Tour is a vital part of the job
I am sorry to return to the issue of the cancellation of our MP's annual constituency perambulation as a result of security fears, heightened because she is female.
This continues to give me considerable concern since contact with the electorate is surely an essential ingredient of democracy.
Photo-opportunities are no substitute for actual face-to-face contact.
It also suggests that some areas of north Northumberland are ‘no-go’ areas as far as our MP is concerned.
With this in mind, I sought the views of our Police and Crime Commissioner, who has been vocal on the issue of violence to women, only to receive a response that suggests she, or at least her office, is selective in their espousal of this cause.
However, on a journey south of the Tyne, I noticed a press report indicating that not only was the MP for Stockton South holding a surgery in Thornaby, but he had cycled there, stopping en route at nine destinations to meet councillors, community groups, residents and workers.
Clearly, he had not been deterred by any threats, except perhaps those posed by other, less considerate road users.
I would not suggest our MP should cycle round her constituency – Stockton is a much more geographically compact area, and rather flatter, but if other MPs can go round their constituencies without being exposed to unacceptable risk, why can’t ours?
Something is seriously wrong somewhere.