The novelist and children's writer Roopa Farooki never considered herself to be 'political'. But when, having retrained in medicine and newly qualified, she found herself working as a hospital doctor during the pandemic, she became very animated about the people making decisions on our behalf. 

Her memoir, 'Everything is True', a diary of the first 40 days of the pandemic is hard-hitting and challenging but she believes that that time has made us all more politically engaged. 

Since its publication, Roopa has decided that it's not enough to chart what happened, or to 'sit in huddles complaining'. She has become a local councillor (while also working for the NHS, lecturing at Oxford University, being involved in three national charities and a mum to four children - yes, she is extraordinary).

Roopa says she believes she was accepted as a councillor because of the contribution she can make with her medical qualification and experience.

Speaking to me at Lavenham Literary Festival this weekend, she held the audience spellbound with much to ponder. 

Perhaps now more than ever, we need to know that our politicians have valid 'life experience', are well-qualified and informed, and take their role and responsibility seriously. It'll be interesting to see how that might be presented in the jungle?

Thank you for reading.