8 December

Today’s Advent Calendar posting is a simple thank you.

MPs and MEPs rely on their staff to do their jobs. Few members of the public feel a great deal of empathy when politicians say that their jobs are demanding, difficult jobs. That’s fair enough really, nobody forced any of us to do what we do and, as I keep reminding myself and anyone else who will listen, it is a privilege. But it remains a fact. You are away from your family a lot, you do a lot of travelling, early mornings, late nights and long days in between.

In modern politics what makes it possible is the team of advisors and assistants who work for you, who share the highs and lows and the pressures that go with the territory.

As of today we begin to go our separate ways until January - the Parliament moves to Strasbourg next week and by the time we come back we are dispersed with some of the team taking stored up leave or heading for special family occasions far away.

So Eva, Jim, Sean, Jesse, Fiona and Ben - thank you all for the work you do and the support you give me in my role.

Happy holidays