Why do we email or call government officials?

War on Want understands the root causes of poverty to be political, the result of choices made by government and corporate elites. Our 65+ year history has taught us that collective action by ordinary people is the most effective way to bring about the type of change that can challenge the structures of poverty and injustice in the long term.

We take different kinds of action to hold those who make decisions to account and to push for positive change, and each action has a purpose and function that we have thought through carefully, often together with campaign partners. Each action is only a single part of a larger campaign strategy.

Some types of actions we take:

  • Conduct research necessary for action (check out our reports and briefings)
  • Participate in public meetings to affect discussions and/or get critical feedback
  • Hold briefing sessions for MPs and other government officials
  • Protest to make our voices heard, especially when critical voices have been ignored or excluded from decision making

We often invite our members and supporters to participate in a campaign by emailing a government official, maybe an MP, MEP or a government minister, asking them to take action in a specific way on a campaign issue. This is a way to:

  • Inform government officials of important issues and provide them with evidence based research to help them make informed decisions
  • Shape discussions that government officials are having about issues important to us
  • Make clear that constituents/the public are paying attention to issues and to what MPs are doing
  • Elicit responses from government officials that can help in campaign planning and strategising (even if the response is negative, it’s useful for us to know so we can get a feel for the ‘temperature’ in government on certain issues)

We don’t ever want to limit our campaigning power to what could come from lobbying politicians, that way nothing would ever change. At the same time, engaging those in positions of power is an important part of making change, even if it is only one element of a broader campaign.

Latest news

BDS is a legitimate means of protest against human rights abuse, says War on Want

14 December 2017 - 12:15pm

Campaigning for BDS is a legitimate means of protest, a fact that has been affirmed time and time again by bodies such as the European Union. It’s effectiveness is one of the main reasons why there is an organised campaign led by the Israeli government to shut it down. Students have every right to use their democratic rights to organise and exercise freedom of expression, and should be applauded for calling out violations of international law and human rights abuse.

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Was it too much to expect the WTO to deliver for women?

14 December 2017 - 12:00pm

Argentina, host for this week’s World Trade Organisation, welcomed hundreds of government representatives to Buenos Aires to negotiate the rules of the global trade in goods, services and ecommerce. Lagging far behind other international fora, the WTO made attempts to draw attention to the impact of trade on gender equality, and correspondingly the impact women’s economic productivity can have on trade.

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Was it too much to hope the #WTO would deliver for #women? War on Want asks: https://t.co/kXHmd0SUrH https://t.co/Onm5oGPOVk 10 hours 45 min ago
A significant victory for campaigners against the Government's HostileEnvironment. Everyone should be entitled to e… https://t.co/D2eO54lISp 11 hours 27 min ago