WRITING on June 8 requires that the General Election be the only topic aired and to make any attempt at a prediction of outcome would be to court ridicule.

Hence, my writing enjoyment lies in offering a personal take on the events of the last six weeks.

For a life-long Socialist, the emergence of a Labour Party leader whose policies and language illustrate a commitment to giving hope rather than creating fear and divisiveness has given me an optimism that, no matter the outcome, I can believe that we have not sold out entirely to the culture of every man for himself.

Despite that Brexit was the midwife for the hastily called election, the electorate has demonstrated its concern for and commitment to matters which affect our daily lives; the NHS and social care have been the leading topics raised in debates and at hustings with poverty, job insecurity and education also prominent.

There was a good turnout, voters unable to attend missed an opportunity to experience democracy at work.

The event was hosted in St Laurence’s Church and chaired by the Rector.

The candidates representing the four major parties faced serious and thoughtful questioning; it was no easy ride for them nor was the Rector’s task a push over.

The matters of importance for the residents of Ludlow were, as with the rest of the electorate, the protection and funding of the NHS; we wanted to hear whether candidates were committed to supporting our local services.

Concern was expressed at growing poverty and the increasing gap between the very wealthy 1% of the population and the rest of us.

Julia Buckley, for Labour, and Hilary Wendt, for the Green Party, were outstanding; honest, compassionate and knowledgeable, presenting information vital to our understanding of the issues.

Today we vote, tomorrow we know the future for our country; let it be a future with a compassionate and inclusive society where we play our part in resolving violence in the Middle East rather than fuelling it with arms exports.