I’ve faced more than my fair share of rejection. Getting sacked for union activities on the ships. Losing in two Labour deputy leadership races. The Tories beating us in eight general elections.
As I discovered, the sourness of defeat only makes victory taste even sweeter.
But there is a bitterness that still consumes me. That to this day still makes me feel inferior. Failing my 11-plus to go to grammar school.
My dad said he’d buy a bike for me and my brother Ray if we passed it. Ray got the bike. I got a daily 16-mile bus ride to