Open Letter to Laura Trott MP (#4)

I live in Sevenoaks, the largest town in a constituency “represented” by Laura Trott, a Conservative MP with an impressive CV, formerly David Cameron’s Head of Strategic Communications, but with very little apparent interest in engaging with local citizens. I share this letter because I know many others are in a similar position.

Dear Ms Trott

This is my fourth open letter to you. The first three were of a kind: I wrote to you after you failed to call for any action in the aftermath of the Cummings “eye test”; again after you peddled the Johnson line that Child Food Poverty was not really an issue at all, only for him to u-turn two weeks later; and most recently when you did the same on the Policing and Crime Bill, which as you well know directly threatens the fundamental human right to protest.

This one is a little different.

With this letter, I want to call time on your attitude to your constituency. It’s time for you to stop taking us for granted.

We’ve just shown you this by voting in a non-Conservative County Councillor for the first time, not just in years, but in decades. We could not give you a clearer signal.

2021 Kent County Council election result for Sevenoaks Town — via Kent Live

So if you want to hold this seat at the next General Election, which I assume you do, here are the three steps you need to take:

  1. Move here. Frankly, it’s appalling that you don’t yet live here, 18 months on from your election. There cannot be many constituencies from which it is easier to reach the House of Commons than Sevenoaks. How can you pretend to represent us when you are not living among us? What reason can you possibly claim for not doing so?
  2. Stop the nonsense. Since the election of Richard Streatfeild on Friday, there have been several attempts by members and even elected representatives of your party to attack him completely unnecessarily, in disingenuous ways that will not succeed — and even if they did succeed, would do so only by undermining your constituents’ faith in democracy. These people should know better, but since they clearly don’t, you need to step in. This needs to stop, now, and not resume.
  3. Raise your game. Yes, I am involved in the local Liberal Democrats, but what we are trying to do is not about beating you. We don’t see politics as a zero sum game. For us, it is about involving more people more of the time, ensuring the decisions and actions that affect our lives are made with us, not for us and to us. If we have to beat you to make that happen, we will. But we would actually prefer that you copy us, learn from us, and with your far greater resources, do it better than us. Because that will make this constituency a better place to live, work, and thrive far faster — and that is what matters to us, as I hope it would to you.

To date, since your election, you have let this constituency down, and we have now sent the clearest possible signal that that is the case. It is time you got stuck in, and showed us the respect we deserve.

If and when you do, I for one will celebrate the fact.

All best

Jon Alexander

activist / strategist / citizen / co-founder @NewCitProj / fellow @the_young_fdn @theRSAorg / member @CompassOffice @soclibforum

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