I have been rather quiet since the election result, for a period of reflection.
I came into politics because I was fed up with how others were doing it. It wasn’t working – it wasn’t delivering for Plymouth, mental health sufferers, young people, veterans and many many more. Above all I’m a patriot -I wanted to do it because I wasn’t prepared to stand-by and watch it be done badly.
I’ve worked hard over the last two years. I haven’t done everything that I wanted to, but no-one in Plymouth can deny that our City is now on it’s way to realise that brilliant potential we are so proud of. Gary Streeter has seen many years of political life in Plymouth – he is a fair barometer on these things, and working closely with others we are beginning to see Plymouth truly blossom.
And that is not going to stop. I am determined to deliver on this potential for every single family in Plymouth. Because Plymouth deserves it. For too long, underfunded, ignored, not listened to, as a team of representatives – your representatives, we have begun to change that and I am determined that this trajectory will not be affected. Just this week we have the new trains unveiled, and the new Veteran’s Service in Plymouth that I have delivered.
Still I cannot help but think this positive progress is in danger of being hijacked by poor politics that is not doing the single thing it is designed to do – serve the people.
On my side of the aisle you have colleagues putting extreme pressure on a Prime Minister who is facing the most complex negitiations we have seen as a nation for a generation. In my experience people want BREXIT delivered – I want to let her get on with it, support her all the way, get the best deal we possibly can and move on to the other ‘burning injustices’ she talked about on the steps of No.10 last year.
On the other side of the political divide we have delusions. Delusions about an election ‘victory’ without grasping the concept of the party who wins the most votes and most seats in Parliament actually wins the election. Delusions about promising things to the people of Plymouth that are simply undelivereable in the extreme – taking people for fools.
Recent events have rightly put the spotlight on our Emergency Services, and whether as politicians we do enough to empower, resource – look after these brave people who keep us safe. Let me be clear: we can always do more. The devastating loss of life has been tragic.
But what is also clear is that our police and emergency services are simply brilliant. Police response time inside 8 minutes to the horrific attack on London Bridge; inside one minute to the tragedy at Finsbury Mosque; to rescue as many people as our brave fire service did at Grenfell Tower. These things don’t just happen; they are a result of well-trained, well equipped, motivated and exceptionally capable leaders and teams. We must always question and review resources, powers, tactics and procedures – it is a relentless fight for professional standards. I will always argue for more money and resources for our Emergency Services.
My constituent’s safety in their own homes is top of my priority list. John Clark at Plymouth Community Homes has been fast off the mark on this one – I have been in touch with him – as I regularly am – about properties in my Constituency to check if my Constituents have anything to worry about. They don’t; we must address the towers at Mount Wise and he will be doing that in short order.
Politics belongs to the people, and it is for them that we must deliver. Lets get on and deliver BREXIT – stop talking about replacing the PM or General elections; people are tired of them. Let’s not take people for fools by promising things that simply cannot be delivered for Plymouth. And lets get on with the job of governing – tackling the huge challenges in the NHS, local Government, public sector pay, housing and many many more.
I will resume normal service on Monday after a packed Armed Forces Day on the Hoe and elsewhere. I hope to meet as many of you as I can – please do come over and say hello.