Today is my last day at the TaxPayers' Alliance, and without too much fanfare, there's just a few things I would like to say.
The first is a huge thank you to everyone who has made my time here at the TPA so enjoyable, interesting and fulfilling. It has been the most incredible experience to work in a place where the staff and supporters around the country work tirelessly and passionately to make a difference.
We've had so many high points, it's hard to know where to begin, and as this isn't an episode of This Is Your Life, I'll keep it short. In the last year and a half we have seen so much movement on core TPA issues such as MPs' expenses, the quango state, public sector pay and council waste, and it's been a true privilege to work for a campaign that has been at the heart of the policy debate. We have a higher profile, more members and are reaching a wider audience than ever before, and I feel incredibly lucky to have played even a small part in that.
Our supporters and my interaction with them has been a massively humbling experience. These are the real heroes, the people who wish to serve their communities by giving a voice to local taxpayers' concerns and fearlessly speaking up when they think something is wrong. Thank you for all your support, without you there would be no TPA.
I want to thank all my colleagues, who are without doubt the smartest, kindest and most committed people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Every single person here is a team player, and in their own time has been an invaluable support to me whether it's been sharing the highs, offering advice to a much younger and hotter head than their own, or bucking me up after an unpleasant experience. I am honoured to have shared this time with you, and more honoured to call you my friends. Keep fighting the good fight guys, I'll be following your progress every step of the way.
Two special thank yous: Firstly to Matthew Elliott, who took a chance on me, for which I will always be grateful and who also provides the vision, hard work and determination that inspires us to work harder and be the best we can be. Secondly, to my partner in campaign crime Mark Wallace, who has been unwaveringly supportive and loyal, he was a friend long before I came here and will remain a friend long after I leave.
So it's goodbye from me, campers. We need to be eternally vigilant to protect taxpayers' interests and, against the background of dire public finances, the TPA's work is more important than ever. JFK said nothing worthwhile is easy (and Lord knows that the TPA has its detractors) but we have to do everything within our collective power to promote more accountable, transparent and efficient government that will best serve the honest, hard-working people of this country.