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

I agree, but I am not going to dwell on that. It is for my memoirs—luckily, I am not going to publish them!

I have been lucky in Hillingdon. The previous Member representing Ruislip Northwood was John Wilkinson, and today there is my hon. Friend Mr Hurd and John McDonnell—and we have always got on. We may be political opponents, but we have become friends and we work together for our constituents in Hillingdon. I believe our constituents like and respect that and that they do not like too much adversarial stuff.

I sometimes think when I am watching a rugby match that people are putting everything into the game, but at the end of it, they shake hands and probably go and share a beer together. Some people outside the House probably do not realise that although we have our arguments and discussions that can sometimes get quite heated, we are basically on the same side, trying to help our people.

I have some great memories. I remember going to the smoking room, which was empty apart from Edward Heath and Tony Benn. They asked me to come and join them as they talked about Europe. Both opposed their own party’s particular view on the subject, and I was like a bystander, just listening to them. In many ways, that is how I feel my experience here has been. When I first came into this place, I described it as an “out of body experience”. It has been like a dream. I have a feeling that in six months’ time, waking up in a hospital bed somewhere, I might wonder whether it was all a dream. There might be no trace of anything that went on, no trace in Hansard or anywhere else.

It was sad that my father, Alec, never saw me elected to this place, but I was delighted that my mother did. She was an ardent royalist and was particularly proud of my role as Treasurer of Her Majesty’s Household. The fact that I, the grandson of teachers and traders in Uxbridge, was travelling in a coach on a state occasion shows that it is possible to achieve a lot in this country, irrespective of background.

I look forward to engaging and training up my successor. I sometimes have a feeling that it is a bit like “Dr Who”, with MPs morphing into something else. I can already feel my hair getting a bit blonder and I seem to have found an encyclopaedic knowledge of Horace—we never know.

Finally, I would like to thank my long-serving secretary, Delma Beebe, who was with me from the start. She was sent to look after me and make sure I did not make too many mistakes. Luckily, I have not. I thank, too, my wife Kate, my sons Peter and David and my daughter Elizabeth, and, most of all, the people of my constituency for giving me this great opportunity to serve in the best place in the UK, serving the greatest country in the world.