Here’s a quick update on the Digital Economy Bill, for anybody that’s interested.
- I have not received a response or even an acknowledgement to my second letter to Charles Clarke. Presumably the stock response wouldn’t work a second time, so the email was conveniently ‘put aside’. A shame. If Clarke supports the Bill and disagrees with me he could at least take the time to explain his reasoning.
- I’ve also not received any kind of response from Harriet Harman after writing to her. Given that she’s scheduled the DE Bill in for April 6th and the wash-up phase, presumably she’d already made up her mind and couldn’t care less about all the voters raising concerns.
- I wrote to the Norwich Evening News on the issue last week. Due to not being able to get hold of the newspaper for various reasons I don’t actually know whether or not the letter was published. Ahem.
In much, much better news:
- The Lib Dems, after a bit of faffing about, have finally come out firmly in opposition to the Digital Economy Bill. This is fantastic news and they’ve pretty much secured my vote in the forthcoming general election, unless Nick Clegg is caught on camera killing a kitten or something.
Given the problems with the Bill and its controversial nature, I can now think of only two reasons for MPs supporting its quick processing through wash-up:
- They don’t understand the Bill. The Internet and the digital economy as concepts are way beyond the experience of most MPs and Lords, who grew up in a pre-Internet era. In other words, it would be passed due to ignorance.
- They’ve been bought. The BPI has their hands all over the Bill, of course, writing entire sections. One of the Lords that introduced controversial amendments receives a tidy £70k a year from an IP lawyer firm. Channel 4 neatly covered lobbying abuse last week. In this case, whether MPs understand the Bill or not is irrelevant, because they are simply corrupt.
Either way, it doesn’t look good for Britain’s democracy.