Firm briefing is the phrase I will use to describe how you can brief your MP ahead of a parliamentary debate on the future of driven grouse shooting.
At the Bird Fair I had chats with the RSPB and LACS (separately as it happens, but I am sure the two organisations are sensible enough to liaise with each other over tactics) about factual briefings that can be produced and sent to MPs ahead of the debate. Remember we don’t know that we will get a debate – although I reckon it is 97% certain – and we don’t know when it will be (except on a Monday afternoon on or after 10 October) and we don’t know which MPs will attend (but you can help with that too).
I will share the factual briefing information when it is ready and when it is sensible – there are tactics in this too. I would be surprised if the Countryside Alliance, BASC, Moorland Association and GWCT shared their briefings openly so that you can see what they are saying – but maybe they will.
You have an MP – and he or she will be keen to hear your views. I know of well over 100 of you who have already written to your MP telling them about the likelihood of a debate and asking them whether they will attend and even speak. Thank you (and you will have had or will get an email thank you from me directly). If you haven’t yet written to your MP then please consider doing so.
It isn’t long to wait until 6 or 7 September when we will know that we are getting a debate and the date on which it will occur. Then the briefing between you and your MP really begins.
Organisations like the RSPB and LACS can brief all MPs on the facts of the case. They can also brief MPs on what they think are the best options. But the RSPB, LACS, Countryside Alliance, BASC etc do not have a vote – you do. And those organisations represent the views of their trustees not necessarily, and only indirectly, the views of their members. And I would not claim to represent anybody’s views except my own. You can give your views directly to your MP as part of the democratic process. And I would encourage you to do so. Your MP would probably encourage you to do so too.
You can tell your MP what you think and ask her or him to represent your views – so can anyone else of course, and their views may not be the same as yours. I wonder whether RSPB will ask its membership to contact their MPs – I’m sure the shooting lobby will.
So you are an important part of the effort to inform MPs of the facts but also of what the people think. I’ll be coming back to this regularly over the weeks – this is where the campaign is at now – and you can be a part of it.
All blogs on this subject will be tagged in the category Firm briefing and you can click on that category on the list at the right of this blog post on my website. So wherever you enter this story you can see all the blogs about how you can give your MP a firm, and fair, briefing on this subject.
4 Replies to “Firm Briefing 2”
I emailed my MP using your form, one which I tweaked to include a little more on the cost to “ecological services”. As she has resigned from the government she should have more time for other things!
Living as I do in Canterbury and having written to my MP I was delighted to find the first line of Mark’s group email in response was “Dear all – from Canterbury to Aberdeenshire” and rather pleased that nobody from Zennor had written in yet!
John – the emails are going out in batches, and there are several more to go today. You got top-billing (or was that Aberdeenshire) on one email! thank you for writing. I will update you all on numbers soon – but they keep going up!
I emailed my MP too, not many people in Broxbourne have signed the petition, although I have shared it many times amongst my friends. I will let you know if I get a reply that is not an auto-generated one!
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