The General Election 2017 was a big disappointment for us Conservatives. There’s no getting round that fact. I’d have liked it a lot more if Theresa May had said sorry to everyone when she first opened her mouth to speak as she stood outside Number Ten last Friday morning.
But, the Conservatives still won – both on numbers of votes and numbers of seats in parliament – and are the ones who should be governing the country. I’m an optimist, and I hope that all involved will learn from their mistakes, and ultimately do a better job because of it all. Listening and learning must become the mantra for those who lead.
Locally, we had lost, albeit by an annoyingly smallish amount (if 400 people had voted differently, I wouldn’t be writing this). But, losing is losing. The campaign office needs packing up and emptying once the election is over, and this is a grim reality to face when you have lost.
I was scrubbing away at removing something sticky from the big windows of the office when a random man came in off the street. He basically wanted to pass on how sorry he was that Richard has lost his seat. He went on to explain that he was actually a Labour supporter at heart, but nevertheless thought Bedford had lost someone decent. He went on to list why he thought Richard had done a good job for both the town and country as a whole – his grilling of the boss Richard Green being a high point – and we thanked him for his sentiments. Then, he said, “We don’t kill people over politics in this country”, and left.
I really appreciated that guy for doing that. I’ve no idea who he was, as I forgot to ask his name, but he reminded me of something important to hold onto, at a time when I was still feeling quite raw. We live in a democracy. We have it good. Even when elections don’t go the way we might hope. We have more in common than party politics.