We can do more, but so can they


Mike Chapman Lib Dems
Mike Chapman Lib Dems

When this issue is published, the local elections on 4th May will have come and gone. Parties will have had their triumphs and disasters. Each will assail us with well-spun explanations for whatever has happened.
Then, blessedly, we can put it all aside for a couple of days and celebrate the coronation of our new King and Queen. If ever there was an institution providing stability, continuity and a force for good, it is the monarchy as we now have it: leading by example, using influence not power, looking for the best in people and communities.
What a strong message for politicians of every hue. Let us have less of being told what to do by an amorphous “centre”, be it local or national.
Let us have less partisanship in power – fine on the stump but put it aside when you get there, eh?
But let us have more exemplary behaviour, more focus on creating the positives of opportunity and fairness, more action that makes our lives happier and healthier.

A little DIY doesn’t hurt
We can all play our part. Just as most of us give something to charity, even if it is only buying a lottery ticket, we all have scope for being better citizens. We can drop less litter, drive with more consideration, behave in public with more decorum and less rudeness. We could use social media with more courtesy. There are any number of things we could do to make the lives of others around us that little bit happier.
There is plenty of scope, too, for taking more active steps to contribute: become a Water Guardian (regular local checking of water quality), join a litter pick or environmental group, become a school reading helper, join the Royal Voluntary Service as a community volunteer, do some voluntary driving. The list is endless. Take a look at The Big Help Out and see the range of possibilities.
It is not only the job of those we elect to make our lives better – we all have a role. But when it comes to public services, government has to be the prime mover and be held accountable.
Take the NHS, dentistry and sewage. How can government fail to act when a vital organisation like the NHS gets into difficulty? It is under-performing against most measures, has very poor employee relations and no thought-through, long-term manpower plan.
How can government have allowed ‘dentist deserts’ to proliferate in the way they have? How can we have frittered away – into private pockets – all that money we have paid for water over so many years and still have raw sewage in our rivers?
But, with our eyes lifted up and our national confidence restored, we could soon put a stop to nurses being cowed and coerced.
We could all show off our great teeth while happily wild swimming.
Why not? Spring is in the air.
Change is in the air.
Mike Chapman,
North Dorset Liberal Democrats


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