A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

David Clelland MP

What a great letter.

I hope the PLP office send a template version to all Labour MPs to deploy in case of receipt of letters like this one.

23 Comments:

Blogger Merseymike said...

But the original letter writer is spot on.

That's why Labour are going to be absolutely hammered at the next election. I wouldn't vote for someone as oafish and authoritarian, not to mention rude, as Clelland.

10:40 pm, July 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloody hell, Luke. Are you for real? The response was crass, over the top and arrogant.

Hmmm....I can see why that would appeal to you.

11:12 pm, July 02, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

The letter is funny and no ruder than the original letter.

If you're going to lobby your MP, don't insult them and threaten them. It makes you look silly and they're less likely to take notice.

It's like the people who write to the Labour Party telling them they've waited 'till two weeks before an election to get a huge piece of casework done because it's now we want their vote. No, we'll do your casework anyway but actually rational logic would suggest it'd be quicker to win ten votes on the doorstep than spend hours doing one voters' bit of casework.

11:38 pm, July 02, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb, absolutly superb.

May the rest of the PLP learn from David Clelland !

GW

PS Mersey Mike - We have not seen the original letter, so how the hell can you comment on it ?

11:53 pm, July 02, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The original letter can be seen by following the second link in my post and scrolling down. Usual Spart-speak describing Labour as "increasingly fascist".

11:56 pm, July 02, 2008

 
Blogger Darren said...

Christ, when a mp represents a parliamentary seat that only had a 49% turn out at the last election, is he really in such a position to be so arrogant?

5:46 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous James said...

Bit over the top from Clelland I think.

8:29 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Stuart said...

As a recipient of the occasional green ink letter I sympathise with David Clelland. His constituent chose to make his points in an aggressive and antagonistic way - fine, his choice. However, why should Clelland not repy in a similar manner? with the exception of the "stick it where you choose" line, there is nothing remotely rude in the rest of his reply.

8:48 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Rob said...

Well done David Clelland. They don't like it up 'em, do they they?

9:21 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

The original letter was impassioned and hectoring in tone and did not make its points as well as it might have. But the criticisms it contained are quite right. Clelland's response was arrogant and crass, particularly the bit about sticking his vote where it suits him. As a social liberal who used to vote Labour but feels much as the letter writer, I will take Clelland's words as advice to cast my vote for any party other than the Labour party. However I've got the feeling that if Labour does lose the next election, it'll be us liberals who stayed at home or voted for other parties who'll be blamed for our 'selfishness' in not voting Labour. If I am so blamed then I will simply refer to Clelland's letter - evidently Labour does not want my vote.

10:12 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

However, why should Clelland not repy in a similar manner?

I think the reason why might have moderated his reply is that the points that the letter writer makes are for the most part reasonable, even though he expressed them in an aggressive and provocative way. The 'extreme porn' law is in particular ill-judged and pointlessly authoritarian. Clelland's arrogantly dismissing the need for the votes of liberals is pretty stupid given Labour's current situation.

10:20 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Luke, we have not seen a faxcimile (or however you spell it) of the original letter, just a rendition by the writer of what he says was in the original.

And I would not trust self promoting idiots to tell the truth if it suits thier political stand point.

GW

11:02 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having worekd for a few MPs and seen the crap that comes out of the mailbag I punched the air when I read Clelland's reply. He will be a tea room hero for all parties.

The most worrying thing is that an apparently moderately intelligent guy completely fails to understand how the Party system and representative democracy work. He then confuses UK PLC with his own constituency. The Education system has a lot to answer for.

Does this idiot really believe that a Parliament full of 640 odd 'independents' with no party affiliation would be anything but a laughing stock?

Constituents have a right to be listened to and have their letters read but they do not have the right to arrogantly demand that the MP act as their personal delegate. It is the worst kind of solipsim.

12:17 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Constituents have a right to be listened to and have their letters read but they do not have the right to arrogantly demand that the MP act as their personal delegate. It is the worst kind of solipsim

Missing the point by a fucking parsec. The original letter is an excellent example of how not to write to your MP, especially when the author had a very good argument that he could have used. But he allowed his emotions to get the better of him. He should have put Clelland on the spot for his support of 42 days detention, ID Cards and the 'extreme porn' measures. But he allowed Clelland off the hook, allowing him to attack the letter and evade responding to the issues it contained.

