My politics are formed by my upbringing, by my experiences and to some extent by happy coincidences.
My dad, whilst a teacher in a primary school in the midst of a Council estate, would ‘redistribute wealth’ by taking books that we’d read to school, much to our annoyance at the time it has to be said!
35 years later, thanks to the power of Facebook, I have had conversations with some of those who shared my books. He really did change lives by these seemingly small acts.
He was the “best story teller, everyone wanted to be in Mr Owens class 🙂and encouraged us to get into IT when it was all so new and unknown to us at that time: 🙂 very loved and respected teacher, stig of the dump best story”
My mum was a social worker and again had an unshakeable belief in people, their worth and their right to have the same chances in life that we had.
Social media again brought me to tears when an old school friend got in touch on seeing that I was standing for election
I can also see your mum in you, such a lovely lady I worked with for many years in Powys Social Services – you are a credit to her.”
My parents, through the way they lived their lives, instilled in me a determination to play my part in doing what I can to make a difference. For the last 30 years or so I have done this through volunteering, being a trustee, working in the Third sector. It’s not easy being a campaigner.
Then the General Election 2015 happened and I felt a real despair. So just two years ago, I joined the Labour Party for this reason:
“by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few; where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe and where we live together freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.”
It was with these principles that I’d been raised. I live in Adamsdown, in Cardiff Central and in 2015 we’d just bucked the trend and elected a Labour MP, Jo Stevens. I got drawn in and quite quickly realised that local politics might be for me!
So here I am less than two weeks away from polling day, hoping for the opportunity to continue to make a difference and in a large part it’s down to my parents and for that I thank them.