Great turnout at the two services I attended locally on Remembrance Sunday. I'm sure the Queen will have been devastated to be unable to lead the country in remembrance this year but it's great to see some pictures since of her looking well. God bless her.
I get a lot of correspondence about illegal immigration, especially when the weather is unseasonably good and large numbers of small boats are encouraged to make the always perilous journey across the English Channel. The images are simply appalling.
What appears to be a straightforward matter is very far from it - if it were not so you can be sure it would have been sorted by now. Shouty, simplistic, solutions mouthed by populist politicians and the tabloid press - all of whom know full well the challenges - are not helpful.
The nationality and borders bill going through now will I believe allow us to control the achingly dreadful situation in the Channel. We must continue to take people genuinely in need of asylum but have to turn off the criminally facilitated stream of migrants crossing illegally from France.
I'm continuing to receive a modest amount of email about sleaze, lobbying and second jobs for MPs. I abstained on the Owen Patterson measure proposed by the government that kicked all this off. I would have opposed it completely but I did think that some compassion and mitigation might have been applied in the severity of the sanction on Mr Paterson given the related loss of his poor wife in tragic circumstances. I was troubled also about the lack of a proper appeal mechanism which is highly unusual in any professional regulatory structure.
The PM, to his credit, has now reversed the Patterson measure and apologised for how it was handled. Separately, a measure passed on Wednesday should lead to our standards system being more robust. However, I think it's important to plead that by any objective measure the UK compares favourably to similar jurisdictions on things like corruption and transparency.
My 'second job' is being a Naval Reservist doctor as has been clear in the register of interests since I was elected and available to voters. They are at liberty to take a positive or negative view of it. I'm very proud to serve in the Reserves. It doesn't interfere with being a MP as, in the main, my duties are carried out when the House isn't sitting, This year has been unusual because I was mobilized for a few weeks - whilst parliament was largely shut down - to lead vaccination teams. The last time I was mobilized was in 2003 to serve as a battle group MO in Iraq. Bit of an irony really since I opposed the war.