March 14, 2010 | Jim Killock

Well done Lib Dems: now ask what your candidates think

stop disconnectionThe Digital Economy Bill’s disconnection and web censorship proposals suffered a massive blow today as Liberal Democrats voted unanimously to oppose these draconian measures.

Not a single speaker made any comment against the text – and Liberal Democrats reiterated their opposition to the closed ACTA negotiations. They emphasised the huge social, educational and economic value of the net today.

As several speakers noted - it was people like you writing to them that made them realise how important this issue is to voters in this election.

Liberal Democrats MPs now need to insist on Parliament’s duty to debate this Bill, and fully scrutinize it.

As the BPI said in their note leaked yesterday, the greatest chance this Bill’s dangerous measures have is if MPs fail to exercise their duty, and do not examine the myriad problems in it.

Without that debate, MPs could end up voting to damage the digital economy and society.

This Bill is now an election issue. As the Liberal Democrats have found out – this will change how people vote. We are talking about an essential service, vital to people’s lives, being withdrawn and lives and businesses damaged by very dangerous legislation.

Take action

Please write to your local paper, and your candidates. Ask your MP to make this controversial Bill is debated – and ask if your candidates oppose censorship and disconnection.

Comments (3)

  1. Alix:
    Mar 15, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    "Liberal Democrats MPs now need to insist on Parliament’s duty to debate this Bill, and fully scrutinize it."

    I would caution people not to be surprised if this just isn't possible. Never say never, and I hope Bridget et al are exploring all the procedural possibilities, but basically govt has been passing terrible legislation for the last thirteen years, voted through on the nod by the spineless, witless Labour backbenches. If they could be stopped just by Lib Dems standing up and demanding more debate time (which to my certain knowledge they have done in the past on plenty of bills, because I used to read Hansard regularly as part of my job) the statute book would look a lot different to how it does.

    Basically, I'm sorry to sound partisan, and I realise this whole thing arose from our lords being totally offside in the first place, but if people don't fucking vote for us then we'll carry on only having 50 or 60 MPs and we won't be able to vote this sort of stuff down. Simple as.

  2. @JasonJHunter:
    Mar 15, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Hi Jim,

    I was at the LibDem conference this weekend in Birmingham and I made a point of attending the motion presented on this issue by Bridget Fox.

    The Liberal Democrats recognise that this is an urgent issue for members of the public and I welcome the stand the LibDem MEP's are taking AGAINST website blocking and the secrecy of the International Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations.

    Further, LibDem Conference unanimously approved the motion as a whole and opposes excessive regulatory attempts to monitor, control and limit internet access or internet publication, whether at local, national, European or global level.

    For more information on this very important issue, please feel free to contact me.

  3. Alex:
    Mar 16, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    "LibDems drop net blocking, blame activists

    LibDem peers agreed to drop their controversial net-blocking clause from the Digital Economy Bill after the government advised that the proposal would be legally unenforceable. It means the Bill now heads for the Commons with one of the key copyright infringement countermeasures up in the air, although it's likely to be a return to Plan A (ministerial superpowers) rather than judicial oversight by the Courts, as the LibDems' Plan B proposed.


    A clearly exasperated Lord Clement Jones, who had tabled the replacement Clause 17, said he'd done so in response to the concerns of internet activists, such as the ORG, who had objected to the 'Ministerial Superpowers'. He instead proposed a Clause 18, which revised Section 97B of the Copyright Act, giving limited injunction abilities to the courts. He clearly felt he couldn't win either way - critics who had raised the alarm about netblocking had ignored his many safeguard clauses, he suggested."