What happens when you write to your MEP?

About two months ago I wrote to the seven Scottish Members of the European Parliament about the UK Government’s proposal for a EU Directive on data retention. This is an iniquitous proposal, and I wanted to find out what my MEPs thought about it.

I used the www.writetothem.com website to send each of them an email. This site is very easy to use. All you have to do is enter your post code and the site identifies your MEPs, MP, MSP and local councilor. You can then send them an email directly from the writetothem web site.

I have had replies from three of the seven MEP.

Catherine Stihler [Labour] indicated she would be following the party line and supporting data retention. It was quite a long reply in which she clearly set out her position. Bizarrely, she wrote to me rather than sending me an email. From that I would guess that she is not computer literate and so does not understand the implications of what she is supporting.

Alyn Smith [SNP] indicated that he was sceptical about the data retention proposal. Again, it was quite a long reply.

John Purvis [Conservative] was the most sceptical about the proposal. A shorter reply than Alyn Smith’s, but clear enough.

The following have not replied to my email.

Espeth Attwooll [Liberal]

Struan Stevenson [Conservative]

Ian Houghton [SNP]

David Martin [Labour]

I am surprised that all Members of Parliament are not up in arms about data retention. After all, they are going to be the main targets of the traffic analysis that data retention will allow. I am sure the secret squirrels will soon be going through their traffic data to find out who they are in contact with, and if they have any interesting pressure points.

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