I am sure my forefathers were turning in their graves in Nottingham Road Cemetery when news reached them that we now have a Conservative MP here in Mansfield.
Even though many of us saw it coming, it is still a shock that Sir Alan Meale has lost his seat, particularly as his party had actually gained seats elsewhere in the country.
After all, our town is one of the poorest communities in the country. These are the usual heartlands for the Labour Party.
I think the returning officer was also unable to take in the result as she originally pronounced Sir Alan as the victor and had to quickly correct herself.
It’s often said it’s Labour which loses General Elections, rather than that Conservatives that triumph.
In the last three General Elections people have not had sufficient confidence in Labour leaders Messrs Brown, Miliband and Corbyn and as a consequence voters turned to the Tories, even though they often have little in common with their candidates.
Personalities can be as important as political policies to some people. Here in our town, in my opinion, Sir Alan never really connected with the people of Mansfield. Unlike our previous Labour MPs, he is not “one of us”, in that he had not lived in these parts prior to being selected as our representative at Westminster, and so maybe found it hard to discover what makes Mansfielders tick.
I believe he has decided not to stand again in any future election. It would be interesting to hear what Sir Alan thinks have been his greatest achievements as our MP.
So the search now starts for the Labour Party to find a new candidate. I do hope the local members have the exclusive right to pick their new representative, and that they first of all look locally to see if there is anyone suitable to fly their flag.
Could I congratulate Ben Bradley on his election as our MP. If he is able to improve our town’s quality of life and economic wellbeing then who knows he might retain his seat in the next election which may well be held in a matter of months, might it?
There is a mountain of work to be done to get Mansfield moving. He has the advantage that he has similar policies to the leaders of the district and county councils as well as central Government and should therefore be able to quickly establish fruitful working relationships with these other movers and shakers.
Let’s hope so.
Berry Hill Road,