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Myerscough SP: Service Unto Others
Aubyn Myerscough, the Prime Minister, spoke to a select audience of journalists, Conservative Party members, and the public in Runnymede. His speech is titled, “Service Unto Others”.

[Image: labour-facing-by-election-as-mp-tristram...160012.jpg]

Ladies and gentlemen,

When President Kennedy visited the now Kennedy Space Centre, he asked everyone there what they did. He spoke to an engineer, a manager, a researcher, and several astronauts. They all told the President precisely what their role was. Then he spoke to a lady, who happened to be a cleaner. Kennedy, like he did with everyone else, asked what she did. “I’m helping put man on the moon”, she proudly replied. She had been captivated by a strong sense of what a group of people, dedicated to something more than personal interest, could achieve together.

It was that spirit of service which inspired a nation. It brought together millions, many of whom otherwise had little in common, around a single purpose. It unified a country.

And the unifying nature of purpose and service was embodied in President Kennedy’s immortal phrase: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” It was about everyone considering what responsibilities they have to others, as well as what rights they have for themselves.

I believe, as we prepare our nation for the next millennium, we should take this to heart. We should consider how all of us can honour the responsibilities and obligations we have to others. How citizenship can mean more than just what you take, and be about what you give to your community.

Service, duty, commitment: these are all values deeply held by the Conservative Party, and deeply held by myself.

But I firmly believe that over the past three decades, our nation has lost its way of this and has forgotten the importance of obligations to one another; of the public interest being put ahead of the personal; and of dedicating oneself to the cause of community improvement.

I accept that the past decade of Conservative rule has failed to stem the loss of service in our communities. But this decline has been decades in the making: we have seen too many people grow up by attempting to fight against or oppose the morals of many, devaluing unity of purpose in favour of individual interest, failing to give back after being given unbelievable opportunity in our country, and believing that idleness or vulgarity - both which seek to exploit others - is the route to salvation. And many ordinary people believe that citizenship, those duties as well as rights, are being devalued on a daily basis.

Despite all this, I believe across our country there are millions of people, desperate to work together for a greater cause: improved lives, a better country, a nation of service to one another. This is especially true, I believe, of the generation reaching adulthood today.

So, ladies and gentleman, I commit today to the next Conservative Party manifesto placing at its heart the ethos of public interest, of collective endeavour, and community service. I commit today to the next Conservative Government to healing the wounds of division, of self-interest, and of community neglect that we’ve experienced for decades now.

This is not a retreat to the state, for the state does not embody community service and collective interest. It can help support it, but we need to go beyond it. Which is why as Prime Minister I championed the creation of Family Hubs: places where services can be located but also crucially where families from different backgrounds can come together and mutually help each other. Fundamentally Family Hubs are about people helping people, and the community gathering together to help families.

A retreat to the state, or a return to the politics of the past as others many propose, is not a solution to bringing our communities together or to place the principles of service at the heart of our country in the next millennium. Citizenship does not run through the public sector or bureaucracy. Community, service, and responsibilities are about more than that.

Instead, the Conservative Party will seek to introduce voluntary national and community service which brings people together, dedicated to improving their community and our nation:

We will ask the young people to work and help others, while gaining key skills and important experience. They can lead the way in getting our nation ready for the millennium in which they will live.

We will ask our most successful professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs to heed the call of service, become inspiring teachers in struggling schools, and tackle educational disadvantage.

We will ask older people to use their experience and time to help, mentor, and be a companion to families, children, disabled people, disadvantaged individuals and others - providing wellbeing improvements to all involved, tackling isolation and loneliness, and promoting connections across the ages.

This is nothing less than a vision of a country where the call to service is heeded by all. Where all of us come together, regardless of background, to lift up our nation, our community, and each other. That is what I’m inspired by, and what I’m hopeful we can achieve. So let me go into details:

Firstly, the Millennium Corps. I want to encourage young people as they start their adult lives to devote time to their community and to their nation. Thousands of young people coming together to tackle the most difficult challenges in their communities, dedicated to the cause of improving lives and eliminating disadvantage. They can help the thousands of wonderful charities across our country which comfort the sick, teach children after school, befriend the lonely and isolated, help prevent reoffending, and improve the environment. And in doing so, volunteers can get their lives back in track if they are struggling, they can learn the importance of service if nobody has helped them understand, and they can see parts of the country - of their own community - that they have never seen.

And yes, young people who participate will receive a cost of living stipend. Service to our nation should not make you worse off, nor be limited to the richest in our society. The Millennium Corps should bring together all young people of different backgrounds together around a single purpose, forging common connection, and creating a collective understanding.

But I also want to go further: the Corps should open up opportunity for all post-service as well. If implemented, the Government will make additional university financial grants or grants to other educational institutions available, including apprenticeships, for all those who complete a year working in the Millennium Corps. Not only will volunteers gain important experience that will transform lives, they will be able to go on to education - and benefit again from the Corps and service.

Secondly, the Inspire a Generation Corps. We will ask some of our most successful citizens to choose a new career, to adopt a new challenge, and to dedicate themselves to changing children’s lives.

I ask you to imagine the impact of thousands of new teachers - former scientists and engineers, business people and entrepreneurs, musicians and artists, barristers and solicitors - in our struggling schools. They will inspire a generation to reach for the stars, to aim and achieve everything they want, and to build a new country of service and dedication to others.

This matters because in our most deprived communities, there is a poverty of aspiration which results from a lack of models and mentors. If a child doesn’t know someone who is a doctor, a scientist or a lawyer, they can’t aspire to be one. So if we get them into our schools, we can help the most deprived children the most.

Thirdly, the Senior Corps. There are thousands - if not millions - of older people who have retired or started part-time work, have newfound spare time, and who remain deeply committed to serving their country and community. I want to provide the space, the ability, and the purpose for them to do that kind of service.

The Senior Corps, inspired by similar programs around the world, will tap into the skills and experience of our older generations - and provide them financial support to do so. Much like the Millennium Corps, thousands of older people will be a friend to others, a mentor to those who are struggling or need help to get ahead, and be a supportive pillar to those who need help to live independently. We could see, for example, thousands of grandparents become Family Mentors in our Family Hubs. They would be committed to helping new parents chart those difficult first few months when a supportive hand and a listening ear can make an enormous difference. Parents would benefit, children would benefit, and our Family Mentors would benefit too.

After all, service to others is not just something that benefits others. It improves all our lives. The idea of citizenship being more than just rights but also responsibilities is a means of improving our whole nation, rich or poor, old or young. It lifts us all up, and puts all of us on the path to succeed. It unifies our country.

What I have set out is an ambitious agenda of national and community service that will encourage thousands of people every year to dedicate themselves to a higher cause. It will recast citizenship, reflecting the responsibilities we have and the obligation we should fulfil. And it will transform the lives of millions, rebuilding communities, helping the most disadvantaged people in our country, and tackling the changes we face - together through service.

Permission from Max
This is a nice speech with considerable rhetorical appeal and both the Kennedy imagery and the policy presentation work to frame this speech well.

It speaks to higher purposes, the value of helping others and gives an idea of how the Government will continue to act if they are re-elected.

This is also an example of Myerscough using his platform in Number 10 to bring policies to the fore that many of his predecessors would not have done, first on the environment and now on voluntary national service.

Issue Champion trait to Myerscough.
Redgrave | A-Team

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