On the 19th of April (3 days ago), I wrote to Rachel Joyce (of the Conservative Party), Gareth Thomas (of the Labour Party) and Christopher Noyce (of the Liberal Democrats) via Stop The War Coalition as they are candidates for the Harrow West constituency for the General Election 2010. I could not email Rowan Langley (of the Green Party) nor Herbert Crossman (of the UK Independence Party) as StopWar did not have an email address for them.
So far, I have only received one response – from Christopher Noyce of the Liberal Democrats. It was short and sweet (full text in the “Read More” section) and he’s supports the withdrawal of troops from Afhanistan, doesn’t support the war in Iraq and, in my eyes, answered the remainder of the questions in a way I would like to see. However, there were three very small “picky” things that put my off from his response – his candidate email address is a Hotmail one (!), the fact he failed to state which party he represents and whether those views were his personal thoughts or those of the Liberal Democrats. I know all candidates are a bit busy, so I’m not too concerned he bullet-pointed responses.
So far: 1 to LibDems, 0 to all other parties.
The full text of the email I sent was:
I am writing to you in your capacity as a parliamentary candidate in the general election to find out your views on a number of issues concerning the “war on terror”, and in particular the occupation in Afghanistan. You will be aware that the overwhelming majority of people in the country believe the troops should come home and that the war is counterproductive.
At a time when all the main parties in the election are calling for cuts in public services, I note that this year’s budget of £3.8 billion for the Afghan war is almost exactly the amount the government plans to cut from the NHS. In considering how I will cast my vote in the election, I would be interested to receive your replies to the following questions arising from the current government’s war policies.
1. Do you support the immediate withdrawal of British and NATO troops from Afghanistan?
2. Did you support the war in Iraq?
3. Will you oppose any military attack on Iran by the United States or Israel?
4. Do you support the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison?
5. Are you opposed to the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons?
6. Do you oppose the attacks on Muslims and the growing Islamophobia in British society?
7. Do you agree that the use of anti-terrorist laws to restrict the right of protest is an attack on civil liberties?
I would be interested if these views reflect your personal thoughts/views or if they are those of your Party.
And the response I received from Christopher Noyce:
[then a copy of my original email]