‘Dear Chingford’: An open letter about Iain Duncan Smith

Smug: Iain Duncan Smith thinks his Parliamentary seat is safe. Can YOU help to wipe that grin off his face?

Smug: Iain Duncan Smith thinks his Parliamentary seat is safe. Can YOU help to wipe that grin off his face?

Here’s a little gem that Vox Political has been saving up since last December – an ‘open’ letter to the people of Chingford and Woodford Green about Iain Duncan Smith, from a person affected by his policies. It runs as follows [boldings mine]:

“Hello. You don’t know me, but I’m 40 years old, male, disabled and live outside of London, and recently employed. That’s all that matters really.
I’ve been employed on and off over the past four years. I’ve spent most of that time though under the system at the Department for Work and Pensions. It’s hell, it’s dehumanizing and it’s heart-breaking.

“I struggled my way to this job… but I’m here now. Unfortunately, that’s not an option for everyone. Some people can’t work, not that the Department for Work and Pensions cares. Under Iain Duncan Smith – your MP – people have died. I have read stories that should break your heart, if you have one.

“You do have a heart, don’t you? Good. Here’s what someone with a heart would do: Rid this country of Iain Duncan Smith.

“Seriously. Go and vote. You should be doing that anyway. But this time, I beg you, plead with you, not to vote Conservative. On behalf of everyone who dreads facing another five years of this man deciding whether we can heat our houses or feed ourselves every winter. For the old lady I read about today who can’t even afford a mince pie.

“Because it might be your mum next year. We’re all just a few meals away, a road accident, a terrorist attack or a heart attack, from really needing other people.”

Chingford and Woodford Green is a Conservative Party ‘safe seat’. Iain Duncan Smith won it in 2010 by a majority of more than 12,000. If he is to be unseated, it means thousands of people will have to vote for somebody else instead – or simply refuse to vote in this election.

Conservative mentality suggests that this is unlikely. Party supporters tend to do exactly as they are told and turn out to vote come hell or high water. But this year’s election is unusual – all the pundits are saying so, and we know that many people are influenced by what they get from the media, so it might just become true.

And, let’s be honest, removing Iain Duncan Smith from Parliament would be a net gain for the prosperity of the United Kingdom.

Bearing in mind the statistical likelihood that Chingford’s voters continue to act against all reason and return that candidate to Parliament, the only hope is that voters elsewhere refuse to support the Conservative candidates in their own constituencies.

Remember: It doesn’t matter if your Tory seems nice, or capable, or reasonable, or safe – a vote for any Conservative is a vote to put Iain Duncan Smith back in charge of benefit-related genocide. Yes, it may be described in those terms. Why else would the DWP hide the number of benefit-related deaths, if that number isn’t shockingly high?

Enough is enough. Let’s put the prosperity of the nation before our own selfish, sectional interests and do something genuinely good at this election.

Alternatively, as the “open” letter asks, will you let him take your mum next year?

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17 thoughts on “‘Dear Chingford’: An open letter about Iain Duncan Smith

  1. NMac

    Great pity this letter won’t get the nationwide media coverage that the dishonest fraudster Duncan-Smith’s lies achieve.

  2. jaynel62

    Add this to his failing to attend his OWN constituency Hustings, and Chingford clearly voted in a being of no conscience or notion of responsibility – This Vile creature really Must GO next week

  3. Tony Dean

    Has that open letter been published in the media anywhere, and/or is there a link to it available?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m afraid I don’t know. I found it last December, saved it with the intention of using it later, but there’s no indication of the author’s identity.

  4. Peter Kennedy

    Hi it was me who wrote the letter. Thanks for posting it here Mike, as it was my intention to get it to a wider audience. I did start a group on Facebook, which I’d be grateful if people would join. My members haven’t discussed much, but I keep putting up articles aimed at informing the people of Chingford & Woodford Green just what is going on in the rest of the country, that they seem blissfully unaware of. https://www.facebook.com/pages/An-Open-Letter-To-The-People-of-Chingford-Woodford-Green/1535372540036252?ref=hl

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      Readers from Chingford and Woodford Green are invited to join Peter’s Facebook page and do what you can to unseat Iain Duncan Smith.

    1. Peter Kennedy

      Strange, it’s working for me 🙂 Anyway, if you’re on FB, just search for ‘An open letter to the people of Chingford & Woodford Green, and it will show up. The user pic is Satan from South Park 🙂

  5. Wayne Leon

    Then if they are unaware about what is really going on in the rest of this country – in reference to IDS, then we must MAKE THEM AWARE!

  6. Andrew Johns

    I’m a local Chingford resident and one who has never voted Conservative. However, I think I’m going to say something that some will find controversial as it seems to fly in the face of trying to unseat IDS.

    I recently joined the Green Party and we’ve been doing our best through the party and our candidate, Rebecca Tully, to support campaigns like DPAC, to tell the people of Chingford and Woodford Green about the people behind the statistics.

    I was a Labour supporter till last year, but had become disillusioned with them on many things. They felt like a lighter version of the Tories. I know you’ll say “But surely that’s still better than the Tories and IDS getting in? Surely you should all have united behind the Labour candidate and voted tactically to get IDS out?” If I’d believed for one minute that there were a chance of that happening or if it was likely that Tories could get enough seats to form a government then I might have done so. But I actually think that a vote for Labour in CWG is the wasted vote, not the Greens.

