Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How's This For a Broken Society

One of key things about being an MP is to represent the constituents of your constituency and their issues and concerns with dignity and in confidence. (Of course you may approach a constituent for the right to use their case to get much needed publicity for a particular cause).

One thing you should not do in publish the address details etc. or someone writing to you asking a question that you do not agree with. The Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Leyton and Wanstead Edwin Northover has however got such details published in the Telegraph.

The question that was asked was one of those campaign cut and paste questions. In the lead up to 2005 I received quite a number of these, and replied to every one, even those that I did not agree with, but with what was the alternative we were offering and why I felt that was better.

If Edwin Northover can fail to respect those he wishes to represent over such a simple matter. Also if James Delingpole who wrote the article considers it stalking for constituents to ask their perspective candidates questions in order to guide their voting intentions he clearly doesn't understand representative democracy. Or maybe doesn't want a difference of opinion to his own.

No question from a concerned voter/constituent should be treated in this way. The fact that the email came from Northover's office means that he and his team are not worthy of the public support they seek (It also asks questions about the training of candidates and staff that the Conservatives carry out). The poor constituent now has those who disagree with his views posting his personal details on line, so from a enquiry being deemed as 'stalking' the shoe now is on the foot and harassment is being carried out.

So much for caring conservatism.

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