Copied and pasted, with permission, from Russell Waldron, a Shipley constituent – today’s email correspondence between him and Philip Davies.
“This is a long post. It directly quotes my communications with Philip Davies MP following last night’s horrifying tragedy in the Grenfell Tower.
If you don’t want to read it, the crux is that Mr Davies is the lowest form of scum currently comprising our political class.
“Dear Mr Davies,
I am writing to express my dismay at the tragedy in Kensington today, an horrific and avoidable event in which you must surely find yourself directly complicit.
Your debating history with regards to tenants’ rights and the obligations of landlords has directly led to an environment in which events of this nature are a much greater risk. That you filibustered the Fitness for Human Habitation bill demonstrates your unswerving commitment to representing the needs and interests of yourself and your associates rather than those of your constituents and the wider public.
More broadly, it would seem that your government was party to information (which remained on file without action for four years, if today’s reporting is accurate) directly regarding the risks leading to this event, and has failed to intervene following similar events occurring in other properties managed by KCTMO. Continuing budget cuts to local authorities increasingly blunts their abilities to ensure that rented accommodation is safe. Although our brave emergency services continue to operate to their fullest abilities, continued funding cuts make a mockery of their crucial role in protecting us.
The general culture arising from this climate is one of callous distain towards the populace; a distain which has historically proven, and continues to be, of fatal consequence to many thousands of people.
Despite your recent re-election, I must assert that I consider you unfit for office due to you having directly endangered the lives of ordinary people who you are mandated to represent and whose basic interests you are avowed to protect.
I must insist that you acknowledge (though I know you will not) your direct involvement in today’s tragedy, and issue a full apology (though I know you will not) to your constituents and your country for your political negligence.
Though I take no pleasure in the use of such crass analogy, it is no exaggeration to say that you (in particular) and your party have literally left our citizens to burn.
“Dear Mr Waldron
Thank you for your (utterly revolting and disgusting) email.
To use such a terrible tragedy to make such a partisan political attack is one of the lowest things I have ever seen in my 12 years in Parliament. Quite frankly you are sick.
You are also talking utter garbage. Please can you tell me which clause in the Human Habitation Bill would have prevented this fire and save lives.
If you can’t (which you can’t because it is wholly irrelevant) then I expect a full and groveling apology.
I cannot tell you how disgusted I am with your baseless, insensitive attack.
You perfectly sum up the nature of the Momentum dominated Labour Party under their Marxist leadership.
Philip Davies MP”
“Dear Mr Davies,
(or Sophie Dean, who seems to have been your nominated advocate to respond on your behalf, though I would have happily awaited a direct response from my MP. Forgive me if this is an incorrect interpretation of the nuts and bolts of my e-mail thread),
Thank you for your calm and measured response. It is exactly such grace and restraint that has typified your party’s approach to the recent election, and it’s paternal clemency when dealing with the socially democratic (not Marxist – correct understanding of basic political history goes a long way) leader of the party who received my vote.
You will note, upon careful reading of my communication, that I did not assert that the proposed Fitness for Human Habitation bill directly concerned fire safety, rather that rejection of this and such other attempts to protect tenants’ rights exhibits contempt of my fellow citizens, and preserves the interests of you and your associates. There are other occasions where you have voted against tenants’ rights, with direct regards to conditions and safety in rented properties, which are available to read on your voting record. The concerns of the residents of the Grenfell Tower with regards to the KCTMO management company (whose interests you represent) are evident, and now reside in full public view. I reject your previous public assertions that you, as a landlord and tenant, have a uniquely balanced perspective on these issues. Your voting record does not substantiate this claim.
I reject your assertion that my contact is a partisan political attack. I have written to you in the past regarding other matters, but regrettably felt that my efforts had fallen on deaf ears. You failed to represent my interests, and I have therefore not contacted you since. That I have decided to get in touch today is the culmination of my ongoing dismay regarding your and your party’s treatment of my fellow citizens. Suggesting that this is a partisan political attack is yet another example of your failure to properly and maturely address the opinions and concerns of your constituents. I stated my opinions moderately and without abusive language. Indeed, I am unaccustomed to being labelled “sick” by the type of person who would filibuster a bill (purely for example) to end exploitation of wild animals in circuses.
As an aside, may I point out that your party has never failed to use national and international tragedies to bury abhorrent (or at the very least inevitably unpopular) legislation in the past, and I utterly reject your horrified rhetoric as entirely cynical.
I take no discomfort from the personal attacks in your frankly immature response to my communication Mr Davies, as in my experience it is the wounded animal, backed into a corner, which attacks with the greatest ferocity.
I welcome your comments when they come from a more balanced, and less personally abusive, perspective. Your hysterical treatment of one of your constituents will not go un-noted.