    The most likely result now is a hung parliament, with Labour being held to their promises by smaller parties like the SNP, and Caroline Lucas. That outcome doesn’t depend on what happens in Chingford and Woodford Green any more than it depends on a large majority of other seats around the country. There’s about 20 seats that are in danger or likely to swing from Labour to Tory or vice versa. Those that are likely have already been targeted by Labour and will be going all out to win those seats. Again, Chingford & Woodford Green isn’t one of those seats.

    So while I can’t promise Chingford and Woodford Green will kick out IDS next week, I can all but guarantee that the Tories won’t be in power, IDS won’t be in the cabinet, and that between the SNP and Greens, we’ll be pushing hard to bring some much needed care, compassion and long term thinking back into politics. Something which is sorely missing, even in the Labour Party these days. I think there is more tactical value in doing that, and will continue to spread that message locally, for those who’ve suffered greatly under IDS and for future generations that need our political parties to wake up and make the radical changes that are needed.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’d be very interested to read other readers’ thoughts on this comment, which raises some very interesting issues.

      1. Peter Kennedy

        I feel obliged to respond 🙂

        They are indeed interesting points, but, and I mean no disrespect, I sense electioneering here. I mean, the Greens as a serious alternative? Really? I agree with all his result predictions (even the one about ‘CWG’I know it’s an area that won’t change the main result, and my words probably won’t make a difference to the people of CWG, but I felt like I needed to do something.

        I’m quite clear my objective is the removal of IDS, not the main picture. That’s why it’s directed at the people of the area. I recognise If I want rid of him, I have to target his constituents directly.

        When I wrote the letter just before Christmas, I wasn’t sure if Labour would be doing as well it seems to be in the polls, so I didn’t want to tell people who to vote for, just who NOT to vote for, and I make no apology for that. Perhaps it’s time for an update to the letter. When I finish work tomorrow I’ll crack on with something.

        If the polls are wrong, perhaps we’ll have a Conservative majority again. One without IDS might not change much, but we’ll send out a message.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You didn’t want to tell people who to vote for, just who NOT to vote for…
        I wanted Nicola Sturgeon to do the same thing regarding Tories in England but her supporters didn’t think that should be a priority.
        Sorry – I know it’s completely tangential to this discussion but I needed to put down a marker here.

      3. Andrew Johns

        @Peter Kennedy, I don’t want to take focus away from the main point of the original letter, which is that IDS is an evil man and I do want to be rid of him sooner rather than later, so I don’t want to dwell on differences between main parties and alternatives too much. I will say that at some point Labour was the third choice, and not a serious alternative to the Liberals and the Tories. Things change, support grows.

        My experience of people’s leanings tend be “I would vote Green because I agree with them, but I want to get rid of the Tories so I’m voting Labour” and sadly that doesn’t actually work in many cases, it just leaves you feeling more disheartened because you compromised your own values by voting for the lesser of two evils (albeit one being a very big evil).

        So, in that light, I wanted to explain why some of us in Chingford aren’t taking the obvious path when it comes to IDS. I’m told my vote is a wasted one, and self indulgent when I should be focusing on getting rid of IDS. I don’t think this is fair.

        I’m not stupid, if the opportunity was there I I’d take it, probably because I’m a watermelon and not dyed in the wool Green. My view on it does seem to be a minority one though; quite a few people I’ve spoken to have said they want to vote for the Green Party but would be voting Labour to get IDS out. I just wanted to justify an alternative viewpoint of what’s happening in Chingford.

      4. Daniel

        While IDS had a 12963 majority in 2010, 21725 registered voters did not vote in that seat. If any of the opposition parties can get those votes, this could easily become a swing seat! (the only exception is the Green Party, but they would only need to poach just 369 voters from another party in addition to the no votes to secure a majority!)

        It goes to show that, even in a supposedly “safe” seat, getting support from the people who didn’t vote in 2010 can make a huge difference to any political party! And that’s not even taking into account those who are able to vote for the first time this year.

  7. Peter Kennedy

    @andrew johns. I welcome anyone standing against IDS, but you must surely realise you’re not going to win it? I’d say if there’s little chance of a Labour victory in that constituency, there’s even less chance of a Green victory. But that’s what elections are about. This is the time when people like you get to make your case, and ask for votes.

    I still don’t understand why, if you want to get rid of IDS you think Green is more likely to win than Labour.

    You might make a dent in his majority, but to really remove him is going to take a major party. Nevertheless, I wish you well.

    1. Andrew Johns

      As I said, it’s controversial view given what a despicable man IDS is, and I do want to take his destructive powers away, but I think in this election, this will happen regardless of whether he remains MP of CWG because of a hung parliament and the rise of the SNP, and that gives me an opportunity to focus on what I think is better for the long term.

      Nobody is under any illusion about the greens chances in CWG. Across the country, most green candidates are just looking to demonstrate the growing support by an increased share of the vote, a handful harbour more ambitious hopes. Yes, Labour are a “major party” but that’ doesn’t make them the only option, especially when you don’t agree with them on many things. Labour were a minor party once. Similarly UKIP are now considered major in part because of the increased vote share they had in 2010, despite having no MPs and little traction in some constituencies. From small acorns, etc.

      Tactical voting takes many forms, it’s not just voting for the lesser of two evils, which makes sense in certain constituencies. A +1 vote to the Greens in 2015 is important to the longer term wider picture. When people look back in 2015 and compare it to 2010 figures. nationally and locally, they’ll see that there are others that are thinking the same way. And that will sway voters at the Mayoral elections, Local elections and the next general election, or at least pressure “major parties” to review certain policies. Either way that’s better for the whole of the country.

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