Write to the papers, email and speak on Radio Oxford etc giving your opinion on his refusal.
Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP,
You have now received at least two requests to participate in a public debate in Oxford concerning the war on Iraq.
We wish to reiterate the request that you attend a large public debate with George Monbiot (East Oxford resident) on the legality, morality and need for a war on Iraq.
These matters are still of great concern to the public and thus need to be aired in a large public meeting rather than small exclusive meetings. As you are a cabinet minister you are in a better position to offer answers and clear up misunderstandings.
You have acknowledged that you have received more post on this issue than any previous issue. The government in its replies to letters redirected by you has also acknowledged receipt of so many thousands of letters that the Department of Defence has taken months to reply to these letters. You and they must realize that so many letters indicate a serious concern about our involvement in the war.
A lot of the lobbying of your meetings is a result of your reluctance to attend a public debate in which you will have a platform to explain the government policy on Iraq and answer questions. We would like to organise a fair and open debate with an acceptable chairperson such as Reg Little, Bill Heine or Jeremy Paxman.
As was suggested in a previous letter, we would be happy for you to have 50% of the ticket allocation to distribute as you see fit.
We suggest that the debate should take place at the Town Hall on a Thursday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. A collection can be made to cover any costs for the venue and the surplus will go to a charity offering medical help to Iraqi children.
We would be grateful if you could contact us to confirm that you wish to attend this debate and to discuss the details.