A Day in the Life of…Lord Lipsey

To ensure the smooth running of Higher  Education Institutions such as Trinity Laban, we have a Board of Governors who hold our Staff and Executives to account. The Governors, along with our Executives (including our Principal, Heads of Faculty and Heads of Marketing, Development, Facilities, and all things Business) and your SU team meet on a regular basis. We all check that everything is as it should be within Trinity Laban, any problems are solved and we are constantly looking towards the future to ensure our students are given the best opportunities and experiences possible.

The Board of Governors is chaired by Lord Lipsey; a wonderfully friendly man who loves attending all genres of Trinity Laban performances. Attending Board of Governors meetings are always more fun when he is there as he is clearly so passionate about music and dance (and has a wicked sense of humour); have a read of his wee biog on the TL website.

In between being interviewed on Radio 4 and sitting on the Labour benches in the House of Lords, he found time to write about his day last week.

 

A Day in the Life of Lord Lipsey

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Oh the life of a lord! My day today started at 5.00 am but joyously. Why 5.00am? Well because once other people’s day starts it is pretty difficult to concentrate on one thing. My public statement about exposing the government’s plans to penalise elderly people who make a slip in applying for benefits has been picked up by the Daily Telegraph on its front page and by the Daily Mail. These are unlikely papers to be backing me, since I am a loyal Labour peer – but never mind: in politics you take your allies where you find them.

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Powerful though the press is, parliament ultimately decides. So I start preparing to capitalise on the coverage. I write what I hope is a devastating speech for when we debate the matter in the Lords in the afternoon. Since not every peer with a vote will be in the chamber to listen to it, I send a personal note to all Lords and Ladies soliciting their support. I ask Age UK which is backing my campaign against the provision to do the same. Then LBC ring up asking me to make the case again on their breakfast programme with Nick Ferrari. Though now getting a little bored with the sound of my own voice, I do so. The secret of these campaigns is repetition: people have to hear your message several times before they really take it on board.So I am glad to see that The Times has printed a little piece by me on care, banging home my points.

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At 8.00am I remember the dog. Brenda is a good and patient greyhound, but she cannot be kept waiting too long for her morning stroll.That is one of the reasons I have her- she stops me spending my entire life in communication with my computer!

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I have to get into the Lords before business starts at 2.30pm for a meeting of Labour peers on the future of the House. In the meantime, I have a little read of the draft strategic plan for the Sidney Nolan Trust, near my home in Wales, homage to the great Australian artist which I am temporarily chair. I ring my publisher to fix a meeting to discuss what my next book will be – having sold all of 400 copies of my last one, my autobiography. I even fit a few bits of duty for Trinity Laban in – approving the meeting of the last board, a superbly accurate if not absolutely fascinating rendition by our registrar, the great Dave Dowland. I prepare to meet the board members individually tomorrow to discuss our strategy. And with great pleasure I arrange to come to the cello masterclass on Friday; the instrument’s sonorities are the ideal soother at the end of the week.

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The afternoon, and into the chamber for the debate on the care vote. The minister, Freddie Howe and I argue over the language of the care legislation. Naturally, I think I win the argument hands down. Alas! the vote is not confined to those who were in the chamber to hear the debate. 198 peers vote with me – hooray! 224 vote with him – boo! You win some and you lose some.

The debate strolls on until “dinner hour” – 7.30pm. By then I have had enough for the day. Home to feed the dog and my partner; racing replay from Weatherby and an early cut.

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A huge thank you to Lord Lipsey for writing this. He attends so many TL performances; go say Hello and have a chat (and a glass of wine) with a Lord.

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