11 SEP 2015

My summer as an intern

For the past three months, Charlie Evans from Carmarthen has been working as an intern in the Whitland office of Simon Hart MP.

The 22-year-old from Llangunnor is in his final year at Exeter University studying economics and politics. Here's how he got on:

"It has been a rather politics-mad few months for me, as I am nearing the end of an internship with Simon Hart MP. I have always had an intense love for politics, missing university lectures to sit on the sofa watching the Daily Politics (yes, call me sad), engaging in hour-long debates with my father around the dinner table with me doing a rather questionable Ed Miliband impression and much more. But none of this really means anything unless this passion is transcended into actual action.

"And I would like to think that my action has helped a number of Simon's constituents, and the problems that the people of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire face are abundantly clear. A Welsh NHS that is letting us all down; people in rural communities struggling to get decent access to broadband and people having to cut through the red tape in the Department of Work and Pensions to get access to benefits. It has been an eye-opening experience, because even though constituents face very real problems, you have an MP and his team who is ready to help, is able to help, and who gets some great results.

"If I saw this sort of article written by anyone else at the start of the year, I would have been left feeling slightly nauseous. I would not have been able to see the appeal of a young person immersing himself in party politics, a system which I thought exists to clamp down on independence of thought. But following a debate on student radio, where I criticised the work of MPs and everything the political class stood for, I was challenged to get involved with politics.

"All students know of the generous Easter holidays we get, so I sent Simon a tweet asking to get on board the campaign, just helping out a few hours here or there. Whilst campaigning, I did not see a public that was apathetic. I did not see an MP who was out-of-touch, but rather was actually quite normal, who could chat effectively with constituents even if there were political disagreements. This experience challenged some of my perceived beliefs of politicians and two months later I found myself in Westminster on a week's work experience.

"Parliament was quite extraordinary. The pomp and celebrity of Parliament that you see on TV is taken away when you are actually in the Palace of Westminster: when Nick Clegg just walks past with another work experience kid like myself, the 20-year old SNP MP Mhairi Black frantically scribbles down notes outside a meeting room by herself, or when Mark Darcy, one of my favourite political broadcasters stands in the same elevator as you. I understand the criticisms Westminster faces, as a bubble completely detached from the reality of the lives that ordinary people live. To an extent, these criticisms are valid.

"But if you have a constituency MP who is tuned in with the struggles people face then we are in good hands. And there are plenty of struggles that Simon's constituents are going through; from not getting access to broadband to long delays for a cancer diagnosis; from seeing their business struggling to adapt to a changing economy to a parent who has been told they must fork out for their child's school bus pass. We have not always got the result we wanted but I can make one reassurance - Simon and his team will always try their utmost to get a result for his constituents, regardless of background and regardless of whether he received your vote or not last May."

Working with Simon in both Westminster and Whitland has made this young sceptic become a believer in our political system."

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Contact Simon

Write:

Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Or

15, St John St
Whitland
Carmarthenshire
SA34 0AN

Phone:

01994 242002
or 0207 219 3000

Email:

simon.hart.mp@parliament.uk

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