“Do you recognise how much influence you as an organisation have on the way people think about politics and politicians?”
That’s what a Conservative MP said to me yesterday about 38 Degrees members. I was speaking in front of a committee of MPs looking into why people choose not to vote or get involved with the political process. I wanted to speak for as many of us as possible - so thank you to all 110,000 members who filled in the survey this week. 
It really felt like some of the MPs were listening. Some of them were clearly rattled after hearing our home truths. But they all recognised that we’re a hugely influential movement - and that’s because our strength comes from the way we work together.
In his closing remarks, the committee chair, Graham Allen MP even said:
“You are not just you, sitting at the table as an ordinary person. You come as an enormous 800 pound gorilla with 2 million members at your back. You’re a very powerful and influential person, I would like to use that influence to get from you and your members a serious, positive package of things… We all know where we are and it’s not a good place. How do we get to that place and improve voter engagement?”
I’ve never been called a gorilla before. But putting that aside, if I’d had the opportunity to respond, I would have said that our power comes from all 2.5 million of us standing together. To watch the evidence session click here:
Reading through your responses to the survey, what stood out above all else was a very real crisis of confidence, in politicians and the political system over all. I did my best to represent your views and hopefully I did a good job.  But it was hard not to get angry on behalf of us all.
One of the Conservative MPs in the committee, Christopher Chope, chipped in at the beginning to say that this survey wasn’t representative of the public at large. And then left 10 minutes into the session. Another MP wouldn’t let me get a word in edgeways, it seemed he just wanted to shout at me, not listen.
I know lots of us are sceptical about what happens next. But, together, we need to push for our democracy to work better for all of us. It’s too important to leave to politicians alone. What’s clear is that our movement proves that we deserve better - and together we’ll continue to work to achieve this.
PS: Based on the results of the survey, a plan is starting to take shape to register hundreds of thousands of voters before the EU Elections in May. The idea is that we come together in our neighbourhoods to register as many people as possible, street by street. But it will only work if enough of us are prepared to do it. Would you be willing to volunteer a l
There will always be the exceptions and no doubt those you instance prove your point, however, the real measure of what we are discussing is how individual Governments apply their powers to ALL of their people. North Korea being the worst example. If you were to list every Country, starting with North Korea at the bottom, I believe you would place the UK fairly close to the top. As I have said before, just consider how many people from other countries seek to come and live here, that must be something of a measure.
http://rt.com/shows/going-underground/missed-plane-whistleblowers-uk-553/ . 17 minutes in .Plus, while the government tries to clamp down on whistleblowers, there’s a new organisation launched to give them the help they need.http://rt.com/shows/going-underground/lose-job-whistleblowing-uk-370/ . 1 minute in . In this episode we hear from Dr Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, who explains what it's really like to blow the whistle on your boss . .http://rt.com/shows/going-underground/guardian-music-uk-mi5-600/ . why the Home Secretary prevented MI5 boss Andrew Parker from appearing before MPs. Julian Huppert, who sits on the Home Affairs Committee, says the investigation into GCHQ has turned into a race to punish The Guardian . .http://rt.com/shows/going-underground/shrewsbury-convictions-government-papers-189/ . .Ricky Tomlinson, was one the protesters jailed and while the government has seemingly agreed to release papers about their imprisonment, he says he doubts they'll ever know the truth . . the reason whistleblowers was brought up by me , was in response to what lennymac had posted on Friday 10.29 . I think what Neep is saying is that there is a relative freedom inherent in the British system that means that government activity can be critiqued and criticised in good faith without the government intervening in some insideous way . . I think if you look at the above links it shows there isn't and our government will intervene .
Hi Jings I assume you are talking football. After watching Liverpool this afternoon whoever finishes above them will win the league. As regards RBS I would love to see it go up to my entry level of £3.15 this week and hopefully onwards and upwards from there. I am very tempted to have a punt on Barclays as they seem cheap at the moment. There was a killing to be made on Resolution Life last Friday. Initially they dropped like a stone until the FCA clarified their terms of reference for their investigation later on that day and they shot up.Oh, for a crystal ball!!
Been away for a few days enjoying the freedoms of the English countryside. Now catching up on the debate. Graftman, can I ask you to read and edit your posts before you actually post them? I really had some difficulty getting the point of some of your posts. The point you make about whistleblowers, etc., is possibly well founded but there are two responses I should like to offer you. First, the people you are accusing are generally ordinary people who have achieved higher rankings. ie: they are just the same as you and I. Second, whatever the sequence of events the Courts are there to ensure the fair ending.
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