I pay tribute to Kirstene Hair and my hon. Friend Marsha De Cordova for their maiden speeches. I pay particular tribute to my hon. Friend, who, as I was, was one of the unexpected winners that brought my party some steps closer to being the party of government.
With the greatest of respect to right hon. and hon. colleagues, I have sometimes been a bit disappointed by my experiences as a new Member of Parliament. The first disappointment I commented on was the lack of answers to questions and our inability to hear either during Prime Minister’s questions. Indeed, a tweet I made on the subject was viewed more than half a million times and retweeted 10,000 times by the public, who no doubt share that concern. The fact that I have to take part in this debate today as a new Member without the ability to do anything substantive as an Opposition Member until, allegedly, October, is adding to my disappointment.
I, like many others, have looked towards politics since childhood as the route to achieving change in this country. I, like many other Members, have worked hard for years, election after election, to be elected to this House to try to achieve that change. Like in the children’s novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, I always assumed that if I made it to the end of the yellow brick road to this place I might find the wonderful wizard of government. Instead, much like Dorothy and her obviously disappointed dog, Toto, I have failed to find a Government of mandates, leadership or stature and instead, behind the curtain, I have found a group of middle-aged men protecting their egos in a bid to take over from a lame duck Prime Minister.