Backbench Business — Valedictory Debate

Part of Elections for Positions in the House – in the House of Commons am 3:12 pm ar 26 Mawrth 2015.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Randall John Randall Ceidwadwyr, Uxbridge and South Ruislip 3:12, 26 Mawrth 2015

It is an honour to follow Mr Doran. I served on his Administration Committee until a PowerPoint presentation on own-brand cookies led me to resign, as I could not cope with the excitement anymore.

I do not know how you slept last night, Mr Speaker, but I have to admit that I did not sleep very well. I knew this was going to be my last speech and I wanted to make it a great oration, but I have worked out that I am what I am—a son of the suburbs. We have heard all these statesmen speaking and people with vast experience, and it is no good my trying to do something I am not any good at. I remember in my by-election, Matthew Parris, the columnist, described me as the missing link. On the pictures of the ascent of man from ape to homo sapiens, I was somewhere in the middle apparently, stooping, with, in those days, an orange hairy chest, or beard, or whatever it was—rather like an orang-utan.

I have tried my best, and I could never have imagined, 18 years ago, standing here now as an MP. I had no ambitions to enter this place at all. It was sad circumstances that led me to being elected and find myself standing here. To represent the area I have always lived and worked in has been the greatest privilege indeed, and of course it has been an easy task to be an advocate for the area in Middlesex I represent. Nothing much has changed since the description I gave in my maiden speech, apart from the fact that RAF Uxbridge sadly has closed—although the Boundary Commission made sure I got RAF Northolt for the last five years. Equally, I feel privileged to have represented an area with such an impressive and proud history.

The job of an MP has changed over the years I have been here. I have attended weighty issues of state. Who could forget the Iraq debate, when I had to resign as Opposition Whip because I wanted to oppose the Government? That seems strange, as the Government was the other side, but there we are. That is what happened. I have also been involved in less weighty issues, but what others might call less important can still be just as important to many people and are often just as fascinating.

One reason why I have enjoyed this job—I hope I have not been bad at it—is that I find people, including constituents, colleagues and everybody else, fascinating. That is what makes the job good. Even when I was in the Whips Office, it was talking to colleagues that made it fun.