Gerald Kaufman

Sent to Qassim Afzal, Caroline Healy, Gerald Kaufman, Karen Reisseman and Justine Hall.

Dear candidate,

my name is Sarah McCulloch and I am a constituent of Manchester Gorton, whom you wish to represent in Parliament. I thought I would write to you with my concerns regarding the past few decades of curtailment of civil liberties in this country.

I have been appalled by how so many MPs in the last Parliament seemed to think there should be one rule for them and another for everyone else, especially when it comes to how government treats our personal information. When the government can just lose the personal details of 25 million parents and children from the child benefit database with barely an apology, to send our confidential medical data overseas for transcription, as we have discovered local hospital trusts are doing this week, is utterly absurd.

Though I don’t suppose such privacy violations will happen to any MPs. All our children are now documented on the government’s ContactPoint database, whereas the children of MPs can be “shielded” to protect their privacy and security – outright recognition that the database is available to anyone willing to pay for it.

Similarly, hundreds of MPs voted in favour of ID cards. Very few MPs, however, have chosen to get one themselves, even though they’re now available to those who volunteer. Many of these same MPs voted to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, all in the name of their “privacy”, whilst passing laws that erode our privacy. Need I mention the Communications Data Bill which would have required ISPs to keep details of every phone call and email made in this country, a dream which was only dropped as unworkable as opposed to GROSSLY intrusive?

This is terrible, and the hypocrisy has to end.

I would therefore ask that you commit to saying that if you are elected you will vote to repeal the Identity Cards Act 2006 and will defend my privacy as fiercely as you would defend your own and that of your family.

Should you be elected, your own internet connection is just at risk of disconnection as mine should anyone allege you (or your children) have infringed their copyright to your ISP due to the Digital Economy Act 2010 – this, I have no doubt, is what will lead the the bill’s repeal as MP after MP is disconnected because of such allegations. When we live under the same rules, as my MP, I know you will ensure those rules are actually fair. This is why it is important that you support a fair system across the board by which MPs must abide as well as myself and my fellow voters.

As part of the POWER2010 campaign I have joined a number of local people in writing a joint letter to our local paper with the same message and encourage you to write a response. You can read the letter here:

I won’t ask you to sign up to the Power2010 Pledge because I personally think parts of it are stupid – allowing any of the corrupt and self-serving politicians we currently have and are likely to have at the highest levels of our government to lay down in stone in a written constitution what we, and they, are entitled to strikes me as the height of idiocy. However, I would strongly recommend that you at least read it and make up your own minds:

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah McCulloch

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Dear Mr. Kaufman,

thank you for your recent letter in reply to mine on the Early Day Motion on the labelling of products containing battery hen eggs. I’m writing to you today because I’m very worried that the Government is planning to rush the Digital Economy Bill into law without a full Parliamentary debate or really thinking about its consequences.

The law is controversial and contains many measures that concern me and many other voters, including removing people’s internet access on the allegation of a copyright holder – this is an absolute travesty of justice and civil liberties. The controversial Bill deserves proper scrutiny so please don’t let the government rush it through. Many people think it will damage schools and businesses as well as innocent people who rely on the internet because it will allow the Government to disconnect people it suspects of copyright infringement with virtually no evidence at all.

Industry experts, internet service providers (like Talk Talk and BT) and huge internet companies like Google and Yahoo are all opposing the bill – yet the Government seems intent on forcing it through without a real debate. If this bill passes the Government will lose the goodwill and votes of tens of thousands of young people and those involved in the IT industry. As a constituent I am writing to you today to ask you to do all you can to ensure the Government doesn’t just rush the bill through and deny us our democratic right to scrutiny and debate. I hope you will agree with my points and add your voice to the increasing clamor against this bill’s truly horrifying measures.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah McCulloch

If you would like more information on why the Digital Economy Bill is a terrible idea, please visit Why should You Care About the Digital Economy Bill?.

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Letter to Gerald Kaufman MP re battery hen welfare

January 4, 2010

Dear Mr. Kaufman, As I am sure you are aware, the barren battery cage is due to be banned across the UK and the EU from 2012. This is an excellent move in the right direction for greater laying hen welfare. However, I write to express my concern about the enriched caged system which offers […]

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