Susan Dalgety: We need more like Adam Montgomery, fewer like Boris

Adam Montgomery, the late Provost of Midlothian, was a true politician of the people
Adam Montgomery, the late Provost of Midlothian, was a true politician of the people
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We don’t think much of politicians these days, and who can blame us?

Terrible Theresa May is in charge of steering us through Brexit, the biggest challenge our country has faced since the aftermath of the Second World War, yet she has difficulty negotiating with her own cabinet, let alone the European Union.

While she may be bad, imagine Michael Gove or Boris Johnson as Prime Minister … or maybe not. As for our own dear Nicola. Let’s just say we are all getting mightily fed-up of her pursed lip as she tells us, yet again, the NHS is safe in her hands, as waiting times grow.

READ MORE: Theresa May hails Burns Night as symbol of ‘enduring Union’ amid gaffes

It doesn’t have to be like this. Politics is public service, and should be a powerful force for the common good. No-one understood that better than Adam Montgomery, the Provost of Midlothian, who died suddenly two weeks ago. A councillor for his town, Penicuik, for more than 30 years, he held more than 1,600 advice surgeries.

He led Midlothian’s drive to build affordable homes, campaigned for the new swimming pool and library, and helped stop Edinburgh City Council’s plan for a congestion charge because it would hit Midlothian residents unfairly.

READ MORE: Tributes paid to Midlothian Council Provost

He understood the best politicians stand shoulder to shoulder with the people they represent and that the people’s concerns come before party ideology. Quite simply he loved the town he represented. He was also one of the most wickedly funny people I have ever had the privilege to know. Adam never sought the limelight. He didn’t fancy the “bigger” stage – he simply got on with his job as a Labour councillor, putting his heart and soul into the task. If we had more Adam Montgomerys and fewer Boris Johnsons, the world would be a far better place.