Stop the Gagging Law

The UK coalition government is trying to push through the Lobbying Bill aka the Gagging Law. This is really bad and needs to be stopped because it puts our status as a free democracy seriously at risk. I’m not even overreacting. The bill aims to limit and suppress campaigns on topical issues during the entire year running up to a general election. This means NGOs, charities and community groups would effectively be stopped from speaking out about important issues and lobbying politicians to get the public’s views across. The message would pretty much be: “you can vote, and that’s it. Leave the politics to us”.

Not my image.

Not my image.

This is not okay! Britain is a democracy, and in a democracy you can fight to get your voice heard by your government. Politicians are meant to represent what we want. Sure, it doesn’t always work out like that. But we have the right to campaign and hold leaders to account when they’re going against the public’s wishes.

There was a debate in the house of Commons yesterday, and although many MPs vigorously opposed it, the bill still got through to the next stage of debate. If you live in the UK, the time is NOW to email your local MP and ask them to vote against this outrageous bill. Here’s the email I sent my MP, please feel free to just copy my message if you can’t be bothered to write your own.

Dear Caroline Lucas,
I’m very concerned about the proposed Lobbying Bill and I’m writing to request that you vote against it in Parliament. As I understand it, the bill would stop campaign groups and charities from speaking out and lobbying politicians on topical issues in the year running up to general elections. This is such an impingement of British citizen’s rights. We live in a democracy, and that means we have to right to campaign to get our views heard – on war, environmental issues, welfare, immigration and so on and on. A nation that squashes this right is in my eyes not a democracy at all. Even though it’s only a year out of 15, I think we can all see that the year running up to general elections is the most critical in terms of getting important public views heard by government.
Please protect our democracy and vote against this awful bill.
Thanks for your time,
Tegan Sonvico Christov
If you don’t know who your MP is or what their contact details are, you can use this search facility. Type in your postcode and then click on your MP’s name to get their contact details. Now is the time to speak up, because this is exactly the kind of thing you might not be able to do if the bill is passed.
Here’s a video for more information about the Gagging Law.

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