That this House regrets the continuing decline in importance of Early Day Motions which have become a campaign tool for external organisations; notes the role of public affairs professionals in drafting Early Day Motions and encouraging members of the organisations they represent to send pro forma emails and postcards to Honourable Members; further notes the huge volume of correspondence that this generates and the consequent office and postage costs incurred; believes that the organisations involved derive little benefit from Early Day Motions, which very rarely have any influence on policy; further believes that public affairs professionals are aware of the ineffectiveness of Early Day Motions, but continue to use them to attempt to justify their services; questions the value for money to the taxpayer of Early Day Motions of whatever origin; and calls for the system of Early Day Motions to be reformed or abolished.
And by doing so he has guaranteed himself hero status among the legion of House of Commons secretaries and researchers. Why? I'll let one of them explain...
This is so brilliant and SO true. We are plagued by the damn things although there is NOTHING I like better than enlightening a constituent who wants my MP to sign yet another EDM by telling them they are simply a PR exercise and have no legislative value AND cost the tax payer money. The next to go should be computer generated e-mails where a constituent goes on for example, a Greenpeace website, puts in his postcode and voila and computer generated e-mail goes to your MP on every Greenpeace campaign. Sometimes when you reply, you get an irate reply from the constituent demanding to know why you wrote to them – of course they forgot all about doing it!
How ironic, though, for Evans to criticise EDMs, by tabling one!
UPDATE: Of course, it was the trend setting Jonathan Sheppard who started the Scrap EDMs campaign last year.