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Leon’s Write to Read campaign

September 26th, 2014 by

One of 38 Degrees’ youngest members, ten year old Leon Remphry, is running a campaign to stop cuts to library hours in Cornwall. Over the last few months he has been busy collecting the 5,000 petition signatures needed to trigger a council debate on the proposed cuts.

But despite collecting well over the amount of signatures needed, Cornwall Council refused to debate the issue in their meeting this week.

Before the meeting, over 400 Cornish 38 Degrees members emailed their councillors demanding that Leon be allowed to speak. And although he wasn’t granted a full council debate on Tuesday, Leon was allowed to put two questions to the council. The debate will instead take place at the next full council meeting in November.

Here’s Leon grilling the council about why he wasn’t allowed a full council debate, as he’d initially been promised. Watch the webcast below from 00:23:15 to see him question the councillors:

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Air strikes poll results

September 25th, 2014 by

By the weekend, we could be at war. In less than 24 hours, MPs will vote on UK air strikes in Iraq, against the group known as Islamic State. They face a tough decision, but the views of tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members behind them will mean they make a better decision. Yesterday, 38 Degrees members were polled on whether they were in support or against the air strikes. The response was quite mixed. 45% of us are in favour of the air strikes, 42% are against. 13% haven’t decided yet:

38 Degrees belongs to all 38 Degrees members. Right now there isn’t a clear consensus among us on what we want to happen. So that means 38 Degrees won’t be campaigning in either direction. But there is one thing a strong majority of 38 Degrees members do agree on. When MPs are voting on something as important as war, the views of their voters should be heard.

So whatever your view, this is the moment to tell your MP how you feel about military action. It’ll just take a few minutes to send your MP a quick note telling them what you think:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/air-strikes-vote

Some of us want parliament to vote in favour of military action, to protect innocent people being killed by IS:

“Normally I am very apprehensive of military action in these situations, but here we have a genuine cause facilitated in no small way by the power vacuum we left after our last, illegal, invasion of Iraq. I consider it our moral responsibility to clean up our own mess.”

“Time is of the essence. People are losing their lives now.”

Whereas others believe military action is plain wrong:

“Air strikes on Iraq and Libya have had negative effects. The government should learn from past experience and refrain from opening yet another front on an unwinnable war.”

“I can’t support air strikes, which always kill civilians – fuelling more hatred and adding to IS recruits.”

Emailing your MP may or may not change the way they eventually vote. But at least it will force them to think about their voters as they weigh up choices between war and peace. Anything that makes them take the decision more seriously is surely worth it. To tell your MP what you think click here:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/air-strikes-vote

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Save refuges, save lives

September 25th, 2014 by

Imagine finding the courage to leave a violent relationship, only to be turned away from a refuge and left with nowhere to go because of funding cuts. That’s the situation for some people right now.

Yesterday there was some good news. The Labour party have promised to put more money behind refuges. But it’ll only happen if they win the next election. If we want to save refuges, we need to get all of the parties on board.

Domestic violence

We’ve only got three days before the Conservative’s annual conference, when the whole party will come together to make big decisions. It’s the perfect opportunity to push David Cameron to pledge his support for vulnerable people – and their children too.

Women’s Aid, the national charity for victims of domestic violence, has started a petition calling on Cameron to save refuges. If thousands of 38 Degrees members sign it, we could even cause Cameron to make an announcement next week.

Every week, two women in England are killed by a partner or ex-partner. In a crisis, refuges are an escape route from domestic violence. But now, funding cuts mean people are being turned away.

38 Degrees is a movement of 3 million people. Together, we stand for fairness. Refuges are havens for people in deeply unfair situations. But if we don’t speak up now, they’ll continue to close their doors.

Today has shown that politicians are starting to listen. So let’s grab the opportunity – and push more of them to stand up to save refuges. Starting with the Conservatives before their conference next week.

When 38 Degrees members act together, the government takes notice. In June, our people-powered petition helped push the government to row back on their plans to privatise child protection services.

So let’s do it again, and show Cameron that his government will be judged by the way it treats our most vulnerable. Click here to sign the petition for greater funding of refuges now.

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38 Degrees at Labour party conference

September 25th, 2014 by

This week it was the Labour party’s conference. In the run up to the election, it’s anyone’s guess who will be in power after next May. So 38 Degrees members are getting stuck in early. We’re making sure that all the political parties on the table hear about the issues that matter to us.

On Monday, over forty 38 Degrees members gathered outside the entrance to the conference. Armed with leaflets, we made sure that every person going in or out heard our message: the NHS should be given more funding. It was quite an experience!

Some people were really keen to talk, but others – striding past in suits – didn’t stop. A funny reaction from people at a conference aimed at talking broadly about all the issues facing the country at the moment!

