I'm aiming to remain true to my conscience
As conference season ends and another Westminster year begins, the political cycle continues, with a general election in 2015 now not all that far off.
Those who have written to me or needed my help over the last couple of months I hope know from the speed of my responses that there really isn't very much down time for an MP.
I did, however, manage a couple of weeks away from everything, and I spent some of that time reflecting on the nature of the job I have chosen to do.
It will not have escaped anyone who reads this column that I am, of course, a Conservative, with both a 'big C' and a 'small C'.
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But I also entered Parliament to use my judgment having heard the views of my constituents and not always to simply follow the line which I am supposed to.
That doesn't always make me popular with the powers that be inside my own party, but thinking for yourself and not always following the party line can be personally refreshing even if bad for short-term career progression.
I am very proud of much of what the Government has done – reducing the deficit by a third, presiding over an economy which has created 1.4 million private sector jobs, fundamentally reforming welfare.
I am also proud of some of the stances I have taken contrary to the Government line (at least at the time I took them), for example with regard to the absolute necessity for a referendum on EU membership.
My attendance record at Westminster is one of the highest among MPs – well over 90%.
Politicians are an unloved bunch, even those of us who only entered Parliament in 2010 and had nothing to do with the expenses scandal.
I'm used to the jokes about expenses now, though some of the personal insults which people seem to think they can throw just because of the job I do still hurt.
No-one in the constituency is always going to agree with me and no doubt some people disagree with me the entire time.
All I can do, consistent with what I think this job calls for, is to do my best to listen and to exercise the judgment that I was returned to Parliament to use.
It sometimes puts me in conflict with our Conservative County Council, as over the issues of recycling centres and library closures – these are not conflicts I seek out but they are inevitable if I remain true to my conscience and to the way I think the job of being an MP should be done.