Thursday, May 18, 2006
I had managed to stop counting my blessings for the past three days as I was still buzzing from visiting the Houses of Parliament. It was so amazing – a feeling of togetherness, unity, ‘solidarity’ (mentioned three times on their platform!) with the nurses. Then we went to the lobby, a wonderful historic room with glistening stained glass windows with seven gothic passageways off the beautifully tiled central area, with us lobbyists sitting on lovely sofas waiting for our MPs. It is no wonder that the beautiful Noun begat the verb, ‘to lobby’. It was busy with nurses seeing their MPs, campaigning to save the NHS from all over the country (England that is). The lobby is very church-like, with mosaics of the four saints of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales in New Romantic style. Virtually as soon as the mosaics were finished, they must have been out of date I thought to myself, thinking about the Bloody Sunday protests of 1916. How much of history is interpreted correctly even if every word in the houses of parliament was documented? There were statues of the eighteenth and nineteenth prime ministers; no female subjects of course, apart from angels on the arms of the saints. The impact of women, apart from the nurses and angels was evident only from the damage a suffragette had done by chaining herself to one of the statue’s swords. But the very fact that I was sitting there, as John Reid, the new Home Secretary was being interviewed – the Health Secretary did not lose her job – gave me confidence. I am a part of history and not insignificant. My ‘leaders’ at work talk about ‘Change Management’. I create change – and in a good way.