Posts Tagged ‘Internet Democracy’

Short Questionnaire by 38 Degrees Seeking People’s Views on the State of the Health Service

November 25, 2022

Here’s another email I got from the internet petitioning organisation seeking to gauge people’s views on the current state of the health service, and the particular issues they are most concerned with, as part of a wider campaign to defend it. Two of the questions, not on this email but there if you answer the questionnaire, ask you if you would be willing to speak to TV, radio or the press or talk about it on social media, and ask you for your telephone number if you would like to be part of that aspect of the campaign. I filled it out, as I am very concerned and angry about how they’re treating the NHS, but clearly not everyone will want to take it that far or give their home phone numbers.

‘David, the 38 Degrees community has been campaigning for YEARS to get the NHS the funding and workforce plan it desperately needs. It’s why we drove an ambulance with our message to Rishi Sunak across the country over the summer. [1] Now, we need to think about our next move.

If we’re going to keep fighting for what’s best for our NHS, it’s going to take all of us getting involved. And that means we should all have a say in what we do next. By taking this quick survey we’ll know what’s really important to all of us, and then together we can plan our next big NHS campaign.

So, David, will you take a quick survey and have your say on what we should do next? It takes two minutes. Here’s the first question to get you started:

How concerned are you about the current state of the NHS?

Very concerned

Concerned

Neither concerned nor unconcerned

Not concerned

Not at all concerned

Not sure

Things are so bad that ordinary people can’t help but speak up. A 77-year-old patient caught Prime Minister Rishi Sunak off guard by telling him to “try harder” to improve nurses’ pay, and a patient told Health Secretary Steve Barclay that he was doing “bugger all” about long ambulance waits. [2]

38 Degrees has a proud history of campaigning to protect our NHS. From fighting for a fair pay rise for NHS staff, to ensuring the NHS is properly funded and staffed, as well as opposing plans to raise the age limit for free prescription charges – we’ve fought relentlessly for an NHS we can all be proud of. [3] And with so many challenges left that fight is far from over.

By sharing your opinion in this short survey, we’ll be able to prioritise the issues we campaign on together. But to make the best plan we can, we need all of us to share our views.

So will you take this short survey today to help us keep fighting for the future of our NHS? It only takes two minutes. Here’s the first question to get you started:

How concerned are you about the current state of the NHS?

Very concerned

Concerned

Neither concerned nor unconcerned

Not concerned

Not at all concerned

Not sure

Thanks for your support,

Flo, Mike, Jonathan, Angus and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:

[1] Express & Star: Ambulance protest greets Tory Party members at hustings
[2] The Guardian: Woman confronts Steve Barclay on NHS outside hospital
Evening Standard (paywall): Rishi Sunak told by patient to ‘you are not trying, try harder’ to give nurse’s pay rise
[3] 38 Degrees: NHS Staff Pay Rise Campaign
38 Degrees: We need to properly fund and staff our NHS now!
38 Degrees: Keep prescriptions free for Over 60s

Twitter Campaign Against the Opening of a Deep Coal Mine in Cumbria

November 17, 2022

I got this email from the countryside charity CPRE urging people to tweet at the PM to stop the opening of a deep coal mine in Cumbria, which will be highly polluting and damaging to the climate. I’m not on Twitter, but if you feel strongly about this, please feel free to do so yourself.

‘Hi David,

Thanks for being part of the campaign that successfully stopped the return of fracking to the UK. Because of you, we’ve shown that when we come together, change can happen.  

But now we need to come together again. 

This year, the decision on whether to approve a deep coal mine in Cumbria has been delayed three times – the last being just a few weeks ago as world leaders headed to Egypt for COP27. 

The Cumbria coal mine would create 9 million tonnes of CO2 every year – more than all of the currently open UK coal mines combined. This is the last thing we need at a time when experts are warning we have precious time left to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown, the greatest threat facing the countryside today. 

The new deadline of 8 December could well be an intentional delay in order to push the announcement until after COP. But whether deliberate or not – we won’t let the government take decisions this big out of the international spotlight.  

