It would be hard to exaggerate what a great feeling it is to be back in Parliament - re-elected for the constituency I love, and with no reduction in the number of people voting for me. (Phew!) But even more important, it is the first time in my Parliamentary lifetime that we have been in power and with a worthwhile workmanlike majority.  The other parties (bar the SNP) are in disarray and will stay that way for some time. It is not for us to pry into their private grief.

As that great Conservative thinker, Macleod said “The Socialists may dream their dreams, and the Liberals may scheme their schemes, but WE have work to do. And it started this week with a large and rich and challenging Queens Speech, and then with a huge majority for the Brexit Bill. We have the mandate of the people- of al kinds of people from all over Britain- and we will now deliver on our promise with regard to Brexit (by 31 January) and then with regard to a wide and radical set of domestic proposals.

Its going to be very hard work. I will be chairing Bill Committees, starting with the massive Environment Bill, which will take up a great deal of time. I am continuing, and hope to develop further, my interest in the Armed Forces, security and defence, which of course are both constituency and personal interests; and I hope to play  my part in restoring the public’s faith in Parliament and the Constitution, and in running the House of Commons itself. It is so good to know that in those and so many other ways we will at last be able to do stuff. Parliament has been in gridlock- dither, delay, destruct- for three years. Now at last we can really get on with the things the people voted for.

For now, we are just glad to be back. Back representing the people of North Wiltshire, and back helpng to support a Government with a challenging agenda ahead of it, but for once with the majority necessary to get things done.

So I wish you all a Very happy Christmas and New Year, and can do little better than leave you with the mellow baritone of the Attorney General, Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP reading ‘Twas the Night before Christmas. It is well worth a listen!