Saturday, 15 October 2011

Letwin's 'Heavy' Burden

According to a good friend who lives in Dorset Oliver Letwin is an excellent MP. His public persona is one of a blustering eccentric, but rather like Boris Johnson, he has a sharp political mind. That's the reason David Cameron appointed him his chief policy advisor.

That said, I'm astonished at his recent strange behaviour of dumping constituents' correspondence in park dustbins.  Dictating his responses during early morning walks in St James's Park sounds rather irregular, but if that's Mr Letwin's choice of venue for dealing with his constituency work, I see no problem.

What his actions have brought to light is that he doesn't keep his constituency correspondence on file. Surely any MP worth their salary does that. I'm sure, apart from the Data Protection issues involved, some of Mr Letwin's constituents won't be too happy this weekend knowing that he discards their missives so casually. When people take the time and trouble to write to MPs it's usually because they're greatly concerned about a subject.

This begs the question - how many other MPs dispose of constituents' mail once a response has been given? Surely constituents correspondence should be given the same respect as that of classified government papers? Obviously Mr Letwin thinks not.

Liam Fox has resigned and not before time. The results of the poll are above with only 18% thinking he wouldn't be in his post next week.  One fact of the Fox/Werrity issue which stands out for me is how ineffectual so many of our political representatives appear to be.  Once upon a time we had altruistic MPs who had a commitment to serve the people of these islands to the best of their ability.  Nowadays it appears, as in the Fox case, many are far more egotistical and happy to be used as puppets by their billionaire paymasters.


JRB said...

Credit must go to Mr Cameron …

Like all modern employers he has fully embraced and enacted Equal Opportunity Employment.

He has scoured the benches of the ConDem coalition politicians and filled his cabinet with the best of the ‘numpties’.

He allowed Mr Fox to blossom and develop from your average run-of-the-mill right wing ‘numptie’ to the fully rounded ‘total numptie’.
In the grand scheme of things, ‘total numpties’ are returned to the back benches to mentor and inspire other would be up and coming numpties.

But, no sooner has one ‘numptie’ fallen out of the limelight then another aspiring ‘total numptie’ bravely and boldly steps forward.
In true ‘numptie’ fashion Mr Letwin has not hesitated to step up to the plate.

Mr Cameron certainly can pick his ‘numpties’.

Joe Public said...

Not all correspondence needs to be kept Rosie.

I admit that I haven't read the full details (and anyhow, can a newspaper ever know the 'full' details?), but who's to know whether Mr Letwin's office don't 'Scan & Archive' correspondence, so that once dealt-with, the original is redundant?

MP's get 1,000s of letters a year, and keeping physical bits of paper becomes ridiculous.

The problem then becomes compounded when you "can't see the wood for the trees".

subrosa said...

Numpties right enough JRB. Of course we only hear about those who are silly enough to be caught.

subrosa said...

Very true Joe, but in that case why doesn't he use an iPad type device then he can read and record at the same time.

Isn't making copies rather a waste of money and, as he admits himself, a heavy burden. To say nothing of the security issue...

Joe Public said...

"To say nothing of the security issue..."

C'mon Rosie, a blustering eccentric walking alone in a London park with an iPad - that really would be a temptation to muggers.

He was photographed by the Daily Mirror disposing of papers over five days in September and October - if the red-top was really concerned about security, surely they'd have reported it on day 1 or 2.

Anon said...

I think it was Oliver Letwin who said to me that it was a pity about the poor, but, there wasn't much one could do about them.

- Aangirfan

Observer said...

If any person employed by the government behaved the way that Letwin did they would be sacked. What he did was a gross breach of the data protection act & was also in my view a gross disrespect to the constituents who wrote to him. I like a walk in the park as well, I do it on the way to work & on the way home. I don't do it when I am at work & place records I should keep on file in the bin. I do my work in the Office because that is where I have the tools I need to investigate what people have asked me to find out about. I then file things in case another query comes up. I take my work seriously & obey the law. Letwin doesn't.

He gets paid more from the public purse than I do. We should be asking for a refund from this utter clown.

subrosa said...

But Joe, Joe can lock an iPad and also put a tracer on it.

Aye, I agree with you about the Mirror's behaviour.

subrosa said...

Oh dear Aangirfan, he sounds rather like Nicky Fairbairn when he was in his meeting and greeting mode.

subrosa said...

Once again (!) I agree with you Observer, but of course nothing will be done.

One rule for them and another for us.

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