We want the Prime Minister to know that we’re watching his next move very closely. And we won’t forgive him if his government approves the country’s first deep coal mine in over 30 years. 

Will you tell Rishi Sunak not to COP out on coal? 

Tweet the Prime Minister

Not on Twitter? Forward this email to a friend!

While the politicians deciding on the Cumbria coal mine have changed, the facts haven’t.  

In June, the Chair of the Climate Change Committee said the approval of a new coal mine in West Cumbria in light of the government’s net zero commitments would be ‘absolutely indefensible’. 

It would provide, at best, a small number of jobs in an industry set to be made redundant from climate change legislation in the next decade. Meanwhile, the Local Government Association has calculated there could be 6000 green jobs in Cumbria by 2030, with the right investment [1]. 

We know this mine needs to be refused, and we know that the new PM does listen to public pressure – he wouldn’t have even been at COP without it. So, it’s all still to play for.

Can you tell Sunak to show true climate leadership and stand up for the countryside by refusing the Cumbria coal mine? 

Tweet the PM

Not on Twitter? Forward this email to a friend!

We’ve not got long left to influence the decision but, together, we have the best chance to swing it in our favour. 

Thanks for all you do, 

Mark

Mark Robinson
Campaigns Officer | CPRE The countryside charity

[1]Local green jobs – accelerating a sustainable economic recovery in Cumbria – Local Government Association 

Reply from Local Labour MP Karin Smyth on Fracking

November 4, 2022

A little while ago one of the internet petitioning organisations email me to request that I, and no doubt thousands of others, write to my MP to object to Liz Truss’ wretched plans to bring back fracking. I had absolutely no problem doing so, not least because one of the areas scheduled for it is in Keynhsam, a small town between Bristol and Bath. Today I got a very kind reply from here detailing her opposition to it and support for a sprint to Green energy. The email runs

‘Dear David

Thank you for contacting me about fracking.

I agree with you on this important issue. Fracking is unsafe, will not help our energy security or cut bills and is opposed by local communities.

I am pleased that the new Prime Minister has restored the ban on shale gas fracking in England. I find it extremely concerning, however, that this Conservative government previously broke its manifesto commitments in order to pursue a damaging policy that put the interests of fossil fuel companies above those of the British people.

To truly deliver energy security and lower bills, I believe we need a green energy sprint. The current crisis is a fossil fuel crisis and we cannot escape it by doubling down on fossil fuels. Renewables are today nine times cheaper than gas. The only way to cut energy bills and have energy security is with zero-carbon home-grown power, including by quadrupling our offshore wind capacity, more than doubling onshore wind and more than tripling solar by 2030.

I also agree that we need to prioritise and fund energy efficiency, which is why I support proposals for a national effort to bring all homes up to energy performance certificate band C within a decade. This would save families large amounts each year on their energy bills and reduce national gas imports by up to 15%.

Only Labour will consistently deliver promises to tackle the climate crisis and improve green energy. Please be assured that in the meantime I will continue to press the Government on this issue, as well as support calls to accelerate efforts on energy efficiency and homegrown renewables.

Thank you once again for contacting me.

Yours sincerely

Karin Smyth MP
Labour MP for Bristol South

The most interesting piece of this is the line that ‘renewables today are nine times cheaper than gas’. Nine times! This tells me that we are definitely being exploited by the fossil fuel companies.

38 Degrees Open Letter to Get Rishi Sunak to Attend the COP27 Next Week

November 1, 2022

I got this email from internet democracy group 38 Degrees about their petition against Sunak’s ambivalence about attending next week’s summit on climate change. Sunak has apparently said he may not go, and so 38 Degrees have set up this campaign to persuade him.

This is outrageous: Rishi Sunak says he may not be attending the COP27 summit next week. [1]

David, we knew the new Prime Minister was not the strongest on climate change. But the decision to not attend a crucial event where world leaders agree on steps to tackle the climate crisis is shocking and concerning. Especially when a UN report last week showed that current actions by countries across the world have not gone far enough. [2]

Sunak has blamed “domestic challenges” for this decision, but the fact is that the climate affects us all. [3] Not attending such an important summit – even for one day – while also removing the Climate Minister from the Cabinet shows the climate crisis is not a top priority for this government. [4] Rishi Sunak may say the environment is important to him, but his actions say otherwise.

