There’s a rhythm to life in politics. It’s no different from the changing seasons or the rotation of Christian festivals. The political world has its own yearly calendar that seems to come around and around, year after year.
As I write this month’s column the news is dominated by the appalling events in Salisbury where a military grade nerve agent was deliberately unleashed on two targets, at the same time putting many others at potential risk.
“All politics is local” is a well-used phrase in the United States, normally associated with a famous Congressman Tip O’Neill. He used it to remind himself that he should never forget that local people elected him.
Who could have predicted that 2017 would have been such a rollercoaster of a political year? Wildly changing opinion polls, an unexpected General Election, the emergence of fake news, Donald Trump’s tweets, ongoing Brexit negotiations.
A century ago today the battlefields of Europe were still ablaze with a bloody conflict that engulfed the whole world. Around the Belgian town of Ypres the brutal Battle of Passchendaele was still grinding onwards – an offensive that would see over half-a-million casualties on both sides.
This is my first column since the General Election and I would like to use the opportunity to thank all those residents who put their trust in me to continue representing the constituency in Westminster.