This is a deeply painful personal story, but I can see how it might have some bearing on your own voting choices, so I include it.
I believe Anne Ferris will always prioritise her own power and advantage over the needs and demands of her constituents, I also believe she is an exceptionally convincing actress.
Let’s not reinvent the wheel, I will quote the episode this page I included it in
Anne Ferris and I have a history which I feel certain she forgot as soon as it outlived it’s usefulness.
Way back in 1993, when I had got out of sex work way ahead of the 1993 Sexual Offences Act under threat from the aspects of organized crime intending to take advantage of same I had started to protest the coming legislation. I knew exactly how much damage it would do, and time proved me right.
I was getting at lot of media attention, so, predictably. Anne Ferris called me on behalf of Liz McManus TD. Now I am not daft, and I never was, I knew this was all about publicity, and once the publicity moved on so would McManus. Anne Ferris was on the phone for 90 minutes or more, I noticed that.
She was SOOOO sympathetic…I have no idea how much I told her, being me, probably everything. I must have told her about the way I had to get out of sex work and still had no way to survive, and literally nowhere to turn, not even family. I must have told her about how I still believed I had no right to claim unemployment and was too scared to go near a CWO. I know I told her how I was just burying myself in novels to kill time, waiting for the day I ran out of money and had to take my own life, because nothing else was left. I know I told her how absolutely isolated I was, and how useless and abusive Ruhama were.
The last thing she asked me was if I had anything in writing. I said “yes” and, because I know how fast the publicity machine that attracts the likes of Liz McManus in the first place can turn away, I called an old client (I *HAD* no money, though I will warrant Anne Ferris was financially comfortable, and will never have a clue how that feels) and got him to pay for me to Xerox what I had (21 hand written pages) and bring me all the way over the mountain to leave it all through the door of Liz McManus’ constituency office in Bray.
That was 1993, this is 2014, and I still have not received an acknowledgement for what was, after all requested information. Much less did Anne Ferris or anyone bother to check if I had money to buy food, let alone was still alive.
I never had a ghost of a chance, since then, to have anything approaching a life.
If I had walked in to the Joint Oireachtas Committee and seen Anne Ferris I would not have been responsible for the consequences, and, by that I mean there is no way I could have controlled my reaction to the years of terror and torment she left me to if she in any way attempted to suggest sex workers have any real alternative. Because she was the very person who showed-not-told me that, in the real world, for the unlucky ones, there is no viable alternative to sex work, and all these people who claim otherwise will just sit back and leave you half alive in terror, with no hope of anything better.
I am eaten alive with wave after wave of PTSD just having to revisit cr*p like that long enough to challenge it.
I did try gritting my teeth and emailing her in 2011 to try and reason with her, she ignored me…it guts me that any so-called human being could listen for so long to all I had to say and then take the piss out of it for more than 20 years.
I also sent her this email, on 26 February 2015:
But honestly, only for form’s sake to have proof that she would ignore the danger I, a constituent, was in for the sake of the agenda she was riding.
I have never voted Labour since any of this. Though I would have done so if a candidate other than Liz McManus or Anne Ferris were available, until this election where I feel Labour as a whole have gone badly wrong.
Over the years I have wondered if it was just that she did not realise the state I was in, or how shabbily she had treated me, apparently not I just received a very spiteful and threatening email from Anne Ferris who fondly imagines she can gaslight her way out of this (unlikely considering how many people I told about it over the years, and the fact that I had a witness with me).
So I checked facts from something other than memory and must stress that, at that time, Liz McManus was a Democratic Left TD, not Labour (as I had figured, with hindsight rather than checked out – there is a specific reason why I remembered Anne Ferris name so clearly.).
At the time I just checked for Liz McManus name at the address Anne Ferris gave me over the phone *VERY CAREFULLY* with a witness, and pushed the envelope through the door. (NB Someone at the end of their tether and close to suicide does not necessarily keep up with political parties, but I could remember a name and an address).
None of which explains why Anne Ferris did not condescend to sort this out when I emailed her in late 2011, if it was all so “untrue” does it?
Nor does it explain why she thought it was “totes cool” for my life, and everything that matters to me, to be left in very real danger in February 2015. In fact it seems a good indicator of how much concern she has for any constituent she doesn’t have a use for.
Apparently this was a threatening email:
From: Gaye D [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 3:52 PM
Subject: Election Notification
I placed this online today:
I am personally beyond disgusted, and insulted by how stupid you must have imagined me to be.
Let me state that any canvassers or election materials that intrude upon my home will be regarded and treated as harassment.
I have sent her the number of the Gardai in Bray so that she can make the appropriate complaint.
She also has the paranoid idea that I have made complaints about her (and Liz McManus, that’s new – why and what for?) to “members of the Justice Committee”…let me put this one to bed once and for all. I do not consider any member of the Justice Committee between 2011 and now to have sufficient integrity or impartiality to be worth making a complaint to…so those complaints must have been made by someone else. I wonder who, and I wonder why?
If Anne Ferris had the decency to try and explain honestly, or even just apologise instead of leading with gaslighting and intimidation I would probably have taken this page down. But that time is passed.
I do not see why I should be made to pay for telling the truth and refusing to play along with lies, but if I am, so be it.