But by and large, it was a good experience. Our flyers also had adverts for an event that 38 Degrees was holding the next day on our campaign for a real recall law. We must have had an impact, as the next day the room was packed!

The event was organised to try to get Labour MPs on board with out campaign for a law that gives voters the right to sack MPs. A real recall law. 38 Degrees members helped fund and write a law that would give voters these powers. But we need to get MPs from across the political parties on board to have a chance of success.

It was standing room only! The room was STUFFED full of MPs and PPCs (people who are standing to be MPs at the next election). In particular, lots of PPCs mentioned that they came along because they’d received emails from 38 Degrees members inviting them earlier in the week. They said they wouldn’t have missed it. Some PPCs even took photos of themselves with staff members to prove they’d been there. If this is the future of how politicians interact with their voters – it’s looking up!

There was a stellar line up on the panel. Lisa Nandy MP spoke in favour of recall alongside Blanche, from the 38 Degrees staff team, who was chairing. Then there was Owen Jones, a columnist for the Guardian, Jonathan Isaby from the TaxPayers Alliance and Joe Cox from the think tank Compass. All of them made a convincing pitch of why the time is right for a real recall law.

38 Degrees members were a lively presence at Labour’s conference – and our event has put a real recall law on the map with many MPs. Next, 38 Degrees members will be at the Conservative and Lib Dem conferences: to make sure all the parties know what ordinary people think about recall, and act on it.

Here are some pictures of 38 Degrees members flyering outside the conference on Monday:

Flyering outside Labour party conference in Manchester

Flyering outside Labour party conference in Manchester

Flyering outside Labour party conference in Manchester

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TTIP at UKIP conference – this Saturday

September 24th, 2014 by

UKIP are holding their party conference in Doncaster this weekend. We know what they think about issues like immigration and Europe, but what about a huge trade deal that could privatise our NHS?

The deal is called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP for short) and it’s being negotiated between the US and EU in secret. If it goes through it could let corporations sue our government if they don’t like our laws, and even stop the government raising the minimum wage in the future.

No matter what you think of UKIP, they have 24 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) – and they’ll all get to vote on TTIP. It’s not clear how many of them even know about this shady deal, let alone have opinions on it.

So let’s tell UKIP what ordinary people think of the trade deal. If UKIP members go into the conference in Doncaster holding our leaflets, they’ll ask MEPs loads of questions about the party’s line on the deal. TTIP will be a talking point – and we could start finding out how UKIP might vote in the European Parliament.

Can you join other 38 Degrees members outside the UKIP party conference at Doncaster Racecourse at 9am on Saturday for an hour or two of handing out leaflets about TTIP? Say you’ll head along here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ukip-conference-ttip

TTIP day of action

Just last month, thousands of 38 Degrees members handed out over a million leaflets about TTIP on their local high streets. Together, we exposed the dangers to our NHS and told our neighbours why everyone should care about this scary trade deal. Tens of thousands of people listened and added their names to the petition calling for the dodgy deal to be fixed or scrapped.

Now we need to turn the heat up on politicians. If everyone heading in to the conference is handed a leaflet covered in information about TTIP, once they’re inside they’ll be showing it to each other and talking about it. We could start a real buzz.

So can you spare a couple hours on at 9am on Saturday morning to put some pressure on UKIP? Click here to RSVP: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ukip-conference-ttip

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A real recall law: Event at Conservative Conference

September 24th, 2014 by

Here are the details of the 38 Degrees event on a Real Recall law at Conservative Party Conference:

Real Recall: a better democracy
19.15 – 20.30, Tuesday 30th September
Lodge 1, IET Birmingham
Austin Court, 80 Cambridge Street, Birmingham, B1 2NP

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It could go either way. Conservative backbench MPs could decide to support 38 Degrees members’ definition of recall: the one that puts voters in charge of sacking MPs. Or they could support their government’s plans, which put MPs in charge.

Even though, on paper, Conservative MPs should be supportive of the government – we know that many backbench MPs are wavering.  But what better timing to convince them to vote for real recall? The Conservative Party conference is in Birmingham from Sunday – a great opportunity to get straight in front of the party machine.

So, the 38 Degrees staff team have quickly put together an event at the conference. There’ll be a panel of people aimed at convincing Conservative MPs, prospective candidates and party members to support giving more power to voters. To have the biggest impact, the room needs to be packed.

It’s people-power that’ll get them there. MPs and prospective MPs are much more likely to turn up if they know their voters want them to. Could you invite your MP? Or the person who wants to be your Conservative MP to come to the event? It’s on Tuesday morning, so please invite them now, by clicking here.

