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How many of the MPs sitting in the last parliament could you name?  The reality is that, outside of their own geographical patch, most MPs never get a mention in the national press or appear on national television or radio.  Indeed even within the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet there is considerable variation in the level of public profile.  Some never seemed to be off our television screens whilst others we would struggle to even recognise yet alone name.

There is a danger in implying that these nameless MPs are some how a lesser breed.  But perhaps the very opposite is true.  The vast majority of MPs are simply doing what they are meant to do – representing their local constituents. Quietly and without great fanfare they are just trying to be best MP they can be.  The sign of a good MP is not the level of media coverage they attract but the extent to which they gain the respect of their constituents regardless of whether or not they voted for them.  It is the quality of their public service that counts and not the size of their media profile.  It is these MPs that deserve to be re-elected  on May 7th, regardless of their party politics.

We need to avoid politics becoming the cult of the celebrity.  We do not need TV sofa loving self publicists but hard-working, local MPs determined to do their best for their constituency.  It is this that will restore the respect for politics: MPs as true and effective public servants.

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