OPINION: Politics should be about service

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Keir Starmer’s speech in Bristol last week highlighted the commitment that all those who seek election should have, first and foremost, to public service. In my opinion, the greatest privilege our society can bestow upon us is to hold an elected position at any level.

‘This isn’t a game. Politics shouldn’t be a hobby – a pastime for people who enjoy the feeling of power. And nor should it be a sermon from on high, a self-regarding lecture, vanity dressed up as virtue. No, it should be a higher calling. The power of the vote. The hope of change and renewal, married to the responsibility of service, that’s what I believe in.’ Across my party I am joined by many former ex-servicemen and women amongst the ranks of MPs, Councillors and Parliamentary Candidates, as well as those from other public service professions such as the NHS and Emergency services, because it is the desire to serve our country and our community through democratic means that drives us. What unites us however is not just our previous service but our desire to contribute long into the future, through our party, by holding office across all levels of Government in administrations that deliver for all parts of our society.

’’You’re all the same’ is not an uncommon reception on the doorstep and it’s hardly surprising given the scandals and cronyism that we’ve come to expect from those that hold the highest levels of elected office on the Government benches.In his speech Keir went on to outline ‘And yet, trust in politics is now so low, so degraded, that nobody believes you can make a difference anymore’. When democracy is dragged through the mire as it has been by a rapid succession of recent governments, all those that seek to election to our institutions suffer the disdain of those that offend in its name. It won’t be a quick fix but will require politicians that will roll up their sleeves to serve and make it their life’s work to contribute and demonstrate what sets them apart. I am however more enthused having seen future colleagues that are now coming forward to stand for elected office locally and nationally.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ultimately, given the challenges we face across all levels of democracy, the ability to strategically deliver change through political leadership is an element that the electorate are going to wish to see demonstrated before casting their vote. Keir has clearly changed not just the face but function of the Labour Party for the better, alongside representing a proven ability to strategically run a public department. In my opinion it clearly makes him the natural choice to serve as Prime Minister and restore not just the standing this office has historically been held within the British public’s consideration but to set the standard of behaviour across all elected positions.