What do our MPs teach our children?

Let’s chat today about our beloved Members of Parliament, our MPs, the adults we elect to represent us within Parliament.

 

Do they provide us with good examples of behaviour to share with our children or do they provide us just with examples of how not to behave?

I recently sat with my children trying to explain the behaviour of some politicians and let’s just say some of these chats were difficult, to say the least.

MPs – The Bad:

Booing and Jeering others is acceptable behaviour:

So the first thing I had to explain to my children was the use of booing and jeering in the House of Commons – a room full of adults.

Trying to explain to my children that  jeering and booing other MPs is acceptable behaviour.

Trying to explain that not letting people finish speaking or be heard is acceptable behaviour.

Trying to explain that being rude and having no common courtesy is acceptable in the House of Commons

Can you imagine any other place where this would be acceptable?  In schools – don’t like what your head teacher, teacher or class mate is saying?  Well just boo and jeer.  In the work place – don’t like what your boss or work mate is saying?  Well just boo and jeer.

As tempting as that may be, in the real world, pantomimes are the only place where booing and jeering of others should be acceptable.

If you don’t like your boss, it’s ok to throw your toys out of the pram 

Oh Labour, what are you doing?  I have really struggled with this one.  Trying to explain this to my children has just not been possible.

Trying to explain that if you don’t like the person in charge, it is ok to have a strop, throw your toys out of the pram and get all your friends to do the same?

Again, can you imagine any other place where this would be acceptable?  In schools – don’t like your head teacher, teacher or class mate?  Well just have a strop.  In the work place – don’t like your boss or work mate?  Well just have a strop!

For those MPs struggling with Jeremy’s leadership, I would say “welcome to the real world”.

Let’s ask your constituents how many of them think their boss is the best thing since sliced bread?  Let’s ask how many of them believe they could do the boss’s job better?   Let’s ask how many of them genuinely like their boss?  Let’s not be surprised when the majority tell you to wake up and smell the coffee – this is what we call reality!

If you cannot work with the people at the top, do what others in the real world do, move on.

MPs – The Ugly

Ghandi MPs

It’s ok to disregard the most vulnerable people in our society

This is one of the saddest things and I cannot explain this to my children. Well how do you explain the unexplainable
When we live in a house with three children who need extra help so they can have the same opportunities as their friends, it is so hard to explain that the people who should give a shit about them, just don’t!
  • When the cuts and legislative changes seem to have the biggest impact on families like ours, it is difficult to explain to my children how this can be acceptable.
  • When you hear about the sums of money being spent to supposedly ensure life is better for us but in reality, these vast sums of expenditure have no benefit whatsoever, it’s difficult to explain.
  • When legislation has changed but no one is making sure that everyone is getting it right, it’s hard to explain.
  • When people don’t comply with legislation but no one seems to give a shit, it’s difficult to explain.
  • When people think that new legislation is enough, without any accountability, it’s difficult to explain.
  • When families are breaking down due to the stress, it’s difficult to explain.
  • When children and young people are living in units and their families are treated as the enemy, it is difficult to explain.
  • When children and young people are dying in units and people are keeping their jobs, it’s difficult to explain.
If our MPs look at Ghandi’s quote and ask themselves what our true measure is based on how we treat our most vulnerable people, then they should be ashamed.

MPs – The Good

When you say you are going to do something, do it.

Andy Burnham, I salute you.  I remember watching the 2009 Hillsborough Memorial when you were stood at the podium with families chanting and shouting at you.   You represented everything the families had no time or respect for.
However, you stood there and promised you would make a difference; you were a man of your word.   The battle is not over quite yet but I have faith that you are on board for the long haul.
Explaining to my children that you are what you do and not what you say you will do is a lot easier when I can provide them with your example.  Thank you.
There are many other MPs out there who I am sure do the same but Andy was the person I immediately thought of.  I grew up on Merseyside (I’m from Haydock – aka a Woolyback – my family still live there).  I remember sitting watching the news as the horrors of Hillsborough unfolded and worked in Liverpool with families who were directly involved.  
I always think of the Hillsborough families when we are fighting to change the world for our children; they have shown us it is never easy, to expect lots of setbacks, but to never ever give up.

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