Kindness, Integrity and Respect Must Always Win in Politics

By Danny Bowman, Head of Campaigns at Parliament Street

I have been watching in shear amazement and slight discomfort the past couple of days in politics. The scheming, the vacant lack of self-awareness shown by some of our most well-known politicians and the constant reminder of what happens when integrity, kindness and respect fails to win the day.

Anyone in politics knows that it can be an unforgiving arena of men and women with different ideological stand points criticising and undermining each other, but never in my lifetime have a witnessed such blatant cruelty shown by some to those whom they disagree with.

It seems in the epoch of Brexit these basic levels of respect have fallen at the waist side in place of something so monstrous, something that fails to show the courage we need in a moment of national crisis and something we should never tolerate in our politics.

The 21 Conservative members of parliament that were ousted from standing for the Conservative Party in the next general election were people of principle, standing for what they believe in at a time of great discomfort for many. They were not rewarded for such courage and honesty with respect but punished in the cruellest way possible. I believe this is the most evident contradiction of what our politics should be. Now, I also believe that those on the backbenches of the Conservative Party who believe in Brexit, are also for the most, honourable and courageous people who fight every day for their constituents and their beliefs who may also feel condemned by those who disagree with them too. No one should feel condemned in such a way by those who seek to use venomous measures to deny the proper scrutiny and debate that so many fought for.

This is not just seen offline but online too. Over the past few days, I have seen on Facebook the words ‘Traitor’, ‘Coward’, and ‘Surrender’ splashed across the comments section of both my Remainer friends and my Leaver friends. The people who decide that such words serve anything for our country and its people’s well-being are seriously misguided. Solutions are not found in the people who peddle such ridiculous over-simplified soundbites but in those that show respect, integrity and kindness.

Neither of these two-opposite views should be condemned for their honest belief and to those who feel great comfort in condemning those with such believes should look at themselves in the mirror and decide what kind of man or women they are. A man or women that condemns those who have different believes because it does not fit with their own, or choose the harder, longer and riskier path of sitting down with them and doing the most important thing any representative can do, listen.   

We must always recognise that to make our country a better place, we must also make ourselves better. Like politics, like this Brexit debate, we allow the best and the worst of ourselves to come out, unfiltered and sometimes without control or self-awareness. To not recognise the importance of maintaining sensible, honest and respectful debate, we are not only doing a disservice to ourselves, but the country that we love too.

We all love our country, we all believe in Britain and it is that belief that should allow us to find order in such chaos. This should be the strongest of mechanisms, to regain the integrity, kindness and respect in our politics.

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