Sunday, March 12, 2006

Commonwealth Day.

I've kept quiet about this up until now... but it is too late to un-invite me. So here's the hot news.
Tomorrow I shall be giving a speech in Westminster Abbey for the 2006 Commonwealth Observance. I think it will be going out live on the World Service. In attendance will be leaders from all over the world, faith leaders, and HRH Charles Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Sadly not in attendance will be Prime Minister Tony Blair. Which is a damn shame because I was so hoping to get to talk to him. He pulled out a week ago.

Never mind. I have been invited to give a short speech as a representative of July 7th survivors( only 100 words) which will then be reflected upon by a Muslim and Christian faith leader. Four other speakers will talk about overcoming disability, living with H.I.V and cancer, the South Asia earthquake - issues that affect people in the Commonwealth nations. The theme this year is 'Health and Vitality'. I asked the organisers why July 7th. They replied they had wanted to touch on the day as it had affected not just Londoners but people all over the world ( this is true, there were scores of different nationalities, especially the south-bound Piccadilly to Heathrow train when it was bombed). I asked why they picked me. They said they had been reading my blog since I wrote for the BBC back in July as a 'citizen journalist'. I called back and pointed out in a rather agonised conversation with the Director of the Observance that I was not really a big fan of the present Government and whilst keen to honour the courage of my fellow passengers and those involved on the day, not very keen to be the chirpy bomb victim in front of the PM, since I considered his illegal war had been instrumental in the bombs going off in the first place. The organisers said it didn't matter, they still wanted me to speak. Which was very sweet of them, and it is an honour to be asked. I have promsed my parents that I will behave.

This is my speech in full:

''The London bombings did not come out of the blue: they were caused by the actions of people. Yet hope can follow horror. I am proud to be part of a group of survivors of all ages, of different races and faiths - my fellow passengers.

We were strangers before July 7th, but when the bomb exploded we looked after each other in the smoke and the dark. Later we met, set up a website, and became friends. My fellow passrngers show how people can respond to terror with calmness, kindness and unity. Helping each other, we continue our journey.''

CONGREGATION: '' We affirm our belief in justice for everyone and peace between peoples and nations''

After the Westminster Abbey ceremony ( which Mum and Dad are going to attend) I am going to a reception ( no plus ones for that, sadly) which is where I will meet Charles and Camilla. I have bought a new skirt and jacket, cleaned behind my ears and polished my boots.
I wonder who else will be there? I wonder who will be the PM's representative, as he isn't coming ?( Funny, I was told he's attended pretty much every other year).

Anyway, I shall let you know what happens...


Blogger Holly Finch said...

really good luck tomorrow my will be great!
most disappointed that our great leader is crying off, but there will be plenty of his little messengers there I'm sure.

You go girl! Have a great day, you deserve it

March 12, 2006 10:06 pm  
Anonymous Richard said...

It could be that after the last embarassing defeat, he needs to be in the Commons who are considering the Lords amemdments to the ID cards bill (again!).

But even so, it is just around the corner...

March 12, 2006 11:29 pm  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

I hope it goes really well for you and that you enjoy yourself. Good luck.

March 13, 2006 4:26 am  
Blogger BondBloke said...

Have a great day and enjoy every moment as you deserve to...

March 13, 2006 1:19 pm  
Blogger Aidan said...

Nicely subtle, succinct speech. Hope all went, well, "well" for you and everyone there. Best of...

March 14, 2006 2:47 am  

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