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I just sent this email to my MP; maybe you should too? Watch

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    Okay, so I got a little bored and decided to write to my MP. Have a little read if you want. Don't if you don't want to (I mean, it is quite long). If you agree, maybe send it to your MP too? If you don't agree, that's fine too!

    You might think this is just petulant armchair whinging; you might be right. You might think there are more important issues at hand; you're almost definitely right. You might think that no one ever got anything done by writing an email.I say, let's find out, shall we?

    (your MP and their contact details can be found here)

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    Hi Charlotte,

    I recently came upon the following video of a discussion in the Commons about the EU:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZPTZuwwHng

    I’d be grateful if you could take some time to watch this video before you read the rest of this email.

    Now I don’t know about you, but I consider our future within or outside the EU to be a reasonably important matter. I absolutely agree that it requires debate, discussion and thought; this isn’t something that we want to vote on without having given careful consideration to the consequences.

    Now, I may be wrong, but this video doesn’t look very much like careful consideration to me.

    Of course, I’m exaggerating a touch - this is just a few seconds of what was, in all likelihood, a lengthy and intelligent debate on the EU; I’m just highlighting a single section of it, which is hardly fair – it’s just a bit of a joke, really, isn’t it?

    Isn’t it?

    When I think about it, I’m not sure my employer would be terribly happy if I acted like this at work; potentially you could argue that this is just “good natured joshing”, but before you do, I’d challenge you to look again at that video. Look at the faces of the men and women laughing. Think about what it might feel like to be on the receiving end of it. A good proportion of us have been on the receiving end of bullying at one point or another in our lives. This, to me, is worrying reminiscent of those feelings.

    Bullying? In our parliament? That’s not cool, is it?

    But I suppose it happens all the times in our schools, doesn't it? It’s character building, isn't it? Calling someone a few names never did them any harm, after all.

    But then I suppose we should have a little think about the values we hold. The British Values we hold. And where better to start than the Department for Education document entitled “Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC (that’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education) in Schools”. This document should set us straight, shouldn’t it? I mean, if we teach our children one set of values, but then disregard these values in our own parliament then where would we be?

    So let’s consult the “fundamental British values”, shall we? According to the government – that’s the people in that video expressing their mirth so eloquently – schools should (among other values):

    - encourage respect for other people;

    - encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England; and

    - further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures

    I'm aware that you’re probably a very busy person, representing our constituency in parliament, but I wonder if I could possibly ask you to watch that video, just once more. Take care to look at the faces of the people who are laughing.

    Are they encouraging respect for other people?

    Are they encouraging respect for democracy?

    Are they furthering tolerance and harmony?

    I’m not 100% sure that they are.

    If we expect these values of our school children, but not of ourselves, what does that make us? I think there’s a word for it – when you say one thing, but do another – but I’m loathe to apply it to our own government – I mean, it wouldn’t be very respectful, would it?

    So I’ll leave you to consider whether you think behaviour that wouldn't be permitted in the workplace, which is reminiscent of bullying, and which goes so very against the grain of the values we try to instil in our school children is conducive to cohesive, coherent, compassionate debate in our parliament.

    If you need any help deciding, may I suggest you return – for the last time, I promise – to that video. But this time, don’t look at the faces of the laughing MPs. Don’t even look at the video at all. Scroll down, and admire the comments below the video.

    They don’t all demonstrate “fundamental British values”, but they are rather enlightening.

    I’d be very grateful if you’d give me the opportunity to discuss this with you in person.

    Yours,

    Tom
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    I'm not sure what the aim of this email is...

    Also, it's not written all that well, considering you are contacting your representative, it is way too informal.
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    I don't know...I'm kind of busy with gta right now
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    (Original post by Gogregg)
    Also, it's not written all that well, considering you are contacting your representative, it is way too informal.
    MPs only represent the erudite?
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    (Original post by Gogregg)
    I'm not sure what the aim of this email is...

    Also, it's not written all that well, considering you are contacting your representative, it is way too informal.
    Basically the aim is to attempt to convince MPs that, generally speaking, jeering isn't the best way to create intelligent debate. When you insult your, his/her ears will be closed to everything else you have to so, no matter how reasonable.

    Which rather puts a downer on the hope of any reasoned discussion.

    And the informality is rather part of the message - anyone should be able to talk to their MP; in the end, they're just like you or I - they just happened to get elected to represent us. There shouldn't need to be a special way to talk to them.

    Although, if I'm honest I think that...

    "...and which goes so very against the grain of the values we try to instil in our school children is conducive to cohesive, coherent, compassionate debate in our parliament"

    ... is one of the most formal fragments I've ever come up with!
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    (Original post by Blondie987)
    I don't know...I'm kind of busy with gta right now
    PC?
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    Well said Tom! Bullying in any form is completely wrong doesn't matter which side we see it from (there shouldn't be any sides.) Today you have stood up against bullying and will encourage others to do so too. Tomorrow someone else will also go ahead and promote anti bullying. Good on you Tom.


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    (Original post by balanced)
    PC?
    Yup!
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    (Original post by Blondie987)
    Yup!
    add me sc : colossux_
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    (Original post by balanced)
    add me sc : colossux_
    Haha, I'll try to next time I'm on
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    I would but unfortunately I've only ever received rude or dismissive responses from my MP :/
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    MPs have enough to do already without you writing never-ending letters to them because you're "bored". Asking her to watch random YouTube videos as well? Do you think she just sits around all day twiddling her thumbs waiting for letters from people about nothing lol? You're mad
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I would but unfortunately I've only ever received rude or dismissive responses from my MP :/
    That's a shame. I guess this must happen to quite a lot of people; try giving their office a call, or seeing if they have any drop in sessions (my MP does Pub Politics Sessions where you can drop in of an evening at the pub and talk about whatever you feel like).

    If things are getting really bad, there's always the Parliamentary Ombudsman, but that is a touch dramatic...
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    MPs have enough to do already without you writing never-ending letters to them because you're "bored". Asking her to watch random YouTube videos as well? Do you think she just sits around all day twiddling her thumbs waiting for letters from people about nothing lol? You're mad
    I guess you're right. Potentially they'll just sort this all out on their own without anyone talking about it.

    But based on the evidence, it seems they're not getting there very fast.

    I rather figure that if I have an issue relating to our parliament that I would like to discuss, my MP, as my representative in parliament, is probably the most apt person with which to discuss it, wouldn't you think?
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    MPs have enough to do already without you writing never-ending letters to them because you're "bored". Asking her to watch random YouTube videos as well? Do you think she just sits around all day twiddling her thumbs waiting for letters from people about nothing lol? You're mad
    What do you think an MP's job is? They're paid to communicate with their constituents and represent their wishes.
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    MPs have enough to do already without you writing never-ending letters to them because you're "bored". Asking her to watch random YouTube videos as well? Do you think she just sits around all day twiddling her thumbs waiting for letters from people about nothing lol? You're mad
    You're so right! We should all just stick the TV on and let other people get on with democracy!
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    MPs have enough to do already without you writing never-ending letters to them because you're "bored". Asking her to watch random YouTube videos as well? Do you think she just sits around all day twiddling her thumbs waiting for letters from people about nothing lol? You're mad
    To be fair, any distraction to take Jeremy Hunt away from what he is 'supposed' to be doing is probably a good thing...
 
 
 
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