My week: Claire McMaster walks inside a cloud

Monday: It feels as though I have entered a time warp when I hear on BBC Radio 4's Today programme that a cricket tour is being boycotted.

Claire Mcmaster
Claire Mcmaster

John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, has ordered his country's cricket team to cancel their tour of Zimbabwe in September. In a week when Zimbabwe's rate of inflation surged to 3,732 per cent, let's hope other nations and governments follow Howard's lead.

Tuesday: I check the news on BBC Breakfast to watch Kate Griggs, one of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation's recent award winners, being interviewed about her campaign to give dyslexic students better support. She launches No to Failure, an exciting new project designed to champion specialist dyslexia training for teachers that will, in turn, improve children's performance and boost their self-confidence.

As an amateur film buff, I meet with Film Club, the new scheme to bring film into schools, to choose movies to show in its campaigning season. Early contenders include The Constant Gardener, Cry Freedom, Erin Brockovich, Paper Clips and Philadelphia. But I thought that between us we could come up with an even better list, so please send through your bright ideas to

Wednesday: The times they are a-changin'. On the other side of la Manche, Nicolas Sarkozy is inaugurated as France's new president, heralding a new era of fear for the country that showed us so impressively how liberte, egalite and fraternite could be deployed to resist American jingoism. France's youth, BME communities and civil rights organisations will be hoping the Sarko leopard has changed his right-wing spots, but I fear it might be a vain hope.

Thursday: There is hope, however, on this side of the English Channel that Labour might reverse its less than liberal legislation. It's confirmed that Gordon Brown will definitely succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister. His early hints at a written constitution and reconnecting people with politics underline his remarks at the recent Sheila McKechnie award winners' reception and chime with this week's recommendations of the advisory group on campaigning's report.

Friday: I walk inside a cloud and experience a series of other newly commissioned, dramatic installations by Antony Gormley at the Hayward Gallery in London, having been moved by Channel 4's recent excellent documentary featuring the creation of this work.

A sub-plot of the programme was a campaign by local people and the artist to overturn planning objections and raise £2m to save 100 of his Iron Men sculptures on Crosby Beach in Sefton, near Liverpool. Inspired.

- Claire McMaster is chief executive of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation.

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