How to help ensure that there's still a voice in parliament which understands IT
If you know your VPN from your IPv6, you will probably have despaired at the level of debate and decision-making on IT-related issues in this parliament. Time and time again, the lone voice pointing out the most fundamental ignorance has been Cambridge MP Julian Huppert. To see what he's up against, take the events described in this Reddit discussion from January 2015, for example.
It's not just a bit of fun having a self-confessed geek in parliament. It's essential. Ideally we'd have a lot more than there are now, but as with the Emperor's New Clothes, one lone voice can make a difference. A lone voice that might, just might, stop a government from making a mistake which could cost thousands of jobs in the UK IT sector. As Julian Huppert himself has said, "It's hard to write good, effective legislation if you don't understand what the technology is and how it works".
Julian Huppert's efforts have not gone un-noticed. Amongst the recognition he has received in this parliament, the Internet Services Providers' Association's "Internet Hero" award in 2013 showed the industry's appreciation, and tech bloggers from all sides of politics have expressed their approval at his efforts at improving or rejecting legislation such as the Communications Data Bill (or "Snoopers Charter").
Ever since becoming one of the leading opponents of the misguided Digital Economy Act, rushed through parliament, Julian Huppert has worked tirelessly to ensure technology-related legislation makes sense. But now he needs to be elected as an MP. Sadly for the IT sector, most of the individuals standing for election will not know the difference between an ISP and ASP. We may need Julian's presence in parliament more than ever.
Yes, there is, whether you're an individual or an organisation, and whether you're in Cambridge or not. Most important of all is encouraging people to vote for Julian Huppert. Even if you're not in Cambridge, you may know people who are. Remind them that despite what the media would have us believe, we're not voting for the next prime minister, we're voting for our local MP. The importance of understanding and supporting the IT sector won't need any explanation, but not everyone realises the importance of Julian Huppert's Election to the IT sector.
Email friends and colleagues a link to this page, or tweet a link to it. Share this page on Facebook. Or link to some of the articles below. You could even blog about the subject. This transcends party politics and is about the future of the IT industry in the UK. Every message and every conversation helps - yours as much as anyone's.