Letter to Editor: Labour councillor asks all candidates in election campaign to use their real names in comment sections

Your Say / Sun 24th Mar 2024 at 09:43am

Dear Editor,

Transparency Pledge

AS we are now in the ‘pre-election period’ I write regarding the use of pseudonyms and partial names in communications and comments on various social media sites and particularly in the comments section of Your Harlow.

Whilst there are many reasons that some people may not wish to disclose their identity this is not an acceptable behaviour for elected Councillors or candidates.

Harlow Labour pledges that its councillors, candidates and spokespersons will always fully identify themselves in all comments and statements, they will not attempt to deceive residents by hiding behind pseudonyms or ‘forgetting’ to add their surnames.

The residents of Harlow deserve and should expect nothing less from those who are elected to represent them and from those who seek to do so.

I will be writing to all Harlow political parties standing in these elections inviting them to make the same pledge. All of them made this pledge last year with one exception, the Conservatives failed to respond leaving us to wonder what they have to hide?

Cllr James Griggs
Labour – Netteswell
Labour Group Whip

Editor’s Note: Where we suspect a comment is being made by a councillor, we disable the IP address.

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9 Comments for Letter to Editor: Labour councillor asks all candidates in election campaign to use their real names in comment sections:

2024-03-24 10:43:23

Here’s a better ask. How about they don’t use the comment sections at all as all they do is bicker and argue. Isn’t the whole point to work together to get things done and challenge when fair? But the absolute state of both conservatives and Labour who tear strips off each other mainly on here is embarrassing. Do it in the council chamber and remember you are all there to work on behalf of us, not to fight amongst yourselves about political ideals that locally make absolutely no difference to Harlow.

James Leppard
2024-03-24 14:10:50

Cllr Griggs, you emphasise the need for transparency, well what could be more transparent than public hustings? Whilst you are writing to all parties, how about Harlow Labour also takes the time and has the courtesy to write a reply to the very sensible suggestion of the Conservative Leader of Harlow Council to hold public hustings, where all party leaders are invited to participate in an independently adjudicated environment. This invitation was published in YH on 11 March. Only the leader of Harlow Alliance Party has replied, expressing a willingness to participate. It is very bad form, not to mention bad manners on behalf of Harlow Labour and Green parties not to reply. Hustings are a long-established British tradition and an ideal forum for the parties to set out their local plans, to debate openly, and to allow questions and scrutiny from the public. We have all expressed concerns regarding low voter turnout and means to improve public engagement: well what could be better than public hustings? Any party refusing or ignoring such an invitation ( the same) must surely be suspect of concealment, having no real local plans, running scared or unpreparedness. I think the public deserves better; some common courtesy as a minimum. Chris Vince - Leader Harlow Labour Yasmin Gregory - Leader Harlow Greens, the electors of Harlow await your respective replies.

Guy Flegman
2024-03-24 15:04:52

Asking politicians to be honest and accountable! I always thought those were the 2 qualities that have to be left at the door in order to become a politician.

David Amith
2024-03-24 16:12:30

James Leppard, you need to wake up and realise that hustings are only full of mates of the parties speaking. In a town where 25% of people turn out to vote in local elections in a good year, what makes you think people will turn up to a hustings? Can I suggest something that’s even better than a husting? Go knock on voters doors. Meet the voters where they are, don’t expect them to come to you.

James Leppard
2024-03-24 16:36:18

David Amith, I don't disagree with you regarding door knocking, but we have hustings at General Elections that are quite lively. Let's try to engage the public more.I think your argument that only 25% turnout to vote is actually an argument to explore all avenues. It is not an argument not to hold hustings. Also, it allows the public to see all party's present their respective cases at a single forum and to debate openly and compare their merits. That does not happen on the doorstep. A refusal to participate does tend to send out a rather clear message. Labour constantly state they believe in 'transparency', well what is not transparent about presenting one's case in a public forum and defending it under challenge. It is democratic. Those who refuse, may have their motives justifiably questioned. If a party has a strong plan, why would they wish to hide in the shadows?

Mark Gough
2024-03-24 18:24:17

Firstly, let me say to Cllr.Griggs that his Labour Party are the worst at hiding behind false names and pseudonyms on here. Furthermore, how about ex-Labour candidates and Labour members do likewise at being honest with the Public! How about Labour are honest enough not to use any of the vile leaflets produced by Hope not Hate for example? An organisation so badly named it's laughable! As for the Hustings, as the recently selected Leader of Harlow UKIP, I would attend any Debate or Hustings to which I am invited!

2024-03-25 13:33:42

James Leppard , the labour party are transparent, you can see right through them

Liam Dowers
2024-03-26 12:15:22

Never attended a hustings, didn’t even know they were a thing, but I would 100% attend to gain a greater insight. All I ever see labour the party do is moan rather than set forward any form of alternative provision to what they are attacking the Conservative Party about, would be very interested to see what their plans are should they get into power. Furthermore, anyone exercising their right to vote, that plans on voting labour out of spite of the conservatives, should be recognising the fact that all they have done is smear the work that’s gone on, rather than actually have any form of positive input. Come on labour! Let’s hear your great amazing plans for our town, how are you going improve Harlow more than the conservative government? What are you hiding?

2024-03-28 04:45:39

When are you Labour cowards and charlatans going to confirm the hustings. You lot are a disgrace. Chris Vince should resign.

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