I got a chummy email from Angela Eagle MP, beginning "Hi Sarah"!
We're not on first-name terms, actually, as we've never met, but I signed a petition about ending the Gagging Bill a while ago so now apparently we're buddies.
Anyway, Angela (I think I can call her that now, even though she's Shadow Leader of the House of Commons) tells me that the Labour Party have promised to do just that, apparently cos I expressed my opinion that gagging charities from speaking about policies which have something to do with their remit (like food banks talking about food poverty) is profoundly undemocratic. Or possibly because they were always against it: maybe that's it.
So using my new-found power, influence and friendliness with the Labour Party - even the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons! - I made a few more suggestions.
Here's her email:
----- Original Message -----
From: Angela Eagle
Sent: 04/03/14 06:04 PM
Subject: Telling you first:
Earlier this year, the Tories passed the so-called gagging law: an act that limits your right to campaign on the issues you care about, and curbs charities' and campaigners' ability to speak out against government policy.
I believe strongly that this law is bad for our democracy, and restricts freedom of speech in our country.
So I want you to be the first to know this: a Labour government will repeal David Cameron's gagging law.
We have been clear from the start that we oppose this gag on charities and campaigners, which was introduced with little consultation. If Labour wins the next election, we will remove it from the statute book.
In its place we will legislate for real reform of lobbying, and we will consult with charities and campaigners on the reforms we need to both ensure transparency and protect freedom of speech.
Our right to campaign on issues we care about must be protected, and this gagging law needs to be repealed.
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
Hi Angela! [Golly! But she started it!]
Good! Well done.
Could you also please re-nationalise the railways and the power companies for the benefit of the people? And end private prisons, which are a wicked disgrace to this country.
And end the creeping privatisation of the NHS, even though some of your big names (like Lord Warner) stand to make lots of money out of it?
Instead please could you concentrate NHS resources into medical work, not layers of bureuacracy and an 'internal market' - we know how that worked out for the BBC, after all.
And pledge never again to use Capita again in any capacity?
Also cancel Trident?
And fund education decently?
And agree to have some of your policies based on actual evidence of what works, not on prejudices and profit?
And take climate change seriously as the biggest threat to our country currently existing or likely to happen in the coming 100 years?
Because while this is a good start, it's only a start, and a small one at that.