I wrote to my MP today. Normally I wouldn’t publish that so publicly, or at least not until after giving the MP plenty of time to respond, but on this particular occasion I want to share what I wrote in order to ask you to also contact your elected representatives. It is the least we, the people, can do:

Dear Mr Gardiner,

As a constituent of yours who was born in the Netherlands, I find myself rather affected by the MH17 disaster that took place over Ukraine. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed the Netherlands in a greater sense of shock and pain than now; it seems every Dutch relative or friend I speak to knows someone directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy, and the overall atmosphere among the people resembles what I experienced in London post 9/11 and post 7/7.

As days go by, I also see shock and pain make way for increasing anger. Indeed, I am feeling myself getting angrier when I witness the lack of due respect, care and attention shown to the human remains and what is left of their belongings, as apparent from the images from the area. In circumstances like these I believe that material things do matter, considering they’re all that’s left from a loved one.

The reason I am writing you is that I think it is important that every MP, whether in government or not, uses his or her position in public office to push for swifter action than is currently happening. 

I am astonished to see that every media outlet appears to have people on the ground in the disaster area, but the powers that be, the government departments and institutions who should be representing their citizens, have barely started to arrive in the region, let alone the disaster zone. This shows a seriously lack of speed and incisive action. 

Action on behalf of the victims loved ones is required NOW, not Monday to Friday 9 to 5 BST, not by way of meetings with coffee and biscuits, but NOW, on the ground, in the area. 

Now is not the time to play party politics but for government and opposition to work together; there will undoubtedly be plenty of time and place for electioneering later.

Please use your position in public office to help that happen – not just for the Dutch and British victims, but for all of them, everywhere. Their loved ones are suffering enough already and any delay, indecisiveness and inaction further tramples their feelings.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Ms Jo Hughes

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