From: Hansard Society
Published: Thu Apr 07 2005

Explaining his motivations, Jamie said: "I am angry that homeless people have the right to register to vote, but their views are not being heard and homelessness does not look like being a major issue in this election. I want to create a place where the issues can be debated from the point of view of homeless people and I’m inviting all election candidates to visit my blog and discuss these with me."

Jamie, who is now a poet and author, plans to take the views of homeless people and present them to politicians through his weblog, but anyone, whether election candidate or member of the public, can participate.

Jamie is being supported in his effort by the homelessness charity Crisis and the Hansard Society, an independent non-party organisation, although the content of Jamie’s blog will be his own. Jamie hopes that people will visit the site at www.jamiesbigvoice.com and comment on the issues of the day in the run up to the election.



To interview Jamie or for information about Crisis please contact Amy Bick or Stuart Barber at Crisis on 020 7426 3830/3831 or 07973 372 587 (out of hours), media@crisis.org.uk

For information about the Hansard Society please contact Virginia Gibbons on 020 7395 4010 or 07812 765 552

Notes to Editors:

1. Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people and works year-round across the UK helping people fulfil their potential and transform their lives. Crisis helps rebuild the lives of homeless people by helping those trapped in the cycle of homelessness and raising awareness of their plight. The charity estimates that there are 380,000 hidden homeless people in Britain, living in hostels, temporary bed and breakfast accommodation, squats or sleeping on the floors of friends and family. www.crisis.org.uk

2. Crisis and a panel of homeless people will be taking to the road on a red bus in a bid to highlight the issue of homelessness with prospective parliamentary candidates ahead of the general election. The Big Voice Tour will visit five cities in England to kick-start an election debate to ensure that homelessness is still a key issue of concern in the next government. www.crisis.org.uk/about/big_voice.php

3. The Hansard Society is mentoring Jamie during his first go at blogging. In addition to providing basic technical support, the Society is also helping Jamie to promote his blog. The views expressed in the blog are the views of the author, Jamie, and the Hansard Society, as an independent non-party organisation, is neither for nor against. The Society is, however, happy to publish these views and to invite analysis and discussion of them. The Hansard Society’s e-Democracy programme seeks to develop innovative ways of using new interactive technologies to reconnect Parliament with citizens and encourage participation in the democratic process. www.hansardsociety.org.uk

Company: Hansard Society
Contact Name: Virginia Gibbons
Contact Email: mediaprog@hansard.lse.ac.uk
Contact Phone: 020 7395 4010

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