I know I’m not the only one who feels they should be more proactive about getting their point of view across to decision-makers about the issues we care about. I have a rolling list of things to write to my MP about and am thus put off by the fact that it is too long.
But I also slightly resent the fact that it is these expressions of public interest that are deemed to be the most effective in Getting Things Done. In most cases, it seems a bit silly to be writing to my MP with sentiments like ‘I feel very strongly that the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Darfur should be stopped’ so that some parliamentary assistant can put it in the pile marked ‘against genocide’, stacked up against the Friends of Khartoum amongst Stoke’s populus.
Couldn’t the UN organise a massive survey to once and for all ascertain everyone’s views on certain key issues? They could then use this to spur governments into action at appropriate moments. It could go something like this:
* Should carpet/suicide-bombing, murder, rape or torture be allowed, ever? When answering this, bear in mind that the victim could be you next.
* Should people be locked up without trial, or should we find out if they’re guilty, just to be absolutely clear in our own minds?
* Should the trafficking of human beings for sexual or other forms of labour be tolerated in a free market global society, or should we come down on it like a ton of bricks?
* Should we allow countries to run their own countries in a way that has the consent of the people (with the option of peacefully protesting to show opposition if they wish), or should we use the supply of food aid as a gentle incentive to push out the democratically elected leaders we don’t like?
* How many deaths, by whatever means but lets start with starvation and civilian killings, are acceptable, before action is taken to stop the deaths?
a) More than 2 b) More than 500 c) More than 5,0000 d) More than 500,000 e) It depends on the country
Finally, one from the Sun
* Should the Human Rights Act be scrapped?
You can probably still vote on the Sun’s website, unless they’ve taken it down now - the vote when I looked was 81 per cent saying "er, *no*", which didn’t seem to be the answer they were looking for.
Answers to be returned to the UN, New York.