I seem to recall that it was the late great Harold Wilson who said that a week was a long time in politics. Someone said subsequently (I can’t quite remember who) that the weak are a long time in politics and there, is beyond question. a growing body of public opinion that is utterly disenchanted with politicians, their expense accounts and everything that goes with them. Despite this, the simple truth is, whatever you think about your Member of Parliament , he or she is there to serve you. You pay for their wages through the tax system, you may well have voted for them, so why not use them?
- As a general rule I am a great believer that you have to sort out complaints for yourself. Nevertheless there are some occasions when enlisting the help of an empowered third party may assist your gripe. Your MP may be just that person. If you are deeply troubled by noisy neighbours, potholes in the road outside your local school or a dodgy set of traffic lights in the High Street, you have nothing to lose by investing in the cost of a postage stamp and bringing your issue to the attention of your MP. There have been numerous examples over the years who are not just obsessed with issues at Westminster but who take a genuine interest in the issues that affect their constituency so be optimistic and try out your MP to see if they do anything.
- So how do you complain to your MP? The first thing to do is to find out who your MP is. This is easy. I particularly like the website www.theyworkforyou.com which gives you all the information you need. In essence their are three ways to complain:-
- Write to your MP. You can do this via the House of Commons. I still have a sneaking preference for snail mail since your present the recipient with something that they cannot ignore.
- Email your MP. You can do this directly via www.theyworkforyou.com or via the House of Commons website that lists all of the relevant contact details for your MP – see www.parliament.uk
- Go and see your MP. All MP’s have what is bizarrely known as a “surgery” at which they see ordinary mortals like you and me and hear complaints. Why not be really bold and try this out?
- Before complaining it is not a bad idea to find out a bit about your MP – see what they feel strongly about and press the right buttons. Do as I always advise and go for it. You have nothing to lose.