May 16, 2013 3
More than 100 Tory MPs ‘express regret’ at lack of referendum bill. Well well well. Do they, now?
This is what I’m expressing regret about to my MP.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for expressing regret about the decision to leave an EU referendum out of the Queen’s speech.
I’m sure you’re scared by the challenges ahead – I know I am – and this is no time for civic leaders to shirk their responsibilities. In this decision you have stood up for what you believe, and that is fantastic.
Unfortunately it leaves me utterly bewildered and not a little disgusted.
What on Earth are you thinking?!
As we soar past 400ppm atmospheric CO2, face crises in food, farming, healthcare, and energy, and systemic failures in transport, education, biotechnology – at the very time we need to focus on what is important and work together at the most effective levels, you have bothered to make such trivial and time-wasting mutterings a headline issue.
Please reassure me that you were being advised by some incompetent octogenarian who can be shuffled out of the picture, and that you weren’t acting of your own volition? And if you did decide this all on your own, can you please let me know how this decision has accelerated our progress to an abundant, peaceful, prosperous, and secure Britain?
Would you perhaps like to have a coffee soon to learn from this constituent what I expect of you as my representative in Parliament, and a few useful tips on how to differentiate between “important” and “not important right now”?
If your MP is on this list, please write to them and give them a piece of your mind so that maybe they’ll have at least one brain between them.
PS if you happy to live near me you can tweet Caroline Nokes right here.
Kudos to Caroline – barely 6 hours later I had a reply in my inbox.
Dear Mr Dowding
Thank you for your email of today’s date and for having taken the trouble so promptly to let me have your thoughts on last night’s vote.
There is, however, one aspect I feel obliged to correct you on. You have assumed for some reason that I am of the view that the EU is the most important issue facing the country right now. Far from it, yesterday there was a vote on an amendment to the Queen’s Speech, nothing more than that, it probably took about 5 minutes of my time.
Just as an example, yesterday I spent 2 hours in the Environmental Audit Committee, and I certainly regard the work of that committee as more important than an expression of regret that the Queen’s Speech did not include legislation to hold a referendum. I also replied to about half a dozen constituents who had invited me to the Friends of the Earth “Bees Tea” – that also probably took more time than one trip through the lobby, and the event itself today will take considerably longer, and in my view, is considerably more important. I know I don’t have to outline to you the concerns which have been raised about neonicotinoids and their impact on pollinators as you are one of the constituents who has asked me to attend today’s event.
It is a shame you could not come along to my last drop in surgery in West Tytherley, we could have had a cup of coffee and a chat then, however I hold them regularly on the first Saturday of every month at various venues around the constituency. All constituents are welcome to call in, no appointment is necessary.
Caroline Nokes MP
House of Commons
Tel: 0207 219 1468
And my reply:
Brilliantly prompt and thank you for fitting so much, including this, into your days.
Perhaps you might help me understand by explaining how spending even 5 minutes of your time on this issue helps progress those other more significant issues?
Sent from my mobile so please forgive any typos, brevity, or indecipherable jibberish.
And hers (a few moments later)
Dear Mr Dowding
Thank you for your further email – obviously it doesn’t. But the amendment was tabled, the Speaker selected the amendment, John Baron who proposed the motion pressed it to a vote, therefore there was one.
Regrettably, I have a speech to prepare for this afternoon, so I am going to have to cut this exchange short.
Me too, so just one more question when you get the time: why not just abstain and not show up to the vote at all?