Wrote this on Sunday. Will blog re-elections this afternoon. Really enjoyed the CCF conference on Saturday.
I missed the first few talks and walked in just as my surrogate son broke my heart. He was standing on the stage telling the audience, callously, from behind his microphone, that he had two surrogate mothers, me and Debi Jones??!! Where did she come from?
Actually I know, she is a Liverpool candidate and it’s very spooky how similar Debi and I are. I think we could almost finish each other's sentences!
Debi and I both had our noses pushed out as not only did we discover that our son plays fast and lose with our maternal son-less affections, but he had also brought his real mum and dad (Pam and Dave) along to hear him speak.
Surrogacy only works when the real mum isn’t around!
Our boy spoke about the difficult early days experienced within the Conservative party in attempting to unite Christian belief and politics. He told the audience how Tim Montgomerie, founder of CCF, along with David Burrowes MP, had found it hard to convince Christian churches to take the leap of faith into the world of politics. And yet now, it was almost a given, that politics is a lesser entity without the support and influence of belief.
He spoke about the difficult balance between power and principle, of Wilberforce and his principled, successful battle to abolish slavery.
Debi was up next and spoke of the journey from her 'normal' life to becoming a Parliamentary candidate and the sacrifices and the work she had to put in. Not excluding the personal financial sacrifice made by her and her family; she spoke with passion about how her faith kept her going and knowing she was there for all the right reasons. Debi’s mum, Ruth, who is 84, was also there.
And then it was my turn.
I spoke of how putting Christian values into practice, i.e. speaking the truth and fighting for principle, often meant putting my head above the parapet and quite often getting it shot off.
I wasn't short of examples to cite.
I provided a synopsis of the abortion battle, Smeargate and the latest expenses fiasco.
It was un-canny how our three non-rehearsed talks linked and flowed on from each other.
If there was anyone in the audience who fancied being an MP, they probably didn't by the end!
As I talked, I realised that possibly the hardest thing about being an MP and a Christian, is the battle between power and truth, over and above power and principle. Truth and principle are two very different things.
When I finished I was hugged almost to the point of Cyanosis by Ruth, who is the most incredible 84yr old I have ever come across, and completely adorable.
I had ordered a cab. My cab driver was Barry and on my arrival we had chatted all the way from Lime St to Oakfield Rd. I told him how I had been born only a few hundred yards away and spend my first few years in my Nana’s house, 12 Breck Rd. She had lived there up until I was 20 and I had spent many happy days with my wonderful Nana. The picture on the top of this blog of me holding the teddy and bottle was taken in her back yard.
After Barry dropped me off I arranged for him to come back and collect me.
After the conference, when I got into the cab, he told me he had a surprise for me and that’s why he had asked me to come out ten minutes before I had wanted.
He took me to 12 Breck, which had been knocked down to make way for Georgeson’s Garage. But I could still look at the familiar view and the bus stop across the green triangle of grass, which I used to stare at from my bedroom window. And even though when I looked back it was now a forecourt with cars parked on it, I could still see a yard and a wooden swing.
When we got to the station Barry only charged me the £6.50 that he had on the way there.
When I questioned that surely it must be more he replied “no Queen (L’pool expression), the trip down memory lane was on me”.
Principles and the truth are rare and precious things in politics today. Keep fighting.
...only started reading your blog through the expenses stories but must admit that you appear sincere, enthusiastic and geniuine.
I too find it a challenge being a christian at work as well as the day to day challenges of raising a family.
Its funny when you look at the political map and see that we in the north east are about the only place still showing faith in labour.
Briefly though the reasons are:
Both working Cop & office clerk, nice house, two holidays a year, kids doing great in great schools and parents comfortably retired.
Mr Cameron certainly doesn't scare me so if it is time for a change then lets see what he can do....all the very best to him...and you.