If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll have figured out I’m pretty opinionated on almost anything and I’m not really afraid of sharing my opinions. Well, today’s blog is a story of how doing so led to a rather humbling experience involving my local MP, Stewart Jackson.
As you might be able to tell by last Monday’s post about welfare reforms, I’m pretty annoyed about it. More specifically, I’m pretty annoyed about how it’s going to affect my family and other families in our position i.e. unemployed and poor. That annoyance rose even higher when the council sent a us a nice letter asking for £33 a month which we didn’t have. So I did what we’re encouraged to do and air my complaints with my MP via email, which I kept free of bad language if not entirely civil; a bit like a Daily Mail article about those pesky immigrants.
I was rather proud of it when I sent it. I did my research into his expenses, his living circumstances and worded it well enough so that I didn’t sound like a stereotypical benefits claimant, and expected some half hearted drivel about how it was best for the country, it’s all Labours’ fault etc. What I didn’t expect was a response that offered both help in the form of a letter to the council to see what can be done, if anything, and a lift to a jobs fair he’s opening in May. It also called me out for attacking his families living situation, and it was that made realise what an arse I sounded. I had become that which I hate; a jealous sounding idiot attacking someone out of anger.
I also realised that I had an MP who actually makes an effort and cares. In an age where MP’s are fraudulently passing their license points onto their wife, fiddling expenses, putting on phony accents to sound more common, or wearing catsuits on national TV (thanks, George Galloway), it seems a strange thing to say. I also realised that a fair proportion of the reforms made sense (do you have any idea how hard it is to claim over £26,000 worth of benefits?), and those I disagreed with I managed to talk to him about in a more civil tone.
Have you even had an experience like this with your MP, or anyone in fact?
Also, while she wasn’t particularly popular, I’ll be blogging about the now-late former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher either tomorrow or Wednesday, which will involve actually learning exactly why she was so unpopular.