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Re: [casi] On writing to MPs

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
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bert Gedin" <>
To: <>; <>
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
> 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
> 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
> 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" <>
> >To: <>
> >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
> >couple of points have been raised by other posters, I would like to
> >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
> >flout a marked disregard for the democratic process and the views of the
> >people they are supposed to represent. They labour under the illusion
> >once elected they can do whatever they like with the proviso that they
> >somewhat more guardedly around election time.
> >
> >The real value, as I see it, of writing to the buggers is to confront
> >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.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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> >
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