Letter to my MP

Dear Mr Pursglove

I am a constituent of yours and, although it is extremely unlikely that I will ever vote for you, I would like to wish you well during your period as an MP.  Being an MP is a great opportunity and also a great responsibility. I hope that your stay in the House of Commons is satisfying for you personally and that you feel that you have performed well for your constituents and the country as a whole.

I am writing to you to make you aware of something and to make you an offer, too.

I am the ‘author’ of an e-petition on the parliament website whose aim is to ban driven grouse shooting. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104441

In just about six weeks this e-petition has secured over 15,000 signatures (including 36 in your and my constituency). I’d be surprised if you, yourself, were very sympathetic to my cause but I thought I’d let you know about it. And, you never know, it might crop up in parliament one day.

getimage-3Now the offer, if you would like to learn more about why we should ban driven grouse shooting then I will send you a copy of my book, Inglorious – conflict in the uplands. But there are a few conditions.

I’ll send you a copy of my book if you promise you’ll at least read a chapter or two AND that you will then EITHER send the book back to me OR pay me £15 for it OR you will pass it on to another Conservative MP with the same conditions attached (return or pay or pass on).

I wrote the book to influence the future management of upland Britain, and to do that I need to get its messages across to decision-makers – it seems sensible to include my own MP.

Yours sincerely



PS I write a daily blog and this email will appear on it tomorrow.

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5 Replies to “Letter to my MP”

  1. I'm not sure that telling him you're very unlikely ever to vote for him is going to make him interested in your opinions, certainly not if he's an ambitious party man. Politicians can afford to discount the views of people who will never vote for them (ask the ex miners), and while they shouldn't be complacent the views of the people who already agree with them will never be enough (n.b. Mr Corbyn).

    Politicians usually only have to pay attention to those who *might* change their allegiance. Voters they *might* win or loose.

    Even then it's usually marginal under first past the post, short of a political landslide a la SNP or the end of the Major Govt.

    I read once that in the UK the number of people who decide elections is about 50,000 voters. They are the people who
    a) sometimes vote for different parties, making their mind up anew each election
    b) live in a constituency sufficiently marginal that the votes of people who make their minds up anew each election can actually make a difference to the result.

    (note - the 50,000 figure may not be right but the principle stands..!)

    I qualify for (a) but have never, in my entire life, lived in a constituency where my vote could make a difference. I've always lived in safe seats - whether I liked the politics of the party in question or not has always been irrelevant.

    And politicians wonder who so many people don't "bother" to vote (I always have bothered, by the way).

    1. jbc - you don't understand what the job of an MP is, then. As far as his or her constituents are concerned it is to work for all of them, whoever they voted for (or didn't vote at all). And most MPs stick to that principle very well.

      And I do live in one of those marginal constituencies too.

      1. Ok, so I've grown more cynical in my old age than you have in yours! I do hope you're right - not about what their job is, I'm sure you're correct about that, but about the politics of it all.

        Dare I suggest that your postcode analysis of who signed the petition should concentrate Tory minds in particular? Certainly the headline conclusions would be worth sharing with MPs of all parties.

        Note to self; must be less cynical in future...

  2. Still trying to get local politicians to act regarding Ilkley Moor shoot.
    "Bradford Council's Assistant City Solicitor has this week granted Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor ("BBIM") appeal of the Council's decision to not take forward our petition to prohibit grouse shooting, which was made in July 2015.
    BBIM's appeal argues there is formidable scientific evidence which outlines the damage caused by heather burning - a practice conducted on Ilkley Moor to increase grouse numbers for recreational shooting - which has not been considered by the Council. It is further inferred burning on public land leaves the Council outside of its legally-binding obligations to protect biodiversity, reduce recreational impacts on protected habitats, improve water quality, reduce carbon emissions, mitigate the impact of climate change on the district and maintain open spaces in a good and proper manner.
    The appeal will be heard by Bradford Council's Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 2 October 2015."


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