1:08 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Stephen ; people like Luke are quitre convinced that the massed White van men are all going to flood back to labour if they become more and more authoritarian. Unfortunately for him and them, they are not, and the votes of liberals (who are very high turnout voters) have never been less likely to be cast for Labour. Indeed, I think that's why the LD vote is actually not falling as much as it might - whilst some moderate Tories are going back to Cameron, many liberal Labour voters will vote LD or Green.

But the workerist, authoritarian right would prefer us to vote LD anyway, so that's fine...I will!

2:38 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous hexite said...

both letters are available on HEXUS

HERE: forums.hexus.net/question-time/141742-so-i-write-letter-my-mp.html

3:02 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Stephen ; people like Luke are quitre convinced that the massed White van men are all going to flood back to labour if they become more and more authoritarian. Unfortunately for him and them, they are not, and the votes of liberals (who are very high turnout voters) have never been less likely to be cast for Labour

I find it very depressing. I thought I'd seen the worst of it with Harry's Place but some of Luke's comments make me blanch. Is he for real? A few years ago, I could have never conceived of not voting Labour. Now I can't conceive of voting Labour. I am not a 'negativist' red in tooth and claw libertarian, but an old fashioned social liberal. What I am steeling myself for now are the recriminations about my 'selfishness' if Labour loses the next election.

3:11 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Describes me too, Stephen - but it looks as if some parts of the Labour party really would prefer it if we voted Liberal democrat or Green.

7:15 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

The point here is surely that an elected representative should be capable of NOT responding in kind on such a matter? Some of the posters here seem to be willing the MP on in his 'race to the gutter'. Leaving aside his dangerous spin on more than 50% of voters having voted for Labour, his arrogant dismissal from on high is simply poor politics - as the online consequences have demonstrated. OK, so David Clelland is never going to convince this constituent of anything much(and remember this was one of his constituents). But why then reinforce any alleged conviction or prejudices the constituent has - and get himn so fired up that he disseminates the response across the Internet!

I recall writing to some grand Dame Tory MP protesting about the banning of Trade Unions from GCHQ many years ago. Her response was a classic of an oleaginous, OTP over-politness of the 'how-interesting-to-read-what-you-write' variety that basically took the p***. But it made me laugh out loud and with a grudging respect for her adroit skill in putting me dopwn without providing any ammunition.

To me, the boorish David Clelland outburst it is just another tawdry example of the sheer arrogance and amorality of Westminster politicans in general, and it would seem in this particular case, of a certain type of Labour MP.

10:20 am, July 04, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

To me, the boorish David Clelland outburst it is just another tawdry example of the sheer arrogance and amorality of Westminster politicans in general, and it would seem in this particular case, of a certain type of Labour MP

I think that's spot on, Ted. I have a small amount of sympathy for Clelland in receiving such a rant, but the points made in the rant, about Labour authoritarianism, deserve to be answered in a serious fashion. Clelland's response seemed to fall into the category of liberal baiting which you see on Harry's Place or from Luke Akehurst. Not such a smart move when it looks like Labour is going to need every vote it can get, even those of despised liberals.

10:38 am, July 04, 2008

 
Anonymous David Floyd said...

Well, despite sharing some of the civil liberties concerns expressed, I'm not unsympathetic to Clelland's feelings about being addressed in the pompous, arrogant tone exhibited by the initial correspondent.

But if a teacher or nurse who been insulted and patronized by a member of the public responded in the way that Clelland has here - using the language and tone that he uses - they'd certainly be disciplined and might be sacked.

Maybe MPs see themselves as a class apart from run of the mill public servants.

11:55 am, July 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Floyd said...
... if a teacher or nurse who been insulted and patronized by a member of the public responded in the way that Clelland has here - using the language and tone that he uses - they'd certainly be disciplined and might be sacked.

Maybe MPs see themselves as a class apart from run of the mill public servants.


A sentiment attributed to Voltaire springs to mind such as "I disagree with what you say but will fight to the death to protect your right to say it" (or something like that).

I can't imagine Clelland (or Luke) using that phrase easily can you?

2:29 am, July 05, 2008

 
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1:26 am, August 07, 2008

 

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