An extraordinary e-mail exchange has taken place between Gareth Bacon, Tory London Assembly member, and Danny Hackett a 17-year-old Bexley constituent and a Labour activist.
Danny Hackett challenged Gareth Bacon why he has needed to claim up to £2000 a year to get free travel in London when he earned in excess of £150,000 a year – half of it from allowances as a London Assembly and Bexley councillor. Using material from this website he asked him to justify the claim. “A majority of people who live in London pay for travel themselves you should do the same,” he said.
Back came the reply addressed to, believe it or not, ” Master Hackett,” because as Mr Bacon explained later:”I addressed you as “Master” Hackett because that is the correct title for you – you are, after all, a minor. ”
He went on to explain he was claiming it because he had to pay far too much tax and that “means that more than half of it does not reach me, indeed in effect it never leaves the Treasury and exists only on paper.”
Mr Hackett found being addressed as Master ” patronising, rude and offensive” which really set Mr Bacon going and revealed his true feelings about the country’s youth.
“I suspect you have little or no experience of living apart from your parents, university, working for a living, supporting yourself, paying tax, having meaningful relationships, or raising a family. You have little or no practical experience of politics and no experience at all of public life.
“None of these things are faults in you, they are simply factors of your age. .. to be completely honest and fair with you, my advice would be to experience a little bit of life for yourself before you start criticising other people and preaching to them about how they should live theirs.”
However Mr Bacon has offered the youth a chance to vote ( he appears not to want to ban some teenagers from voting on the grounds they are too inexperienced) if he is 18 on May 3 when he stands again for the London Assembly- an invitation which should be taken up more widely.
“You will be able to exercise your prerogative at the ballot box and vote against me – be aware though, that holds no fears whatever for me, as a democratically elected politician.”
I might suggest that lots of young people take up his offer and see whether he has any fears then.
Neither Mr Hackett nor me are allowed to communicate with him. “I have nothing further to say to you” he has told Mr Hackett and he has told me when I raised it with him : “I have nothing remotely to say to you.”
Believe it or not Mr Bacon is a youngish new generation Tory ( he had to tell Mr Hackett he was not an elderly gentleman) with I am afraid a mental age of nearer 139 than his actual 39. I imagine he would very much at home in Victorian England dragging naughty boys to his study to tell them off for daring to question his authority.
But we are in the 21st century and we live in an open society. So what do you think? E-mail Mr Bacon at his public work e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org if you disagree or back him.Email Danny at email@example.com Tweet @dannyhackett if you agree or disagree with him.
If you want to see what Mr Bacon earns, where he works, as his strong views against trade unions and demonstrators, it is all on my website at http://t.co/0mKytVV. Health warning: Mr Bacon who doesn’t speak to me claims it is ” poorly researched.” Judge for yourself.