I was catching a train out of London last night back to Nottingham. I’d settled into my seat and was phoning home. Just as the train started to pull away a man sat opposite me who was clearly out of breath from running to catch the train. As I can’t help myself I started chatting, “you were lucky to make it then?” He nodded as he was still out of breath.
As he got his breath back we started to chat. He’d overheard a bit of my conversation and so we started talking about families and working in London etc. Slowly we moved onto the reason why we were in London – our jobs. It turns out that he was an MP.
I didn’t want to force him to talk shop, but I did mention this blog and my thoughts behind it to try and gauge his opinions – and away we went. Rarely have I spent such an enjoyable two hours – the train journey flew by as we discussed a wide variety of topics – starting with independent MPs, but covering transport policy, European views on recycling, what our dads did for a living, riots, Gordon Brown’s legacy, organic food and traffic lights.
I’m not going to repeat any of the conversation here – I didn’t ask him if it was public consumption – but although we didn’t necessarily agree on everything (as an MP for 17 years he didn’t believe that independents could make a lot of changes if elected) what was obvious was the passion for the job and the sincerity and dedication that he gave to it.
Amidst all the discussions there have been lately (and although I’ve never tried to fan the flames, that includes some here), what we have to remember is that some of the individuals involved in parliament are excellent at their jobs and are worthy of our respect and thanks.
I don’t know how much he claimed on expenses as I didn’t ask, but that just didn’t seem important last night anyway. It was very inspiring to meet him … and if this idea does go anywhere I will consider myself lucky to meet more people like him.
Who was it? It was Alan Simpson (Lab) Nottingham South.