Our governments have broken their social contract with the voters

LAST week I spoke at the Gorbals Parish Church to reaffirm Labour's values and founding principles – community, solidarity, equality, fairness and social justice.

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You can read the full speech on my website www.anassarwar.org

Poll after poll confirms there is a disconnect between what politicians are talking about and what people care about.

While politicians talk about inflationary pressures and the Monetary Policy Committee, families are worried about rising gas bills and being able to pay their mortgages.

And worst of all, too many politicians are spending too much time debating which politicians have which powers, rather than getting on with the job of helping get people back to work, reducing health inequalities, improving living standards or making sure we are looking after older people with respect and dignity.

People I speak to are angry.

Angry at the banks, which they see as responsible for the current crisis, behaving as if nothing had ever happened. Angry at energy companies which grow their profits by hiking household bills.

And what recourse do people have?

Through a political system that appears to be broken, that isn't working for the people who need it most.

People trust their politicians and Government to act in their interest, in the interest of their family and community and in the interests of their country.

Politicians are, in effect, the trustees of the citizen, the holder of the social contract with the people who elected them.

Today, I believe our Governments have broken that contract.

Today, I believe there is a real need for political representatives to restore that trust not just by words but by deeds.

Because the truth is, our politics may be broken, but our country is not.

The choices we make as politicians have consequences on the people we represent yet some have got the focus all wrong.

For many children their life is mapped out by their circumstances at birth; poorer health, poorer education outcomes, reduced social opportunities, higher rates of alcoholism or mental illness.

Yet for some the approach is to ignore the inequality and focus instead on a sticking plaster approach. For some, the focus on why we entered politics has been lost.

That is why in my speech I reaffirmed my Labour values, our commitment to the founding principles of community, solidarity, fairness, equality and social justice and how we must rise to the challenge of translating them into ideas and a vision that reflects the society we want to live in.

That is the reason why I and countless others got into politics, so rather than sniping from the sidelines we can work together to help build stronger communities and a better Scotland.

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