graham menzies foundation
January 23rd 2008
Interview with Nicholas Bourne, AM, leader of the Opposition
You are a founding member of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Cross Party group on Eating Disorders and you are a trustee of the Graham Menzies Foundation… We’d like to ask you a few questions.
Today’s youth often feel detached and alienated from politics… it’s fantastic that you are campaigning for a health issue that significantly affects young people.
Are you particularly interested in this demographic?
I think politicians do have a responsibility to ensure that younger people are engaged with national politics. Young people feel passionate about many issues whether on global poverty, the environment or health issues, and it is our responsibility to ensure that younger people are involved in political campaigning, hopefully on a Party basis, but certainly on issues that they see as important.
Do you know anybody who has been affected by an eating disorder?
I don’t know anybody well who has been affected by an eating disorder, but certainly relatives of friends have been affected and are still affected.
It’s quite unusual to find a man campaigning for an issue which is perceived as largely feminine. Any comment?
It might be unusual to find a man campaigning for such an issue, though there are quite a few male Assembly Members at our inaugural meeting and although the issue may affect more women than men, it certainly does affect men and I suspect there is under reporting of men with eating disorders, perhaps because of the idea that it somehow affects women exclusively or largely.
What is the situation regarding eating disorders in your constituency?
I know throughout my constituency that there are people suffering from eating disorders and there is sometimes a problem with access to services because of its rural nature and the fact that it is the furthest area away from England where a lot of services that Welsh people access are based.
Are you self conscious about your own appearance/body image?
I suppose, like everybody else, I am self conscious about my own appearance and body image, but it is not something that I give a massive amount of thought too.
What’s your favourite meal?