On Friday night I spoke to the annual dinner of a Conservative Association. The 80 people present included professionals, senior business executives and entrepreneurs as well as retired people who had worked hard and saved during their working years. There was little old money, some new money, and a lot of people who just take responsibility for their own lives by working and saving for their retirement.
Just as in my own constituency, I found them well informed about the political and business worlds, concerned for the future of our country, and keen to offer public service. Several of them were Councillors, and many of them wish to see improvements in their local area which will help the many. I am happy to represent people like them, and to work with them to try improve the UK’s public services and economic performance.
It is true that they think we need a new relationship with the EU, because they see directly that in many areas now the UK cannot take the action it needs to take owing to EU law and controls. It is also true that there is a range of opinions about how to tackle it, from those who just want to leave tomorrow to those who wish to negotiate a sophisticated package that enhances trade and allows good relations on a whole range of matters with the neighbours.
I see having people like these members as a strength for any political party. They are a source of good advice as well as people who do a lot to ensure the smooth running of their local communities.