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On Monday some 75 MPs, peers, and party officials will begin a three day course on computer appreciation and introductory programming.

This snatching after technological literacy is being organised by Elliott Automation, which, with the blessing of the three whips, the late speaker, and the serjeant-at-arms in the House of Commons.

The three day course looks rather like escalation in reverse. Is not Mr Marples, as Opposition spokesman on technology, now completing a sabbatical year’s study of automation and computers in this country, the United States, and Japan? Is not Mr Cousins, the minister of technology, now spending eight days reviewing American developments in technology and automation?

Programming
At least Mr Marples and Mr Cousins will not have it all their own way in future debates on automation in the House, nor can they expect a silent and subservient audience.

During the three day course the 75 politicians, split into

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