've been accustomed to so far, but which is keeping me busy and it's very stimulating work. However, spending 3 hours making very slow progress with telephone calls to the Child Suport Agency chasing up constituent's cases is a bit waring...!

This weekend, John and I were joined by the Brussels interns Adrian and Rhiannon, at a conference at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, entitled "The Ethics of Climate Change". It promised to be a very valuable event, especially given the prominence of climate change in current and political affairs. The conference was well attended and featured many distinguished academics, politicians, and clergy, and was an effective general summary of the current climate situation, and suggestions for how to deal with the problem, and some speakers argued the case for Christian Ethics underpinning our responsibility and response to the issue of climate change. It was lovely to get away from London for a bit as well!

Lots on this week - I have a lecture to attend on UK population and migration, and am hopefully going to be visiting Ashford in Kent (Damian's constituency) on Friday - involving a "skip to keep fit" event at a school which I have apparently been drafted in to do on Damian's behalf. Oh dear...


Saturday, 3 November 2007

1st month completed...

Well, after 4 weeks in parliament, we're all starting to settle into the new roles. All three of us have been kept busy with various different jobs and responsibilities by our respective MPs.

This week was particularly exciting for me as I accompanied Damian on a "media round" over the road at Millbank, where all the main news agencies (ITN, Sky, BBC etc) all have mini studious so as to conveniently interview westminster figures. Then later that day I helped him prepare for an appearance on Question Time, held in Swansea, and spent the evening watching it on TV and cheering him on!

Weekend now, so a good opportunity to catch up on sleep, work, laundry, and Im starting to update my CV with a view to putting in applications for various graduate recruiters in London - seems a bit premature perhaps, but the last month has gone by so quickly I know that the year will be concluded all too soon...!