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Monday, April 12, 2010

Dear Ann Keen

Thank you for the flyer through the door today. As my partner is dyslexic, please can you in future send all material to JONOTRON in a larger print format on an off-white paper stock with a clearer font? Also, more detail and clarity about your pledges and what they mean in real terms would be generally useful for us both.

As a general question, can you let me know how you are reaching different communities with your campaign information - I know many local voters with disabilities who would need to receive information in BSL or other formats, or for whom English isn't their first language, but there's no information about how they should request this from you.

I am concerned that you are sending a lot of promotional material at the moment and I understand that the paper is mixed stock but can you assure me that there are local facilities to recycle the glossy flyers we are receiving and that the paper isn't bleached and that the ink used is responsibly sourced? I'd hate to think that the election campaign was having an adverse environmental impact.

Also, can you address some of the concerns we have about the Labour Party's stance on refusing proportional representation? As it stands, the majority of votes cast in the borough count for nothing in parliament in a first past the post system, which discourages people from voting for the party that best represents their views and encourages tactical voting, which isn't exactly democratic.

If you consider this system to be fair, can you let me know how we can ensure that our voices are fairly represented in parliament when in the previous term it seemed that your voting record held very closely
to the party line - was this a reflection of the majority of local voices or simply that the largest group of votes that were cast were for the Labour party and therefore the party policies were followed?

How often will you be having local surgeries and is the intent of these to defend Labour policies against the public or the act as a channel by which the local voting population can actively inform what happens in parliament?

If I vote by my beliefs, I will not be voting for the Labour party because my politics are not reflected in infringements of civil liberties or in the enduring aggression overseas which in my view amounts to cultural imperialism when it hinges on an assumption that democracy will heal the world and yet we do not have democracy here, but an elected oligarchy operating under a non-constitutional monarchy. None of which is to say I'm against the monarchy or the House of Lords as a system for preventing the Commons from becoming too caught up in a need to respond to media pressure, but I do think we lack the moral high ground when it comes to enforcing democracy by supporting Americans who use cluster bombs and depleted uranium warheads in order to encourage people that a voting system is the way
forward.

While there is no main political party that accurately represents my beliefs, I would like to be reassured that should you be reappointed there will be regular and open forums for us to discuss and debate
matters of policy affecting my country locally and nationally and that we can remember that whether or not I vote for you, should you win, you will be working for me and that I should retain a sense that I am
your employer.

If you can reassure me on the above points, I will be most pleased.

Best of luck in the forthcoming election, for what it's worth I sincerely hope we do not have a Conservative government undoing the advances in some areas of social policy that we've seen under Labour, but I really hope that a new government, whoever forms it, can restore some of the basic freedoms that have been lost in the last few years.

Yours,

Howard Hardiman

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