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Posts Tagged ‘Media’

Thought for the day

February 7th, 2014 by

Bishop Harries talked about 38 Degrees on his “Thought for the day” piece on the Today Programme on Radio 4 this morning.

You can listen to an MP3 recording of what he said here.

In his thought for the day he said

“Public expectations and public pressure can change things for the better.

I’ve been amazed recently by the power of public pressure when it’s exercised through digital communication.

One group which is prepared to campaign on a range of topics … has more than 2 million supporters

Politics is no longer just for politicians, we all have a voice and can bring it to bear in unprecedented ways.”

Listen to an MP3 recording of his thought for the day here .

Bishop Harries was the chaired the The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement the independent body which carried out a series of countrywide consultations and lobbied to reduce the negative impact of the gagging law.


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We’re in the papers!

January 28th, 2014 by

Full page ads are running in The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian and the i today. They ask MPs and Lords to fix the worst bits of the gagging law – and they look great!

Together, the papers have a circulation of over 1 million – and copies of all of them will be lying in tea rooms and offices all over Parliament today.

The number of organisations behind these ads means they’re uniquely powerful. How often do we see that many logos together?

Thousands of 38 Degrees members chipped in to make these ads possible. It’s another reminder of what we can accomplish together.

If you’d like to share the ads on Facebook or Twitter, click here:

Share on Facebook

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Gagging Law: Support is growing

November 11th, 2013 by

I thought you might be interested to see this article from last week:


I really liked this line:

“The government is attacking charities because it is terrified of them, and this is for a very good reason… If MPs are anxious about the impact a charity could have with a campaign they are dead right to be: just one petition from 38 Degrees could decimate a candidate’s chances for years.”

The campaign against the gagging law is about far more than just the fate of 38 Degrees. It’s about defending everyone’s right to have their say. And it’s about the government’s failure to tackle the real problems with how politics works – the millionaire party donors, the shadowy corporate lobbyists, the broken promises.

But it’s still nice to be recognised! And this article shows that we’re gaining real momentum. Thanks so much for being part of making that happen.

Thanks again,

David Babbs, Executive Director of 38 Degrees

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A headline to be proud of

November 6th, 2013 by

Here’s a newspaper headline, in today’s Independent, which every 38 Degrees member can feel proud of: “Tories put Lobbying Bill on hold over fears of embarrassing defeat in House of Lords“.

It looks like the campaign against the gagging law is starting to work!

In the face of an ever-growing campaign, the government was forced to concede a six-week delay for more consideration. They had to promise further “consultation”.

This is nowhere near the end. It remains to be seen if the six week delay will mean real changes. But I still think it’s big news, for two reasons:

1. It proves the campaigning is starting to work and the government is starting to get worried.

Yesterday the 38 Degrees petition calling on the government to “fix or scrap” the gagging law passed 100,000 signatures in just a few hours. Meanwhile over 50 different charities and voluntary groups wrote to almost every single Lord, expressing concerns about this big threat to democracy.

Behind the scenes, there are growing signs that many government Lords – Lib Dems in particular – are starting to realise that the gagging law would be terrible for their reputations as well as for democracy.

By working together we have forced the government to start backing down. If we keep building the pressure, we’ve got every chance of getting them to back down fully.

2. It gives us more time to grow the campaign against the gagging law

The government may be hoping for a breather. But 38 Degrees members – along with all the other groups campaigning against this law – have momentum on our side. We can use this six week pause to get organised and step up the campaign.

So, this seems like a good time to say THANK YOU AND WELL DONE! I thought I would also share some thoughts on our strategy. As with the last time I sent one of these update emails, feel free to send me your thoughts by hitting reply to this email.

My sense is that we need to do two big things to stop the gagging law going through:
1. push for real changes to be made in the Lords
2. raise the political pressure on the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives

Here’s some more detail:

1. Push for real changes to be made in the Lords

Getting the delay is progress, but a threat to democracy is still a threat to democracy in six weeks time!

We will need to convince enough Liberal Democrat and Conservative Lords to join forces with independent (“crossbench”) and Labour Lords. We need them to promise they’ll vote to make sure the gagging law is either fixed or scrapped when it comes back in six weeks.

This means:
- proving to members of the House of Lords that the public is against the gagging law. Building a really big petition will help – if you haven’t already signed, you can do so here.

- Personal lobbying of Lords – if you happen to know a member of the House of Lords, please use your personal contacts to persuade them to vote the right way. For advice on doing this, please let the office team know you can help by clicking here.

- Working with other groups who are also going to be hit by the gagging law. If you are involved with another campaign or charity, please get in touch with them and ask them to do all they can. If they haven’t already got involved in the campaign, ask them to read the report by the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement.

