I was fortunate to attend a fundraising dinner in London recently for the MP for Plymouth, Johnny Mercer in London. Held at a private members club it was an opportunity for Jonny to do some much needed fundraising to help run and hold his seat in future elections. His backstory is fascinating having joined the Army and rising to the rank of Captain in the 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery he served in three tours of Afghanistan before retiring at the end of 2013.
After leaving the Army he decided he wanted to help continue to make a change and so decided to become an MP, and having never voted before, he stood as a Conservative for the Plymouth Moor View constituency and was left largely alone to run his own campaign as he was considered third most likely to win after Labour and UKIP. However through grit and determination he managed to win on a slim majority, something he was able to increase in the 2017 elections. He worked on building sites during his campaign and focused on speaking to everyone as he realised the people he needed to speak to were those disinterested in politics and didn’t vote.
It was refreshing to speak to someone my age who was making a key difference to the success of our country. Someone who speaks up for our military while improving the lives for his constituents. It just shows that with some grit and determination the ability to be an MP is within the grasp of most of us irrespective of party politics and funding. Certainly, Johnny and his wife Felicity bring some much needed modernisation and energy not only to the party but to politics in general.
I have always been surprised how disinterested the younger generation are in politics leaving socialist tendencies to dominate, something that may be appealing as a student but become less so as they get jobs, pay tax and raise a family. With the opposition being led by Jeremy Corbyn my concerns for our country and my children’s generation that would be left with the damage the country would inevitably suffer under a Corbyn government mean I need to look for hope in MPs such as Johnny.
I don’t think it means that someone needs to vote for a Conservative specifically but certainly for the person representing their interests and best suited to improve their prospects. We just need to ensure the government raises the profile of these up and coming MPs and the great work they are doing while supporting the next generation of young, enthusiastic MPs waiting to be elected.