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Free our Bills!

The Nice Polite Campaign to Gently Encourage Parliament to Publish Bills in a 21st Century Way, Please. Now.

What the…?

Writing, discussing and voting on bills is what we employ our MPs to do. If enough MPs vote on bills they become the law, meaning you or I can get locked up if they pass a bad one.

What a Bill contains is hugely more important than what an MP says, how they look, or what expenses they claim.

The problem, to put it simply, is that the way in which Bills are currently published out is completely incompatible with the Internet era. As a consequence few people ever get to find out what a Bill says before it becomes law and binds us all. Bills are currently buried within the Parliamentary website, published in a hopelessly old fashioned way that makes them difficult to find, difficult to read and impossible to do anything clever with.

Update! Our supporters have been asking MPs to sign an Early Day Motion to support the campaign, and over 100 MPs have signed up so far. Sign up to our campaign and we'll tell you whether your MP has signed.

We need you!


Being the people who run TheyWorkForYou we spend lots of our time taking rubbish, broken information from Parliament and fixing it up so that it makes a nice, usable site so you can find out whether your MP is actually working for you or not. Lots of people seem to like it, nearly 2 million came to visit last year.

It’s time for Parliament to improve its act and start publishing these vital documents properly in the first place. Quite apart from the fact that we’re a tiny charity without many resources to fix this information, you’re paying for them to produce it in a uselessly old fashioned way. Unless Parliament produces better bills:

  • You can’t get an email alert to tell you when a bill mentions something you might be interested in.
  • You can’t find out what amendments your own MP is asking for, or voting on.
  • You can’t learn, or help other people learn, about the process by annotating them to explain what they’re really going on about for everyone else.
  • MPs and their staff can’t receive services that would help them notice when they were being asked to vote on dumb or dubious things.
  • You can’t get a rounded view of how useful your MP is if you can’t see their involvement with the bill making process.
  • And about 12 zillion other things that we’re not even bright enough to think of yet.

Read our details of the technical changes we want Parliament to make to the way it publishes bills for more.

Won’t this disrupt the delicate process of writing bills?

Nope, the improved publication we’re talking about has nothing to do with the actual legal contents of bills. It’s about how it gets translated into an electronic format once they’ve finished.

What are your real motives? Who does this benefit politically?

Dammit, we hoped you wouldn't ask that, and now our secret is blown. Obviously this campaign benefits Gordon Brown at the expense of Tony Blair. No, wait a minute, that was last year. It definitely gives Hillary the edge over Obama though. No, hang on, that's over too. Actually, it isn't partisan at all - that's what I was trying to say. mySociety is based on a charity, you see, so even if we wanted to be partisan, it'd be against the law. And if you're still suspicious you'll see that MPs from almost all parties have signed our EDM.

Isn’t this an embarrassingly obscure thing to be campaigning about? Can’t you campaign about saving puppies or something?

Hey – you’re the one who just read all the way down to this point. Suck it up and sign up, soldier.

We need you!