Reviving the letters to pollies

Two years ago the Energy Realists started sending briefing notes to 800+ politicians across the nation and we recruited some letter writers in almost half the 151 Federal House of Reps electorates to send follow-up mail to their local MP.

The letter-writing program did not proceed because it did not yield enough interesting replies.

We are starting again with the added value of the National Information Network which will establish active groups across the country with the help of selected ex-candidates for minor parties at the last election.

Two notes have been sent by the ERA since the election and I sent one myself to the members in the House of Reps on the eve of passing the Climate Bill.

Soon will post the same message to the Senators.

I am contacting all the original letter-writers to find if they are prepared to continue.

We do not have writers in a lot of key seats, notably all the ALP cabinet members, so volunteers are invited from those electorates. Applicants must be citizens of good standing in the Cat community?

15 thoughts on “Reviving the letters to pollies”

  1. I (and other experts I know) have written any number of well referenced, evidence based letters to any number of politicians in the last 2 years regarding the likely results of our mis-directed COVID strategy.

    In most cases, the reply consisted of either a ‘form letter’ consisting of the usual appeals to authority (following ‘the science’) or nothing at all. In my case, they sent the police around to harass me into silence (spoiler alert – that didnt work).

    They are FULLY AWARE that the course they are on with respect to COVID is flawed. The same can likely be said with regard to global warming, monetary policy, immigration policy, etc etc etc.

    This doesn’t end with letters, scientific papers and court actions. It ends with massive civil disobedience and heads on pikes – our ‘Sri Lanka’ moment.


    Report comment

    19
  2. Don’t forget to add a tribute to the traditional owners at the bottom.
    As flyingduk said. Besides, they know they’re lying, they’re just doing as they’re told.


    Report comment

    6
  3. Thanks Rafe,

    I’ll have a go again. In Higgins Katie Allen was useless and never replied. From what I hear on the grapevine about her ALP replacement I’m not optimistic at all.

    I think the previous letters were OK but a little long and overly detailed. Don’t forget we are dealing with apparatchiks who have a short attention span , even the purportedly highly educated ones. I think you need to keep it simple and stick to easily remembered points, at least as an intro. The more complex stuff can come later once they have settled in. New members such as the one in my seat will be getting a lot of material from all sorts of lobbyists and won’t be able to take in things that are too complex.


    Report comment

    5
  4. One of the things needed is quantification of energy required from batteries when there is no wind. ManhattanContrarian has had a stab at this for the US (the cost is vast), so we could use this as a basis for our own calcs, but it would need engineering input due to our dispersed generation and consumption of energy.
    We would be talking GW hours of energy over still nights (when we are all charging our cars, busses, trucks, ambulances…). This too could run into trillions of dollars.
    moderated

    4
  5. MPs don’t usually read letters from members of the public, and Ministers only do if the letter is passed on by a staffer, or if, when personally signing a reply to someone important, they flip under to read the original letter. That happens rarely.

    That’s not to say that letter writing campaigns can’t be effective, but for it to work what matters is numbers, not substance. Staffers keep tallies on letters about individual issues, for and against, and pass them on to the boss.

    As someone who toiled in the fields of preparing responses to letters to the PM and Ministers, I can assure you that attempting to inject data into the issue is a waste of time. There exists a template of pre-prepared responses which are cut and pasted into the reply, irrespective of the content of the letter.

    The sheer volume of mail makes it almost impossible to deal with each letter individually. Federal Ministers get tens of thousands of letters a year, from other MPs passing the buck, other Ministers and the PM on business matters, lobbyists, State/Territory governments, local councils, yada yada, plus (and lastly) members of the public.

    You need to be strategic. For example, it is a waste of time and effort writing to someone in a safe seat on either side. Holders of marginal seats on either side are much more sensitive to feedback, but only if there is lots of it. Numbers matter much more than content.

    Content only counts if it comes from an organisation, which is why the leftist takeovers of bodies like the Farmers Federation and other employer/industry/professional groups are so damaging. A letter from one of those outfits gets attention paid to it. If you can use an organisation, or take one over, that is very valuable. The Left have been doing it for decades.

    I don’t want to discourage grassroots campaigning, but do want to suggest that it needs to be very focused and strategic. Otherwise, people get discouraged because their scattergun efforts yield no tangible results.


