Entries tagged with “Ed Balls”.

Adam has finally finished editing the film he took at his meeting with Ed Balls and Ed Miliband last February.  He has posted a copy on YouTube.

Last week Adam went to London to meet Ed Balls and Ed Miliband as part of Every Disabled Child Matters campaign to make the main political parties take notice of its ‘Manifesto for Change.’  Adam asked the Eds about cuts in local area spending and discrimination against disabled people in education.  See here for EDCM’s report of the meeting.

Adam has posted his interview with Ed on YouTube:

On Monday I went to the House of Commons in London.  I interviewed Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, in his office.  I felt very nervous to start off with whilst I was sitting in the waiting area.


I went outside the Department to film my introduction and while we were filming his car drew up.  Ed Balls came over and shook my hand.  I felt excited.  I then went back to the waiting area.  One of Ed’s assistants came down to collect us and we went in the elevator to the top floor where his office was.  We then waited in another waiting area.

Whilst I was in the waiting area I got talking to a woman who wanted to involve me in  making a film in Hollywood.  She is connected to the National Childrens Bureau and her name is Emma Rodwell.  Emma has a connection with someone in Hollywood and she emailed him about what I was doing interviewing Ed Balls and suggested it would be good to involve me in making a Hollywood film about disabled people.  I should receive some minutes from the meeting.  Emma then helped me to prepare for my interview with Ed.

Adam interviews Ed Balls #1 - London 22/06/2009

Suddenly I heard Ed ask “Where’s Adam?”  A woman came and escorted my mum, me and Emma into Ed’s office.  Ed introduced me to a Times newspaper Political Editor: Francis Elliott, the Chief Political Correspondent for the Times.  He shook my hand and said “hello.”  He then asked me if he could take some pictures of me interviewing Ed.  I agreed to have the pictures taken.  I then prepared myself for the interview.

I stated talking before Emma pressed the record button so I had to start again.  Once we got going I asked how the department was involving young disabled people in making decisions and listening to their experiences.  He told me that an organisation called Wizz Kids comes into his department on Thursdays and provides training on safety, wheelchair users, provision of wheelchairs for the disabled.

I cannot remember my next question but I do remember asking him about how a disabled person should have fun and have access to sport.  We discussed disability access for playgrounds and the importance of them having disabled access and making sure that disabled people have access to sport in schools.

This interviews was very interactive because Ed asked me questions and let me talk and listened.  This was unlike my interiew with Hugh Bayley who just talked to me rather than being interactive.  As a disabled person it is very important that people are interactive with you.

Ed had an appointment at Downing Street but he said “Oh, I can leave Gordon until later.”  That made me feel SO important.  Then he also said that I could put the interview up on YouTube.  I felt excited that I had Ed’s permission to put his interview on the internet.

Adam interviews Ed Balls #2 - London 22/06/2009

I then travelled down in the lift with Ed Balls.  I felt quite honoured.  He talked to me about meeting my mum’s schoolfriend and having lunch with her as we left the department.  I couldn’t believe that, after all this time, I got to interview the real Ed Balls!

On Wednesday Adam was invited to attend the launch of a new internet service, Family Fund Extra, which took place at the House of Commons.  In addition, Adam’s friends at the Family Fund said he could bring his family so we all got a trip down to London.  When we arrived Eleanor decided to help out with the catering (we weren’t sure if this was purely to be helpful or to ensure she was close to the parliamentary cakes) .

Eleanor the House of Commons caterer - London 25/02/09

Guest speaker at the launch was Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, and Adam was delighted that Ed remembered him from their brief meeting last year.  Only an old cynic like myself would suggest this might be the result of a thorough briefing from his aides before the event (although I suspect I wasn’t entirely alone in wondering whether Ed did actually buy all his Christmas presents at Argos).

However even I was impressed that, after his speech, Ed made time to talk to Adam (and Eleanor) and ask how he was getting on.  He’s quite a charmer for someone with a background in economics.  But then Adam is quite a charmer too and it was noticeable that people were keen to get their picture taken with him and his famous smile.  One of these was our Member of Parliament, Hugh Bayley.  See his web site: www.hughbayley.labour.co.uk

Adam’s own account of his visit has been published on the Family Fund website:
Adam’s day at the House of Commons

Today Adam got to meet the Secretary of State for Education, Children and Families, and put him on the spot with a couple of Jeremy Paxman-type questions.  Ed was visiting the offices of the Family Fund charity and Adam, along with some other young people, had been invited to attend.

Penny & Adam tell Ed what he should do - York 16/4/2008

Adam asked him:

“I am pleased the Government increased the Family Fund grant to include 16 and 17 year olds.  What else are you doing to improve opportunities for disabled teenagers?”

Ed’s answer was high on aspirations but rather low on promised action.  Adam also asked:

“Will the Government accept the Early Day Motion by MPs and extend winter fuel payments to families with disabled children?”

The Secretary refused to say if he backed this measure although we did learn that he likes Elvis Presley and had been to EuroDisney on two occasions.

Altogether a very entertaining event and Ed Balls is obviously a very accomplished politician, very adept at handling people and their difficult questions.  I predict he will go far.  And so will Adam (though, hopefully, in a more useful profession).