I sincerely hope everybody had a very happy Christmas.
It’s good to know that the spirit of goodwill to others is alive and kicking in Hartlepool and that so many people raised money for those less fortunate by donating to the hospice, the foodbanks, homeless and children’s charities to name but a few.
I personally am very grateful to all those people who came to a coffee morning fundraiser at my office for Macmillan Cancer Care and the Trussell Trust Foodbank last Friday.
I’m proud to say as well as taking in lots of food donations we raised a respectable £580.
Thanks to Janet and the team for organising the event.
Walking the dog on Christmas Day I came across an ambulance parked up with hazard lights pulsing away in the darkness; another emergency attended to.
The world doesn’t stop turning just because it’s Christmas and I pay homage to all those emergency NHS staff, care workers, police and firefighters who worked throughout the festive season to look after us.
One thing that never stops irrespective of the time of year, of course, is the internet.
It’s beating heart continued to be heard throughout Christmas Day. Everybody WhatsApping, Instagraming, Facebooking and texting each other with their festive messages – oh and emailing their MP about Brexit.
I don’t mind, after all it’s my job to represent the views of the people on what has been described as the biggest national issue since the Second World War.
We all know that Brexit will be dominating business on my return to Parliament in January and so all comments are welcome, but only from the people who count, my constituents, not those who seek to influence or lobby me from other places or organisations.
Given the volume of emails I’ve had over the last few months we are gathering the data, but one thing both sides of the debate are clear on: the Prime Minister’s deal is not acceptable.
Listening to the Queen on Christmas Day it was as plain as the nose on your face that she was making references to Brexit and the divisiveness it’s causing.
She called on others to respect those with opposing views and said of Jesus that, ‘His message of peace on Earth and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone; it’s needed as much as ever.’
For a politically neutral head of state that’s a powerful message and one which I happen to agree with.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.