2. Raise the pressure on Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs

The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are behind the gagging law. All the other parties in Parliament have come out against it. That means pressure on Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs, particularly those in marginal constituencies, is crucial.

We need to convince enough Lib Dem and Conservative MPs that pushing the gagging law through is unpopular and risks losing them votes at the next election.

You can help by:
- emailing your MP, phoning your MP, visiting your MP, and asking your neighbours to do the same – particularly if your MP is Liberal Democrat or Conservative

- Donating to help fund local campaigning efforts focused on Lib Dem and Conservative MPs with slim majorities. Cash pays for posters, leaflets and adverts in local papers highlighting the threat to democracy. 38 Degrees members have donated over £120,000 to this local campaigning so far – you can chip in here.

What do you think of these plans? What else could we be doing? Just hit reply to this email to share your thoughts.

It’s been amazing for me to see all the campaigning on the gagging law. I’ve been lucky enough to get to meet lots of you at public meetings over the past few weeks. If you haven’t made it to one yet, this video from Norwich a couple of weeks ago gives a flavour of what’s been happening:

38 Degrees members have played a key role in the campaign against the gagging law so far. You’ve signed petitions, contacted your MPs, donated over £120,000 to spend on adverts, posters and over 300,000 leaflets. You’ve teamed up with other groups in your local area to put your MPs on the spot.

I feel very lucky to be part of this campaign. The stakes are high. Democracy and freedom of speech would be gravely threatened if we lose. But it looks like we are turning the tide.

Let’s keep going!


Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

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Have you seen the papers?

October 22nd, 2013 by

We’re in the papers! Today, The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph all contain this advert helped pay for by 38 Degrees members:

The advert, which reads “We don’t always have the same opinions, but we believe in the freedom to share them”, brings together campaigning organisations from across the political spectrum to ask the House of Lords to stand against the gagging law.

It’s a pretty incredible advert. The Countryside Alliance is pictured standing next to the League Against Cruel Sports – that doesn’t happen every day! It’s a strong statement that, across the board, the gagging bill is considered poor legislation that needs to be kicked out.

Today, as Lords and Baronesses look through their newspapers they’ll be in no doubt that civil society wants them to take decisive action to stop the gagging law over the coming weeks.

Now that the gagging law is being debated in the House of Lords, we’re going to have to work in new ways to convince our peers that the bill is a serious threat to freedom of speech in the UK. Thanks to all the 38 Degrees members who chipped in to help fund the advert, we’re getting off to a strong start. Today’s advert sends a firm message to Lords and Baronesses that they need to look closely at the bill before them, and do the right thing.

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Gagging law: London Gagged

October 11th, 2013 by

Florence Nightingale statue – Westminster, London

The morning after MPs voted through the controversial gagging law, London woke up to find that statues of several famous people had been gagged.

Newspapers published pictures of the stunt saying “London statues have been found gagged this morning after MP’s voted through controversial plans to restrict freedom of speech in the run up to elections.”

Nelson Mandela & Emmeline Pankhurst statues – Westminster, London

Along with the gagged statues, commuters headed into work to find all of the posters had been gagged.  From Liverpool Street to Victoria, in Westminster, Old Street and more faces were silenced across London.  The gags all featured the slogan “#gagginglaw” inviting people to find out more about the latest developments in the campaign.

From holding a massive public rally outside parliament, to writing to MPs and organising meetings in local constituencies the campaign has been going from strength to strength.

The fight against the controversial gagging law now moves to the House of Lords, who will hopefully throw it right back to MPs and demand they go back to the drawing board.

Watch this space for more…



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Bevan’s Run: 38 Degrees member stands up for the NHS

January 13th, 2012 by

Photograph by Chris Honeywell

38 Degrees member and Co-Chair of the NHS Consultants Association, Dr Clive Peedell, has been running alongside  fellow oncologist Dr David Wilson since 10th January to show opposition to the Government’s NHS reforms

They are running from NHS founder Aneurin Bevan’s statue in Cardiff to the Department of Health in London in just six days. We were lucky enough to get a message from the man himself!

‘Bevan’s Run started on January 10th from Bevan’s statue, Cardiff, with the aim of reaching the Department of Health at Richmond House, London, on Sunday January 15th.

The aim is to raise public awareness of the damaging effects of the Health and Social Care bill on the NHS and to add to calls for its withdrawal.

Myself and co-runner Dr David Wilson will be delivering 3 “Bevan’s Postcards”, which outline the reasons why the bill should be withdrawn, to David Cameron’s constituency in Witney, as well as the Department of Health and 10 Downing Street. The postcard can be viewed here.

Lots of aching muscles, but ice baths helping a lot!
Best wishes

Further details about the run can be found at Clive’s blogsite

Bevan’s Run can be followed on Twitter @cpeedell and by using the hashtag #bevansrun.

