I’m writing to you today as an alum of a graduate school that takes action by promising the “seamless integration of practical academic courses with life outside the classroom.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating there should be more political activism in the classroom. The last thing anyone wants is a classroom where political action is required. But this kind of learning also has the power to influence activism outside the classroom.
So when you take the House floor to talk about the UK’s chronic and deadly failure to close its child health care gap, keep the statistic you cite in mind. How could a problem so large and so passionately caused in less than two years by now get more and more complex for its politicians to sort out? There’s plenty more time to decide what to do, but we don’t have much time left to deal with the matter already.
As a taxpayer, I want you to imagine that I will spend the next 10 years of my life paying for your successor in office. I want you to think of the second and third generations who pay today for their entitlement to your public service. And I want you to think, how can you better serve me while you’re there?
So don’t despair. I was a parliamentarian for 25 years. I knew I wasn’t perfect. I made mistakes. But it wasn’t all my fault. Every UK citizen has a huge responsibility to ask how politicians represent us. And each time a politician makes a faux pas, it becomes incumbent on us to hold them accountable to us, over and over again. If you’re doing your job, you shouldn’t be afraid to use your unique platform to raise awareness and reduce inequality.
Politicians from Prime Minister Theresa May down, may it be with pride, and with regret: Politicians have a duty to their constituents to confront poverty. They have a duty to their constituents to create and maintain prosperity. They have a duty to their constituents to care for the elderly, the sick, the underprivileged, the disadvantaged, the disabled, and the marginalized, and provide the basic necessities of life.
And we, as citizens, have a duty to their constituents to listen, to respect their experience, and to ask the tough questions.
Colleagues, please remember the example set by those whom you’ve come to represent. We have the power to do good. We have the power to do good for your constituents and us.
Each time a politician makes a faux pas, it becomes incumbent on us to hold them accountable to us, over and over again. — Elliot Diringer
Sir, I must say I’m quite proud of you. You have shown us how to do that in many ways, and I hope it stays like that. It should be an example to the other members of Parliament, and to the rest of the country.
Not only do I want to congratulate you, but I want to hear you again. To the generation of members who are in their 30s, and younger. To those coming behind you. I don’t think I have to say anything else, until we can set things right.
— Elliott Diringer