In childhood Alice Walker was shot in the eye by her brother “it caused a lot of suffering” she says of the accident “but it gave me a gift of seeing in a different way”.
Manchester. 7.30am. I press send and the script whizzes through fibre optics across the Pennines to West Yorkshire Playhouse. I leave the Malmaison in Manchester for the verdant heartlands of Lancashire. Accrington.
It’s local democracy week and I’m host of a Question Time Event. The panellists are Chief superintendent Bob Eastwood, Philanthropist Ilyas Khan , Executive Director of Children and young People Helen Denton, dialogue development officer at Blackburn Cathedral Anjum Anwar MBE and BBC journalist Chris Rider.
The questions were presented by the young people in the audience and were of high quality. “Why are schools not forced to recycle when homes are? ….What are the panel’s views on central government’s proposals for expanding the academies programme?” and my favourite question “Will any of our grandchildren ever have the chance to see tigers in the world?”
Tangentially in the early hours of the next morning at City Inn in Leeds I write this blog and and hear activist Alice Walker on The World Service – the world's local radio. She sums up how I felt about the dynamic young questioners. Walker has a book of poetry in which are the lines “The World has changed/Wake up and smell the possibility”