Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The ScaryGuy and hugs

This is not Michael Howard but a very interesting scary guy from the USA. Check out the web site but to cut a long story short this chap does not look like your average do-gooder and comes into schools to talk about how we can eliminate prejudice and hatred.

I travelled up to Andover to join in a session during which he spoke to a group of kids on the youth offending programme. To start with the girls were giggly and the lads were sullen and I wasn't sure that he was getting the message across because it was one for which the kids had few reference points but it was amazing to see that the penny had started to drop by the end of the session.

Apparently I was the first UK MP that he had met but I also learnt something. Apparently the average human being needs 16 hugs a day to remain balanced. Scary guy used some audience participation to reach his quota and it was interesting to observe how his male "targets" indulged in a lot of manly slapping on the back to justify the exercise.

Got me thinking though. I certainly don't achieve 16 hugs a day at Westminster and I suspect few politicians do. I don't think Westminster should go as far as replacing daily Prayers with a group hug but it certainly gave food for thought.