I have cast my postal vote.
I couldn’t stand the lack of positive campaigning locally any longer, so I put my little “x” in the right box and posted off my ballot paper.
But I remain very angry about how the politics of playground has characterised the local campaign and Philip John’s excellent analysis of our local Conservative candidate’s use of Twitter in recent weeks sums up why I’m so annoyed.
I left a lengthy comment on Philip’s post and figured I should reproduce here as it does develop my previous argument about feeling like an invisible voter.
“I guess some interaction is better than no interaction. I’ve followed Mr Fabricant almost from the day he joined Twitter and I haven’t been followed back.
Obviously it is entirely up to him who he does and doesn’t follow. But what I find galling is he often interacts more with people outside of his constituency than he does with those who live in it.
He has a healthy majority and I can’t help feeling he’s a little complacent. He seems happier conversing and campaigning with people who are already supporting him, rather than trying to win over floating voters.
I’m not a natural Tory voter and probably never will be. But I am enthusiastic about living and working here – the national organisation I work for is based in Lichfield – and I want what is best for the city. If that means Michael Fabricant as MP then fine, but it won’t stop me pulling him up on certain issues and it doesn’t mean I’ll agree with everything he says and does.
I have local concerns, national concerns, personal concerns and professional concerns and I would expect my local MP, whatever party he/she represents, to at least listen.
Call my cynical, but Mr Fabricant’s return to Twitter (after he originally abandoned it for Facebook) coincided with publication of Andrew Rawnsley’s book on Gordon Brown and most of his tweets at that time seemed to focus on negative party politics and taking digs at the PM. Its meaningless, its pointless, it’s a waste of this resource to reach his electorate and keep us informed of his day-to-day work on our behalf.
He is a hard-working MP and I would dearly love to know more about what he does for our city and not negative sniping at opposing politicians.
He has a potentially brilliant, free public platform for this election campaign on Twitter and yet what has come across is that he’s very much “old school” – the politics of the playground seems to be his style at a time when an increasing number of us want to see a more grown up approach.
I wanted to know why I should vote for Mr Fabricant, not what Mr Fabricant thought of the policies and personalities of opponents – I found his description of a Communist Party supporter who attended the Speakers Corner debate particularly offensive, not least because Mr Fabricant himself had not attended the event.
All I’ve got from his Twitter account is a steady stream of reasons why I shouldn’t vote for him….and a sense of relief that he doesn’t follow me.”