“Dear Mr Waldron
Thank you for your further email. You (and all my constituents) get personal responses to emails.
So there we have it. You come back and now acknowledge that the Bill to which you referred had no bearing on today’s tragedy. But it didn’t stop you from originally making that baseless and disgusting allegation. Your backtracking does not excuse your original email.
I suppose that is the closest I will come to an apology from a disgusting partisan Momentum-style hard core left-winger.
There are clearly no depths (no matter how baseless you now have to accept they are) you will stoop to in order to make untrue political attacks.
Try having some respect for the people who were victims of a terrible tragedy instead of using it as a political tool.
Your sick and baseless allegations will also not go unnoticed.
Philip Davies MP”
“Dear Mr Davies,
I thank you for your personal response, which on this occasion does show as coming from you directly.
Unfortunately a response does not always constitute a considered answer. My concerns, which remain entirely justified, are underpinned by my strong sense of social connection to every person on this earth who labours beneath a self-interested political class, of which I consider you to be a particularly obnoxious representative. I would not have written to you today were I not brought to tears by the plight of the residents of Grenfell Tower, their families, their friends, and their children.
You will note, from careful reading of my communications, that I have not backtracked on any of my points. I remain convinced of your considered culpability in the struggles of tenants across the U.K., and of your government’s failings; which have created conditions whereby today’s tragedy was inevitable. Your failure to accept, or even respond to, these convictions solidifies my assessment that you are unfit to represent me and my fellow citizens.
Allow me to be frank: I have no apology to make to you or your peers. Were I in the privileged position to determine the quality, or indeed the longevity, of the lives of my fellow citizens, I would be eternally grief-stricken should my decisions prove to be such grave and callous folly. You have demonstrated no such humanity. You are unprofessional and presumptive when you dare to question my own. Your urgency to label me politically (using frankly hilarious terminology) clearly demonstrates your inability to represent the broad church which comprises your ward.
I am impressed by the timeliness of your (and your delegate’s) responses to my communications today and I again thank you for this, but I am sadly not surprised by the unhelpful and abusive content of these replies.
I feel no further value in continuing this conversation, unless you feel it pertinent to directly address my politely (and admittedly forcefully) addressed concerns.
“Dear Mr Waldron
I will give you one final chance.
Tell me which Clause in the Bills to which you refer would have prevented today’s tragedy. Given you have failed to do so it is clear that you haven’t the first idea what you are talking about and instead rely on morons on Twitter for your information.
So I will give you a final chance to substantiate your allegation.
If you can’t then you should have the decency to apologise. Instead I suspect you will head off to your Momentum meeting instead where I am sure you will fit in very well.
To use such a tragedy to make unfounded political smears disgusts me.
Philip Davies MP
Member of Parliament for the Shipley constituency”
“Dear Mr Davies,
My sincere gratitude for being issued one final chance.
There are indeed many morons on twitter. Without being able to emulate your proficiency in arrogance, I have been blessed with, and have worked upon, the faculties to determine what is and what is not worth listening to. For the record, I use Twitter primarily for following news relating to Bradford City FC. I have never attended, nor do I plan to attend, a Momentum meeting. Please dispense with your tiresome prejudice.
Your insistence in focussing on the minutiae of fire safety legislation entirely misses the point which I have carefully laid out in my correspondences. My assertions are based on your inability regarding (or probably disinterest in) objectively representing the interests of tenants in our country, due to your blinkered incentives to maximise profit as a landlord and as an associate of landlords.
I am loathed to repeat myself, but the residents’ association of the Grenwell Tower repeatedly raised concerns regarding fire safety in their homes, and concluded that the only way their voices would be heard was in the event of a tragic failing of the systems that should have been in place.
Please allow me to reframe this discussion, by now offering you the opportunity to affirm that your voting record regarding tenant safety has been at best misguided, and at worst negligent, and that you will henceforth engage in constructive (non-abusive) discussion to improve the living conditions of our citizens in rented accommodation.
Policy after policy in the last seven years has been designed to demonise the poor whilst protecting the interests of the privileged. You have, I am afraid, been largely on the wrong side of this debate.
Finally, and I do mean finally, you do not deserve, nor shall you receive, an apology from me for expressing my deep concerns regarding your and your government’s savage disregard of my fellow citizens. This is not a Daily Mail comments thread. I have not yet requested an apology for your abusive responses to my polite correspondence. I am a realist, and I feel I have the measure of you, therefore any such request would be sadly pointless.
I once again thank you for your diligence in promptly engaging with me this evening Mr Davies, which does at least adhere to rule number one of your role as Member of Parliament.
I’ll add any further responses from my MP (my political representative in parliament, the man paid to represent my concerns and to conduct himself honourably within our great political institution) as and when they arrive.”