Saturday, 18 October 2008

My week - Thursday

Thursday: 9am start for the Bill Committee, where we managed to polish off remaining clauses in about 40 minutes. Then DIUS questions, where as a supplementary to a question about the credibility of scientific research I asked about animal testing, i.e. OK, it's great that the UK is a pioneer in scientific research but let's not take our eye off the ball in terms of trying to find alternatives for animal tests wherever possible.

Then it was Ed M's statement on climate change, and another opportunity to bob up, this time to ask what the new Department would be doing to encourage people to lead more sustainable lifestyles. Have to say, was very impressed by Miliband/ Ed Junior. He's obviously got to grips with his new brief really quickly, but wasn't afraid to admit there were some things he hadn't got his head round yet.

As for the statement: the UK will be adopting an 80% target on emissions (and amending the Climate Change Bill to this effect); will come down hard on the energy companies if they don't sort out their pricing (and in particularly their over-charging of poorer people on pre-payment meters); and will support feed-in tariffs for small electricity generation. All good stuff. Obviously adopting an 80% target and meeting it aren't the same thing, but it will be binding.

In the afternoon I recorded a piece for the ITV's The West This Week politics programme, on prostitution. (Although they don't seem to have put it on their website yet, and this link is for last week's programme). Bit frustrating in that the panel included a sex worker, Angelina, who wasn't on the streets, wasn't on drugs and claimed to be very happy in her job, which she had been doing for eight years. So she was there to defend prostitution, but what she was talking about - though not quite Belle de Jour - was a million miles removed from the drug-addicted women who work the streets of east Bristol, or the victims of sex-trafficking (on which subject, excellent article in last week's Guardian magazine).

Briefly popped into a Score4Africa reception in the Lords, organised by the Foreign Policy Centre, and collared Kwame Kwei-Armah, former Casualty actor. Eventually got home at about 10pm, and stayed up till 1am doing research for the next day's speeches...

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