My first contact with members of parliament began at an early age in having Al Grasby around for a family BBQ and watching as he happily got thrown into the local pool because he was the MP who had arranged for the funding. He was a friend with everyone, his catch cry was my good friend so and so, but I think my old dad was actually mates with Al Grasby for quite a long time.
I grew up, Al stayed dry and in the 90’s I discovered email. In those early days email was new and the Turnbulised thing, innovation without really being innovative. Later I found out the silver bodgie was responsible for my closing my first email account because his company wanted to control how much I sent and to whom. I discovered anonymous email. I emailed a certain MP maybe 20 times from anonymous names taken from white pages to try and get firstly a footpath in my suburb then things like bus services and then keeping the footpath. I had no qualms in doing that. I had “found” artefacts and canoe trees and blind legless pub patrons who needed protected and managed to help get a temporary drain system turned into a proper water course for the native birds that flocked there. I also posted printed pages announcing to lumberjacks to be very careful around there because some of the trees had been spiked. Spiking a tree was very dangerous to a lumberjack so none of the trees got touched and the area missed out on a bridge and quite a few houses. I never ever hammered a spike into a tree, it’s like having a gun in the boot, just too easy to do and too dangerous. The developer didn’t like me, but even back then I admitted to being an obnoxious bastard.
Skip ahead a couple of decades to the now and I am a victim of my own cunning plan. Not too long ago we the people just weren’t being heard by our governments and now we the people are being actively ignored. Email has grown into social media of all sorts and the passive not bothering to hear has turned into active ignoring of we the people.
When I first started with emails MPs had to respond within 3 weeks as part of their obligations to stay in touch with how their electorates feel about anything. That got extended until now an occasional automated response is as good as it gets, unless you are like me and get totally ignored by just about everyone working in parliament. It got so bad that Senator Brandis destroyed my emails about a possible crime before even considering forwarding them to the department for investigation. Yes I do have FOI proof, I did set him up for it but who can I tell? They all ignore me.
The rules for the now are set out in the Parliament House web site dealing with Senators and Members and it tells the world that “Members are elected for a 3 year term and when in parliament take part in debate on proposed laws and public policy, representing the views of the people in their electorate.”
A couple of pages on in that web site we are told “One of a Member’s most important skills is communicating—receiving, understanding and evaluating information from many sources, and passing on information and opinions in Parliament and elsewhere—to the Government and to individuals and groups.
Being well informed and having up to date information is vital if a Member is to understand and debate the great range of legislation and other issues dealt with by the House and provide an effective representational link between his or her constituents and the Parliament.”
It’s their job, the local MPs have to read all communication and hopefully respond to the communication. For ministers and the Deputy and Real Prime Minister communication comes from everyone in the county. Parliament house rules do not allow MPs to block or ignore or factor out people. Pains in the bum like myself have the right to be heard and MPs have the obligation to listen and represent our views in parliament. Communication comes in the form of letters, still the only way you can guarantee a reply: lick and bic, lick a stamp and write it by hand. Emails, facebook, twitter and texts are all valid forms of communication and must be monitored by MPs and as a voter a response would be nice too.
Lift your game boys and girls and unblock the lot. I will lead the way and let every pin headed troll back into my online life. Will you do it MPs? Will you follow your own rules of parliament or just ignore them too?
This is the bit at the end of my blogs should you want to cross my palm with silver