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Taking on my MP: 900th Post Special


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

The controversial letterJust a few minutes ago, a story I’ve been working with Guido Fawkes on was published on his site – using, perhaps, stronger terms than I would dare.

The story was first posted here as a foot note to another post, here. For those who can’t remember, here’s a quick reminder.

Back in 2004, I sent an email to my MP, David Borrow, asking him to sign an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, stating “That this House deplores recent announcements by leading universities that they are to close, or freeze recruitment to, some departments because of funding problems”. I have long since lost the text of my original email, but happened to come across the originial reply just recently. In it, Mr Borrow said:

I am currently the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Higher Education Minister, Kim Howells MP. When I was appointed I took the decision that as I was a member of the government, albeit at a very junior level, I would not sign EDM’s.

I’m not sure that that’s the best response to the request at the best of times, but – apparently at odds to this statement – he went on to sign hundreds of EDMs whilst PPS to Kim Howells, on subjects as diverse as the televising of cricket, National Tree Week, and Sales of Bananas in the Palace of Westminster. That is to say that he would not sign an EDM which aimed to halt the decline of technological and scientific advancement in the United Kingdom, yet would sign an EDM about bananas in Parliament.

You can see Guido’s comments on the story, and comments left on his website, here.

On a personal note, working with a blogging giant like Guy (featured in today’s MediaGuardian, as it happens) on this has been quite an exciting experience, and a fantastic way to celebrate the growth of my own blog to over 900 posts and 200,000 words. Thanks to your continued visiting, and thanks to new visitors too, the site is going from strength-to-strength, with hits for the first half of 2006 up 105% over those for the same period last year. There have already been over 1,000,000 hits this year, a point only surpassed in November last year. As a blog that does not try to make a profit, hits mean very little – but having so many of them is certainly a personal boost. So thank you to all my readers for your continuing support.

This 897th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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MayorWatch Politics Blog » Blog Archive » Writing to Your MP

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5th May 2016.

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