Cast your world-weary, battle-hardened, politico and political eyes over this disgusting filth spewing from the keyboard of swivel-eyed maniacs working through the night on behalf of some disreputable campaign to send vile messes to hard working Tory PPCs:
Can you clarify that:
You accept that climate change is caused by human activity?
Do you support the target to achieve 15% renewable energy by 2020?
Do you support the EU imposing tougher regulation to combat climate change?
Hardly the worst questions a campaigner will receive.
In my brief time working in politics both as an elected representative myself and for MEPs and MPs, I have seen some disturbing correspondence. I have seen candidates shouted down in roomsful of people who have nothing in common with my guy. I have opened scary letters from people who are plainly mentally ill, and been briefed by Special Branch on what to do with suspect packages. During the time I worked for Nick Clegg MEP, Elspeth Attwooll MEP’s office received dangerous acids disguised as cosmetic samples. And let us not forget what happened in Nigel Jones’s office in 2000.
And of course as every elected representative does, I’ve seen mountains of postcard campaigns and boilerplate letters from all sorts of different special interest groups, some of them alarmingly specific. Clearly, you have to decide if and how to respond to each different campaign, judging each on its merits. You can choose to answer. You can write a boilerplate response or find one from party colleagues. You can go the whole gamut from ignoring it to filing it carefully in a database and routinely mailing the correspondent with the latest update on the issue in question.
Posting the name and address of your correspondent on a national newspaper’s blog so that the readers think it’s time to set off a harassment campaign? Maybe not so much.