Not all politicians are corrupt and to tar them all with the same brush is damaging to our society and democracy.
I’ve written an article today about education issues impacting on the forthcoming county council elections. Each of the main parties’ spokesmen on education, Ivan Ould, Don Wright, and John Legrys, have quite clearly entered politics because they want to make a difference, not because they want to become famous or fiddle their expenses.
Ivan, a councillor full of integrity, says that while campaigning, the response from potential voters has been shocking.
Many people don’t want to listen because they are, at best, disillusioned with politicians, at worst, of the opinion they are all on the make. This is simple not true. To propagate this belief does us all a disservice and will only result in even fewer people going to the ballot box, or, perhaps worse still, voting for an extremist party.
We, the media, have a great responsibility. When valid investigations simply become entertainment and another excuse to have a laugh at people who were brave enough to enter public life, we’ve gone too far.
There are some thoroughly obnoxious people who enter politics – I’ve met and written about several of them during my time as a journalist – and exposing how some of them have wasted taxpayers money on their expenses is a valid and important piece of journalism. Those who’ve done so deserve everything they get.
But they’re not all like that. The three councillors I’ve mentioned above, and many other MPs I’ve encountered during my work, are honourable, well meaning people.
If we forget that, we’re in trouble.