I don’t always agree with our MP.
I’ve deliberatively taken a few days before deciding to write about her comments regarding the election of Donald Trump in America. I wanted time to get over the shock. I had to reflect my deep-rooted antipathy to a man who is so openly antagonistic to people of colour, the disabled, and admits to being predatory towards women. I struggle to accept that there are millions of Americans who see him differently.
I was still reeling when I went into a local café for a coffee.
‘Do you need the receipt’, the young man asked.
‘No thank you – I don’t think we’re going to fall out over a cup of coffee.’
‘Given what’s going on in the world, it’s not the day to be falling out,’ I said.
‘You’re right,’ he said. ‘We’re better than that.’
It was what I needed to hear.
For we are better than that. Whatever political mayhem is sweeping across Europe and America, we do not have to embrace the bigotry and xenophobia that seems to underpin so much of it. I understand the disenchantment with mainstream politics, but it does not have to take us down such dangerous roads.
We might think it won’t touch us, here in Marlborough. But toxic opinions can trickle down to the most respectable High Street and must be challenged. We do not have to reflect a hostility to those who are different or disadvantaged. We are – indeed – better than that.
Which is why I hope that our MP, who has expressed her own horror at the US election result, will stick to her views. Her government might insist that the ‘Special Relationship’ is more important than challenging a man who – as she sees it – is unfit for office. But maybe Claire Perry can find the bottle to stand up in Parliament and resist any hint of appeasement that might come from No.10