Back page: My week - John Knight is perplexed by Ed Miliband

MONDAY: Am 'imprisoned' at home because my car is being repaired after being hit by a lorry in Westminster last Wednesday - the day of the Queen's Speech. I suspect the accident - no injuries, fortunately - was triggered by the over-the-top road closures, helicopters clattering overhead and the heavy security that now accompanies this event. Westminster was gridlocked and edgy. Both the event itself and the security were pure political theatre. The former was the widely expected disappointment, and the latter another example of instilling fear and suspicion.

Tuesday: I am being chased by the editor of this magazine, enquiring if everything is OK with my column. Having seen the output of my fellow diarists, I review their columns against my own. Are you in the slightest bit interested in hearing about life-affirming meetings concerning waste recycling? Do you really give a toss about scrumptious fish lunches with unnamed cabinet ministers? No, I thought not. I will continue as I have done.

Wednesday: Do an interview for Radio 4's You and Yours about the disability equality duty that comes into force in December, which will place new obligations on public bodies regarding disabled people. I focus on the Government's linking of the duty to its decision to disallow government departments' use of the Access to Work scheme - a government fund that supports disabled people to obtain and maintain employment. It's interesting that the Department for Work and Pensions has, from 2003, not used Access to Work funds and that during this time the number of disabled people it employs has fallen.

Finish the day at the dynamic NCVO's AGM and a cerebral lecture by Ed Miliband MP. I will understand it better when I can read a transcript.

He perplexes me, though. He lauds the sector's campaigning role, saying we are "partners" with the Government. I am not so sure. If governments of any political party bring forward daft legislation such as the Welfare Reform Bill and the Mental Health Bill, they will find many of us in the sector are not partners.

Thursday: Off to Edinburgh for a round of staff interviews. My journey to the airport by taxi is hair-raising. Being visibly disabled, I am used to a whole range of comments, but some are more memorable than others.

The taxi driver, well-meaning, I hope, gives voice to his feelings as he helps me out of the taxi. He tells me: "If I was like you, I would slit my throat." Nice. I resist the temptation to slit his.

- John Knight is head of external policy at Leonard Cheshire.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now