Pat McFadden MP’s speech to the congregation at the Shri Guru Ravidass Temple
Mr Mahay, and the committee. The congregation here. It is a great honour and privilege to be invited once again to be with you on this great occasion when we celebrate the birth of Shri Guru Ravidass. Now it is many years since Shri Guru Ravidass walked the Earth but he had a very simple message which was about the equal worth of every person regardless of caste, colour or creed. And I think that message is as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago. Yes, progress has been made and we are a more equal society today than we used to be.
But it’s not enough and there is still some way to go. And I have a simple message here for you today which is that I stand with you in solidarity for the progress that we still have to make to make sure that it’s the content of someone’s character that matters, not the caste, colour, creed or anything else. So I stand with you in the fight for equality which I know means so much to the congregation here.
Now, Mr Mahay was kind enough to mention we had an election a couple of months ago and it was my great honour to be re-elected as the MP for this constituency for the fifth time so I’ve been coming here for many years. In fact I think this is the fifteenth time I’ve come to take part in this celebration with you. And I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me in that election. And if you didn’t support me, it’s okay because once an election is over it’s the MP’s job to work with anyone, to serve everyone whether they voted or not. So now that it’s over I will continue with what I’ve been doing here for many years which is to work with all parts of the community. To have an open door to everyone, to treat everyone equally and to be here to serve you, the people of Wolverhampton South East.
Let me say one final thing before I finish. If you are a visitor here today. Perhaps come to see family who live here or come to join in the celebrations here. Let me extend the warmest possible welcome to you, to our city. As you can see, thousands of people come to celebrate this great occasion of the birth of Shri Guru Ravidass in this hall every year. It means a great deal to our local community here in Blakenhall. It means a great deal to our city to have this celebration. And as your MP, your elected representative, it is my great honour to be with you today. So I thank you most sincerely for the invitation to be with you today.
Thank you very much.