Is impatience a virtue?

This morning I went into Gateshead to listen to Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer give a speech about his vision for Britain.

There was a lot of great content in the speech and the headlines are already being run on the news, so I won’t dwell on them. It was actually a small point of detail that struck me. Let me explain why this particular detail stood out…

Regular readers of my blog will know that I usually write it on a Sunday morning. Yesterday I didn’t. One reason was that it was my birthday and I had a lot going on. The other reason was that I had some thoughts buzzing around my head that I hadn’t worked out how to express. You see, I wanted to write about the idea of “patience”, and my struggle with it!

Work on Sandringham Gardens to improve drainage

Being a councillor has required me to have a lot of patience. It’s not just that many of the meetings I have to attend are quite dull, there are always ways to liven up a boring meeting. It’s more the waiting for things to get done. For example one of the first substantial pieces of case work I took on was for the residents of Sandringham Gardens. They had been suffering from poor drainage on their street for years and years. I told them that I would do absolutely everything I could to get it sorted for them. I never expected it to be so difficult. There has been so much work needed behind the scenes to find workable and cost-effective solutions, and to secure the commitments to spend the necessary budget. But after 3 years waiting the work is finally happening!

Today Keir Starmer said:

I’m impatient to get things done. I can see what is wrong with Britain and I want to fix it.

Sir Keir Starmer, speaking in Gateshead, 11th July 2022

I’m sure you can see why this struck a cord with me. In that respect we’re cut from the same cloth. We are people temperamentally unsuited to just letting things drift without any action. We want to get on with the job. We want to do whatever we can to improve people’s lives. Yes, Keir has a bigger job than mine, and he wants to be Prime Minister. But as Labour politicians we share this conviction: it is actually impatience rather than patience, that is a virtue.

I’m sure you’ll agree that right now there’s lots about daily life in our country that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. Please do drop me a line to let me know what your local priorities are and I’ll do all I can to spur some action.

PS: to all those groups of residents I’m currently working with on issues that have been ongoing for a long time without a solution yet – hang in there – I’m on it – we’ll get there!

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