Domestic workers in Ecuador need to respect their work to change attitudes, according to a long-term live-in help. Lenny Quirós, 48, has been a domestic worker for more than 20 years but chooses never to work more than two years for the same employer as a puertas a dentro, or “behind-doors”, as a live-in help is called.
Reading back on this interview I did for Cambridge University’s Varsity, I get the impression I did not like this man much…or that he gave me a very hard time trying to interview him. Still, a fascinating figure.
Talking to Peter Tatchell is like trying to get blood from a stone, which is surprising considering he has so much to say. Like all successful campaigners, Tatchell has an agenda and a ruthless knack for shaping his media coverage, something that he does not fail to implement in this particular instance in the plush environs of one of the Union’s reception rooms. Born in Australia in 1952, Tatchell escaped conscription to the Vietnam War in 1971, coming to England on the eve of the Gay Liberation Front movement in which he became a prominent member. Finishing his education in London, Tatchell became a freelance journalist focusing on foreign news, before 22 years of involvement in Labour politics during which he was defeated as the Labour candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey election.
Olivia Crellin interrogates Annie Machon on her life after MI5.
Annie Machon, former MI5 agent, is the image of glamour and guts. Her blonde hair, of the bombshell variety, frames a face that, far from being that of the reserved and stealthy spook, exudes energy, enthusiasm, and openness. Unlike her former partner, the whistleblower David Shayler, Machon seems to have emerged relatively unscathed from the years immediately following the couple’s attempts to reveal serious MI5 blunders in 1996.
Now working as a self-professed “author, media pundit, journalist, campaigner and prominent public speaker”, she has made a “new way of life” out of selling herself, her past, and her story. And she’s doing a good job.