Here are some tips on how to talk to your MP about Basic Income:
- First of all gather a few of you together. See if that small gathering can cover a number of different organisations in the constituency. For example - a faith institution that runs a foodbank or gives unemployment advice, a community sports club, a carers’ or disabled people's support group, a school/college and a local union branch. If you can rope in a leader of one of those groups, even better. Then have a conversation among yourselves about what Basic Income would mean for you personally. Draw out some real stories about what your life is like now and how it would be better with a Basic Income.
- These stories are what you want to share with the MP when you meet them. Practise what each of you will say. Pick one of your team to act as a friendly chair for your side, greeting the MP and explaining the aim of the meeting (which is to share stories about why Basic Income is important to you and to hear what s/he thinks about it).
- Explain when you set up the meeting that you represent a number of organisations in the constituency. You can email over a few things for the MP to read beforehand, to save time during the meeting. The more mainstream and reputable the source of information/opinion, the better. The recent RSA report is one great example.
- On the day, make sure to thank the MP for making time to meet with you. If you supported them during their election, tell them so.
- During the meeting make sure that each person introduces themselves and says who they represent/which local community organisation they are from and the size of that organisation. Politicians are very preoccupied with securing the number of votes needed to maintain their position – more so than the detail of policies.
- Once you have all spoken a few sentences on Basic Income, with a personal angle, hand over to the MP to respond with their thoughts.
- If they want more info, the campaign can provide that in a follow up email. Ask if she will speak with other MPs about Basic Income, starting with but not limited to those in their own party. Ask if they will support Caroline Lucas’s EDM, or raise their own question in parliament.
- Important - note down anything the MP promises to do, so that this can be followed up. If the meeting goes positively, ask if the MP minds you taking a group photo to record the fact that the meeting has taken place. They usually like photo opportunities. Share it on social media with the hashtag #basicincome or #citizensincome, and tag @basicincome_uk and @citizensincome