Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An All Party Parliamentary Group and Details of How to Lobby

News of the inaugural meeting of a new All Party Parliamentary Group on Home Education has reached us via Graham Stuart's Twitter.

We are not sure of all of the names of those on the group, but believe it includes the following:


Graham Stuart (Chair)
Michael Gove
Mark Field
Oliver Heald
Andrew Selous
Anne Milton
Graham Brady
Alistair Burt
Stephen Crabb
Robert Goodwill
Julie Kirkbride
Peter Bottomley
Philip Davies
Bill Wiggin
Richard Benyon
Sir Charles Walker
Mark Pritchard
John Randall
Lord Lucas (Deputy Chair)


Kate Hoey
David Drew (Treasurer)
Lynda Waltho
Kelvin Hopkins
Jim Cunningham
Brian Jenkin
George Howarth
Paddy Tipping
Celia Barlow (?)

Liberal Democrat

Paul Holmes
Tim Farron (Secretary)
John Hemming
Annette Brooke
Mark Hunter
Sandra Gidley


Information on lobbying - collated from Lord Lucas's blog:

[The]Lords is reactive not proactive, by and large, so the time to lobby is when the bill has been published or, if it starts in the Commons, when it has had its third reading there. We have no staff, so early lobbying tends to get forgotten before the time arrives when we can affect things.

Once the bill has arrived in the Lords we ought to open up all its aspects for discussion, and arrive at a set of amendments (there's no limit to the number).

I suggest we use this blog to begin with, and then have a few tens of people to a half-day meeting if needed.

There are no rules [on which Lord to contact] as Lords have no territory.

My suggestion would be to get a group of you together - there are 760-odd Lords - with varied backgrounds, and then (using the book called Dods Parliamentary Companion which has brief biogs of us all) [or here] divi us up among you in whatever way seems to you to be the best match, and write us a personal letter along the lines of:

May I come and see you?

The XXX Bill threatens - whatever it does threaten

I am - HE, and enough of your background to make Lord think he might enjoy meeting you.

Reason why Lord might be interested to meet a real HE-er and talk about HE (e.g. given your background in ...)

Contact details

Possible dates 2-3 weeks ahead

All on one side of A4

But of course there may be other ways that suit you better.

General points to remember are:

- wait until the Bill is on its way to the Lords, most of us have too much to do to want to deal with next month's problem now.

- make it personal and short. Most of us receive a large pile of mail every day, and have no secretarial support to speak of. Leave the tomes till they're asked for.

- don't be downhearted at refusals; you only need half a dozen of us to decide to spend time on HE. The moral support of all those who are attracted to your cause but have too much else on their plates will suffice.

- keep a good record of who said what to whom. If we need to rally support for an amendment, this will be a great help.


Anonymous said...

what is the purpose of this group?

Anonymous said...

Yes, any news on what the remit is/will be?
Is it just to try and balance what amounted to a show trial from the select committee?

I see Holmes is still there but at least no Chaytor. Perhaps I should be grateful for small mercies.

Anonymous said...

Its purpose is to pretend to be doing something about Graham Badman crazy ideas! All M.Ps are like this it just looks good on they cv! Its no good hoping these people will really help we have to do it ourself by just saying NO!

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with anonymous. Parliament has no business overseeing or regulating or supervising Home Education or anything else that happens in your home or your family. The very idea is flawed from it's inception, just like the badman report itself. This lot might be sympathetic, and may derail badman but what about the next lot? And with lord 'compromise' Lucas in the mix as well as the moral-less liberal democrats we can expect, at best, a position that changes the relationship between the state and the family. I will not wear it. I will not accept any changes to the status quo of any kind, full stop.

Jemmo said...

Anonymous and Anonymous. I sympathise with the point of view. It's accepted that The Man is out to get you. That's taken as read.

However, if you walk around with your mind and eyes closed, you will bump into things until you are afraid to move. That's what you seem to be saying. Don't move towards anyone because they'll stab you in the back.

I hope you can stop being so afraid, open your eyes and be positive for a change. Accept help when it's given. Learn to trust a little. And always keep them where you can see them...

Carlotta said...

I agree Jemmo.

My full position on this: if we can prevent hard cases making the most appalling laws (ie: if we can prevent the Badman's recs from being implemented), by parliamentary process, then I will do my best to go down that route.

Along the way, I will make the point that should the state approprate parental responsibilities a la Badman recs, relationships between HEors and LAs will irrevocably break down. Further that the nation will hold the state massively responsible when it fails our children one way or the ohter, (as it will).

I will also be making the point that we just won't play ball.

I just see these positions as being proportionate responses to the problems we face. If my first defence of using "democratic" process doesn't pan out, I am with you anons behind the next barricade.

Anonymous said...

Jemmo Im not walking around with my eyes closed! Badman not geting me we be just saying no like we have since June 23 2003 no home visits no meeting nothing and boy did that hurt them!
M.Ps do stab you in the back that is a fact along with other people,Those M.Ps could not care less about us! you have to do it your self just say no will do. Badman can stick his review where the sun does not shine!