There will be more news on this blog about the NHS Campaign soon.

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

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38 Degrees members deliver petition to Jeremy Hunt

February 7th, 2011 by

38 Degrees members from Jeremy Hunt’s constituency in Surrey got together to talk about Murdoch’s proposals to buy out 100% of BSkyB.

38 Degrees members at the meet-up in Haslemere

Photograph by 38 Degrees

One member, David Morgan, had arranged a meeting with his MP, Jeremy Hunt. He wanted to ask why other local members were concerned about Murdoch’s plans and to show Jeremy Hunt that other constituents shared his concerns. David also gave Jeremy Hunt our petition which has now been signed by nearly 40,000 of us.

David said “it was important to me to make sure that Mr Hunt understood my concerns about the importance of plurality of quality media in this country. I took the opportunity to let him know about the general perception that many people have that the current government somehow ‘owes’ Mr Murdoch a favour.”

In the meeting with Jeremy Hunt, David explained that he and many others had concerns about the Murdoch takeover proposals. David and Finn, another local member who joined the meeting, said that Jeremy Hunt “bristled” at the suggestion he may not be completely impartial and assured them that he would be entirely unbiased.

38 Degrees members at the petition delivery in Haslemere

Photograph by 38 Degrees

We got together in a cafe opposite Tesco in Haslemere where Jeremy Hunt was holding his surgery. Over a cup of tea, we chatted about why we were concerned about Murdoch’s powergrab. People’s main worries included Jeremy Hunt’s lack of impartiality, the process itself (especially Jeremy Hunt letting Murdoch have extra time to make changes to his bid) and threats to a free and democratic media in the UK (especially if he starts ‘bundling up’ Sky TV with subscriptions to his newspapers, for example).

Other members also shared their reasons for getting together. Celia said it had been a “very valuable experience to meet with other 38 Degrees members to discuss issues and confirmation of direct and personal strength of feeling”. Ian said, “pleased to meet up with other members and to help get the message across – emphasising concerns regarding future of journalistic freedom and access to information by public and how this might be reduced if Murdoch is allowed to take control of BSkyB.”

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Don’t let Hunt get away with Murdoch

January 20th, 2011 by

Last week we discovered that Jeremy Hunt had entered into confidential meetings with Rupert Murdoch over the future of Murdoch’s BSkyB bid.

In November 38 Degrees handed in 60,000 messages to Ofcom asking them to get the bid in front of the Competition Commission. At Christmas an Emergency Petition was put forward pointing out that Jeremy Hunt would not make an impartial judge. On New Year’s Eve Hunt got Ofcom’s report and has been sitting on it ever since.

Murdoch in meetings with Hunt

It has now emerged that Hunt has been having meetings with Murdoch’s people. He could be trying to find ways to make a deal with Murdoch’s advisers.

Now it’s our turn to get involved. Together we can get in touch with our MPs and ask them to put pressure on Hunt to ensure the report goes public and into the hands of the Competition Commission. But we don’t have long.

This is a fast moving campaign that needs quick responses. We’ve already had success in standing up to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB power grab and now we need to do it again. To take action click here:

Here’s Robert Peston’s blog outlining more of the details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2011/01/ofcom_says_news_corps_sky_bid.html

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Artful Dodger ads are causing a stir

January 6th, 2011 by

George Osborne has been splashed across the papers the past couple of days in his new starring role as the Artful Dodger. Together, we came up with the idea for a cheeky ad to get people talking about tax dodging and we’ve done just that. We’re exposing the scandal of tax dodging and making sure we all know the truth about how much we really lose each year to super-rich tax cheats. We always said we wanted to get everyone talking: politicians, journalists and members of the public.

George Osborne as the Artful Dodger

Photograph by 38 Degrees

The past few days have been really exciting: the phones in the 38 Degrees office haven’t stopped ringing. On Tuesday morning, you might have seen David on Sky News or BBC News talking about our ads. In fact our ads put a government minister right on the spot in a Sky News interview. Our advert was held up to challenge them directly with the presenter asking “why are you fiddling about with VAT when tax dodging costs us £120 billion?”

Together, we’ve pushed the issue of tax dodging up the agenda and the media and blog coverage over the past few days proves it. Here are some of the highlights:

Daily Mirror: “George Osborne branded the Artful Dodger”

Independent: “New media give popular protest a fresh voice”

Guardian Politics Live Blog: 12.12pm

Irish Times: “Billboard campaign to target avoiders and evaders of tax”

Media Week: “Newspapers spike ad targeting Osborne’s tax record”

Left Foot Forward: “Mail and Telegraph pull anti-tax-dodger ads”

If you spot any interesting blog posts or articles post them in the comments below so that we can all read them.

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