His decision has not gone down well – the media, world leaders and UK MPs have been criticising it and news today has pointed to signs that he may be wavering in his decision to not attend. [5] So let’s be the voice that finally persuades him to attend the summit. If we sign an open letter in our hundreds of thousands it could push the PM to attend the meeting and show us he cares about saving the planet.

So, David, will you add your name right now and demand the PM attend the COP27 summit? By clicking the button below your name will automatically be added to the open letter.

ADD MY NAME

I’M NOT TAKING PART BECAUSE…

To: Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister

We, the public, are calling on you to make tackling the climate crisis a top priority. You’ve claimed it is, but your actions this week – removing the Climate Minister from the Cabinet, and refusing to attend the COP27 summit – say otherwise.

We understand that domestic issues are important, but the climate crisis will affect us all. The fact that you won’t attend and be part of the global conversation is damaging and concerning for everyone. Especially given the latest reports from the UN that current actions by all countries across the world have not gone far enough to limit any rise in global temperature to 1.5C.

Show us you care about the climate crisis and the environment. Commit to attending the summit for at least one day, as your predecessor Liz Truss promised, and give Climate Minister Graham Stuart the right to attend Cabinet meetings.

Signed,

The British public

The PM’s absence at this global summit will be keenly felt. Since the UK were the hosts of the summit last year it means we are the current holder of the COP presidency until this year’s summit starts. By not bothering to attend, Rishi Sunak will be sending a message to the whole world that the UK is not committed to tackling the climate crisis. But taking action to save our planet is a team effort and we need to play our part.

That’s why we, the public, need to add our voices and let Rishi Sunak know that the climate crisis is one of our top priorities. And as Prime Minister he needs to commit to doing something about it. We and future generations deserve better.

Will you be the voice of reason and add your name to the open letter today? By clicking the button below your name will automatically be added to the open letter.

ADD MY NAME

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Megan and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] The Independent: Sunak prioritises ‘depressing domestic challenges’ over attending climate summit
[2] The Guardian: Climate crisis: UN finds ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’
[3] See note 1
[4] See note 1
Daily Mail: Rishi Sunak pulls out of Cop-27 climate summit and downgrades the status of his climate minister – but No10 insists new PM remains committed to net zero target
[5] See note 4
The Guardian: Global anger at Sunak’s Cop27 snub that raises fears over UK’s climate crisis stance
BBC News: Rishi Sunak criticised for skipping COP27 climate summit
BBC News: Rishi Sunak could still attend COP27 climate summit

I’ve signed it, because despite Sunak’s stopping fracking, his possible refusal to attend the summit shows that the Tories still don’t care about the environmental crisis and are hostile to further steps to prevent climate change. His absence will harm Britain’s international standing in this struggle.

The Labour Party Is Preparing to Campaign for a General Election

October 26, 2022

Rishi Sunak is the second unelected Prime Minister who’s been foisted on us following the resignation of Boris Johnson. He hasn’t even been elected by the Conservative party, like Truss, but has been chosen by the Tory MPs in parliament. He has absolutely no democratic, popular mandate and his policies threaten to impoverish and immiserate this country’s great, hardworking people further. Open Democracy and other internet advocacy groups have stated that they are going to push for a general election. Keir Starmer, the head of the Labour party, has also called for an election. And he means business – serious business. I’ve had emails from deputy leader Angela Rayner asking me to volunteer for their campaign for a general election, Labour Southwest are organising a conference to discuss tactics and the Arise Festival are also requesting donations to fund their meeting about the issue. I’m fully behind these initiatives, although my ability to actively help out is limited. I’ll let you know what else the Labour party are doing as and when I get any more information.

Email from 38 Degrees on the Government’s Consultation Paper on Green Energy

October 26, 2022

This came through yesterday. The internet democracy organisation is asking their supporters to fill out the government’s consultation paper on green energy, which has to be done by tomorrow. The plan has some good points, but in the eyes of the experts it doesn’t go far enough. If you click on the links, you go to the paper’s questions with 38 Degrees’ suggested answers. I’ve filled it out, and am posting it here so others may do so too if they wish.

