Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Hazel Anderson (Tory, Gateshead) is keen to hear your concerns...

Hazel is always keen to hear your concerns, either about local or national issues and can be contacted in the following ways:
<postal address>
<phone number>**
<email address>
<blog address>*
(I sent an email to the address on this leaflet 12 days ago. No reply was forthcoming.)

While it's nice to see that prospective MP's and councilors are keen to hear our concerns, it's usually accepted that having heard them, they actually put in the effort to reply to them.

One would also have thought that prior to an election all prospective candidates would be pleased to answer questions in order to try and persuade their voters that they're taking the prospect seriously.

In both the local and general election this year, I decided to email candidates that pushed their leaflets through my door about some local issues (like why is the 'Get Carter' car park still not demolished yet [current]***, and why Tesco's/local council are dragging their feet over the issue,) and (where appropriate) some national issues (such as why the tax payer should be funding homeopathy on the NHS [current] and why the government in the wash-up period prior to dissolution of parliament debated with less than 15% of MP's, and passed with much greater number, the shambolic 'lets make everyone a criminal if they have WiFi' Digital Economy bill.)

Of all the candidates that I emailed, all but one replied. Not all indicated that their views are in line with mine, but at least they had the good grace to read, and reply to, emails sent to the email addresses they put onto their literature.

As a floating voter, at least it helped me decide who not to vote for. If Hazel Anderson (standing for MP for the Conservatives in Gateshead) is unwilling to answer emails to the email address she promotes on her literature, heaven knows how well she'll listen to her constituents should she become an MP.

* Having visited Ms. Anderson's blog [current], I found that people are unable to leave comments to her posts. Hardly encouraging of two-way communication. In fact, at first blush, no contact details, however I did find this after ringing their constituency office** - the lower image is what's visible after a Select All (Ctrl-A):
In fact, so keen that Hazel Anderson is to hear her prospective constituents' concerns that she also has this second a third email address on the Conservative's web site [current] (I'm assuming this is genuinely their site and not one of the oppositions):

gogglemail.com? As of writing, the domain is just a placeholder for someone who's cyber-squatting on the domain, and no email sent to this address could seriously be expected to reach Ms. Anderson.

** A telephone call to the constituency office (a plus, there was someone there at 1830 to answer it,) didn't elicit a promising reply when I suggested that she should reply to her emails. "I'll pass the message on." No effort was made to ask what I'd emailed about etc.

*** Last update there? 2008. And it still looks like a building site. Apart from the undemolished car-park that is.

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