What you can do to raise Irish community interests at national and local elections:
Write letters and emails to candidates. Writing as a voter rather than an activist will carry more weight as candidates hear from activists all the time but rarely from regular voters. Doing the same to local newspapers is another potentially effective way to make yourself heard.
Raise issues on your doorstep. If you have a candidate or canvassers knock on your door, they will be happy to answer an informed question.
Phone radio phone–ins. They need questions and you need answers.
Attend hustings. These are public meetings often held at churches and community centres which give candidates a chance to address constituents. At them you can raise concerns and question candidates on their intentions and views. You can find the time and place of hustings in local papers, online, libraries and on church notice boards.
Hold a hustings – use our guide and our template for a letter to candidates. Irish in Britain member organisations could organise a husting. If you can get the candidates for your constituency together in your Irish club or community centre and bring your service users or members to meet the candidates, it is a fantastic opportunity to put your club and the needs of the local Irish community onto the candidates’ radar.
Arrange individual meetings with candidates. This is quite a big undertaking so prepare well and be armed with questions.
Contacting your MP
Members of Parliament are required to represent their constituents in the House of Commons, regardless of the way they voted in the General Election. If you feel strongly about an issue or want to pass on information about things that affect you, write a letter or e–mail. All MPs can be contacted at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
Tips for lobbying your MP:
polite and well–argued letters are more likely to get a response
keep it short and get to the point in the first few sentences
tell the MP what you would like them to do, how to vote
make sure you provide a return address for MP to write or e–mail you