Kate sent me this, and I thought I’d throw it out to the floor. Indoor language, now, please…
“I was pleased to read your post on Cllr. Mary Mills – and agree with all the comments about what an asset she is to Greenwich.
Can I ask what your (and your readers) experience of Nick Raynsford is please? I don’t want to get into party-political stuff, but I’ve been disappointed by his failure to respond to three separate queries in three years – A 100% non-response rate on issues which a junior assistant should be able to draft a response on.
Is this just my experience and he’s actually a good constituency MP or is he taking a relatively safe seat for granted? Please advise!”
Nick Raynsford is a puzzle to me.
I always thought that MPs were obliged to answer letters sent to them (not sure about emails)but if he hasn’t managed one response in three that’s pretty poor going. On the one occasion I actually wrote to him, he did respond, with answers to each of my questions, albeit cut-and-pasted party-line from various government policies, rather than with any personal or local thoughts. In my naivety I had hoped I might get some kind of personal opinion out of him – something that might individualise him. No chance. No cracks in that public persona.
On the plus side, he does at least live in the borough, and he does seem to occasionally open things or unveil plaques. Someone’s got to do that.
His rather annoying ‘newsletter,’ which I’m sure irritates more people than endears him, gives us a glossy PR view of his year, in which he’s seen picking up litter on the Thames (not knocking him for that, of course, but it’s hardly cutting-edge) and smiling with carefully-chosen pensioners. On the back page he has a diary in which he lists every time he spoke in Parliament. It’s not a terribly edifying read – he doesn’t seem to have much to say. (A friend of mine gets SMS alerts every time Nick speaks in parliament; I keep meaning to sign up for that too. It would seem from the newsletter that my friend doesn’t get bothered too often.)
Now, I know that all MPs create these newsletters, but I disapprove in virtually every way. It’s money that could be spent better on practically anything. All these newsletters do is show off what these guys have done and how wonderful they are. They’re glossy, tree-killing wastes of cash and time and they all end up in the bin.
But back to Our Nick. I guess see him as a bland party man, rarely prepared to raise his head above the parapet. Which is a shame as I think there is more to him than we ever get to see. I don’t see him as a bad man – or even, really, a bad politician. Just – insipid.
I think he could be a very good constituency MP – a sort of MP version of the exemplary Mary Mills. I think he has it in him – he’s just buried it.
I’ve only actually seen him in the flesh once – when I was walking to Sainsbury’s on a Friday night and passing the Labour Party shop in Woolwich Rd. It was surgery time, but he didn’t have any customers, so was lounging with his feet up on the desk chatting on the phone. I confess I’d always assumed that surgeries would be full, and I can’t believe that there are no problems in Greenwich worth sorting out. Having said that, it sort of gave him a kind of ‘human’ element – it’s the sort of thing I might find myself doing. I’m sure most people would disapprove, but it made me smile. I almost went in just to keep him company…