Not a lot of people know it, but I’m passionate about politics. In fact, one of my first “proper” jobs was to work for someone I still respect a huge amount, an MP called Ken Clarke. He’s a man who calls a spade a spade, an attribute which I see as crucial at a time when most senior politicians are highly media-trained and incapable of independent thought. Most of them, frankly, would make atrocious teachers, incapable of responding to circumstances as they change around them.
Anyway, I’m not writing this to rant. I do enough of that normally. The reason why I’m typing away is that, with the election now finally officially announced, candidates need to step up to the plate all over the land. And it’s also our turn to do something for the democratic process- by which I mean getting involved in Nick Mair’s fascinating Wall of Language project. We all know languages are under threat. And yet we all know how crucial languages are in our international community. But then we would, wouldn’t we, we’re the converted. We also know that when we go to multi-subject conferences we’re always told how forward-thinking languages departments tend to be. So now we need to get onto the front foot, bagging the attention of the prospective law-makers of tomorrow.
So how can we do anything?
1) Go to www.walloflanguage.org.uk
2) Check the Contact your MP section for the candidates' contact details. Alternatively, click on the links below;
Tory click here
Labour click here
Lib Dem click here
3) Copy the letter from the site into word (or an openoffice alternative, of course!) and personalise to your purposes.
4) Get sending! It'll be fascinating to see how many people bother to reply.
So Nick, huge huge thanks for getting this ball rolling, let's hope the momentum builds in the month ahead.