Thursday, 15 November 2012

Jubilee Debt Campaign Petition comes to westminster and to Number 10 Downing Street

Last week I welcomed to parliament Canon Graham Usher and Pat Griffiths from Hexham Abbey, along with Tim Jones from the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Dr David Golding, CBE, from North-East Call to Action Against Poverty. They brought with them a giant paper chain, signed by 1,300 people in Hexham Abbey. The paper chain is part of a nationwide petition to the Government organised by the Jubilee Debt Campaign. The chain measures over 130 metres long, and will now be joined with other chains from across the country. They are also seen presenting a letter to the PM outside Number 10 Downing Street.
Afterwards, Canon Graham Usher, Rector of Hexham Abbey, said: “Even in the midst of our own recession it is important that we recognise that many of our neighbours around the world are suffering far more. This can be changed. As followers of a God who in the Bible is a God of justice it’s of the utmost importance that we press for change so that others might flourish and live life in all its fullness. I’m proud that so many people have said that this is important by adding a link to this chain that grew at Hexham Abbey.”
For my part I felt that this was all part of successive government's commitment to aid, and recognising in particular that Britain has a role to play in ensuring that others less fortunate than ourselves are looked after. My full comment to the press was as follows:
"I applaud the efforts of the Jubilee campaign to raise awareness of the important issues in the third world. Taking responsibility for the third world is an important recognition that we as a country, and as human beings, are more than a sum of our parts. In Parliament I am proud to have supported an aid budget which has vaccinated more children against disease than there are people in England, that has saved the lives of 50,000 women in childbirth, and has prevented the deaths of 250,000 newborn babies through improved sanitation. I will continue to be a proud supporter of all of those working hard both here and around the world, to support those less fortune than ourselves."

The Journal has today run a piece on this which you can see here:
A huge effort by everyone involved, and my thanks to the famous four who came to Westminster, and who I tried to navigate through the highways and byways of Westminster, in order that they got the pictures and presentation they wanted. I can assure everyone that the chain is genuinely enormous, and far too big for us all to hold up on college green!