‘Dear David,

The Government has launched an independent review into their Net Zero Strategy – the UK’s official plan to tackle the climate crisis – and they want our views. [1]

We already know these plans are not good or thorough enough. In fact it’s so weak that in July this year, the high court ruled the Government had to go back to the drawing board to properly explain how their strategy will achieve its targets. [2] They have been given until April 2023 to figure this out – a worrying fact when some of the targets need to be met by 2030!

This consultation is our chance to make the Government take the climate crisis more seriously. If enough of us share our views, we can make sure they set targets that are both realistic and ambitious. Something our country and planet desperately needs. But it’ll only work if enough of us get involved before the consultation closes on Thursday.

David, can you complete a short survey about the Net Zero Strategy – and help the Government to take the climate crisis seriously? It will only take a few minutes, and once you’ve filled it in we’ll submit it to the consultation along with the views of thousands of other 38 Degrees supporters:

SHARE MY VIEWS

So what is actually in The Net Zero Strategy? It has a ten point plan covering various aspects of British life:

  • By 2030, the Government wants to quadruple offshore wind capacity which will generate more power than all our homes use today. [3]
  • £385 million will be invested in the coming years to develop nuclear reactors to provide energy to UK households. [4]
  • New petrol and diesel vehicles will not be sold in the UK from 2030 onwards. [5]
  • And 600,000 heat pumps are to be installed into UK homes every year until 2028. [6]

This strategy may seem to push us in the right direction, but various organisations and the House of Lords have argued it does not go far enough, and focuses on the wrong areas. [7] For example. 600,000 heat pumps sounds great, but we’ll need millions of them to actually make a difference. [8] And crucially the strategy fails to mention where the funding for all of its goals will be coming from as well. [9]

So we need to push back and get them to increase their ambition! It certainly won’t be the first time 38 Degrees supporters have taken part in a consultation and pushed the Government to rethink their plans. Over 40,000 of us took part in the consultation for the privatisation of Channel 4 and managed to halt the plans to sell it off. [10] Now we need to do the same for our environment and planet – but it will only work if all of us get involved.

So, can you share your views on the Government’s Net Zero Plans via a quick survey now? The consultation closes on Thursday so we don’t have long!

SHARE MY VIEWS

Thanks for all that you do,

Simma, Megan, Angus and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] Gov.uk: Review of Net Zero: call for evidence
The consultation on the Government’s site is very long and technical, so we’ve replicated it on the 38 Degrees site and only included the questions relevant to members of the public.
[2] The Guardian: Court orders UK government to explain how net zero policies will reach targets
Sky News: ‘Landmark ruling’ sees government’s net-zero strategy ruled ‘unlawful’
[3] “Point 1: Advancing offshore wind”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[4] “Point 3: Delivering New and Advanced Nuclear Powe”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[5] “Point 4: Accelerating the Shift to Zero Emission Vehicles”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[6] “Point 7: Greener Buildings”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[7] Financial Times (paywall): UK lacks ‘credible plan’ to drive net zero transition, Lords report warns
UK Parliament Committees: UK will miss net zero target without urgent action, warns Lords committee
[8] See note 7
[9] See note 2
[10] 38 Degrees: 250,000 people say: Keep Channel 4 public
Financial Times (paywall): UK government ‘re-examining’ Channel 4 privatisation plan

We Own It Petition against Local NHS Privatisation

October 21, 2022

Not only have We Own It launched a petition against the general privatisation of the NHS they’ve also launched one people can sign directed at their local NHS leaders against the privatisation of local services as well. I got this email earlier today and have, of course, signed it. If you’re also concerned about your local NHS services being privatised, you may like to do the same.

‘Dear David,

If you could take a 2 minute action to STOP the outsourcing of your local NHS services to profit-greedy private companies, would you do it? 

There is something you can do that will have a HUGE impact.

Sign the petition to ask local NHS leaders to commit to end NHS outsourcing.

Sign the petition to your local NHS leaders

For over a decade, the ideology of privatisation has been gaining a strong foothold in our NHS.

