Between moat cleaning services, dodgy mortgage claims and duck house constructions, the MPs' expenses scandal has created the sense that government is utterly unaccountable.

It's not, of course. The ballot box, freedom of speech, and the Freedom of Information Act will all ensure, albeit belatedly, that the behaviour of MPs is called properly to account. In the meantime, the Early Day Motion tabled this week by MP Nick Harvey, on behalf of The Grocer's Push Back the Tax campaign provides an early opportunity to prove how influential the public can be. And that means you.

The EDM has already gained the endorsement of the maximum five sponsors; the support of an MP who sits on the influential Business and Enterprise Select Committee (which scrutinises Lord Mandelson's department), and indeed MPs across all parties - even the SNP, the SDLP and an independent.

So far so good. But with Parliament going into recess on Tuesday, we need you to act now - TODAY! - to ensure that as many as possible of the UK's MPs sign up to the campaign.

Success isn't entirely a numbers game, of course. Ultimately the decision to delay the VAT hike by a month, freeze duty in 2010 and extend trade credit insurance guarantees rests with the Chancellor and the Treasury.

But the more MPs support the EDM, the more likely it is that Alistair Darling and his team will sit up and take notice.

So, please call your MP and ask him to support EDM no 1885. (Contact details for all MPs are available at You might need to put the case for signing up to his or her parliamentary researcher and they may ask for more information (direct them to for more information), but just as fiddling is not now an option for MPs, nor is it now, in a different sense, for us.