Today, the British people lost a brave and honourable MP in a horrific shooting and stabbing homicide. The Member of Parliament for Batley & Spen Jo Cox died while serving the public in a weekly surgery for her constituents.
I’m typing this while sitting in my hotel room in Leeds, UK. Lately I’ve been spending half my week here as part of my job, splitting my time between MPs’ constituency and Westminster offices.
In my time here, I’ve witnessed first-hand the compassionate work that goes into a MP’s day-to-day. Throughout my experience in politics, I’ve been privileged to understand the earnest intentions that go into one’s decision to stand for office.
Politicians have one of the most thankless jobs out there. They and their staff work around the clock, 365 days a year. It’s a job that few people would want in practice, yet they work it every waking moment of their day. They face constant abuse, ugly criticism, and hatred, yet they do their jobs with very little recognition. At times, they even put their own safety and livelihood at risk in the name of public service.
We may disagree with their views. We may bicker about their policies. We may complain about campaigning tactics. We may even scrutinize their personal decisions.
But one thing we cannot deny is that politicians are people. People who have taken the courageous decision to stand up and put themselves under public scrutiny because of their desire and willingness to help change the world. Politicians don’t run for office for the money or the celebrity; they trade off far too much for those two things alone. Politicians run for office because of their staunch belief in public service — and because they actually care. Regardless of our differing views, they are often doing their best to do public good in the best way they know.
It’s why it’s important today more than ever to #ThankYourMP. Let’s support them in continuing to represent our voices into law without fear. #ThankYourMP is currently trending on Twitter — add your voice and tweet your message of support. It really counts, especially on days like today.
As the late Jo Cox said: We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.