Politics.co.uk Blog

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Democracy in action

We've just received this from one of our regular readers, who is one of the millions of people in Britain keen to get hold of the deputy prime minister.

‎"Hello, can I speak to Mr Clegg, please?"
"I'm sorry, he's unavailable at the moment"
"Well, can I make an appointment to speak to him?"
"Err - I'm not sure..."
"He is my MP..."
"Ah, I see. So you're not just calling to make a fuss?"
"Well. I am calling to make a fuss. Just in his role as my elected representative, not as deputy Prime Minister"
"I see. You'll have to call his office"
"Isn't that you?"
"Well, yes it is"
"So...."
"I'm sorry, I mean, his constituency office in Sheffield"
"But isn't he in London today? I've just seen him on the telly"
"Yes, yes, he is."
"So, don't you have his diary there?"
"Well, yes I do"
"So can't I make an appointment?"
"I'm afraid not"
"But don't you have his diary there?"
"Yes"
"So...."
"I'm afraid you need to call his Sheffield office"
"How about I leave a message"
"Of course, what would you like the message to say"
"Don't sell off the forests"
"Is that it?"
"Well, you can add my name and address"
[Name and address copied down - unconvincingly]
"Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Well, I did really want to tell him myself"
"I'll be sure to pass the message on"

DEMOCRACY: FAIL.

An interesting conclusion, isn't it? I'm quite a long way from agreeing it. It seems to me that if every politician was to make themselves personally available to every one of their 80,000-odd constituents, prioritising that over the important business of, you know, running the country, we might find ourselves in even more of a mess than we are now.

But how to prove the point? Well, I'm going to try speaking to some constituency offices of important politicians and look into the matter. Watch this space...

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