Letter: Responsibilities of the moralisers

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The Independent Online
From Ms Andrea Kelmanson

Sir: It may be good political fun to label anyone who attempts to introduce a moral element into politics as a "moraliser", and to turn a microscope on their own personal behaviour, but it has serious implications ("Secret lives of the new moralisers", 1 September). If we give up any attempt to stand by our responsibilities simply because our leaders are less than perfect, where does that leave our families, our communities and society at large?

Luckily, the UK's 23 million volunteers do not appear to be put off by the lack of participation, outside of politics, by the country's political leaders. As John Redwood says in your article, the key is that policy makers should take decisions which help, or do not penalise, those who are making a wider contribution to society. National and local government can provide the conditions in which volunteering and other forms of active citizenship can thrive. The Government's Making a Difference volunteering initiative is a welcome step in the right direction, outlining positive action to overcome obstacles to volunteering by reviewing benefits regulations, supporting volunteering development agencies and targeting excluded groups.

We don't need saints to run the country; just people who recognise the value of individual responsibility and community involvement, and are prepared to carry this through to their policy agenda.

Yours faithfully,

Andrea Kelmanson


Volunteer Centre, UK

London, NW1

1 September