I went to Paddy Ridsdale's funeral at St Mary The Boltons yesterday.
For almost four decades, Harwich returned her husband, Sir Julian Ridsdale, as our local MP. They were very much a political double act, Dame Paddy doing so much of the constituency case work. It's a measure of quite how effective she was that almost two decades later, constituents still talk fondly of what she did to help them.
Margaret Thatcher, who Sir Julian did so much to support, was there too.
As we sang "The day thou gavest", I reflected on the fact that Sir Julian and Paddy together won ten General Elections in this constituency in a row. While I won by a mere 920 votes in 2005, Sir Julian bequeathed a majority of 15,000 when he stood down in 1992.
The thought put me in my place. I hope to be as good a constituency MP as Sir Julian and Paddy were.
"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
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