More respect needs showing to people serving their community

The murder of MP Sir David Amess shook the country, no more so than in east London.

Sir David went to St Bonaventure’s school and was a Redbridge councillor in the early 1980s.

He was the epitome of a good MP, serving his constituents in a devoted way on a daily basis.

His death came five years after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

There have been other attacks, such as on Newham MP Stephen Timms.

There does seem to be a worrying tendency at the moment towards violence against public figures.

While the nature of these attacks are all different, it cannot be denied that there seems to be growing animosity toward those who actually are there to serve the community.

The divisive nature of the Brexit debate helped create a toxic atmosphere for political dialogue.

The anger, though, has increased with the growth in social media. People seem to think there are no consequences and they can say what they like on various platforms. Many of the platforms that accommodate this sort of thing, exercise little control and believe anything goes.

Some people just seem to have a great deal of anger that they want to direct at something or someone. Elected representatives make a ready target.

People also seem much more ready to come up to elected representatives and assail them in the street – any time, anywhere. This is a basic lack of respect.

Yes, if people get elected to public office they have to be accountable, which means being prepared to answer up in many different forums. But at the same time they are not punch bags – there to take abuse and angst from citizens

There has to be more respect shown all round.

A failure to see greater respect and integrity re-established in our politics will see fewer people actually coming forward to represent their communities. Or the wrong sort of people – those that are more self serving and less interested in community.

So let’s all start treating each other with a little more respect, with the realisation that we are all in it together and committed to the common good of all.

Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See

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