Politics

The demonization of politicians needs to end

Over the last few years, there have been a range of stories that have eroded and undermined public trust in politcians, not least the MP expenses scandal, which have led to abuse of politicians almost turning into a national pastime, alongside queueing and discussing the weather.

But if one thing can be learned from the stories from Jo Cox’s life, following her death on Thursday, it’s that not all MPs enter politics with selfish ambitions.

Indeed, despite popular opinion, the vast majority enter politics wanting to serve the public to the best of their ability, and to try to make society better for everyone, regardless of the colour of their politics.

Politicians will not always vote the way we would like, they will make mistakes, and some will even succumb to greed and corruption; and when they do, they should always be held to account for their actions, and their breach of public trust.

But their faults, and our disagreements with their voting decisions, should never be used to legitimise the sort of abuse and attacks we’ve seen over recent years, mostly written and verbal, sometimes turning physical, but always unacceptable

So I sincerely hope that the public demonization of MPs, the perception that politicians are all the same, and the belief that they’re only in it for themselves, has been shattered by stories being shared from Jo Cox’s life.

These stories portray a very different type of politician; one who was prepared to stick to her principles, and stand up for the vulnerable and voiceless people in society.

And I hope that her death leads to a watershed moment in the way we do politics in this country, and that we all remember that politicians are human too.