It has been another remarkable few weeks in Politics, perhaps culminating in the election of Donald Trump as President elect of the United States in the early hours of Wednsday morning.
I will not be joining the chorus of those protesting from this side of the Atlantic. Mr Trump tapped into a deep well of feeling against the political classes in the US that I too have felt here in the UK for some time, in fact propelling me to become a Member of Parliament. Clearly I disagree with a great deal of what he says and stands for. But I cannot help but feel that our standards have, not in all cases but generally, become so low in Politics that we allow the Donald Trumps of this world to run for office and succeed, simply because we have left the field vacant for them by not being good enough for people to vote for. He is perhaps an inevitable consequence of lower and lower voter turn out, poorer quality and negative campaigning that has become the hallmark of politics both sides of the Atlantic.
We must work so much harder to truly represent people – not just our cliques, parties or interests, but be true democrats and servants of the people. I wish Mr Trump all the best.
Locally I hosted the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javidon a visit to Plymouth where I invited him to come and see some of the great progress we are making. I particularly spent time with him at the Railway Station; I am determined to deliver on rail, and a new station will be a part of that. We have applied for funding that will be announced in the Autumn budget, when we will see if we have been successful.
I couldn’t hide my disappointment with the MoD’s decision to move 29 Commando out of the Royal Citadel in 2024. It was my home for many happy years, and has been an iconic place for all Plymothians for hundreds of years. I was heartened by the MoD’s commitment to making Plymouth a ‘superbase’, keeping 29 Commando in the City, and becoming home to other Commando Units from elsewhere in the country; it is clear ultimately Plymouth will actually benefit significantly from this week’s announcements.
I have also been making a film for the BBC for Remembrance about what it means to be a Veteran in 2016. I did a lot of the filming in Plymouth; it will be on the Victoria Derbyshire show on Monday morning on BBC 1.
Busy day in the Constituency tomorrow including a surgery. If you would like an appointment for anything – even just a chat (I like those ones the most!), please do get in touch in the usual ways. Alternatively please use the Social Media buttons below.