Democratic FaceTime Opportunity: Workers Need Not Apply

I'd like to credit this image, but I cannot find who is responsible for it. It's all over the web.

Regular readers will recall that a few weeks ago I was bloviating on the state of our railways following a lengthy and costly delay at the hands of the unfriendly local franchise-holder as we dared to interrupt them laughing their way to the bank.

Since then I’ve had the pleasure of another 40 minute No Reason delay, where I was informed by a beleaguered member of staff that train drivers were on some kind of break (from reality?) and simply pick and choose which trains they will drive that day.

I tailed off my previous rant with the statement that I would be going to see my MP to avail him of the misery suffered by thousands while this joke of a service shafts passengers out of wadges of cash.  Our monthly railway spend in this house is around 400 quid.  That’s a lot of unavoidable wadge we are flushing down the toilet of monopoly privatisation, I would tell him.  I would inform him that I’ve had pleasanter railway journeys in Rajasthan.  I would ask him what could be done about it, what he would do about it next time he has an opportunity for input into these things.  I’m the silent fucking majority, I would politely inform him, and I’m about to get very annoyed.

I tried to access my MP in person.  I searched the web for his surgery times, and after navigating his most user-unfriendly site I discovered that he will only deign to see the people who elected him (I didn’t elect him, but he doesn’t know that) during the day, during the working week.

This cannot be, I wailed.  Despite the lamentable location of my house in a Tory stronghold constituency, I internally belaboured the point that of course face to face time with an MP is one of the cornerstones of our political system and there didn’t seem to be a reason why Saturday surgeries aren’t available.  Other MPs manage it just fine, and most of them live much further away from Westminster.

I called his office, to be quite rudely told that my MP cannot see me at any other time.  What to do? I wondered out loud.  Can I really be expected to take a break from adding to the economy just to go and see him at his convenience?  Not my convenience, or the convenience of my employer.

Yes.  Yes I can.

I can alternatively access my democratically elected representative in writing.  How exciting.

We all know how likely I am to get a meaningful response in writing.  I know exactly how meaningful those responses are because in a former life I used to draft them for politicians to sign off.

In writing, he will be able to side-step issues which verbally I would be able to reinforce, counter-argue, and follow up.  He will not commit anything to writing which is even slightly controversial or opens him up to any criticism whatsoever.  He will not deviate from statements simply repeating government policy, which at the moment amounts basically to a giant two fingers to everyone.


2 Responses to “Democratic FaceTime Opportunity: Workers Need Not Apply”

  1. 1 Modern Country Style February 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Oooh, you take me on a rollercoater of emotions at your blog. ;-) That would make me livid, too. I’m grrrr-ing on your behalf.

    I’ve not ever seen my mp but have had pretty got written responses, that seem to take my rants into account.

    And my mp is….yup….David Cameron!


  2. 2 Jenn @ Juggling Life February 19, 2011 at 2:55 am

    You need to get a newspaper or something to pick this up–shame him/her into a meeting. Do you have any connections? I could see this really going somewhere.

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