The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Thanks for your reply, Bert. I assure you that 'buggers' was meant jocularly. Had I wished to use offensive terms, stronger ones would have come to mind, but they would be out of keeping on this list. Whilst I don't want to hijack the important focus of this list, I would like to answer a couple of your points, if I may. If anybody else would like to extend this debate, might I suggest that we do so off-list? First of all, I would be reluctant to see MPs as being members of the working classes. After all, their job is controlling our lives. Believing, as I do, that I am best placed to control my own life, I do not see them as being much of a blessing. That they forcibly take my money and spend it on bombs and other weapons of destruction fails to warm me to them. Secondly, I hope that I did not do anything to give you the impression that I was forcing my views on anybody. Everything I have written has been purely in a personal capacity and intended to inform others as to what I have been doing, should anybody wish to copy the same letter to their MP or send similar letters to the Observer and Sweeney. Finally, I am well aware of the limits of this medium and I stress that nothing in this message should be taken as a rebuke to you or to others who believe in the parliamentary process. With best wishes Diarmuid ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bert Gedin" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Thursday, July 04, 2002 3:24 PM Subject: Re: [casi] On writing to MPs > > Hello Diarmuid & List, > > Why shouldn't this site be a good place to debate whether, or not, writing > to MPs is useful? We are opposed to sanctions/warfare against Iraq, and we > need to maximise our effectiveness. I have wrestled with > the question, and still do. Some very sincere, and effective!, campaigners > would never even dream of contacting their MP - they would consider it an > utter waste of time - and one has to respect their views. > And yet, in working to get our message accross, we also need to communicate > where power & influence exists. Including trade unions, churches, mosques, > temples, universities, Parliament, political organisations, the media, > amongst friends, in CASI e-mails etc., etc. Some of us may even know > military officers - what's wrong with discussing sanctions etc. with them, > in a courteous manner? - "Many roads lead to Rome." > > I don't think it is very constructive, Diarmuid, to see MPs as "the > buggers", i.e. using abusive terms. Far better to think of them as fallible > humans, like ourselves, who are doing a job, be it good, bad, or > indifferent. Possibly, some may be won over, in some cases, this could take > years, or even never. MPs cannot be experts on all subjects under the sun, > so it is up to us to broaden their knowledge and under- > standing - maybe even to reach out to their - beneath the surface? > -humanity. > > Nor should we forget that elected representation is a luxury that some of > our foreign friends have never known. It would be wrong of us to try and > impose our views, even if we feel some persons may be deeply insincere, or > misguided, as some of us, in Britain, certainly are. > > Lastly, whatever methods we employ, we constantly need to learn about our > own weaknesses, in order to develop our strengths, in our struggle for > justice. > > Greetings, > Bert G. (Birmingham, U.K.). > > > > > >From: "Diarmuid" <email@example.com> > >To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > >Subject: [casi] On writing to MPs > >Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 05:16:33 +0100 > > > >I appreciate that here is not the best place to debate this. However, as a > >couple of points have been raised by other posters, I would like to explain > >myself. > > > >My scepticism about writing to MPs stems from the political convictions I > >have. The idea that they take us seriously is one that fails to convince > >me. > >Tom Levitt's reply (a mere paragraph at the end of a letter addressing > >another point I had raised in another letter) was a case in point. I had > >asked him to lobby the government on my behalf. As my elected > >representative, surely his job is to represent my views to the policy > >makers. He politely refused to do that. > > > >I think that most MPs (and, most certainly, the government of this country) > >flout a marked disregard for the democratic process and the views of the > >people they are supposed to represent. They labour under the illusion that > >once elected they can do whatever they like with the proviso that they walk > >somewhat more guardedly around election time. > > > >The real value, as I see it, of writing to the buggers is to confront them > >with the horrors that their cynicism has on the lives of people who have > >done them no harm. There is always the hope that the humanity which lies > >beneath the surface will be touched. And that hope is somewhat faded. > > > > > > > > > >_______________________________________________ > >Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > >To unsubscribe, visit > >http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > >To contact the list manager, email email@example.com > >All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: http://mobile.msn.com > > > _______________________________________________ > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk