Not for the first time the Westminster week seemed a long way away from the frontline election campaign – at least in the constituency where I’m standing. On Friday, David Cameron cited the appalling case of the two young brothers who tortured a pair of boys in Edlington, south Yorkshire, as an example of what’s wrong with Britain today. He used the case to suggest the country has slumped into “social recession”, accused Labour of a “moral failure” in tackling crime and family breakdown, and claimed only the Tories could mend the “irresponsible society” created by 10 years of Labour government.
The same day I went to two inspirational events which provided the strongest possible contrast to the bleak scenario of ‘Broken Britain’ painted by Cameron. My day started with the annual LeicestHERday launch, where women from public, private and community organisations across the city came together to discuss how to open more doors for women and girls, particularly in employment and enterprise.
In the evening, I went to the 10th birthday party for Leicestershire Cares, a charity that works with employers who encourage their staff to do voluntary work in the community. Every year, hundreds of employees help improve literacy in primary schools by reading to children, give advice on job interview skills so young people can find work, and support local voluntary groups, for example by painting and refurbishing community centres for older people.
Both these events clearly demonstrate that many people – from all communities, and all walks of life – have a very strong sense of responsibility towards their fellow man, and understand that our society will be better and stronger if we work together to achieve common goals.