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There is something rather vulgar about ex-politicians bleating when they've been unceremoniously booted out of office. Take former European politician Christine Oddy. She told Silicon.com last week that the UK has been "stripped of its hi-tech MEPs" following this month's Euro elections. "There's no one to follow in my footsteps in the European Parliamentary Labour Party," she blubbed to Silicon. "They lost 100 per cent of their legal expertise when Ian [White] and I were voted out," she sniffed. What utter tosh. In a trouser-dropping display of barefaced cheek the former MEP for Coventry claims there is nobody left to represent UK businesses on IT issues. Nobody left to represent UK businesses on IT issues? Who is Oddy trying to kid? Is this the same Christine Oddy who refused to outlaw spam during the recent ecommerce directive before leading her Labour lap dogs through the voting chamber? Read Silicon's heart-wrenching tale of a deposed MEP and you'll wonder how the European Net community will survive now she's gone. The answer is that we'll all probably fare a lot better. Thanks to Oddy, spam remains a curse for Net users all over Europe. Thanks to her tireless efforts the onus will be on Net users to opt out of receiving spam making them do the legwork while still picking up the cost. And then there's her choice of successor. She wants German Socialist, Willi Rothley, to "carry on her work." If that means voting for crackpot ideas that will turn the Euro Net community into a laughing stock then she picked the right man. For Rothley was a vocal supporter of the ban on caching -- a move that had it not been overturned -- would have brought the Net to its knees. It should also be noted that Rothley also tabled an amendment saying that ISPs should keep records of all information that could be used to track sources of illegal content. Is this the right-minded thinking of an IT expert? Does he want Europe's Net community tied up in so much red tape it would make it impossible to run an ISP without incurring massive administrative costs? Oh, and one last point about Silicon's job advert for Oddy. The ex-MEP Ian White, referred to as a "fellow IT expert", knows about as much about the industry as a fork. Like a kitchen utensil, he knows nothing. In fact, he's more concerned about the environmental welfare of the Severn Estuary in his beloved ex-Bristol constituency than the workings of the Net. Which all goes to show that thanks to basic democratic principles people do have the power to say who governs them. Shame there isn't a similar mechanism that covers what they read. ®

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