Roy Hattersley ponders morality without religion:
I resent the implication that atheists who are politicians are also ethically agnostic. All real politicians – like all genuine political philosophers – believe that government should be based on moral precepts.
The moral imperative is the only reason for becoming a politician in the first place. There is more money to be earned outside parliament than in. Westminster offers notoriety rather than fame. The work is far more arduous than the tasks performed by journalists who criticise the empty benches. There is no point in being in politics unless you have a clear view of a better society that you hope to create, and a willingness to go on struggling to bring it about even when you know that, at least in your lifetime, your efforts will fail. If that is not a definition of the moral vocation, it is hard to know what is.