Few have described the Blaydon Constituency better than Dave in his maiden speech to the House of Commons:
Most people recognise Blaydon when they are told "Yes, that is where the races were held", and some even know the date, 9 June 1862, from the first verse of the Geordie national anthem. But my constituency consists of much more than Blaydon town. Few people realise that the constituency stretches for many miles, through some of Britain's most beautiful countryside. It encompasses towns and villages with a rich history and diversity all their own. That diversity has enabled it to develop into the place where red kites have been reintroduced into the wild, right next to the biggest shopping centre in Europe, while at the entrance to the constituency is the symbol of the renaissance of the North-East, the angel of the north.
Our part of the world was the cradle of the industrial revolution. We dug the coal, we built the railways, we made the steel. We developed communities that had great self-belief. We had our own welfare state before Beveridge was all out of short pants. We built houses, sports clubs and libraries. We encouraged people to take up musical instruments, and we learnt to care for one another when no one else would. Above all, we became what we are today: an area whose roots are embedded in the world of hard work - from chemicals to coal mining, from farming to forestry, from building earth movers to building ships.
Like many other parts of the country, we are privileged to have thousands of public sector workers living and working in Blaydon. Contrary to the view of far too many in the House, these people are not bowler-hatted bureaucrats counting beans or shuffling papers; they are the glue that holds our society together. They are the people who tidy up when things go wrong in our lives - when our parents cannot take care of themselves, when our child goes off the way, when we are ill, when our house is on fire, when our whole life is in danger of falling around us - and who do all the thousands of other things that public servants do day in, day out, 365 nights and days of the year.
Return to Homepage