Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with the School Council from Poulton Lancelyn Primary School, and helped them to raise their Green Flag they had been awarded for the environmental good work the school had done, including energy saving sensors in the classrooms that the children told me occasionally led to impromptu disco sessions when they hadn’t moved round enough.
After we had raised the flag, we went inside, and sat down and discussed over juice and cakes a range of issues, including the environment, philosophy and the difference between my job and what happens in the school council. As a member of the council told me: “No offence, but Prime Ministers questions is a bit rubbish”. Out of the mouths of babes, as they say.
We talked about why they thought it was rubbish, and they told me that in their council meetings, the school charter means they have to listen quietly when another member is talking and respect each other’s comments and opinions, and treat each other with respect and dignity. I was told that if I behaved the way MPs did in their council, I would be told off. All the shouting, and name calling is something that just isn’t ok.
I often hear that the way politicians behave is worse than schoolchildren during PMQ’s, and recent television coverage and these schoolchildren’s comments only prove that point. I have often said that we need to change the way politics works, because people feel that they have little or no say in what happens, and to see their elected representatives acting like this can only make them feel more detached.
My pub tour last summer was one step toward reaching out to the community, and reminding people that generally we are just local residents, with similar concerns about the local community that they have.
And it’s this local pride that drives me on in my work, to make the place my family and friends call home better.
By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News