There’s a first time for everything, and one of those everythings might be writing a letter to MPs about something you care about. Unsure where to start (or end)? We’ve got you covered. By Emma Irving.
If the role of your MP is to hold the government to account then it’s your job to hold your MP to account. If you’re not holding them accountable, who is? Basically, your word is king.
First things first – it all starts here. Check out who your local MP is, and what they say and do. You need to know who you’re writing to before you can write, and once you’ve got that find your MP’s address.
1. Write a letter, not an email.
Physical notes are much harder to ignore than emails, which can be filtered by inboxes and sent into the e-byss.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Officials get lots of letters about lots of issues, so sticking to one topic per (concise) letter is key. Cutting through the noise will help you get heard.
3. Be polite
No matter what you think of your MP, they should never have to put up with abuse.
Bullies never get anywhere
4. Follow this format…
Who are you? Where do you live? What’s your occupation? Some background info makes your letter personable and much more effective.
What do you want? What’s the one issue you’re raging a one-person mission against in this letter?
Does your letter relate to a specific piece of legislation?
Give your argument a sexy tripod structure: identify your three main points and elaborate on why you think what you do.
Now’s the time to bring it all together. Illustrate why the changes are so important – include a personal anecdote if you can.
Then the nail in the coffin – “That’s why I am asking you to respond by… insert action you’d like to be taken on this issue.”
NAME AND ADDRESS. If they don’t have both then they’ll disregard your letter completely.
You’ve sent it off. What next?
- Not satisfied with their response? Follow up. Try again.
- Sign or start a petition.
- Get your mates involved. Send them your letter and ask them to copy it, then send theirs to their MP.