Opinion: Demand a sense of duty, service and commitment to your ward

​Do you use a smartphone? If so, and I want you to be honest here, do you type using your thumbs or do you poke at the keys using your finger as I do? (writes Labour Group leader Dennis Jones.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Bit of a random question, I know but do bear with me. Chances are, if you’re under 50, you use your thumbs. The 40-somethings, the average age of Facebook users these days, tend to use thumbs so young people tend to laugh at my puny efforts on Facebook. I haven’t ventured on to ‘Insta’ or ‘TiK Tok’.

Now I want you to think about what makes a good MP or councillor from your point of view? Is a good MP someone who doesn’t bother to call a ward councillor, preferring instead to post on social media for the ‘optics’, so they can be seen to be doing something whilst putting themselves in the public eye?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Those of us of a certain vintage, recall MPs of a bygone age who were known for getting things done. You may be old enough to remember Harmer Nicholls or Brian Mawhinney, perhaps?

Labour Group leader Dennis Jones (Dogsthorpe)Labour Group leader Dennis Jones (Dogsthorpe)
Labour Group leader Dennis Jones (Dogsthorpe)

In a ward with several thousand properties, do you post on social media to show you are cleaning up graffiti from one? Does it matter that such events occur in a year when local and national elections will be taking place? In other words, are these events purely about being seen to be doing things to remind electors they are there? Or should they be judged on what they have, or haven’t, done since being elected?

Currently, nothing is turning the dial back towards the Conservatives. Neither tough talk nor tax cuts appears to be helping. What is more worrying is people telling me that they are unlikely to vote at all. This year, I ask that you vote, locally and nationally, to achieve two things:

The first is to tell the Conservatives, plainly, that, after 14 years, Lord knows how many PMs and byelection defeats that the writing is firmly on the wall for this disparate bunch of grifters and losers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The second is to tell the Labour party that they/ we must do better. That we need a credible and creditable government that isn’t reliant on soundbites and scaremongering in an election year in a desperate bid to hold on to power as this lot are.

Please hold me and my party to account. Please vote with hope, conviction and, above all, a genuine desire to hold us to account instead of saying that age old mantra ‘nothing changes.’ Make us show you how things will change and for the better. For our Health Service, ending the eight o’clock lottery for appointments; the dentistry desert that Peterborough has become. For the environment and the streets around where you live and the people around you.

Demand the swift response, the kind word, the consideration from those whom you choose to vote for. Demand a sense of duty, service and commitment to your ward and our city by those elected to serve us, moving away from scaremongering and culture wars conducted on social media and in the press – whether they use their thumbs or poke the keyboard as ‘old timers’ like I do. But at least us old timers understand stature, gravitas, and leadership along with a genuine desire to listen and make change happen when change is needed rather than soundbites and ‘optics’. And make that change, locally and nationally, when the time comes.