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Thank You for Not Emailing

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, August 10 2010

British MP Dominic Raab; photo by Miki Yamanouchi

Remember Clay Shirky's guidance that political email organizing was at risk of turning elected officials from correspondents to targets? One British MP seemed to have sensed a bulls-eye on his back. He asked the House of Commons to delist his work email address in the face of an organizing campaign by the group 38 Degrees, reports Nicole Kobie:

MP Dominic Raab's parliamentary.uk email is currently not listed on the House of Common's website following a spat with online campaigners 38 Degrees.

The group provides a service by which people can automatically email their MP on certain issues. Raab asked the group to remove his address from its service at the beginning of July, which he provided to the lobbyists during the election.

Complaining that too many people were contacting him, Raab asked for that to be removed as well, warning he would take the issue to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if 38 Degrees didn't comply.

"Please understand that MPs get a high volume of correspondence and emails," he said in an email exchange with 38 Degrees. "Just processing the emails from your website absorbs a disproportionate amount of time and effort, which we may wish to spend on higher priorities, such as helping constituents in real need or other local or Parliamentary business."

"These emails from your and other lobby groups are becoming a real nuisance," he added, saying constituents can write to him at the House of Commons or meet him at one of his surgeries.

Somewhat suprising to me, when I Googled him up, is that Raab is not, well, a crusty old-timer. (With all due respect to crusty old-timers.) The Tory MP is a mere 36 years-old. (via Slashdot)