When Paul Mc Garry called me to introduce Ed, I wondered if he had fallen on his head and sent him a row of big eye smiley faces. As a newbie Councillor and member, I felt I was probably a bit of light weight to do the job to introduce our party leader. Some serious preparation needed to be done.
Living 540 miles away from him, I had not had the chance to meet the great man yet. But the distance doesn't mean that the issues faced by our people are that different. Last month, I canvassed a mum I knew from nursery. She is a surgical ward nurse. She also cared for her mum before she passed away. She was so sad that she had patients stuck in her ward instead of going home and freeing up the much-needed bed spaces because there were no available home carers for them. The struggle of the care system to find people willing to do the work, the lack of opportunity for family members to do it, Ed knows this all too well and he cares deeply about it.
He is also a man who cares for his shape, I had a chuckle when I landed on the paper about his kimchi and edamame diet, which as an Asian and craving Kimchi when I was pregnant with my youngest, I totally approve! I did remember back in 2010 when I had just dated Michael for a few months, I called him to say that the Belgian Metro had written about Gordon Brown was going bananas...
But Mens Sana in Corpore Sano - a sound mind in a sound body (and yes Christine, it's Latin), when you have to balance a very busy work and family life, I think we can learn a few tricks from Ed and our running man Willie.
As a European in the UK, I love how Ed cares about our place in Europe, and at least he will not have to acknowledge like Rishi that being in the single market is unbelievably special, because Ed knows that already. I hope in the future we will be able to give our country back the opportunities it used to have.
By now you can see what the word I used to guide me through this introduction: it was the 1st one I wrote on my mind map here. [indicates the word "care"] Because the care Ed throughout his life, at work and at home is such a contrast to the routine duty of care failures under the SNP and Tory governments. Uncaring for the NHS, uncaring for our farmers and schools, the list is sadly too long… Meanwhile Ed has care running deep and strong in his blood.
Social Justice, political reform, equality, the environment. In today's United Kingdom, wounded by Brexit, the covid pandemic and cost of living crisis, where the governments are cutting our flesh, creating divisions in our families and hurting the vulnerable, I'm glad that we have Ed as our party leader because I trust him to be the one to be able to heal and nurture our country back to a healthy and blooming future.