Wanting to Listen, but ……
I was at an All Party Parliament Group meeting on Youth Affairs recently. It was a forum focused around giving the young people the opportunity to ask questions, express their concerns and their general point of view. I found it rather fascinating that the one and a half hour event started with brief comments from a lady from a Youth body who mentioned what the type of questions, comments would be useful to her. The facilitate went on to speak. About half an hour later an MP from the opposition came in and spoke a bit and then took questions.
The MP for Children and Families then came in for the last hour. He settled down was briefly introduced then spoken for about 15 minutes or more. He seemed like a very nice man and sincere man who kept saying that he wanted to listen to what he the young people had to say. After he’s initially introduction, which must have lasted for more than 5 minutes, he went on to say that he would like to say a few things in anticipation of the questions that the young people would probably want to ask. By the time he finished talking there were only about 10 minutes of the allocated half hour left which meant that very few of the young people had the opportunity to ask questions,
Bemusingly one of the young people pointed out that he didn’t understand most of what the Minister had said. Before long a bell went of and refused to stop ringing signally the end of the event. The young people were told to write down questions that they may have for the minister so that he could answer them at a later date.
I left thinking that I wish he had really and truly listened since he said he wanted to hear what the young people had to say.
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