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Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Who do MPs Represent?

House of CommonsWho do MPs represent? Who should they represent? These appear relevant questions in the light of current events.

I was always led to believe that their role was to represent their constituents. Over the years it has become clear to me that they also have a responsibility to their party and those who voted for that party nationally, and that sometimes those responsibilities can clash.

However, in both main parties, it seems, there are vociferous MPs briefing against each other’s opinions and/or briefing against policy in the same party. Some are diametrically opposed, it seems, on the matter of Brexit, and neither seem to be anywhere near the same place as the party leadership.

So, are they representing their constituents? Are they representing the party manifesto we voted for at the general election? Who are these extremer views representing?

According to the groundswell of opinion that colours my litmus tests, the view of the populace in general, leave voter and remain voter alike, is ‘for heavens sake, stop bickering in public and get the job done’. So are things different in those constituencies represented by hardline Brexiteer or determined Remainer MPs?

If not, then those concerned must be pursuing their own views, and, in all likelihood, doing so to the detriment of both the country and, potentially, to the future of stable democracy. If so, surely that was not what they were elected to do?

Thank goodness that, in Solihull, we have every reason to think ourselves fortunate in our borough to be represented by two MPs who are well away in that spotlight which illuminates the power plays and shenanigans. Those are, it seems to me, intrigues which serve mostly to fuel the voracious appetites of press for signs of discord and little discernable positive purpose.

For me, this serves a lesson to us in the community sector, one of the need to work together and pull together wherever possible, and where not, to manage discord as quietly and privately as is achievable.