Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

THIS has un­doubt­edly been one of the strangest years of my nearly twenty two as an MP.

The shadow of Brexit has been present through­out, push­ing most other is­sues off stage. The divi­sions it has cre­ated and the anx­i­eties it is gen­er­at­ing amongst con­stituents, ir­re­spec­tive of which side of the de­bate they favour, have filled my mail­bag and dom­i­nated my work in Par­lia­ment and the con­stituency.

It has pro­duced much anger and I am of­ten wor­ry­ing that many other is­sues of im­por­tance are be­ing over­looked. We live in a dif­fi­cult and chal­leng­ing world where there is much suf­fer­ing and need that de­mands our at­ten­tion.

The sig­nif­i­cance of Christ­mas, as a re­li­gious fes­ti­val, is that it of­fers us the op­por­tu­nity to em­brace and cel­e­brate the hope of our re­demp­tion, de­spite our short­com­ings, and it car­ries with it the mes­sage of a spir­i­tual peace freely avail­able to all of good­will.

For all its dis­ap­pear­ance un­der lay­ers of com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion, it is a vi­sion that has helped sus­tain us as a na­tion through many gen­er­a­tions and it still lies at the heart of many of the stan­dards we hope for, both from the state and govern­ment and from our neigh­bours and all with whom we work to try to achieve a com­mon good.

So the trou­bles and dif­fer­ences that be­set us here this Christ­mas make its mes­sage all the more im­por­tant. We are for­tu­nate that many will en­deav­our to strive both over Christ­mas and the com­ing year to put those prin­ci­ples into prac­tise in their daily lives, even if we in­evitably of­ten fall short of our as­pi­ra­tions.

So this year in par­tic­u­lar I would like to wish all my con­stituents with­out ex­cep­tion a joy­ous Christ­mas and a Happy New Year. I add with it the hope that the com­ing year will help bring us to­gether in neigh­bourly friend­ship to meet those chal­lenges with cour­tesy and good hu­mour.

Do­minic Grieve MP for Bea­cons­field

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