“Surprised you didn’t get the scoop from TP” was the message that reached me
first after Teresa Pearce MP announced her decision not to put herself up for
re-election; to which the reply was “I don’t like to betray confidences”.
Not that Teresa gave me advance notice very directly but my Teresa Pearce MP email folder in Outlook contains 3,147 messages and I don’t think any of them are about politics. Some must be I suppose but very few.
Most of them are about family, hers and mine, and the day to day problems of life. illness, old age, death, the pleasures of being a grandparent and in her case the perils of being an MP in an age of ill-tempered intolerance.
One would have to be very insensitive indeed to not read into those emails what was on Teresa’s mind.
She was fond of saying that “all political careers end in failure” which in her case is most definitely not the case unless you count not having solved the problems of homelessness etc. which are so dear to her heart. Hardly her fault and she would always do her best.
Since her announcement Social Media locally has been swamped with praise for her constituency work in Erith & Thamesmead with almost zero detractors but she was more than a good constituency MP, to me she has been a very good friend too.
She knew I didn’t share all her political views but I think we very often shared values. I doubt I’ve met her more than two dozen times, five, or maybe it was six, when she stood by me helping to take on a police force that can only be described as politically motivated. Even now she is still fighting one such battle on my behalf and I’m hopeful that one day she will manage to convince the police that they have got themselves into the most awful muddle.
When I first met Teresa on social occasions I worried that we would fall out over whatever was the burning issue of the day but nothing approaching that ever happened, Teresa really is the most lovely of ladies.
When I first had problems with Newham Social Services in 2015 she stepped straight in and spoke to the appropriate people to great effect. When the police put out a Press Release to say they were going to prosecute me for what someone else hadn’t done she was on to them before I even knew it to tell them that their knickers were well and truly in a twist and when I was unwell for seven weeks Teresa volunteered to be my personal shopper.
Teresa really is the most delightful and kindest friend one could ever hope for who just happens to be a damned good MP too.
I owe her a lot and wish her a happy retirement when the time comes. To my mind she deserves an award of some sort for services beyond the call of duty.