The Caring Face of New Labour 5

One of the endearing features of the British political system is that a constituent can always turn to their MP for help with any difficulties, particularly involving relationships between the individual and any organ of the State. Perhaps remarkably, in the vast majority of cases the MP does indeed do what they can to help.

Now read this reply which an astonished constituent received from their MP, Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of New Labour:

Dear ….

I am very sorry to hear of the immigration difficulties you have been experiencing . I have today written to the Home Office on your behalf and I will contact you again as soon as I receive a response. I am not prepared to make enquires or representations on behalf of constituents with criminal convictions. I have therefore informed the Home Office that if you do have criminal convictions, my enquiry should be considered withdrawn.

If you have not previously disclosed any criminal convictions on behalf of yourself or other individuals included on the same application, please contact me and let me know.

In the meantime if I can be of any further help or assistance in this or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact me again.


Harriet Harman

The constituent in question has no criminal convictions or associations whatsoever, but even if they had, that does not cancel your civil rights for the rest of your life, despite Ms Harman. Has she never heard of rehabilitation? Or of wrongful conviction?

This was in fact the third time this constituent had written to Harman on this issue, and the third time they had received this same standard reply. The promised future contact never happens.

New Labour really cares about individuals.

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5 thoughts on “The Caring Face of New Labour

  • Randal

    "I am not prepared to make enquires or representations on behalf of constituents with criminal convictions."

    Wow! What a bizarre attitude for a Brit.

    Over years of discussing political issues online, I've formed the (entirely subjective) impression that that kind of dismissive puritanical attitude to "felons" is something of an American trait.

    I suppose Stefan Kiszko, the "Birmingham Six" or the "Guildford Four" would have been right out of luck in Harman's constituency.

    Then again, a few years ago any politician with even a shred of decency would have resigned after being shown so indisputably on national TV to be a lying hypocrite as Harman was on Newsnight the other day (over her "Labour should apologise" farce). Then again, any political party with a shred of self respect would have booted such a politician out, if she refused to go voluntarily. These days we aren't even surprised enough by her shamelessness to make much of a fuss about it. We've basically given up on them (politicians, that is).

  • Tonys Akiller

    YET ANOTHER example of how these slugs (better word escapes me, sorry slugs, please try not to be offended) are destroying civility and politics.

    What can free us from this depths of despair we see today?

    Revolution… yes.

    Any others?

  • Tonys Akiller

    @ Peter Gasston.

    Its beyond farce. It really is.

    You should have written back to her saying "Thank you for agreeing to stop using narcotics and for letting me inform the press"

  • gollo

    All I can think of is for the constituant to write to the Local Party and hope to find a sympathetic ear. It would be interesting to hear their response, especially with regard to any of the constituants being stripped of the representation of their MP because of past indescresions.

    My local MP during the past few weeks seemed less than interested in people dying and thousands being displaced in his constituency, and more interested in a bit of brown-nosing and getting a cabinet post.

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