Letter from my MP

I’m grateful to my MP, Tom Pursglove for his timely response to my emails inviting him to attend the People’s Walk for Wildlife and then asking him to have a look at the Manifesto for Wildlife.

The response shows that someone has put some time into constructing it, and that it’s not just a brush off, but it isn’t actually much of a response to the letter which I sent.

I was interested to see my MP talking about carbon emissions and the green economy – this is to be welcomed, particularly as he has always struck me as being on the climate change sceptic end of the party. And my view seems to be supported by his voting record where he has consistently voted against measures which would help to prevent climate change. So, has he changed his view or has he been given a paragraph to cut and paste into responses like this?

The paragraph about the record of the coalition government between 2010-15 is mostly interesting in how poor the examples look in terms of things to brag about. Is that it?  A tiny amount of money was spent on NIAs – and what did it achieve? 11 million trees were planted over 5 years – 11 million is a big number but how many trees are there in the UK? What difference did this make?  And how many were lost? What was the net change in tree numbers (see here)? The National Pollinator Strategy, as described here, hasn’t yet done anything, but it’s having a look at things. I am intrigued by claim that 150,000ha of priority habitat was created – I’m not sure where that comes from or quite what it means. I wonder whether Mr Pursglove does?

Marine conservation has progressed incredibly slowly under this government. Remember, all that stuff about MCZs was introduced by the last Labour government in the Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009. The coalition government only designated the first 27 sites in 2013 and then announced a further 23 sites in January 2016.  The execrable gov.uk website claims that  further sites would be consulted upon in 2017 and designated in 2018 but the consultation happened this June, it will be quite some time before designation is completed and the proposals have big gaps in them as far as creating a robust network of marine protected areas is concerned.

Turning the page, I find this…

Yeh, right!

Top marks to Mr Pursglove for a speedy response, I bet he has been quicker off the mark than most MPs.  Has your MP replied to your letter yet?  When she or he does reply – let me know whether they have used the same phrases as mine did, please.

Pretty high marks to Mr Pursglove for a detailed response – this is not just a ‘thanks for your letter’ response – there is real substance contained in it.

However, the detail is unimpressive and the letter as a whole does not actually respond to what I asked in my letter to him. Now, you cannot, and I do not, expect my MP to be interested in everything in which I am interested, nor knowledgeable about the things that concern me; that would be unreasonable.


So, what to do?  I’ve written back to Mr Pursglove and I will post my response to him here at 6pm this evening.

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9 Replies to “Letter from my MP”

    1. Lorraine - then you might like to consider responding to your MP in a similar way to the letter I have sent to mine which I will post here at 6pm.

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  1. He can say what he likes, but his actions show his real attitudes.

    And I had heard that the CO2 reduction since 2010 is mostly down to lower economic activity since the crash, not so energy saving etc. So very mis-leading. Deliberately?

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  2. Nothing as yet from my MP Mark - might be something to do with him occupying the seat once held by David Cameron? Just a thought!

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    1. Stewart - i think my MP is pretty rapid in his responses - at least his responses to me (maybe he likes seeing them on this blog?).

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  3. If renewable energy has doubled since 2009 then that is taking a very low base point.
    It won’t have been helped by removing the subsidy on solar panels and yet encouraging fracking will it. Neither will have helped reduce carbon emissions further.

    Worrying that he is ‘proud’ of this record.

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  4. For clarity most of the apparent reductions in carbon emissions are false as they have been merely outsourced to China etc, where the manufacturing of our consumer goods have been transferred to. In reality in most developed countries there has been no real reduction in carbon emissions if you factor in consumer goods manufactured elsewhere. What's more these MPs are well aware of this as it has often been parliamentary committees who have highlighted this, and many have Conservative chairs.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/apr/18/britain-outsourcing-carbon-emissions-china

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  5. I think this response, together with others I have received from different MPs concerning various environmental issues, merely confirms my belief that letters from individuals or small numbers of people have close to zero influence on MPs (unless they or their party already agree with what your saying). I think Dr Parry was spot on above - they are very happy to say one thing while their speeches and voting record suggest they believe the exact opposite.
    A very large postbag on one topic can have an effect, but that's because it's taken as a barometer of wider public opinion. Reason and logic, no matter how well argued, rarely shift politicians' views. Public opinion has to lead, then there is at least a chance that politicians will follow, especially in marginal seats.

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