[thechat] Fwd: "Adopt Your MP": Good job.

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Wed Jun 19 02:45:00 CDT 2002

I'm sure some of us will have got this already, but I thought it worth


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com>
> Date: Tue Jun 18, 2002  11:46:13  pm Europe/London
> To: stand at lists.stand.org.uk
> Subject: "Adopt Your MP": Good job.
> Reply-To: stand at stand.org.uk
>   As most of you will already have heard, the government has backed
> down from
>   the RIP s22 Order that would have given access to traffic data to
> dozens of
>   government departments. We thought you'd like to know that this
> U-turn was
>   largely down to you.
>   The FaxYourMP folk say that they relayed 1789 faxes from last monday,
> and
>   estimate that around 1600 of those were related to the s22 RIP Order.
> That
>   means that, on average, every MP received at least two messages
> expressing
>   concern over the measure.
>   We've received mail from constituents saying that their Member of
> Parliament
>   called them directly to discuss the issue. We've had MPs mail us with
>   advice. We've had TV companies and newspapers contact us after they'd
> been
>   hassled by their readers and viewers. We've even had MPs writing
> letters to
>   constituents explaining, mournfully, that there was nothing they
> could do -
>   and then had their own voters explain to them how to attend Standing
>   Committee debates, and who to get in contact with others to help
> fight this
>   order. Ah, those apathetic votees.
>   Also, we had Hugh.
>   One of the stories we've repeatedly heard is that the Home Secretary's
>   change of heart came from a briefing by his 21-year old son, Hugh
> Blunkett.
>   Hugh, like the rest of us, uses the Internet. He knows enough to see
> how
>   dangerous this proposition was.  At some point - whether it was a
> forwarded
>   messaage, or an announcement posted on http://slashdot.org, or a link
> on
>   your Website - Hugh found out about this order. He read the comments,
> and
>   the objections posted by thousands of people online, and did
> something about
>   it.
>   Now, of course, it does help if your dad is the Home Secretary. But if
>   there's one thing we've learnt from STAND, it's that people have
> greater
>   access to the levers of government than they think. From you to the
> Home
>   Secretary is a very short chain, and for practical purposes, we don't
> care
>   whether it was via Hugh or David's old classmate at Huddersfield
> College.
>   Someone explained to him how the rest of us feel.
>   Making contact is important. The volunteers at STAND and FaxYourMP are
>   almost pathologically cynical, but we're regularly taken aback by how
>   positively MPs, editors, civil servants and peers of the realm
> respond to a
>   personal contact by intelligent and reasonable citizens. It's almost
> as if
>   they're flattered by the attention. It's almost as if they're touched
> anyone
>   even cares about what they do.
>   At the beginning of this campaign - oh, almost a week ago now - many
> people
>   (from professional lobbyists to anonymous Web forum posters) told us
> that it
>   was futile to encourage others to make a fuss. It was too late; that
>   delegated legislation would be railroaded through; that no-one cared
> about
>   privacy issues; that U-turns never happen.
>   Well, perhaps we shouldn't get too cocky. Even this proposal has only
> been
>   "postponed indefinitely", possibly only until the next Parliament
> after the
>   Summer break. And there are dozens of other bits of legislation
> hanging
>   about with vast technological idiocies contained within
>   - the RIP Act draft Code of Practices; the EU's Copyright Directive
> and Data
>   Retention orders; laws against reverse-engineering; software patents
> and who
>   knows what else.
>   But we thought it was worth saying that you won. And the next time
> you're
>   talking to someone about these issues, and someone says "what's the
> point?"
>   - well, you now may now point at yourself, and mention how you got the
>   government to blink.
>   Cheers,
>   The STAND team.
>   PS The News At Ten people broadcast a segment about STAND member's
>   effect on on Tuesday night.  If it's before 1330pm on Wednesday when
>   you read this (and you have Real player), you can watch it here:
>   <URL:http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsa/n5ctrl/tvseq/news_ost.ram>
>   Many of the wine bottles behind James are now empty.
email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID:	0xA835CCCB
	martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail:	30 Shandon Place
   tel:	+44 (0)774 063 9985				Edinburgh,
   url:	http://www.easyweb.co.uk			Scotland

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