Politicians are defined by a lot more than politics. In fact, politicians without what these days is called a 'hinterland' cannot usually connect with voters at all. One of my 'points of contact' - born of personal experience - is with people who are struck down with Bowel Cancer. Nothing in the political world rewards me as much as the sort of email I received this morning.
I felt that I had to make contact to say a big thank you. You are probably wondering what the hell for. I was told that I had Bowel Cancer during the early part of 2005, and that it would result in me having a permanent stoma. A friend passed on to me the copy of 'Tidings' which happened to be the one with your article in it. I read this with great interest, as your tumour was in the same spot as mine. After reading it, and how you dealt with it, my first thought was "This bloke's a nut case" - but what better role model can anyone ask for!!! so once again Thank you for the inspiration. Hopefully, I will get the chance to meet you one day face to face.
I will give the sender a ring tomorrow. I like to make contact with people who write to me on this issue - and I have met some wonderful people over the last 4 years. Real adversity creates bonds a lot stronger than political loyalties, which so often depend on coercion.