The event has a stellar line up – including Zac Goldsmith MP, the chief of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, and the Senior Political Correspondent at the Telegraph. It’ll be a pretty convincing panel.

Already lots of backbench Conservative MPs have signed up in support of the campaign. But getting as much support as possible from within Tory ranks is crucial. Their votes and the pressure they can bring could be what wins this.

We deserve a proper democracy. One where the power to hold our MPs to account sits with voters. A real recall law that empowers voters is within our grasp. But to get this change, enough Conservative MPs will have to back it when it’s being voted on in a few weeks.

The event at their conference is a good way to do this. But it needs to be packed. Please send an invitation now.

If you’re in Birmingham on Tuesday, please do come to the event. It would be great to have as many 38 Degrees members there as possible.

Here are the details:
Real Recall: a better democracy
When: 19.15 – 20.30, Tuesday 30th September
Where: Lodge 1, IET Birmingham: Austin Court, 80 Cambridge Street, Birmingham, B1 2NP

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Labour promise more NHS funding, now what about the others?

September 23rd, 2014 by

Good news for the NHS – Labour has just promised to increase NHS funding if they win next year’s general election.

NHS finances are in dire straights. Services are being cut back across England, and the NHS will soon be £1bn in debt. The NHS needs more funding to survive.

There has been heated debate in the Labour Party about whether to commit to properly fund our NHS. Over 90,000 of us signed the petition calling on Ed Miliband to commit to more NHS funding. And yesterday, 38 Degrees members gathered outside the Labour Party conference to make sure the NHS was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Our pressure is working. The NHS is fast becoming the election issue. Labour have promised more funding.

Now let’s turn our sights to Cameron and Clegg and make sure they also commit to increase NHS funding. They’ll make their election promises in the next few days.

Can you sign the petition now?

It’s been an amazing few weeks for 38 Degrees members fighting for our NHS. Hundreds of us joined the People’s March for the NHS between Jarrow and London to protest at the way our NHS is being torn apart. Hundreds more were inside the NHS England AGM holding bosses to account.

Ed Miliband also today promised Labour would repeal the Health & Social Care Act – the law which makes NHS privatisation much easier and pledged to stop wasteful spending. Hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members campaigned against this law and if Labour win the election, we won’t let them forget this promise that could help save our NHS.

So let’s carry on the fight for our NHS. The Conservative Party conference is next week and the Lib Dems not long after – this is where party leaders make speeches that set out their plans for the General Election.

Together, we’re making sure politicians are in no doubt just how much we love our NHS – and what they need to do to protect it. Please sign the petition:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-funding-petition

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Stand up for the NHS

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Are you free this Saturday?

September 23rd, 2014 by

This Saturday, the 38 Degrees ‘Campaigns by You’ team are running a stall at the Web We Want free festival in the Royal Festival Hall.

Come down and say hello.

How would you like to make the UK a better place? Are you running a campaign already and would like some tips? What makes a good petition? How can you take your campaign up to the next level?

Meet the CBY team who will be there to help you get your campaign off the ground.

What: Web We Want Market
When: Saturday 27th September 10am – 6pm
Where: Level 2 Foyers at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
Free entry 

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/web-we-want

 

 

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Save our NHS – hundreds descend on meeting with NHS bosses

September 23rd, 2014 by

Last Thursday, NHS bosses met to discuss the future of our NHS and I’m sure they’re in no doubt about what 38 Degrees members want.

The room was buzzing with energy as 38 Degrees members asked questions on privatisation, TTIP, whistle-blowing and funding cuts. And as well as the hundreds of members in the room, many more joined in by watching the meeting online, suggesting questions and sending messages of support. It was NHS England’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and we wanted to show how much we care about the NHS.

Pictures of 38 Degrees members at the NHS England AGM

With a sea of ‘I love the NHS’ t-shirts, we sent out a strong message that we love our health service too much to let it be sold off to the highest bidder. Last night, NHS bosses could clearly see which issues hit home, and more importantly which didn’t. When 38 Degrees members come together, we’re too powerful to be ignored.

We definitely rattled their cages. Here are some pictures from the day on Facebook – share them with your friends to show you were there: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-agm-pics

Missed it? You can watch the whole meeting again online. My favourite bit was when one of the participants put on one of our ‘I love the NHS’ t-shirts on-stage:

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Stand up for the NHS

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The People’s Climate March: In pictures

September 22nd, 2014 by

Yesterday we made history. It won’t be the last time that thousands of us take to the streets to demand action on climate change. But by coming together on one day, standing alongside hundreds of thousands of people across the world, we changed the debate. When they say “no one cares about climate change”, we’ll be able to show them these pictures:

38 Degrees members out in force in London!

And around the rest of the world, the Climate March looked amazing!

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts