Back with a jolt

Having completed my first full day of shadowing some weeks ago I had been eager to get back to Westminster to continue my journey into the world of politics.

The recess had meant there had been little emanating from the capital to feed my growing political appetite.

The silly seasons did throw up a few tidbits however. I thought David Milliband’s “house meeting guide” was particularly hilarious and had it not been for the equally funny accompanying you tube video they might have actually been able to spin the whole thing as tongue in cheek. Perhaps future tittle might have included “How to organise a piss up in a brewery” and “How to recruit friends and control people.”

All frivolity aside my return to the thick of it came with an unexpected jolt.
On my way home from Bestival Music Festival I got a phone call from Ben Gummer MP for Ipswich, whose election campaign had provided me with the perfect crash course in grass roots politics.

He explained that due to voting commitments in the House he was no longer able to attend the launch of a memorandum of understanding on Hate Crimes at the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality’s (ISCRE) AGM scheduled for the next day. He asked whether I could go and deliver a message on his behalf.

The next day Ben sent me a copy of his letter to the AGM and asked me how my speech was coming along and informed me that Simon Wooley the head of OBV would be the keynote speaker at the event. So no pressure then. Needless to say I quickly puts some words of my own down on paper to bookend Ben’s letter.

Shortly before leaving for Ipswich Town Hall I spoke with ISCRE who had prepared some briefing notes for me to prepare my speech. So it was that I came came to only get my hands on the full content of the speech a matter of minutes before the event began.

I took my seat at the front of the packed hall next to Simon and began scribbling and annotating furiously.

Luckily the timely reappearance of the prodigal young dance group gave the respite I needed to calm the nerves before taking to the floor.

Those familiar with public speaking will know that delivering your own words even with a great deal of preparation can be a daunting task. Delivering the words of others at short notice is harder still.

Well I got through it without out too much stammering or stumbling and even managed a few laughs.

Simon’s speech was inspirational as ever and had the room buzzing for rest of the evening.

All in all it was a tremendous experience and I was glad not to have been the headline act. A supporting role suited me just fine, but it gave me taste of where I want to be in a few years time.

It was great to meet so many people from the local community and I hope to continue to be involved with these organisations going forwards.

The next day I was up early to get the train down to Westminster for my second day of shadowing Eric Ollerenshaw, but that’s a story for another blog…

Explore posts in the same categories: Ben Gummer, Budget, Coalition, Community, Eric Ollerenshaw, General Election, ISCRE, MP Shadow, OBV, Peter Boland, politics, Westminster

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