"Parliament needs redemption not just reform" as a local resident said wisely to me this week.
That really was the mood of the House of Commons in choosing a new Speaker. Ignore all the nonsense by the national journalists who got the outcome wrong (and probably lost money betting on it). Instead of a grandee we have a younger, more rebellious character in John Bercow.
But the responsibility for implementing change and taking Parliament out of an elitist, "closed-club" past and making it more open and engaged with people rests with all of us not just the Speaker. A slightly ominous note was sounded by the Conservative MPs who refused to congratulate Bercow on his win. It was sulky bad manners but it was also resistance to a real power shift from the Government to Parliament and from Parliament to people.
It means that we have to use the next few months effectively. At a public meeting I held locally on this issue, people wanted MPs expenses cleaned up and made transparent with an end to profits from second homes and second jobs. But residents also called for a fairer voting system, a redefinition of MPs roles to focus more on national issues and a shift in power to let Parliament really scrutinize and challenge the Government.
But while Parliament needs redemption, our armed forces, by contrast, have earned much deserved public support. It is "Armed Forces Week" this week and the flag to the services was raised at the Star and Garter in Richmond, a national symbol for all those killed and injured through military service.
Our soldiers have been a reminder of what public service is really about. The lesson needs to be learned by Parliament.