Sunday, 17 January 2016

An email from a concerned non-Telford resident to Lucy Allan MP

Ian is just one of many voters outside Telford who is very concerned about Lucy Allan's conduct because of her lack of openness. This is an email he sent to Lucy Allan yesterday which I believe speaks on behalf of so many people throughout the country, irrespective of their political persuasion. Ian has previously managed to elicit a response from Lucy Allan and so it will be interesting to see if he does this time.

Subject: Political disengagement
Hi Lucy,
(c.c. various online forums)
I hope you are enjoying your weekend.
I guess in many ways, if as has been reported and suggested, you suffer from any narcissistic characteristics, you will not be listening to anyone when challenged.
In some ways, in the very forthright communication with one of your constituents, which can be argued verged upon threatening behaviour, you made it clear that you were not prepared to listen to his perfectly reasonable questions. In fact you stated that it would be harassment if he contacted you again.
After all, an MP who claimed to think that "politicians have an ethical duty not to mislead or misinform voters", must surely accept that question when presented with the evidence that you did indeed mislead.
That was specifically in conflating two emails together without attribution, and then posting that online in a public forum.
The curious element of this incident is the choice of email to publish. Me, like many others I imagine, find it strange that you chose to alter an email to change its core message rather than publish the one with the words "unless you die".
I am sure you will agree that those words are much more emotive and convey the thrust of your intended message by making public the communications that you receive.
That is why I suspect you are receiving numerous requests to publish this email. And the lack of a clear and unambiguous response is increasing the clamour for you to publish it.
I am sure you can understand that.
I chose politically disengaged as the subject of this email to try to explain why people like me care so much. A key element of disengagement begins with a lack of trust of those in power. And this is the essence of a democratic process, trusting those you choose to represent you.
It's the choice of language when answering questions. You can see it in interviews with journalists when the posed question is cleverly avoided. Or, for example the case of Jeremy Hunt who suddenly became unavailable for comment or interview on a key day during the recent junior doctor's strike.
I suppose in some ways, people, myself included, see your avoidance of Jon Snow and unavailability for comment during the recent press coverage adds to this feeling of disengagement.
And that's the issue. The way those in power - of all political persuasions - make pledges and then somehow avoid them once the vote is over.
Did you have that intention yourself all along? Or does this happen to those in power only once they have achieved it?
What goes on in your mind at these critical moments? I mean you made that election video about a politician's ethical duty not to mislead and misinform.
And then one day, you were sat on Facebook, you wrote a post, then pasted in parts of an email from a constituent (omitting the first 5 paragraphs). You then changed some of the words in the message as follows:
1) Deleted the word "probably" as in " are probably just a robot..."
2) You changed the word "they" and “their” to "you" and "your" in the text "...that they have no empathy for anyone but their super rich buddies...". I guess this makes the message tone much more personal to you rather than others, and reinforces your pre-amble about the examples of abuse you get
3) You replaced the ending so instead of "Think about it, yeah?" you replaced it with the words "Unless you die". I concede this is not quite a death threat, but it changes the tone of the message considerably and reinforces your point.
4) The altered selection of text you included together with the words "unless you die" were all published with the same quotation which gave the reader the clear impression it was a single communication, without at this point any knowledge of the editing you had made or the multiple sources.
What was your thought process at this point? Had you forgotten your pledge not to mislead or misinform? Or had you instead chosen not to honour that pledge at this point?
This is the core issue. By "selectively editing" as you yourself claimed to have done, but only after the integrity of the real message had been challenged by the sender, you had gone down a path which is clearly misleading and misinforming anyone reading it.
Whether you would have given that explanation or deleted it if not challenged is difficult to say after the course of events? Would you have done? Or was the choice to explain and then delete the post only prompted by being challenged by the original author?
Maybe now you could consider explaining your thought processes and why you chose to act and publish the communication in this way?
Did you temporarily forget your pledge? Or had you chosen to take a different path where misleading and misinforming was justifiable. Hence the Animal Farm analogy. The new regime found grounds to veer from their original ideal and chose a different course than the one they had started out upon.
Maybe in your case the ends justified the means which is why you chose to mislead?
It would be fascinating I am sure if you answered each and every one of the 4 changes you made (above) and explain your rationale and justification?
Hope you continue to have a great weekend.
Ian Denny