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How Labour MPs really view their constituents

MP David Clelland: ‘I don't want your vote, stick it' - Times Online

Mr Clelland, 64, offered this advice in response to a letter from Gary Scott, 27, an IT salesman with concerns over civil liberties.

Mr Scott had written to his MP once before, while living in a different part of the city, a constituency represented by a Liberal Democrat MP. “He was kind enough to write a considerate reply and I hope you will do the same,” Mr Scott wrote. He then detailed his concerns. The Government was authoritarian and out of touch. He could no longer ignore what he regarded as a “blatant power grab”.

Mr Clelland is regarded as a man of the Centre Left who votes broadly with the Labour mainstream: indeed, he was once a parliamentary whip. He voted in favour of identity cards and 42-day detention for terror suspects. He also voted for the hunting ban. He did stand up for civil liberties when it came to the smoking ban, perhaps because he is a pipe smoker.

Mr Scott was very disappointed with what he saw. “You vote with your party on pretty much every single issue,” he wrote. “It’s not your constituents you represent, it’s your party.”

In short, he held the Government and Mr Clelland himself “responsible for destroying civil liberties that have been hard won from tyrannical monarchs over centuries”.

Concluding what he described as “a bit of ranting and raving from one of your constituents”, he said that if Mr Clelland continued “toeing the party line”, he could “kiss my vote goodbye”.

The warning did not have the desired effect. Mr Clelland replied accusing Mr Scott of arrogance for thinking that “you . . . represent the views of the people of our community”. This, Mr Clelland wrote, was his job.... “I’m not here to be dictated to like that,”...“I do not want your vote so you can stick it wherever best pleases you.”

Comments

Says it all really, doesn't it?

Says it all really, doesn't it?

It's not the isolation from the public mood that will kill New Labour, it's the arrogance that it doesn't matter. They've travelled a long way since the focus groups of the 1990s.

"He voted in favour of identity cards and 42-day detention for terror suspects. He also voted for the hunting ban. "

So he holds the rights of vermin higher than humans?

Let's hope he is hounded (hehe) out of office.

Clelland has a point: like it or not in our democracy he was elected. His towing the party line presumably isn't something startlingly new.

But MPs do receive an astonishing amount of arrogant rants in the mail.

Letters that begin "We, the people..." from people who claim to represent the public view, which when pressed, turns out to be, "me and some mates from the pub discussed this and they agreed with me"

Maybe this was the last straw for him, espeically when much of an MP mailbag is full of genuine problems and real concerns; as opposed to a self styled history expert lecturing people in power on the issues of the day.

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