Personally Speaking: Our MPs could learn from our city’s heroes

In common with MPs from across the country, I was last week called back to Westminster by virtue of the decision of the Supreme Court.  Whatever your view of that decision, it’s worth saying that the sitting has called lots of MPs back from important constituency business and I am sorry to those whose meetings I had to cancel here in Stoke-on-Trent.

Tensions have clearly been at an all-time high this week, particularly I believe due to the determined efforts of those seeking to overturn what the majority of the country voted for. I am sure most, like I, have been extremely frustrated at the seeming intransigence of those trying to defy the will of the people.
In these times it is inevitable debate in Parliament will become heated. And, whilst it is important to always moderate ourselves to not go overboard, it is ultimately the nature of our confrontational Westminster style politics.

Because for the sake of the freedoms our democracy enjoys and to keep the powers of Government accountable, I believe it essential for politicians to be free to express themselves in clear relatable terms. That said, what is wrong is where that discourse goes beyond to threats against others or insights hatred. There is no place for such behaviour.

Thankfully I was fortunate enough make it back from last week’s Parliamentary sitting in time to attend the Sentinel’s phenomenal ‘Our Heroes’ awards ceremony, celebrating the very best of the individuals and groups who make our city a truly special place to live.

Often far too much attention is given to the antics of Westminster or of those who seek fame, when it should be those who give back so much every day but seek no recognition who we think more of.
As always, the night was a special occasion, and really brought home the strength of community ties in our area. I was especially pleased to see the Stroke team at the Royal Stoke commended for their amazing and innovative work, which gives their patients some of the best outcomes in the country. I was pleased to nominate them for national recognition earlier in the year, and I am delighted to see them recognised for the world leading service they give to local people.

It was also fantastic to see so many of my constituents being commended or winning awards. Everybody nominated should be proud of what they do, the awards are just part of the appreciation we must show. I want to take this opportunity to thank them all for everything they have and continue to achieve.
Our MPs would do well to reflect on those we serve as we sit in the House of Commons this week.  With everything that has led to this month – a vital month for the future of our country – it is essential that we interact with kindness and in a spirit of constructive progress.

I can only imagine the anger that people in the country must feel, that given the opportunity of sitting in Parliament at this momentous time, some of my colleagues have felt it necessary to expend this precious resource of time in heated words and in debate about just how heated it is proper for a Member of Parliament’s language to get.

I am clear the only proper direction for us in the House of Commons is to stop pontificating, knuckle down and work together to deliver the Brexit that the vast majority of MPs promised at the 2017 election, and for which the overwhelming majority of our city voted.

I welcome progress towards this goal, which we will only realise if we can be complimentary to each other and have the wisdom to know that it’s not necessary for every one of us to have his or her say over every minute detail at the expense of the bigger picture.

This week, I am reminded of the inspirational people who make Stoke-on-Trent what it is. I hope our Parliamentarians will learn some lessons from unsung heroes up and down our country.


This article appeared originally in The Sentinel, 30th September 2019.