Tag Archives: wimbledon

Paul Kohler and restorative justice

I switched on my car radio earlier this week and was surprised to hear a familiar voice.  It was Paul Kohler, the Lib Dem PPC in our top target constituency of Wimbledon. In fact I had been in a meeting with him the evening before when he was talking about his campaigning strategies.

But Paul was not engaging in a political debate on this occasion. Instead he was discussing a horrific incident that had involved him and his family some years ago. The series title is “Forgiveness: Stories from the Front Line” and each programme features someone who has had to, as the programme notes state, “struggle with forgiveness in order to be free”.

One day Paul answered his front door and was pushed over by four masked men asking him where the money was. Apparently they had gone to the wrong house, but they attacked and beat him badly, and also threatened his wife. Unknown to them Paul’s daughter and her boyfriend were in the house and they managed to call the police, who came quite promptly and probably saved Paul’s life. Two of the intruders were arrested immediately and the others were tracked down later. All four were given prison sentences.

The crux of the story was not this awful experience but what followed. The family were invited to take part in a restorative justice meeting with one of the assailants. It is this encounter that Paul describes in a way that I found powerful and moving. You really do need to listen to it to understand why. The meeting ended with the two men shaking hands, and Paul realising that he could forgive him.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Tennis success for Cllr Paul Kohler, Wimbledon PPC

Paul is not, alas, playing in the matches going on at the moment, but when he saw that the All England Club had hosted refugees from Ukraine at the Championships he wrote to the AELTC reminding them that we have refugees from other countries in the Merton and suggested that they should give them the opportunity to enjoy the tennis as well.

The Club have replied to him saying that that they had reflected on what he had said and were delighted to now be hosting refugees from Afghanistan and Syria who were living in Merton and Wandsworth on the ‘middle Sunday‘ of the Championships – and providing transport to help them get there.

Paul Kohler said:

This is a great example of community engagement by  the All England club. There are some areas we disagree with them on – notably their proposal to build on Metropolitan Open Land but I am so pleased that they have right thing. I hope our guests in the UK will be able to see some great tennis and our British players getting through to later rounds in the tournament.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Andy Murray, Virginia Wade and my experience of a small dose of Everyday Sexism

So last night I tweeted this:

In response to this Times front page:

andy murray

It got a fair few retweets, including from Graham Linehan (@Glinner) and Danny Baker (@Prodnose), and my timeline started to get busy. Responses fell into two camps.

First, Pedants (and I mean this affectionately here), who pointed out it isn’t just Virginia Wade who’s been written …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 24 Comments
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