06 November, 2006

My democratic experiment continues

In slightly more encouraging news, I received a response to my e-mail to John Denham about the activities of Truth In Science. I reproduce it below:


Thank you for your email asking me to sign EDM 2708.

Although Early Day Motions can be a helpful expression of back bench parliamentary opinion, I feel that they are somewhat over used and their impact somewhat diluted. For this reason I only very occasionally add my name to EDM's.

Nonetheless your letter has prompted me to consider the issues you have raised carefully and I have therefore written to the relevent ministers on your behalf.

I will contact you as soon as I receive a detailed reply,

Yours sincerely

JOHN DENHAM MP
SOUTHAMPTON ITCHEN

Well, it's slightly up on 'John thanks you for your interest and will take the matter under consideration', but it still has a slight form letter quality to it, doesn't it? It's a little disappointing that he won't sign the EDM, but the fact that he has forwarded my concerns up the chain of command means that my letter pretty much had the desired effect. Besides, I can see his point - EDM 2708 has collected 39 signatures so far, which isn't nearly enough to make it stand out from the crowd, and his spell as a government minister (before resigning over the Iraq War) has possibly given him some insight into how muchlittle EDMs actually register at the highest levels of government.

So, a cautious thumbs up to my local MP; it will be interesting to see what, if any, response will be forthcoming from 'the relevent ministers'.

Update: I’m not the only one who’s been writing to their MPs about this, and via Pharyngula, I see that Postblogger is currently leading the ‘most unhelpful response’ category: his un-named (Tory?) MP responded with
I would be very happy to act on this matter as soon as you can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Creationism is not true, and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Two apparent successes though: Mark Frank’s MP Sandra Gidley, a Liberal Democrat, told him she was signing up (although she’s yet to appear on the on-line list of signatories), and outeast seems have had a hand in getting Liam Fox to sign (as he’s the Shadow Defence Secretary, we can safely say that not all Tories are with the forces of ignorance on this one). I’d be interested to hear of any other successes or failures, which I'll add below

  • Sharon Hodgson (Labour) at prompting of Jim Windram.

1 comment:

Jim Windram said...

You may add me to the list. I emailed my MP, Sharon Hodgson, and asked her to support the motion. I did not get a reply direct from Sharon herself, but her PA was very helpful and presented the EDM on my behalf. I have since received an email from her parliamentary researcher indicating that Sharon has signed the motion, and I can confirm that her name has been added to the list.