Our Man in West­min­ster

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View - By Damian Green

Ihave had the plea­sure over the past week of at­tend­ing two different events which I en­joy be­cause they plug the mod­ern world into his­tory, show­ing the sense of con­ti­nu­ity which is so strong here in Kent. The first was the Kent County Show, and the sec­ond the an­nual civic ser­vice in Ten­ter­den.

The Kent County Show’s roots only go back to the 19th cen­tury, but de­spite the many mod­ern ad­di­tions, and the fact that it is now a huge at­trac­tion for petrol­heads with its plethora of mo­torised ve­hi­cles, it is still recog­nis­ably an agri­cul­tural show.

I was there on Fri­day, which took some in­ge­nu­ity af­ter two lor­ries man­aged to crash into each other at 3.30am at Junc­tion 7, the main en­try point for the show for those of us com­ing from the east of the county.

There was a de­gree of lo­cal knowl­edge one-up­man­ship as each of us ex­plained how we had avoided the eight-mile tail­back on the mo­tor­way!

I at­tend the show as the MP for Ash­ford, be­cause I want to sup­port our farm­ers and oth­ers work­ing in re­lated in­dus­tries. But the truth is I would go any­way, be­cause it of­fers a huge amount of gen­tle fun, and the op­por­tu­nity to buy a sig­nif­i­cant amount of re­ally good food.

The Ten­ter­den civic ser­vice, like its coun­ter­part in Ash­ford, takes place in a splen­did his­toric church, and al­lows the wider com­mu­nity to give some thanks to those who go of­ten about the of­ten thank­less task of lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

I en­joyed the point where the town coun­cil­lors pledge to ex­er­cise their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties widely, and the peo­ple then pledge in re­turn to sup­port them in their work.

Th­ese are two time­less events, which re­mind me how lucky we are in Kent to have solid in­sti­tu­tions which last for cen­turies, and which still pro­vide nec­es­sary ser­vices in the 21st cen­tury.

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