Thanks very much!
Timeline—fairly urgent. There will be a bill going to parliament to change the law, and I don’t think anyone knows exactly when that will be, but it can’t be this side of Christmas (nothing works that quickly) and it will probably be before April (which is when the financial year starts). Given that they want it to go through and may anticipate opposition, I would guess late January.
Plan: which Tory MPs are relevant: for those which are bound to follow the whip (either because they always follow the whip, or because they are dead against international development) we don’t touch them—there’s no point. For those who are more on the fence, probably still little value, as the whip is probably fairly strong (I haven’t investigated that last claim very closely, so if anyone has opposing opinions I would be interested to hear them). For those who are against, but who might only abstain rather than rebel (which is what mostly happened when the Conservative party wanted the right to break international law), influencing them to rebel instead of abstain will help. The ask: I think we have two asks: (1) vote against reducing the 0.7% (2) An amendment to the bill so that if it does go ahead, it is written into the Bill that it should be temperary (which is what Rishi said anyway). Budget: as we’re using google/facebook ads (and not hiring people) there aren’t any “chunked-up” elements of spend—it’s all smoothly spendable. In other words, the more the merrier. If we have only a few thousand, we can use it. If we have a bit more or a lot more, we can use it.
Will the government win: I have discussed this with a few people and heard differing opinions. I don’t have a strong opinion on how likely this is.
Lessons from previous campaigns: I haven’t studied previous campaigns, but I’ve spoken to some NGOs working in this space and the thinking that they have outlined is pretty similar to the plan I set out above. So their implicit learning from previous campaigns is supportive
Thanks for your reply! Please keep us posted here on your plan and how to donate etc. as you figure them out.
Another thought: may be helpful to work with some experienced NGO or someone experienced in political campaigning to craft the fb ads, targeting strategy etc. Seems like a pretty specialized thing worth drawing from existing expertise to maximize the chance of success.