A rather curious letter today in the post (when it arrived at nearly midday) ... it was either a copy of a crime survey that was meant to be sent to LibDem PPC Simon Wright or it was the actual copy that was meant for Mr Wright but was posted to me in error.
Either way, I'm pretty sure that Mr Wright would prefer me to have it rather than him. An incredibly irrate Eaton resident went into a multi-page attack on the LibDem insincerity on crime. Now I know very, very little about the LibDem crime policy but if this letter is in any way accurate then they will have a credibility problem come the election.
It is, apparently, not just that they are too liberal on crime (well, what do you expect from the LIB Dems) but that they are currently claiming to be tough on it. Poor Mark Oaten gets a battering as do the local LibDems - lots of stuff about wardens etc. They are accused of hypocrisy of the highest order.
This isn't a green-ink letter but one written by somebody who clearly knows their stuff and has a good point. I think the message here is that crime isn't the easy political score it used to be. I asusme Mr Wright's survey was meant to demonstrate that Labour was soft, the LibDems are tough etc. etc. It didn't come across to this voter that way. The voter wanted detail that demonstrated a rounded approach to cutting crime, rather than just statements such as "more police", "scrap ID cards" etc - as good as those policies are. What, for example, will we (politicans) do about illiteracy in prisons, conditions in cells and the independence of the judiciary? Good questions I think, but apparently the LibDems had no answers. But do the Tories either?
I hope that the Tory Justice Department team and CCHQ take note - we need real answers on crime rather than headline grabbing policies and glib surveys. Will we get them?