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Complaining to your MSP (or MP if it is not a devolved issue") is common place and sensible thing to do when you have a problem in life - with someone in the "the goverment" - whether it be local, state, or Quango.

Is it worth it ? In a word NO. Does it work ? Very rarely.

The question is "Why not". The answer is simple: because your MSP is mostly not persistent enough to obtain a result from an official in the Scottish Govenment's administration, or whatever other body they have written to - and there is plethora of Public Bodies and Quangos in Scotland. A Quango is a "Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation".

What happens when you take your complaint to an MSP ? 

The usual story is:

  1. MSP's will always write a letter to the "appropriate Minister" or Council Executive.
  2. The response will the vast majority of the time be a rebuttal.
  3. The MSP will write a second time
  4. The response willmost of the time be a second rebuttal.
  5. The MSP will then tell you that there is nothing further that can be done.

Result: The answer is a waste of time and energy.

The one exception to this has been John Mason, MSP for Bridgeton.

He ably assisted with getting Water Charges for the many small business's in the Templeton Business Centre properly charged in accordance with Section 27 of the [Scottish] 2005 Act. Scottish Water prefer to use the superceded 1945 Act which Lord Denning et al described as being unfair.

The problem is recognised. Ken Macintosh, the Convener of the Scottish Parliament, started a Commission on Parliamentary Reform - you can read more here: http://accountabilityscotland.org.uk/index.php/commission-on-parliamentary-reform. The commissions report was published in June 2017. There has been no visible change . . . . well not to the ordinary Citizen of Scotland.

It is intended to start posting the short, and in the end often useless, chains of communication between an MSP and whoever. Remember that that most ministers NEVER actually see these communications let alone draft the replies. It has been an entertaining exercise to demonstrate this during the research.