People often ask me what it is like to be an MP. Interestingly, no-one ever asked me that question when I was a retailer for 30 years.
I do however say that it is very similar to most jobs with the exception of one or two things. First of all, like most jobs it can be exciting, boring, mundane, fulfilling and also exhilarating.
There are however two differences to most jobs. First of all it is a lifestyle more than a job and secondly, unlike most people who watch history unfolding before your eyes, MPs are often part of history or indeed making the history itself. This last month was no exception.
The death of Baroness Thatcher this last month meant many things to many people.
No matter where you stand on that spectrum, the Baroness had an effect on everyone’s lives. Whilst I have never personally met her, I was privileged and honoured to be invited to the funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral but more privileged to also be invited to the Reception of the Body, a private service of just over 100 people with the Thatcher family and her closest friends and advisors.
This was when her body was laid in St. Mary’s Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster prior to her funeral the day after. This chapel has a special place in my heart because it was where Elaine and I were married almost 2 years ago. The service was incredibly simple but incredibly moving. For me, the son of a boilermaker and seamstress having the opportunity to pay my respects to one of the world’s greatest politicians who championed and facilitated aspiration and self worth for people from my background was, humbling to say the least. A moment of history which I was a part of and which will stay with me forever.