An Open Letter to the people of Kingston and Surbiton

I was brought up in Surbiton, in Surrey, and born in Kingston Hospital. I don’t live there any more, but I recently wrote an email to my friends and family who still do. This is what it said:

Dear Surbiton and Kingston folk –

I don’t live in Surbiton any more. I live in East Dulwich, in South-East London, under a Labour MP who lives in North-West London. That’s not important right now.

What is important is that I would like to do some tactical petitioning. I’ve signed this thing which sends an email to my MP protesting against the Health and Social Care Bill and cuts to the NHS, and I wondered if you’d do likewise.

My MP will argue against it because she’s on the opposite side of the House, and that’s how our screwed up, fiercely partisan Parliament rolls, but if you could send dear Mr Davey MP a reminder that he shouldn’t be kow-towing to mandateless hooligans intent on turning over our beautiful, free, envy-of-the-world NHS to changes even the British Medical Journal has argued vociferously against (, that would please me no end.

In return, I promise I will harangue Tessa Jowell MP about whatever you’d like. Lord knows I email her almost weekly at the moment anyway, but a little guidance on that would be most welcome. Maybe you want her to change the colour of her suit, or live in the constituency she claims to represent… It’s all fair game.

For what it’s worth, I like Ed Davey a lot, and think he’s brilliant at his job of representing the people of Kingston and Surbiton, but if he can’t see the irony of saving Kingston Hospital from closure only to lose 20% of its staff ( and thinks that inviting privatisation into any part of this mess would improve it one jot, then I think we ought to let him know that.

If you think I’m being an East Dulwich-living interfering git who ought to keep his nose out of Surbiton business, then I understand your position and respectfully ask you to delete this email. It is lovely, though, Dulwich. You can get really good sandwiches.

Much love,