Mike Hill MP: I’m buzzing with hope and positivity

Rodney Bickerstaffe, former general secretary of Unison, pictured in 2000.
Rodney Bickerstaffe, former general secretary of Unison, pictured in 2000.

Having just returned from the Labour Party Conference, I’m still buzzing with positivity and hope for the future of our country.

Even the most casual of observers can’t have failed to notice the dramatic contrast between Labour’s annual gathering and that of the Conservatives. In all honesty, the Tory conference was so dull and had so many empty seats I was almost feeling sorry for them. I’ve been to livelier wakes.

The stark contrast in moods in the two parties is backed up by recent demographics. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg tweeted that the average age of a Tory Party member is 71. After thorough research it was revealed that it’s actually 72. Compare that to the Labour Party which has been attracting young members by the thousands.

Labour has presented an exciting manifesto and a positive outlook for our country. People of all ages are flocking back to Labour, but it’s younger voters who are most excited by the prospect of a Labour government. I’m confident they won’t have very long to wait.

l Back to local matters, I was talking to a good friend this week who no longer lives in the town, but still regularly visits Seaton Carew and the Marina.

He was entertaining me with some great stories of how him and his young mates used to go to Seaton during their school holidays and spend the whole day there searching for lost golf balls, swimming at the Blue Lagoon and generally having a great time.

I had to chuckle that every time they went they managed to lose their bus fares home on the slot machines.

My mate also remembers a place called Mac’s Magic, which still has a place in his heart alongside renting deck chairs and queuing for ice cream and fish and chips. It was all good craic.

But what I was intrigued to hear was that my pal reckons that recent improvements at Seaton have made it the best it’s been for years.

He’s genuinely excited about the further improvements to Seaton and reckons he’ll be first in the queue for one of the proposed beach huts. I’m looking forward to him getting the kettle on for my first visit.

l It was so sad to hear this week of the death of my old friend Rodney Bickerstaffe.

Although Rodney will rightly be praised as one of Britain’s greatest union leaders, I’ll always think of him as just a really good bloke.

Bick was always a true gentleman and was always eloquent and I’m so pleased I paid tribute to him in my maiden speech.

There are millions of people in our country who can thank him for his campaigning work, especially those who have benefitted from the introduction of the minimum wage. Had it not been for Bick’s persistence and ability to argue the case, we would probably still be waiting to see it introduced.

Rest in peace old friend.