Letter: Recovery looks like being a long haul

This letter sent to the Star was written by CM Langan, Beauchief, S8

Monday, 5th August 2019, 11:48 am
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 24:03 am
Jared O'Mara MP for Sheffield Hallam

Cyril Olsen's letter, (Let the people decide if they wish to back you, July 26), contained some interesting points that resonated with me.

I am speaking as someone with considerable family experience of the autism spectrum, however, so am maybe coming from a different vantage point, despite sharing most of his views.

Although autism can result in mental health problems such as OCD, anxiety, depression and mood swings, people on the spectrum can also be extremely dedicated. Those who are well enough to work will give all they've got and more to their chosen profession, paying considerable attention to detail, crossing all the 't's' and dotting all the 'i's'. Wildlife expert/presenter Chris Packham and climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg are two such examples.

People with cerebral palsy, (which Jared O'Mara, of course, also suffers from), have also been successful in life, with Emmerdale actor James Moore and comedienne Francesca Martinez being cases in point.

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However, Jared O'Mara doesn't just have one condition, he appears to have a whole multitude of things, including mental health issues which are clearly impeding him in life. Therefore, a lot is being asked of him, expecting him to perform the duties of an MP in the face of what looks like considerable odds. It is, consequently, not surprising that he hasn't been able to rise to the occasion and has absented himself from his constituents for the most part.

Much as I sympathise with him, his constituents deserve better than he's able to deliver. They voted for someone who would be there for them. They also, let it not be said, voted for a Labour MP, not an independent one, therefore that's what they should have.

At a later date, when he has had all the help he needs and his mental health issues are under better control, maybe he can try again, but there is clearly far too much 'background noise' at this point in time.

Therefore, I agree with Mr Olsen that he should do the honourable thing and resign his seat. I also feel, however, that he should spend a great deal of time building up his resources before standing in an election under his new manifesto, because even if his constituents do vote for him, he would not, at this point in his life, be able to deliver what his constituents need and deserve.

I wish him well in his recovery but would expect it to be a long haul.