Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Writing to my MP

Those of you who know me on Facebook will know that I've recently been angry about the government's plans to force all of our state schools into the hands of privately-owned Academy Trusts. In fact, here's what I wrote last week:

I find myself unable to coherently express the complete and utter contempt and loathing I have for the Tory government in general, Nicky Morgan in particular and her f***ing stupid opinions. Apparently it will be up to councils to "attract" academies to their area, just like they attract businesses. So what happens if they can't? Will you start paying uneducation benefit, or maybe school-seekers allowance, for all the kids who haven't got a school to go to? Because not having a school is *just like* not having a job isn't it? Or, just perhaps, Moron Morgan, schools and businesses aren't actually the same thing? And maybe having Local Education Authorities provide the schools that are required in their own areas isn't quite such a stupid way of arranging things? I'm so far beyond angry with this government and so bloody powerless to do anything about it (and that poisonous woman even told the teachers' union that there was no point complaining and fighting as there wouldn't be another general election for four years, so she can do what she wants...)

Having subsequently discovered that the 1922 Committee are expressing reservations about the whole plan, and that my own local (Conservative) MP actually sits on the Education Select Committee, I decided to exercise my democratic right and duty. I decided to write to my MP. Being a well brought-up lady at heart, I decided I couldn't exactly send my Facebook-rant to my MP and that I needed to write something that didn't read as though it had been written in green ink

It's taken me several days of cogitating, writing, re-writing, reading, re-reading and mulling, but I've finally hit "send" on the email. And then I thought maybe I'd post it here. After all, I share everything else here. But the funny thing is, the idea of sharing something the serious side of me has written almost makes me feel physically sick. I may have told you all about my battles with post-natal-depression, my struggles with anxiety, my night-time fears, my sense of inadequacy as a mother and my rage with many things, but that self-same anxiety rears up and savages me at the thought of sharing a "real" letter I've written. I can't hide behind a mask of hyperbole and flippancy. I can't fling unsubstantiated statistics around like confetti. I have to try and be measured, clear, concise and yet firm in my views. And I'm genuinely terrified that you might think instead all I manage is to sound stupid. Or pompous, or pretentious, or ill-informed, or naive, or ignorant. What if my MP thinks all those things? It would be bad enough if she thinks those things in private, but how much worse to have exposed my stupidity to the world as well as to a politician.

So, despite my intention to over-share on every topic that meanders across my grey matter, it turns out I can't. Instead I can tell you that the thought of sharing something that actually matters has made me really, really anxious. My hands are shaking as I type. The fear of being judged and found lacking is as strong as ever. You'll just have to imagine I've written a really great letter to my MP.


  1. Can I imagine that you have written a so-so letter that I can take every opposing position?

    1. I think you can take it as read that you were the audience whose judgement I feared. Feel free to assume I've sounded like a total muppet and that I've then ended up shrieking at you in impotent rage as you've picked holes in my arguments :)