Time to Build a Generation of MPs fighting for the Ocean

We, the people, elected 650 Members of Parliament to make the laws that govern how the country is run. Today marks the first day in parliament for this new crop of MPs. And the start of a new opportunity to build a generation of MPs committed to protect the ocean.

We live in a representative democracy and this means that our MPs are elected to represent their constituents’ views and opinions. Which ultimately means they work for you!  Whether you voted for your new MP, the new government, or not, they are still there to represent you.

If you want them to protect the ocean, protect the ocean they should.

So even though the election is over, our ability to engage in politics with this new set of parliamentarians is only just beginning. With over 50% of MPs completely new to the role this is truer than ever.

Over the next few days these new elected representatives will be sworn into parliament and officially take their seats. Once they’re in, they will have the opportunity to start to tackle the threats facing our rivers, lakes and seas.

Be that the plastic pollution littering our beaches and the microplastics infecting our wild waters. Or the torrent of crap flowing from our broken sewerage system into our favourite swim spots. All MPs will have the opportunity to start to set out what they are going to do about it now they are elected. We need to be there guiding them to become the champions that the ocean, and local communities, so desperately need.

So, where do we come in? 

Just like in the first couple of weeks at school, new MPs will be looking to find who their allies are. And we have an opportunity to be there and be their allies. That means we’ll take on the role of critical friends providing the information and the expertise to tackle the pollution choking our seas, at both the national and local level. We will also be that friend ready to call them out or cut ties when they are failing to deliver on their commitments or making dodgy decisions. We won’t fall victim for greenwashing tactics.

And just like the new kid at school, politicians will be figuring out where they sit in the food chain, and be looking to get noticed. This might be by doing something in their community to show they are their local communities’ champion. They might also be looking to build a legacy as a campaigner in Parliament who makes it their mission to tackle single issues.  Or they might end up as a Minister or member of the Government focussed on delivering what the Government sets as its priorities. There are so many different kinds of MPs and we need all kinds to join the movement to end sewage and plastic pollution, and use their positions to take action for the ocean in different ways.

What’s next? 

In the coming weeks we at HQ will be knocking on the office doors of these new MPS to call on them to take action and join the movement battling to protect the ocean. We will also be supporting local communities to create critical working relationships with their local MPs and encouraging everyone everywhere to use our simple tool to get in touch with their local representative and ask them to ‘pledge to protect the ocean’.

So, whilst many of you might be sick of hearing about politics after what has felt like the longest election race ever! We now have the oppotunity to cut through all the noise and actually start to call on those in power to ensure that they deliver change.