We were told that outsourcing was ‘the most efficient way to provide services’.

But you always knew that this wasn’t true. And now you’ve been proven absolutely right.

The evidence is clear. The preventable deaths of 557 people have been linked to the outsourcing of NHS services. 

Once you’ve made your voice heard, NHS leaders will have to face the facts: privatisation fails our health. 

Can you add your voice to the petition and demand that your local health leaders commit to end outsourcing in your local NHS now?

Sign the petition – make your voice heard

Last night we launched our End NHS privatisation, save lives campaign with over 300 other campaigners.

New research has linked 557 preventable deaths to the outsourcing of NHS services.

Ben Goodair, the Oxford academic behind the research, told us at the campaign launch rally last night:

“My research found that wherever privatisation increased, deaths from preventable causes also increased. It is clear that there is a connection there.

“I am grateful to everyone that is doing something about this – you are saving lives.”

Whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, your local NHS leaders need to know that you’ve had enough of the deaths and the outsourcing.

Demand that your local health leaders save lives now – sign the petition

This fight in your local NHS is totally winnable. We just need to mobilise thousands of people in your area to add their voices to this demand.

They simply cannot ignore thousands of voices.

That is how we are going to win. And we have won before.

We’ve worked with Keep Our NHS Public campaigners in London to force local NHS leaders to kick American multi-national company Centene out of multiple GP surgeries. 

We’ve worked with Save Our NHS campaigners in Bath to get Virgin Care removed from their local NHS board.

Together with you we got the NHS in 11 regions to pledge to ban private companies from their boards.

We can win – YOU can win – if we make our voices heard in our thousands.

Make your voice heard now by signing the petition

We are so excited about this campaign because we know that when we come together and fight, nothing and no one can stop us winning.

Sign the petition and share it with your friends and family. And if you can do more, sign up HERE to receive leaflets from us to distribute to houses on your street.

Thank you for everything you do to protect our NHS from privatisation. 

Cat, Alice, Johnbosco, Matthew, Kate – the We Own It team’

38 Degrees/Mirror Petition for a General Election after Truss’ Resignation

October 21, 2022

This is the petition I also received yesterday from 38 Degrees calling for a general election to stop the installation of yet another unelected Tory prime minister. I also signed it, because I think the more petitions calling for an election the more chance there just may be of one or all of them may be noticed by the political elite. Crazy notion, eh? Anyway, please sign it if you, like me, want an election instead of yet another Tory getting into power over the heads of the general public.

BREAKING: Liz Truss has resigned as Prime Minister after only 45 days of crashing the economy, the pound, and her own poll ratings. [1]

The next Prime Minister – our third since June – could be chosen by as few as 300 Conservative MPs. [2] This would mean ANOTHER unelected PM in the middle of a crushing cost of living catastrophe. We don’t need this: we need a Government that gives us confidence and can deliver a rescue plan for families, public services, and the economy.

It’s time to end the Westminster games and backroom bargaining. So, David, do you agree that we – the public – need to have our say in a general election?If you think we the British public need to have our say, sign the Daily Mirror’s petition below: [4]

YES, WE NEED AN ELECTION

NO, I DISAGREE

Thank you for your continued support,

Jonathan, Flo, Siobhan, Hannah and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:

[1] BBC News: Liz Truss resigns as prime minister after Tory revolt
The Guardian: Tory MPs furious with Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng as pound crashes
[2] See note 1
[3] Twitter @38Degrees: Just this morning, we drove a van to Downing Street with a resounding message from the public: 99% have no confidence in them. 
[4] @johnestevens: The Mirror is demanding a general election now

Petition from Internet Democracy Group Avaaz for a General Election

October 21, 2022

Liz Truss’ resignation and the prospect of the installation of another Tory prime minister without a general election has prompted the internet democracy groups Avaaz and 38 Degrees to launch petitions calling for one. Here’s Avaaz’s, which I received yesterday.

Liz Truss is gone but Tory plans to replace her with another unelected Prime Minister make a mockery of democracy. The British people must have a say! Join the voters across the UK uniting to demand an immediate general election.

