GLENDA JACKSON: An honest MP with sound priniples

There is nothing more distasteful than the bullying that has masqueraded as political debate in recent local election campaigns and it was with concern and disgust that I read the news of the recent Liberal Democrat attack on MP Glenda Jackson (Is Jackson

There is nothing more distasteful than the bullying that has masqueraded as political debate in recent local election campaigns and it was with concern and disgust that I read the news of the recent Liberal Democrat attack on MP Glenda Jackson (Is Jackson laziest MP in London, H&H December 3).

The BBC's The Thick of It pokes fun at this kind of macho political culture and while it may be entertaining, I am not prepared to stand by as a professional spin doctor engages in 'Malcolm Tucker style' bullying of one of Parliament's most senior MPs on my doorstep.

Glenda Jackson takes a principled stance on issues in Parliament and has helped many residents - she has responded quickly and effectively when I have written to her. But what has our Liberal Democrat candidate done for us?

This is not the sort of politics I want to see from anyone seeking to be my MP. Though the Lib Dem candidate has and will no doubt continue to try to lower the tone of political debate in Hampstead and Kilburn, I will be using my vote to ensure that he will never be in a position to represent my views.

I would encourage other residents to take a stand and make sure that they vote next year, so that we can guarantee that it is the views of local people that are presented by our MP in the House of Commons.

Claire-Louise Leyland

Most Read

Resident, NW3

Glenda Jackson has been MP for our constituency since 1992. What you see is what you get. She is honest and consistent and opposed the Iraq War, which set in motion the current financial crisis, cost billions, killed many innocent people including many British soldiers and caused misery to many more.

She led the fight against Blair and assisted his removal... he was, we should recall, the great friend and bosom buddy of George W Bush, possibly the worst US President in history.

Ms Jackson fiercely fought the decision to go to war with Iraq with sincerity and dignity and may be personally worth a vote. Her party however is now something else and deserves to go down. We can clear the decks for all time of the Lords Kinnock, the Blair Babes, the Scottish former Trotskyites like Mr Darling and of course the 'Richlieu' of the whole picture, Lord Mandelson, even if we must go the Eton route to achieve it.

Many may vote for Ms Jackson again due to the bile and venom of some people attacking the person, not the policies.

Gary J Smith

Asmara Road, NW2

I was most indignant at your headline, and when I read that this information was provided by Ed Fordham, I was not particularly surprised. Glenda Jackson is a hardworking, caring MP. She follows up her surgery cases thoroughly and promptly, keeping constituents informed.

She is certainly not intellectually lazy and is one of a small handful of MPs who do not just follow the party line. She thinks for herself and votes for what she believes in. I am pleased to have an MP who promotes the cause of her constituents and of Hampstead while behaving according to her personal values.

Anne Degert

Wells House NW3

I find it rather puzzling that Glenda Jackson has such a poor record of speaking in the House of Commons, because it is not as if she is seen regularly in the constituency instead.

I don't think she has been seen once in any local area forum for West Hampstead and Fortune Green for over three years, or the safer neighbourhood team meetings or for that matter any of the residents meetings I regularly attend. I realise she may be going to meetings in other parts of her constituency but I suspect my council colleagues representing other wards rarely see her either.

She was a surprising visitor at a recent meeting in the Town Hall to discuss progressing ideas for the West Hampstead Interchange, but left after an hour, presumably to return to the House to not speak up for constituents.

She asserted in last week's Ham&High that she spends all day in her office writing to ministers and constituents. That doesn't seem to improve her efficiency or that of her office staff.

She has written to me several times over the last year, but has confused me with my colleague Cllr Alexis Rowell, because his address is Belsize Park and mine is Belsize Road. I appear to be getting less than helpful replies on environmental issues, which I suspect Alexis has raised with her. I must check to see if he is getting replies to my correspondence....

Cllr John Bryant

(Lib Dem) West Hampstead ward

I was appalled by your headline concerning Glenda Jackson, and I consider Mr Fordham's comments incorrect. On several occasions I have written to Ms Jackson and have always received a reply, properly researched. Furthermore she is an MP who is available to all her constituents at regular public meetings. I am astounded that the Ham&High should feel that the headline was appropriate.

Gillian McAndrew

Chairman, Church Row Association

Without going into the rights or wrongs of Glenda Jackson's Hansard record, I am dismayed to read the venomous personal attacks by the Liberal Democrat's Parliamentary candidate. Clearly this illustrates the desperation and frustration his party is experiencing in this key marginal.

Let's hope that the race to win Hampstead and Kilburn does not resort to more venomous mud slinging contests at this low level by the Lib Dem PPC as exhibited in last week's Ham&High.


Fellows Road, NW3

UNLIKE many other MPs, Glenda Jackson replies to requests almost immediately and is extremely effective at following up on our concerns I don't have any problem with her dealing directly with constituents rather than making speeches in Parliament. I'd prefer her to be getting on with the job, dealing with ordinary constituents. I want an MP who listens and gets things done.

Mudslinging is not a quality I want to see in my MP. Hampstead and Kilburn deserve an MP with a global status, someone not afraid to speak their mind and with the experience that counts. Glenda Jackson is all of those things.

Sean Birch

Elizabeth Mews, NW3

WE were perplexed to read the reason Glenda Jackson gave for having done so little work in Parliament over the last four and a half years. She says she is concentrating on constituency work - but we seldom see our current MP.

We represent a large majority of her existing seat. We rarely see her at the regular local meetings we attend such as residents' associations, tenants groups, council Area Forums or police Safer Neighbourhood groups. At these meetings local concerns are raised day in day out - but our MP is largely absent. She seldom comes to special meetings on national issues such as health or policing.

She can't be working with her own party's councillors on these matters, since there have been no Labour councillors in Hampstead and Highgate since 2006.

Cllrs David Abrahams, John Bryant, Linda Chung, Russell Eagling, Janet Grauberg, Arthur Graves, Duncan Greenland, Nancy Jirira, James King, Keith Moffitt Flick Rea, Alexis Rowell, Tom Simon

(Liberal Democrats, Camden Council)