    Report comment

    12
  6. That works, does it? Seems to me that “letters to politicians” only ever get any coverage when they are a part of a wider leftist campaign and the media can point to letters as an excuse for their partisan ship: “oh look, it’s not us, look at all these letters”. Otherwise the words “sweep” and “rug” tend to apply.

    But good luck. At least you’re trying something.


    Report comment

  7. Letters, all well and good, I suggest turning up to the next “meet your MP in the local park” invitation with camera in hand to conduct an impromptu interview (example here, with the previous liberal member, who got turfed with a 13% swing against her, to be replaced with a Labor parrot).

    interviews by citizens that end up on platforms like YouTube have potential to reach a wider audience. There are plenty of examples.

    If you’re a bloke and the local member is female, take a woman (e.g. wife) with you as a witness and to block the possibility of “intimidation”.

    (Although if you’re anything like Aussie Cossack you may end up having the police called on you, regardless).
    moderated

    2
  8. Letters, all well and good, I suggest turning up to the next “meet your MP in the local park” invitation with camera in hand to conduct an impromptu interview (example here, with the previous liberal member, who got turfed with a 13% swing against her, to be replaced with a Labor parrot).

    interviews by citizens that end up on platforms like YouTube have potential to reach a wider audience. There are plenty of examples.

    If you’re a bloke and the local member is female, take a woman (e.g. wife) with you as a witness and to block the possibility of “intimidation”.

    (Although if you’re anything like Aussie Cossack you may end up having the police called on you, regardless).


    Report comment

  9. A commendable campaign, Rafe. I am, sadly, a compulsive letter writer to newspapers. I started 50 years ago writing to the Sydney Morning Herald and had many letters published. When the SMH became an intolerable sewer of Leftist garbage, I stopped reading it and took to reading The Australian. Once again, I seemed to become an acceptable contributor to national debates. During the early Covid controversy, I was even able to have letters accepted which challenged the narrative – although that has become almost impossible in the last 12 months.

    johanna mentioned the Farmers Federation being taken over by lefties. I wasn’t aware of that – but it certainly is consistent with decided pro-China Opinion pieces that appeared in The Land a year or so ago. I was so enraged that I got into a stoush, through the Letters to the Editor, with two of the columnists. One of them recognised that I also wrote letters to mainline newpapers using a Sydney address (I use my country address in letters to The Land, naturally) & accused me of being a city slicker who had no right to comment. I reminded said columnist that we ALL have “skin in the game” when war occurs, as the sad war memorials in almost every town in Australia testify. That ended the debate. No more “kind” words about China or their grand history.

    Again, I find writing to the significant policy influencers (eg the Menzies Institute) likely to produce responses. Letters to MPs? Not sure whether they ever get past the minions in the office.

    Nevertheless, it is futile complaining about the zeitgeist if you are not prepared to try to “shift the rudder”. I would be happy to contribute if it would be useful.


    Report comment

    2
  10. If a politician (or their staff) chooses to ignore a letter – however well-founded its facts and cogent its reasoning – then there is no consequence. If a tree falls in a forest, and all that…

    They will talk as if they never received any revelatory missive or, if called out, pretend they never did. This would be a lie, of course, but that simply means it is a politicians home turf.

    Occasional letters have likely been getting this treatment for decades. It is one piece of cover they learn to leap at a very early learn – never admit to something you don’t have to, and barefacedly lie about anything that cannot be proven. And how do you prove that they received and read the letter? You can only prove you sent it. And perhaps not even that. Perhaps only that you sent ‘a’ letter, not necessarily the one you later purport to have.

    Moreover, there is a sort of opportunistic pact between staffers and their political masters where they get to exploit the general public where (among other things so vile I would not want to commit them to pixels) a staffer will shield their master’s eyes from something he won’t want to see, and offending letters can be ‘misplaced’ in a deliberately muddled process of correspondence management which desired material swiftly by-passes.

    So, how to hold them to account? How to make it so they cannot ignore and lie afterward.

    Profile seems to count. And volume. If a politician received 100 letters on the same theme the chances of all of them missing a politician like laser bolts from a Star Wars Stormtrooper becomes equally incredible. But it still needs to be demonstrated that the effort was made.

