Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen
Today I am not looking for votes. I am, instead, giving a vote of thanks. I am thanking my colleagues, my staff, my family and indeed my friends for all they have done for me in my political career. Any thing I achieved I achieved because of their hard work, their support and their understanding. The things I didn't achieve were, of course, entirely due to the vagaries of politics!
There is a saying that says, "Uneasy is the head that wears the crown". I don't know about that but I have to say that being a politician is not easy either. Your voters may prefer the party you represent. They themselves, though, are split up into a thousand different groups with varying interests and varying opinions. I might add that they are very vocal about such opinions and they expect their representative to be equally vocal on their behalf.
That, of course, is the true meaning of democracy and we are very lucky to live in a country where we can express our beliefs openly. As a politician I have spent much time meeting representatives of other countries who are not as liberal as our own. There is all the difference in the world between being strangled with red tape and actually being strangled or tortured