Happy New Year!
Just a quick post about a couple of important areas on the political front in the UK.
Firstly there is an Early Day Motion (EDM) before parliament that asks BECTA the body that deals with the use of technology in schools to change the way it views Open Source projects so they are treated fairly. EDMs are if you like a sort of statement of interest or concern about issues MPs want to raise, those that get over 100 MPs to sign up can often come to the notice of Ministers and affect legislation.
That this House congratulates the Open University and other schools, colleges and universities for utilising free and open source software to deliver cost-effective educational benefit not just for their own institutions but also the wider community; and expresses concern that Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source software and the value and experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools market.
If you live in the UK then check if your MP has signed this EDM 179 if s/he has then consider sending him/her a note thanking him/her and saying you approve of his/her conduct, if s/he has not then ask that s/he signs as soon as possible.
The simplest way to contact your MP and indeed find out what your MP has been doing is to use the excellent site http://theyworkforyou.com/ and from their when you find details of your MP you can send an email by following links to http://www.writetothem.com/
It took a couple of weeks to get a reply from my MP, Andrew Mitchell, but I got a letter by snail-mail saying he will sign. His signature isn’t there yet but given they have been on recess I’ll give him until 15th Jan to sign up before I send him a reminder.
It’s easy and simple to do both these things from the comfort of your armchair so please, become active!