A wonderful initiative has been taken in Parliament via Early Day Motion 1021 which I think many UK citizens and residents would wish to support.
You can Write to your Member of Parliament in Support of EDM1021 asking them to consider becoming signatories. You can use https://www.writetothem.com . By typing your post code, your member of parliament is identified and you can use their on line form to submit your letter. An additional feature is that in about 2-3 weeks time you will receive a follow up e-mail from them asking you for feedback, i.e. they will ask if your letter received a reply. In this way they keep tabs on how efficient the MPs are I suppose 🙂
You need to keep your letter personalised as copying and pasting a letter is not the best way to approach this. I attach mine here for reference.
Dear Angela Watkinson,
I am writing to you to bring to your attention the Early day motion 1021 tabled some weeks ago by Caroline Lucas, Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavillion. You will find more information here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/1021
It is about Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 being illegitimately used to undermine freedom of the press; and calls on the Government urgently to review the application of the Terrorism Act 2000 and guarantee that it is not used to intimidate or persecute national security journalists.
I was 4 when the Greek junta collapsed in 1974 and a return to democracy brought so much hope in my country of origin Greece. Raised with the stories shared by people persecuted by the junta, my heart goes out to Sarah Harrison who under the advise of her lawyers is in self exile in Germany. It is so wrong that she and any other journalist is put in this position. We rely on journalists’ beady eye to keep the Executive in check, to inform and educate the public, to alert Parliamentarians like you regarding potential threats to the well functioning of democracy, a fruit of civil society, too precious to be taken for granted.
In Greece between 1967-1974 even the possession of a leaflet publishing the truth about the junta, could lead, if discovered, to the questioning, imprisonment and barbaric torture of the democrat who had it in her bag, on the kitchen worktop or stuffed inside a pillow.
It is particularly alarming in this case when law that has been put in place to protect our freedoms from fanatical, mindless violence, is subverted in such manner to undermine our Freedoms.
For these reasons, would you please consider giving this Early Day Motion your support by becoming a signatory.
I pass you my warmest thanks for your work representing Upminster constituents, I have heard you maybe retiring, I hope you will be able to continue your work in the Upper House.
Mrs Emmy B***
I received today an answer from my MP:
03 March 2014
Dear Mrs B****
Thank you for contacting me about EDM1021.
I believe that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 forms an essential part of the UK’s border security arrangements. It is for the police to decide when it is necessary and proportionate to use these powers. Ministers are not involved in making operational decisions of this nature and it is right that this is so.
The Government and the police have a duty to protect the public and our national security. If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that.
I am sorry this is not the answer you were hoping for.
Dame Angela Watkinson DBE MP
Once again my MP has been prompt and considerate in her reply to me. Indeed it is not the answer I was hoping for but I am glad she has acknowledged my voice and opinions fullfilling her role and democratic function. It would be of great interest indeed to explore if “Ministers are not involved in making operational decisions of this nature”. There is every probability that the Executive is directing the actions of the police in this matter. The Prime Minister himself, it has emerged, sent his representative to the Guardian with regards to the destruction of the Snowden documents.
As far as “highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism”, the Snowden documents again and again have been proven to protect our freedoms strengthening democracy, which is the very opposite of fanatical, mindless violence propagated by terrorists. The US Congress and the US Administration has acknowledged this fact acting on the information to curtail and correct processes of government departments. However limited their actions were, they did act. Surely these institutions would not help terrorism.
I still believe that EDM1021 highlights the misuse of the Act and will continue campaigning in its support.