There can be no doubt that the last week has been the worst for the Government since its election in 2010. Whilst I would condemn the threat of a strike by the Unite union over tanker drivers pay and conditions, the unfortunate (and in my view mistaken) remarks by Francis Maude caused a stampede at petrol stations across the country, including the High Peak. When added to other stories swirling round the media on pasties, access to senior Ministers and pensions, it did reputational damage to both the Government and individual ministers.
On Thursday there was the remarkable result in the Bradford West by-election as a safe Labour seat was lost to George Galloway and his Respect Party. Following this, observations were made that it was due in no small part to the perception that politicians from all sides were losing touch with the electorate. Commentators have observed that it is all too easy to become disconnected, living and working in the 'rarefied' atmosphere of Westminster politics.
Two years after being elected I can see how Members of Parliament can all to easily become seduced by the Westminster world, obsessed with the Westminster village gossip and detached from the real lives of the people who sent them there in the first place.
There have also been discussions on the sort of people who become MP's with references to 'professional politicians' who have a career path of University, Political Researcher, then Special Advisor before heading to Westminster as a Member of Parliament. This pathway doesn't fulfil a true apprenticeship on real life.
These are part of the reasons that drew me into politics. As an ex-pupil of the Chapel schools who didn't go to university but worked for over 20 years in small business, I don't believe that I fall into that bracket.
I hope with my background I do have a real sense of life, what it's like to live with decisions that politicians make, what it's like to make ends meet and what it's like to deal with the inevitable crises that life throws at us from time to time.
Some of the things that have happened over the last week are regrettable, I am honest enough to admit that, but as the MP for the High Peak I want to reassure everyone that I do keep my feet firmly on the ground, and I try very hard to use my constituency time to meet as many local organisations as I can, so that, despite being incredibly fortunate and privileged to be your member of Parliament, I remain very much a High Peak man focusing on the constituency, my constituents and the lives we all lead.