SIGN NOW

Dear friends across the U.K.,

Liz Truss has resigned.

But under Tory plans, we’re not getting a vote on who replaces her. In just 7 days, they want to crown a new Prime Minister – the second unelected PM in two months.

It makes a mockery of democracy. They’ve already crashed the economy, making life worse for millions. Now they want to choose our next PM!

The British people must have a say. And they must have it now.

MPs care what their constituents think. Let’s build a massive urgent call for an immediate general election, and let’s ensure the British people, not a few Tory MPs, decide who leads the country through the economic crisis that Downing Street helped to create.

Click to demand an immediate general election

The Conservative Party has gone into complete meltdown. Political insanity has become the new normal. There is now no legitimate reason to deny the British people a say – every major political party except the Tories is calling for a general election.

Despite what Tory bigwigs would like to believe, Britain is still a democracy. Our people have the right to choose who leads them. Any leader imposed upon us would have no mandate and no legitimacy, as they make some of the most consequential decisions of a generation.

A massive call from the public right now could win us the election we need. Add your name and share with everyone you know – let’s take back our democracy, before more damage is done.

Click to demand an immediate general election

The Avaaz community has a long record of defending democracy. We’ve faced down the far right in EU elections, opposed Marine Le Pen in France, called for accountability for Trump and countered the spread of election disinformation. We won’t rest until everyone everywhere can vote.  

With hope and determination,

Nick, Antonia, Ruth and the whole Avaaz team

More information:

Please sign it if you also believe that we need a general election now.

Email from 38 Degrees Urging People to Contact MPs and Vote Against Fracking Tomorrow

October 18, 2022

I had this email come through earlier this evening, urging me to contact my MP to ask her to attend tomorrow’s opposition day debate and vote against Truss’ proposal to bring back fracking.

David, we’ve got a chance to make sure MPs take a stand against fracking. How? There’s a vote set to take place about the Government’s ridiculous fracking plans on Wednesday in Parliament. [1]

We know the public are against it – it’s why you and 80,000 others signed the petition demanding the Government rethink their plans. And we also know multiple politicians have been speaking out against fracking, including Conservative MPs. [2] Now we need them to back their words up with action, and vote against fracking this week.

But they’ll only do that if they hear from us, their constituents, calling on them to show up tomorrow – and vote against fracking.

So, David, will you ask Karin Smyth to go along tomorrow and vote to stop fracking in its tracks?

EMAIL MY MP

Don’t worry if you’ve never emailed your MP before – here are a few suggestions on what you could say:

  • Make sure you ask them to go along to tomorrow’s opposition day debate on fracking.
  • Mention how harmful fracking is to the local community and environment – it can cause earthquakes, and increase air pollution and road traffic. [3]
  • Remind them that fracking was banned for good reasons in 2019, and science shows the process has not become safer yet. [4]
  • Tell your MP that the real solutions to the energy crisis are more renewable energy and home insulation. In contrast, fracking emits greenhouse gases that contribute to climate breakdown. [5]

So, will you email your MP now asking them to attend the vote tomorrow and stop fracking in England once and for all?

EMAIL MY MP

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Megan, Matt, Tom and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] The Telegraph: Tory rebels vow to bury fracking as they urge Liz Truss to make policy U-turn
[2] 38 Degrees: Sign the petition: the government must rethink its fracking plans
The Guardian: Tory-led council votes to demand Truss stick to no fracking pledge
[3] BBC News: What is fracking and why is it controversial?
Daily Mail: What is fracking, why is it controversial and will it REALLY solve the energy crisis? MailOnline answers your key questions about the practice after the UK government lifts the ban
[4] The Guardian: Why fracking in UK will not fix fuel bills and is economically high risk
[5] The Guardian: Fracking causing rise in methane emissions, study finds

I’ve had no problem doing this, not least because one of the proposed areas for fracking was part of Keynsham, a small town just southeast of Bristol near Bath. If you click on the link, you get to a general page that asks you for your address so you can contact your local MP, whoever he or she may be, and send them your message asking them to attend the debate. If you also want to halt the return of fracking, please feel free to use the link above to contact your local politico.