Never underestimate the power of a small action by one or two people, repeated nationwide.
This is what has been happening in these days and weeks and the types of people beginning to contact the Albion Alliance now indicate that some people outside the blogosphere are starting to feel we might be able to make a difference. With the greatest respect to the cynical, other community groups and individuals across the UK are making contact and some see us as a tool for them.
Hey, the more the merrier but the way our phone number, 0870 478 4195 and our email: email@example.com … is being used is encouraging us to continue. Personally, I’m not into wasting my time but this thing is surprising me as it picks up speed.
The press are not yet on board and to be honest, it comes down to YOU doing those one or two little things before they’ll move on this and this post gives you practical steps you can take and how to follow up.
Firstly, you’ll need onscreen:
1. The Albion Alliance site in one tab;
2. This current post in a second tab;
3. Your own email composer in a third.
Right, we’re ready. Here we go:
The site layout in brief
The Blog: This is the jumping off point, the clearing house where you can read what we’re about, access the databases and use the other tools.
Accessible from the Tabs
Accessible from the Sidebar
- Forum and news: As mentioned.
- Albion Alliance Mailing List: Repeated from above.
- I am a Candidate: The button for parliamentary candidates to pledge from.
- I am a Voter: This is where you can click in order to pledge [more near the end of this page].
- Candidate database: We go into this below.
- Draft letters: Suggestions for the wording of your letter to candidates.
- Media links: News outlets you can contact.
FIVE WAYS YOU CAN HELP AND HOW THE ALBION ALLIANCE CAN HELP YOU DO THAT
1. Contact the candidates for the General Election in your constituency and send them an email asking them if they believe in giving you a say at Westminster and in helping introduce a private members bill in parliament in order to get the people a referendum on our EU membership.
There is a suggestion for the wording of this letter and we’ll explain how to access this below. Here is how to proceed:
a. Go to our sidebar and click Candidate database, which gives the introductory welcome;
b. Click Access the Candidate Data, which brings you to the main page;
c. Click Refine Search and it gives you a number of options;
d. Presuming you’ve entered your constituency in the search panel and clicked, it will now give you the candidates in your constituency.
These are either up to date or they’re not. We’ve tried everything to make them correct but if you see some errors, please click on the Report any Data Errors button [at the top] and tell us what we need to correct.
Let’s go through what is available on that Candidate Record page, from left to right on your screen but also requiring you to scroll to the right to fit the whole page in:
- constituency name
- candidate name
- if they’ve pledged or not [perhaps it needs you to write to them]
- majority vote of the incumbent from last election
- possible telephone number
- certainly an email address
- a url to their sites in some cases
- the date the candidate was contacted
- a link to all the correspondence so far
- the date the candidate responded to our contact
Now, we have already sent out an email request to the candidates and you can access that where it says Wref [which we call Correspondence Reference], for example, this one. Click on one of these numbered links, according to your constituency and it will bring you to our correspondence with your candidate and his/her reply, if any.
It also gives you a text which you can modify to suit yourself for your letter but we ask you to please observe some rules:
a. Observe letter writing form and etiquette, i.e. no swearing please, no belligerence and an attitude of respectful and gentle insistence that you get a reply to this – the candidate is not an enemy but someone from whom you’d just like a commitment;
b. Make sure the candidate knows you live in the constituency, otherwise you could well be ignored;
c. Provide a contact number or email for him/her to get back to you – make it easy for the candidate to do so;
d. Bear in mind that there are two things you want – a say in what your MP will do at Westminster on your behalf and a commitment to do what he/she can to get a Private Member’s Bill up and running on an EU Referendum;
e. If you can, please mention the Albion Alliance because if enough people do that, the message will get through and it will be discussed up and down the country, as has already begun.
Lastly, please get back to us at:
to keep us up to date with your progress. You might need our help, you might not.
2. As asked already, please ensure that all details you see in passing are up to date and inform us if they’re not, especially if a candidate has withdrawn his/her nomination.
We can’t stress too much how vital this is to the whole thing working before the General Election. Faulty details look unprofessional, they won’t impress the candidate and they won’t impress you. Rather than pouring scorn on us, please just tell us what needs changing – the UK’s a big place and there are far too many candidates for the three of us to keep track of all of them.
3. Contact at least one media outlet, perhaps a newspaper, perhaps a radio station, in order to publicize:
a. the dilemma we face;
b. what you’re doing about it;
c. what the Albion Alliance is doing about it;
d. that every candidate in the UK is being contacted and asked the same question.
As with the letter writing above, please follow steps a to e and ensure that the press can get back to you. Now, you might be a shy person so if your husband/wife/sibling is better in the spotlight than you, then maybe you can persuade that “significant other” to be your front person for the media. Or else you do it yourself.
Again, contact us about your progress but this time at firstname.lastname@example.org .
4. Repeat N1, contacting the candidates, only this time – not in your constituency but in another. It could be one you are interested in or one geographically closeby – that’s your decision.
The procedure is the same as in N1 only you should bear in mind that you’ll need to add something to your letter this time:
a. You see, some candidates are taking the line that they will not reply to someone not in their constituency; however, as this is not a constituency matter but a matter of national importance, then the candidate is honour bound to answer your question;
b. Try to be persistent and if you meet a definite brick wall, inform us at:
… and we’ll publicize that at the Albion Alliance.
5. Attend an election meeting for at least one of the candidates in your constituency.
Now this might be one step too far for you, as you are possibly not a political person and wouldn’t know how to go about it:
a. The local paper will possibly list any meetings which are coming up or you can use the phone book or perhaps you’ve seen the candidate’s office in the High Street. You can ask at the Post Office;
b. It might be more useful to attend the meeting of the one you think has a good chance of getting in or one you suspect might not pledge and it would be useful at that meeting to put the question publicly.
Again, we’d appreciate if the Albion Alliance was mentioned, not for any kudos for us – we are just a project, that’s all, not a party – but to keep the pressure up around the country.
One more thing
There is a button in the sidebar called I am a Voter. We have had long discussions over this and our reasoning goes like this:
If we are asking and even pressuring candidates to pledge, as in the wording on the front page of our site, then how can we ask them to make a commitment if the people asking them are not equally prepared to make a commitment?
Any candidate would be within his/her rights to ask that question.
Therefore, it is essential we have as many supporters of what we’re trying to do actually pledge that you will help. There’s nothing legally binding on you – it’s an act of commitment, pure and simple and it just seems to us that we have to show our mettle, as well as asking the candidates to show theirs.
When you click on that button, it takes you to a welcome page which gives you two options below:
- I am willing to Pledge
- I am willing to Help only
Both take you through a couple of stages which eventually give you the five practical steps above.
It only takes YOU, dear reader, to do ONE of these actions and cumulatively, the difference is enormous. We believe we’ve put some work into getting this site and tools up and now, if you’re truly unhappy with the state of affairs in our country, there are tools on offer to change that.
It only takes a little belief mixed with a couple of minor actions – that’s all you need to do.