MPs who have responded to the #peoplesmanifestoforwildlife

Thank you if you have already written to your MP about the Manifesto for Wildlife.  If you haven’t got around to it yet then do please give it a go – here is some information and advice.

Here are MPs from whom you have told me that you have had substantive replies (I’m sure there are, and will be, many more):

Conservative MPs:

  • Tobias Ellwood, Bournemouth East
  • Chris Heaton-Harris, Daventry
  • Jo Johnson, Orpington
  • Oliver Letwin, West Dorset
  • Tom Pursglove, Corby
  • Rishi Sunak, Richmond
  • Bill Wiggin, North Herefordshire

Labour MPs:

  • Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central
  • Sarah Champion, Rotherham
  • Anneliese Dodds, Oxford East
  • Peter Kyle, Hove

Lib Dem MPs:

  • Tim Farron, Westmorland and Lonsdale

Some readers of this blog have had unrealistic expectations of the speed with which their MPs might respond.  All of the above have been quite quick by usual standards!

Also, some readers of this blog have unrealistic expectations of the type of response which they might get. We cannot expect all 650 MPs in the House of Commons to be experts on, or even interested in, the things that exercise us.  So, most MPs will be responding off the cuff, or using information that they have in their heads from previous correspondence, or will have been supplied generic ‘environmental responses’ by their party machine.

As in the case of my MP’s response (see here) the response that you get from your MP will contain vaguely relevant but at times misleading information, and rarely will you get direct answers to the questions that you asked.  It is perfectly reasonable for you to point this out to your MP and ask them to do better (see here for what I sent my MP).  In particular it is perfectly reasonable for you to ask your Conservative MP to get a better response to your points from Defra and to ask Defra to fix a meeting between Michael Gove and Chris Packham to discuss these matters.

If you support Chris Packham and the other authors of the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife then you can make a difference by:

  1. writing to your MP if you haven’t done so already and asking them what they think of the manifesto (which they now have received as a hard copy) and asking them what they will do to help implement its proposals
  2. sending me a copy of the response you get from your MP so that I can provide generic advice on this blog about how to respond
  3. writing back to your MP asking them some more questions and asking for more help (don’t be fobbed off by an inadequate response even if it might come on thick, yellow, embossed House of Commons stationery).

I will summarise some of the common themes in the responses so far over the next couple of days.

Starting next week (ie from 26 October) I will provide an update on MPs’ responses each Friday morning on this blog and updated advice to help you to get your MP to work for you and for wildlife.

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6 Replies to “MPs who have responded to the #peoplesmanifestoforwildlife”

  1. "We cannot expect all 650 MPs in the House of Commons to be experts on, or even interested in, the things that exercise us"

    I know Mark is only saying it how it is, but this should be of massive concern to everyone. Biodiversity and it's decline, is not just a field of interest, sort of like some people prefer golf to football, rugby or cricket to football. These are matters about our very survival. Wildlife i.e. biodiversity isn't just something that enriches our lives by being something nice to look at, it is essential for our very existence. A collapse in biodiversity will destroy our food supply system, our economy, and our civilization.

    I'm sorry for getting all environmentalist, but this is how it is. The big danger is compartmentalization, where we divide the world up into different spheres. So we have these MPs obsessing over economic growth, Brexit and talking about future prosperity, totally ignoring the science which says climate change and biodiversity loss means we're heading to hell in a handcart if we don't change our ways quickly. It's not just me saying this, it's the UN's very conservative IPCC which is saying we must radically alter the way our society's operate completely, and we only have 12 years to act. Yet our MPs are planning a future based on the current economic models as if this situation did not exist.

    It really is insane that this is just seen as something you are interested in or not. This is why our leadership is plotting us on a course to global suicide. This is not hyperbole. A recent paper showed crashing insect populations tropical rainforest a long way from intensive agriculture, driven by climate change. Insect populations are crashing all over the world and a very large proportion of bird species almost entirely feed their young on insects and other arthropods.

    This blinkered attitude of our political representatives is a matter of life or death, especially to our future generations. We mustn't just accept it, we must rail against it. Yes by all means write to your local MP, but be aware that it will change nothing. Our MPs must be told very clearly that either they all take a very big interest in this, or they are not supporting the public interest. They are playing some sort of game, representing vested interests, and not the public interest.

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    1. SteB

      It is a two-way process. If constituents constantly went to their MP saying biodiversity declines concern them, and it would influence how they voted (at local and national elections); and enough of them did so, then such issues would rapidly climb up the ladder of priorities (or even get on the ladder).

      I would say that for the majority of MPs, of all political persuasions, environmental issues rarely (if ever?) come up on the doorstep. But education, economy, health probably do on a weekly basis (deliberately excluding Brexit).

      As MPs' jobs depend on voters, they'll focus on what voters say concerns them.

      I don't disagree with what you say; but lots and lots of people need to say it.

      R.

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      1. I agree with your point completely. This is really my whole point. We need to concentrate on getting our message across to the wider public. As long as MPs think it is just a minority of people who are concerned about our biodiversity and are informed about it, they will ignore it. Yet if they thought many of their constituents cared deeply about this, enough for it to effect who they vote for, they would be taking a lot of notice of it.

        I am not blaming anyone for this. But we need to break out of just preaching to the converted. There is an energised and informed section of the public who deeply care about this. But step outside this small informed group, and it is surprising how much of the public aren't even aware of the things we're concerned about.

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    2. Well put, those are exactly my feelings. The "environment" isn't a sectional interest, and it isn't something that we can leave to one side while we deal with more urgent matters. We are in a crisis far more urgent and profound that the global banking crisis of 2008. We need action that at least matches that in speed and commitment.

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  2. Very well stated. Still awaiting response from our MP, not expecting a great response but will keep your comment here in mind as I'm sure that we will need to try and motivate said MP !

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  3. My MP has responded, and have forwarded the responce to Mark for the intrest of others to form part of his analysis of Labour responces.

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