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“A CYCLE OF DEMOCRATIC SELF-HARM” – MP QUITS POLITICS AFTER ATTENDING CATHOLIC RETREAT

26 Jan

“A catholic MP has disclosed that a month-long retreat helped her make her decision to quit politics.

Sarah Teather MP told the ‘Guardian’ that she decided to attend a Jesuit retreat while she struggled with her decision whether to continue as a Liberal Democrat MP.

Miss Teather said: ‘Sometimes you just have to shut up. This politician just needed to shut up and stop talking in order to make a decision.’

Miss Teather attended a retreat at Loyola Hall, a Jesuit Centre just outside Liverpool. While she was there she decided she would leave politics, partly because she did not agree with her party’s stance on immigration.

Miss Teather said: ‘I don’t hate politics and I didn’t make a decision in despair. I made a careful, thought-through choice and I couldn’t get that across. I felt very sad in case I’d in any way added to the disillusion that people felt about politics. I was really troubled by that.’

The MP, who voted against the same-sex marriage Bill, said that politicians ‘invent’ problems. She said: ‘We get ourselves into our own little spiral. We end up inventing problems to pretend we’re relevant, and then try to fix the problems we’ve just invented. The EU migration stuff is a classic example.’

She added: ‘The public know it’s guff, so their trust in politicians goes down. And then our anxiety about being relevant goes up, so we kind of get into a cycle of democratic self-harm, so we get progressively more frenzied about chasing wilder and wilder straw men and the public get more and more cynical. I’m not convinced that’s the best way of demonstrating we’re in touch.'”
– This article by Madeleine Teahan was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue January 10 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

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