It was good to talk to you, although via phone is, as I told Matthew at least twice before he passed the phone to you, not ideal. It suits neither my job nor my thought processes.
email is much better as I can reply between customers, and you can reply between your many commitments. I know you read your emails as you have just told me of a constituent who emailed you about one of the issues we were discussing.
You intimated in our conversation that you no longer reply to any communication from me because I have in the past blogged your responses without asking you first. You then said that I’d never explained why I had begun to blog your answers to my questions – but I blogged an explanation and an apology in May 2009. https://rothervalley.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/kevin-barron-mp-an-apology/ I know you and your staff read my blog as you have all mentioned it, so I cannot imagine you missed this post.
The reason I’d like to use your responses on my blog are because I want to ask you about the issues you represent us on, and as far as I can tell there is no way of knowing what you think – and lets face it you are going to get re-elected, so although you’re not our MP, you will be. We’ve just had an interesting discussion about ID cards, for example, in which you have defended the scheme. I suspect a very small precentage of the people you represent know what your views are on this issue, or how you have arrived at them. The same is true of any issue – car scrappage is another, the digital economy bill – I could go on. There is no way to find out what you think about the issues that affect us all, and no way to discuss what we – the people you represent – think.
The point is I’m not asking you about small issues like Mrs Miggins’ planning permission or complaining about my neighbours – I’m asking you about the major issues that you represent us on, and yet that we, the people you represent, know nothing about your views on. That is why I want to blog about them – because you are paid by the public to represent us, and we therefore need to know what your views are.
Do you not think it part of your role to communicate about what you think on political issues? I can only conclude not as your website only really tells us which park you’ve opened, and you are very hard to pin down – but I’d suggest that telling people who you represent how and why you form your views is an essential part of your job.
I’d be interested to hear on what basis you can possibly disagree with this.
For your information, I will post a copy of this email, and any reply from you, on my blog.
I look forward to communicating on the record with you via email, or in person soon – preferably before polling day. The parliament in which you seek to serve is going to have some massive decisions to make, and we need to know what your views are.