Spent most of this evening driving around central London in order to help keep FaxYourMP running. People are often shocked to discover that one of the UK’s most useful online democracy tools, now contacting MPs approximately 200 times a day, is mostly run out of James‘s spare room. Well, was. The ceiling fell in and James had to get the builders in, so the fax engine needed a temporary new home. So I picked up James and Damon (the Sparc that runs the fax engine) from their home in Bloomsbury and we headed over to Manar‘s flat in Holland Park, where we spent a while establishing an iffy wireless link between his flat and Desiree‘s downstairs (since she has the ADSL). After that we turned Damon on, plugged Dan‘s laptop into it via serial cable to reconfigure it and then tweaked the faxmodem settings to work happily with Manar’s Telewest line. Oh, and got some more peanuts for the monkey that scribbles the signatures on the faxes.
We do this, unpaid, because Parliament won’t.
Stef once said that we should purposefully break FYMP occasionally, to emphasise the point that it shouldn’t be up to volunteers like us to run such a vital service. But, tonight, Jude reiterated the nagging fears at the backs of our minds: if Parliament did take it over, the odds are that they’d screw it up horribly, and certainly wouldn’t run anything as potentially controversial as the MP-response league tables. This thing may take far too much effort to run, but dammit, we’re proud of it and we’re not the only ones who think it’s good.
Besides, we’re needed. As an incoming mail said shortly after James moved the server: When are you back from hols? Useful time now to try and prevent a war methinks.