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,
JOHN DENHAM MP
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
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.