Wednesday, 30 June 2010

This morning I sat in the lecture theatre at the Royal Institute of British Architects listening to Lord Adair Turner explain why the 2nd progress report of the Climate Change Committee to Parliament is not as positive as it might have been. Note, this presentation was delivered to interested parties, (the WI acknowledged as one of them) including one or two MPs, I suspect, but still very few women to be found among the dark suited men.

Anyway, since the first progress report, at least, in essence, little progress has actually been made. Any cuts in CO2 emissions that have been made are in great part due to the recession rather than the implementation of policies from the committee. But, whatever this committee decides it needs to happen now; whatever policies government champion, the requirements now, and in the future, will be incentives for lifestyle changes across the population. Now isn't that just what the WI has been advocating and putting into practice for years? Of course it is! Incentives from government and local authorities and better, simpler information on 'green living' might help, of course.

In the meantime, how about NFWI federations putting on eco driving lessons? That is, learning how not to drive using the usual break and accelerate method when travelling from A - B; driving in a more sustainable fashion, using less fuel, resulting in fewer traffic jams!

Monday, 28 June 2010

A long overdue return to the Blog. The WI is certainly a busy place to be! We’re into another WI year now, the 96th, having held the AGM at the beginning of June. Cardiff was the venue this year; perhaps you’ve seen the photographs and read of the highlights on our website – – an entertainment.

I had the privilege of being elected for a second year to serve as the NFWI Chair and indeed, all committee chairmen remain as last year.

WI members will have read in the magazine, WI Life, some of what I have been up to in recent weeks. A particular treat was going to the V&A Museum to view the beautiful quilts in the museum’s latest exhibition. This is because the V&A boasts its own WI and the curator of the 1700 – 2010 exhibition is the president of that WI. The 30 London WIs were invited and we really did have a great time.

All I do on behalf of the WI is a pleasure but some is tinged with sadness and nothing more so than the launch of our latest petition campaign – Mums Matter. Based on the desperate need to attain Millennium Development Goal No.5, this petition calls upon government to keep its promise to reduce maternal deaths with funding and midwifery and health training in countries where it is most needed. I speak about my trip to Malawi, whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself. Do sign the petition, download one from the WI website and ask everyone you know to sign it.