Why MPs have trust issues

Guy Pierce

Topics Politics UK

A recent survey by Ipsos Mori found that only 49 per cent of British MPs feel they can trust the words of their fellow politicians. This was in stark contrast to the 86 per cent of MPs who said they trusted members of the clergy.

It is worth asking the question of why, at a time when both the Church of England and the Houses of Parliament have recently been mired in public scandals – the Church of England with accusations of historic child sex abuse and the Houses of Parliament with expenses scandals – MPs trust the clergy over many of their fellow MPs. Given that it’s unimaginable 86 per cent of UK politicians are even particularly religious, this finding is all the more startling.

The trust that MPs place in the clergy points to something separating MPs from men of the cloth. MPs seem to acknowledge that, whatever faults individual members of the clergy may have, they are all, at least in theory, driven by a collective idea of how the world ought to be. In contrast, the political class as a whole does not have a shared sense of morality. It is this lack of common purpose, a collective will to improve society based on a specific set of values, that means MPs have such deep-seated trust issues.

Guy Pierce is a writer and researcher based in London.

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Topics Politics UK


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