    Info in newspapers where at the time the (volume of ) letters were sent means they cannot pretend afterward they were not warned of the dire consequences of their actions that they had in fact wished for all along. And if you could get the people on such places as Sky to report that they had been warned…I would like to think some people there would might like a chance to hold politicians’ feet to the fire like their bolder cousins in the US.

    But, sadly, the days of the lazy and politically listless local member being stirred to action by a letter that pierces their somnolent indifference and inflames their heart are long gone.

    Now they must be frightened for their own future gains. It is the only imperative to which they respond.


    Report comment

  11. Before the Federal election just past I emailed the offices of a host of politicians asking them what they had done, if anything, about the trashing of the constitution and our human rights by the various State Premiers and the Morrison Government over the past years using the dreaded covid as an excuse. I also asked them what they intended to do about it after the election. Only two replied, senators Pauline Hanson O/N and Gerard Rennick LNP. The answer, there isn’t one for most of them are tarred with the same brush.
    moderated

  12. I think letters must also address specific issues. Vague questions will invite vague responses replete with double-talk, platitude, motherhood statements, spin – and evasion of any particulars that contradict their heroic accounts of themselves.

    Be specific and demand what can be verified. How did they vote? Why did they say such and such?

    And such.


    Report comment

  13. Rafe,
    I sent an email to the Opposition’s review into the recent Coalition election loss. In it, I referred to the emission u-turn at culminating at the Glasgow Climate Conference and the disgusting overreach during the worst of the pandemic by the Morrison govt using the states’ powers to impose draconian controls over the public. I received a response from the actual person I emailed and within the same afternoon.

    Perhaps your letter writers should start with emailing their concerns about ruinables to this review.


    Report comment

  14. Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    From the top, the follow-up letters after the briefing notes are only to ensure that the MP is aware of the notes that are likely to be binned in the first instance because they are coming from outside the MP’s electorate.

    Wolfman, I will be in touch.

    Vagabond, I take the point about short letters, ideally there would be only a couple of short paras and the rest is supporting information in case it relates to a cabinet minister’s portfolio or the member has decided to have a staffer bone up on the topic in case it becomes important.

    The notes are designed to provide boilerplate for other uses like videos and press releases or article for blogs, they are also on the RiteOn Website for permanent reference by anyone who is interested.

    They will be on our own website when it is up and running.

    I think that the power supply is going to be on the short list of major issues for some time to come.

    Daffy we have a briefing note on batteries that shows that they not grid-scale storage.

    Johanna, that is all gold and it is heart-breaking to see a group of high-powered climate science people who have been writing to the PM and Cabinet ministers for years as though that is going to make a difference. Last year someone in the group gave them a good briefing on the way it works but some of them kept doing it.
    The letter-writing was supposed to find members who are open to discussion but too few turned up although out of 800+ who received letters some 50 to 60 appear to be on our side:)
    As you said, they will only move when major organizations get to them and/or they detect a rising groundswell of opinion. That is the purpose of the community action component of the program which is only starting in earnest now because we have two avenues of recruitment.
    One is the number of community groups that are up and running to resist wind and solar developments. The other is a result of the election – a group ex-candidates of minor parties who set up teams to contest the election which will be kept alive to build support for the next election. Generally they are climate and energy realists so they are a natural constituency for our material and they have the networks in place to spread our stuff far beyond the reach we have a present (which is next to no reach at all.)

    Davey Boy, good points, we will certainly be making use of interviews on video and we are building a list of podcasters who are prepared to interview our people.

    Vicki, I will be in touch.

    Mother Lode, points taken, you mention an interview on Sky, precisely – the scenario is that briefing notes are sent, follow-up from constituents obtains a reply to specific issue in the note or at least a reply that refers to the note, then later the interviewer refers to the exchange – you were warned about wind droughts and no grid-scale storage – the system is failing and you did nothing to save it, what do you have to say to our hundreds of listeners?

    Botswana, yes they are all pretty hopeless but if you wrote about big issues to pollies other then your local member you can’t expect much in reply, as someone said, be specific and take small bites.

    Thanks BBS, I will pursue that avenue.


    Report comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.