April 07, 2010 | Jim Killock

Phone to stop the Bill!

20,000 supporters wrote to MPs asking them to give the Digital Economy Bill proper consideration, especially giving time to consider the consequences of measure to remove internet access as a punishment for copyright infringement. You paid for adverts too: and the effect on the debate was profound, despite the resistance of the front benches.
This is a matter of confidence in Parliament for many of us. I expect you are, like me, disturbed that serious laws can be pushed through without proper debate and scrutiny.
Last night, figures as diverse as John Redwood, Tom Watson, David Davis and Austin Mitchell highlighted severe problems with pushing through these clauses without debate.
Today, the power of opponents to the Bill is greater: the government's loyal back benchers all leave to campaign, meaning a smaller number of independent-minded MPs have a little more time to think and use their political sense to stop parliament bringing itself into further disgrace. 
We are asking you, to phone your MP to:
1 Oppose the Bill at Third Reading - unless clauses 11-18 are dropped
There are significant protections to copyright owners through court action and letter writing proposed in clauses 4-10
Website blocking and restrictions on web users can wait until Parliament has time to consider the civil liberties questions 
2 If you cannot oppose the Bill at Third Reading, raise concerns with your Whips
Clauses 18 (website blocking) and 11-16 (restrictions on web users)
Please phone using 38 Degrees phone tool here:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/deb-call-your-mp
Jim Killock 
Executive Director
Open Rights Group
Some quotes from the debate last night:
Austin Mitchell said:
What would a delay of another three months or so in order to discuss the Bill properly and give it full consideration do? There would be no danger in taking such an approach. A delay of three months would not produce the collapse of the creative industries, which has been held up as the threat hanging over us. This needs to be settled and discussed by the Commons through its full procedures; this should not be a rushed Bill, carried on the basis of the half attention of a discredited, dying and distracted Parliament.
John Redwood said:
"It is a disgrace that the House is not treated with courtesy by the Government. It is quite wrong that a Bill of such importance and magnitude was not tabled earlier. It is quite wrong that there is an attempt to rush through all parts of the Bill without proper scrutiny and debate."
John Grogan observed:
"I looked at all the Bills that received a Second Reading after a Prime Minister had gone to the palace-I went back as far as 1987 ... I managed to find the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Bill in 1987, the Architects Bill in 1997, the Lieutenancies Bill in 1997 and the International Organisations Bill in 2005. What they all shared in common was that there was no dispute between hon. Members in respect of them. It really is shameful that we are proceeding in this way."
Tom Watson said:
"It is a very great pity that the Bill cannot be tested in Committee in the light of some of those questions. As a twice ex-Whip, I am rather embarrassed by the fact that the Bill is being railroaded through in the wash-up. Frankly, there has been a squalid deal between the three Front Benches, and they should be ashamed of themselves. The people who care about this Bill-and there are many out there-will see that for what it is."

Please phone using 38 Degrees phone tool here:

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/deb-call-your-mp

20,000 supporters wrote to MPs asking them to give the Digital Economy Bill proper consideration, especially giving time to consider the consequences of measure to remove internet access as a punishment for copyright infringement. You paid for adverts too: and the effect on the debate was profound, despite the resistance of the front benches.

This is a matter of confidence in Parliament for many of us. I expect you are, like me, disturbed that serious laws can be pushed through without proper debate and scrutiny.

Last night, figures as diverse as John Redwood, Tom Watson, David Davis and Austin Mitchell highlighted severe problems with pushing through these clauses without debate.

Today, the power of opponents to the Bill is greater: the government's loyal back benchers all leave to campaign, meaning a smaller number of independent-minded MPs have a little more time to think and use their political sense to stop parliament bringing itself into further disgrace. 

We are asking you, to phone your MP to:

1 Oppose the Bill at Third Reading - unless clauses 11-18 are dropped

There are significant protections to copyright owners through court action and letter writing proposed in clauses 4-10

Website blocking and restrictions on web users can wait until Parliament has time to consider the civil liberties questions 

2 If your MP cannot oppose the Bill at Third Reading, raise concerns with their Whips to deal with:

Clauses 18 (website blocking) and 11-16 (restrictions on web users)

Please phone using 38 Degrees phone tool here:

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/deb-call-your-mp

 

Here's some quotes from the debate last night:

Austin Mitchell said:

What would a delay of another three months or so in order to discuss the Bill properly and give it full consideration do? There would be no danger in taking such an approach. A delay of three months would not produce the collapse of the creative industries, which has been held up as the threat hanging over us. This needs to be settled and discussed by the Commons through its full procedures; this should not be a rushed Bill, carried on the basis of the half attention of a discredited, dying and distracted Parliament.

John Redwood said:

"It is a disgrace that the House is not treated with courtesy by the Government. It is quite wrong that a Bill of such importance and magnitude was not tabled earlier. It is quite wrong that there is an attempt to rush through all parts of the Bill without proper scrutiny and debate."

John Grogan observed:

"I looked at all the Bills that received a Second Reading after a Prime Minister had gone to the palace-I went back as far as 1987 ... I managed to find the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Bill in 1987, the Architects Bill in 1997, the Lieutenancies Bill in 1997 and the International Organisations Bill in 2005. What they all shared in common was that there was no dispute between hon. Members in respect of them. It really is shameful that we are proceeding in this way."

Tom Watson said:

"It is a very great pity that the Bill cannot be tested in Committee in the light of some of those questions. As a twice ex-Whip, I am rather embarrassed by the fact that the Bill is being railroaded through in the wash-up. Frankly, there has been a squalid deal between the three Front Benches, and they should be ashamed of themselves. The people who care about this Bill-and there are many out there-will see that for what it is."

 


Comments (2)

  1. Steve:
    Apr 07, 2010 at 05:07 PM

    It is unbelievable what the politicians nowadays do, every country on earth is becoming a totalitarian state. Even George Orwell's book characters could not be more evil.

  2. Anonymous:
    Apr 08, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    [It is unbelievable what the politicians nowadays do, every country on earth is becoming a totalitarian state. Even George Orwell's book characters could not be more evil.]

    Maybe if people bought CD's and Films rather than downlaoding them for free EXPECTING them for free - such Bills would not be needed to compensate for the lack of moral integrity out there. How do the musicians get paid? How do the producers, directos and actors get paid? You are going to destroy excatly what it is you are trying to protect! These people aren't evil, they can just see what is coming and are trying to protect the colour of our society, the ability to enjoy art, and not always for free just because some flimsy unthought through liberal-stoner-hyper freedom fighter popular culturist nonsense says it should be.



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