Yesterday, Don Foster for the Liberal Democrats let his party know his position on the Digital Economy Bill.
Essentially, the Lib Dems are currently:
- Opposed to web blocking
- Happy to pass the disconnection clauses 11-16, on the basis that the final disconnection plans would have to be approved after a short Parliamentary debate and whipped vote.
This is the position of the other parties too. Many back benchers seem to be confused, and seem to think unanimity is required for measures to be pushed through ‘wash up’ without debate, and that anything controversial won’t be passed.
But controversial doesn’t actually mean controversial to 17,000 letter writing members of the public, or among back bench MPs. The BIll is "uncontroversial" because the party front benches are agreed.
So there we have it. As it stands, no party intends to demand debate and scrutiny of these clauses, no party believes them sufficiently controversial, and no party is concerned about the intense corporate lobbying.
What do politicians think that tells us about democratic accountability, if parties think they can ask their back benchers to abandon their duty to scrutinize genuinely controversial legislation, weeks before they have to justify themselves to the electorate at the ballot box?
Despite this arrogance, the scale of public opposition has reached the attention of many good back bench MPs, who are writing to people like you to express their concern. That’s why we need to keep the letter writing up. 38 Degrees have another, new letter, highlighting the fact that we know this will arrive in wash up and proceed without debate.
Get everyone who cares about democracy and our right to enjoy free speech, work and education without undue interference to do the same.