Educate Your MP

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Our new poll results reveal that only 1 in every 10 MPs understands that 97% of our money is created by the same banks that caused the financial crisis. Until they understand this, they’ll never understand problems like debt, inequality and unaffordable housing.

MP poll

The Objective

Get your MP to do at least one (preferably all) of the following:

  • acknowledge there is a problem with the current money system
  • commit to attend a backbench debate on the subject
  • ask a question in the House of Commons

Most MPs will not be aware of the fact that money is created by private banks, in an unconstrained, unrestricted way (see more).

Even many professional economists do not fully understand the way in which the banking sector operates, or how banks receive massive subsidies and benefits as a result of the way they do business. But before you get in touch with your MP, first read our FAQs and get in touch to find out if your MP has had any prior contact with Positive Money, email shirley@positivemoney.org.


jesse norman“[C]ommercial banks have an even greater power than that: they have the power to create credit—that is, money—by expanding their balance sheets. It is not widely  understood how important this power is: of the money presently in circulation in  the UK economy today, three per cent takes the form of cash; 97 per cent is in credit and deposits.  This financial alchemy is an extraordinary privilege, which we as citizens and taxpayers underwrite.”

Jesse Norman, Conservative MPThe Case for Real Capitalism

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 9.18.58“The debate that Positive Money has started is an incredibly important one. We all need to better understand the role that money and its creation plays in our economy.”

“There is no doubt that our financial system and the ecosystems on which we depend are at the point of collapse. We can tackle both problems simultaneously if we’d only admit their interdependence. If we’d only recognize that how we spend money and how we create money, has an impact on our environment.”

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP (Video)

How to contact your MP

Identify your MP by typing in your postcode at the TheyWorkForYou website.

  1. Meet them in person (most effective!)
  2. Write a letter (quite effective)
  3. Send an personalised email (slightly less effective than a posted letter)

Find out about your MP

The more you know about your local representative the better able you will be to approach him/her effectively. The website www.theyworkforyou.com allows you to keep up with the voting record and interests of your MP.

Meet Your MP in Person 

As a citizen of the UK you have a right to meet your MP in person. Most MPs hold ‘constituency surgeries’ at least once a month, usually on a Friday.

Here’s a step-by-step process for meeting your MP:

  1. Give the constituency office a call to request an appointment at the next MP’s surgery. Make sure you get the details for when and where the surgery will be, what time your appointment is, and how long your meeting is (10 minutes is typical).
  2. When you have an appointment, send us an email to let us know (shirley@positivemoney.org). We’re happy to call you before the meeting to talk through any questions and concerns that you may have.
  3. Prepare a rough outline of what you want to say. You don’t need to prepare too much (as you will only have a short time with them) and you don’t need to be an expert on all the issues.

Some ideas for the meeting:

  1. Take your laptop, and play What is money? (To download the video so that you don’t need to find an internet connection - Right click here and choose ‘save target as…’)
  2. Give them the 2 page briefing “Money: An Issue Ignored by Parliament for 170 Years“. This handout includes quotes from the Bank of England and is a brief explanation of the issue. (They are unlikely ever to read a book or longer paper, unless they have a very strong interest in finance.)

More ideas: BRIEFING FOR MEETING YOUR MP

 

Writing  to Your MP

Meeting your MP in person is by far the most effective thing to do, but if you can’t do that, then a letter, written and posted to your MP, can be quite effective.

  1. Write your letter following the guidelines below and template letter available here, and then send it to your MP.
  2. Please let us know when you receive a response, and if you can, send us a photocopy or scan via email to shirley@positivemoney.org.

Email  your MP

Follow all the advice given under ‘Writing to Your MP’ above and the templates below, but send it via email rather than letter. You can find your MP’s email address by entering your postcode on this page.

  1. Write your email following the guidelines below and template letter and then send it to your MP.
  2. Please let us know when you receive a response, and send a copy to info@positivemoney.org.

Guidelines for Letters/Emails

Be polite! Don’t be rude, don’t shout and don’t insult the MP. Many MPs receive angry, ‘shouty’ letters from constituents, but if you start by insulting your MP, he’s unlikely to want to help you.

Don’t be over dramatic: Stay calm and rational. Consider these words of advice from an MP who actually does understand the issue:

Keep it short. All MPs are busy.

Don’t tell them you’ll never vote for them again: if you already said you’ll never vote for them, then why would they want to spend time and energy listening to you?

Don’t rant about their party’s policies, track records. Just stick to the point.

Supportive MPs

You may also refer to the quotes of MPs who already support monetary reform ideas – Labour, Conservative, Green…

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 9.27.46“The key issue, the central issue, the overwhelming issue which this country has got to face up to is the restoration of democratic accountability via the control over the money supply.”

Michael Meacher, Labour MP (Video)

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 9.36.25“It’s like a tower of Babel out there on this subject… What’s great about Positive Money is that they’ve picked a practical proposal that can be taken forward and they’re singlemindedly pushing it. And it’s an idea capable of appealing to left and right, to greens, to libertarians. It is an idea that transcends party politics…it’s practical… It can cut through that power of Babel.”

Steve Baker, Conservative MP (Video)

 

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Tell the future Prime Minister of the UK that money creation should only be used in the public interest.

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