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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Lobbying UK govt (MJ Ray)

From: Richard Smedley
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Lobbying UK govt (MJ Ray)
Date: Thu, 09 May 2002 10:16:13 +0100

Nick Hockings wrote:

> > I think this is something AFFS should at least endorse, but can you tell
> > us more about how this is going to be approached, please?
> Basically I have some disposable income that I will use to pay food, travel
> costs etc...  for a friend who is taking a gap year in his comp sci degree.
> Being a long time regular of the FSFE-Discussion list his views are on record
> and close to the main stream of FSFE. He is technically competent, and capable
> of presenting to small groups and individuals. (Since he is based in 
> Manchester
> would you like me to arrange for him to meet with one of the AFFS exec in that
> area?)

That would be me (25 miles from Manc at weekends)
> I aim to get DemoLinux CDs and a series of letters to every member of UK
> parliment. Some will be generic letters based closely on AFFS, FSFE, and FSF
> documents, others will be targeted to the interests of individual MPs and the
> committees/departments in which they serve. The general message being:
> 1) the charitable & scientific nature of free software as per the Four 
> Freedoms
> & GPL, plus its compatibility with the original principles of copyright.
> 2) the techincal quality & utility of the available free software.
> 3) What MPs can do to help and to use free software wrt legislation and govt
> purchasing policy.

I'd be happy to help on the letters (and other docs)

> In addition to delivering these to MPs offices, my freind will reply to &/or
> visit every MP who responds. (There are about 660 MPs ie upto 2 per day to see
> them all in one year.)
> To back this up I am recruiting a team of volunteers around the UK who are
> willing to install and maintain free software in their local MP's offices. The

How are you going about this? I think the LUGs and 
PM groups could be a useful resource here. Also a 
little publicity to attract further volunteers -
I'm sure such a project could get at least a small
news mention in both UK Linux mags.

> principle being that the surest convert is a user. It also has the advantage
> that MPs would become knowledgeable of the technical reality of changing over.
> That way there should not be any over ambitious, abortive roll-outs and they
> won't fall prey to prorietary FUD.

Of course there is a lot of room for things to go wrong
here, too, but let's not be negative.
This sounds a great project, Nick. I hope we can
all find constructive ways to help with it :-)

- Richard


Richard Smedley
Production Editor, Linux Format

Telephone +44 (0) 1225 442244 ext 5038
`The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is
not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's
indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.''
 -- Elie Wiesel

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