23 July 2024

A new dawn

Well, that was a bit of a gripping night of politics (if you like that sort of thing).

I am proud to say I made it through the night last Thursday, having only snoozed at some point between 2am and 3am, but that’s generally the most boring part before most of the declarations start coming in thick and fast.

Fuelled by cheesy Wotsits (other brands of maize snack are available), craft ale, and, later in the night, strong Irish coffee, I saw in the dawn of a new political era. I updated the Gazette website at about 6am, and finally went to bed at 8am for a few hours.

The results in our area were a clear demonstration, were it needed, that your vote really does count. Local MP Graham Stuart came as close as he likely ever will to losing his seat, securing victory by just 124 votes.

Just a few more people turning out or lending their votes elsewhere could have tipped the balance the other way, and the Beverley and Holderness constituency could have had a Labour MP for the first time since its creation in 1997.

In the local elections, Jon Dimberline’s victory in South East Holderness raised eyebrows as he became the first Reform UK councillor in the area and indeed on East Riding Council.

Some people on social media launched into quite furious debate as to the merits or otherwise of standing under the Reform banner, and I guess we’ll never know whether Jon would have been as successful had he simply stood as an independent – but what is undeniable is that he is passionate about his local area and boosting the local economy, as you can read on Page 7 of this week’s edition.

As we said a couple of weeks ago, if you don’t vote or get involved in the political process, then you really don’t have much of a basis to complain.

So, interesting times ahead, both for this region and nationally. There’s been a lot said about doing things differently from now on – with less of the sniping, backstabbing and arguing just for the sake of it – and working together, across political divides, for the good of the country and its people.

This is what people really want, I think. They don’t want to turn on the news and see MPs in the Commons braying and jeering like overgrown schoolkids – they want them to treat the issues of the day with the gravity they deserve.

Let’s see if this actually happens, or whether they’ll be back to slinging insults at each other at the despatch box before long…