Found myself in my old stomping ground of Bethnal Green yesterday doing a talk at the Young Foundation chaired by YF associate director and Labour candidate and dead cert to be next MP for the parliamentary seat Rushanara Ali.
There were quite a few who turned up including my pal Ayub Ali and Young Foundation fellow and Brick Lane expert Sean Carey. However I felt it was a bit harsh that they conducted the whole thing over lunch – in a university setting that would’ve been a legitimate activity to be done in work time.
The subject of the talk and ensuing discussion was about youff culture and I pondered how long you can get away with doing youth studies when you’re mid thirties with an increasing number of grey hairs. Some interesting points came up like heritage tourism, selling (commercialism) and selling-out (betraying youth-cultural ideals). I have to say however the four of us along with former Tower Hamlets Housing supremo David Edgar were the oldest people in the room. Aparently given the time of year lots of people are on their hols so it was mostly the young’uns or interns (unfortunate term post-Lewinsky) that turned up to nibble their sandwiches and add their two penny-worth, blackberries perched beside them.
Policy-wonk-land is making me feel old; it’s not just the policemen who look younger these days.