Poor Show

So I'm a few days late in openly voicing my opinion here on the passing of the Digital Economy Bill at its second reading in Parliament on Tuesday and again at its third just yesterday, but the fact is it's now going to be the law within weeks and has the potential to effect everyone who uses the Internet within the UK.

I've come to expect a less than democratic process when it comes to pushing through new laws and legislation by this government (or any other for that matter) which claims to operate in a democratically elected society, but for me the passing of the Digital Economy Bill was one of the worst displays of democracy I've ever seen. Did nearly every MP just forget they were elected to represent the views of their constituents and choose to ignore the 20,000 people that wrote to them expressing their views on the bill and calling for more debate on it before passing it through Parliament and making it law.

Well, that's exactly what happened and less than 40 of 646 MPs turned up to the second reading of the bill on Tuesday, which lead to a very poor display of democracy in action for the 20,000 individuals who wrote to their MPs as well as undoubtedly many others. So some of the MPs present at the reading did try to voice their opinion as well as their constituents and openly admitted that they were not in a position to make a decision regarding something that they do not have sufficient expertise in. This however didn't seem to make a difference and I guess the big corporations that pressured the Government into pushing the bill through got their way.

The Open Rights Group is making no secrets of what think about the Government's decision to push the bill through, and I was more than happy to add my name along with 654 others to Mo McRoberts' (@nevali) excellent open letter to some of the MPs who were present at the reading.

I can only hope that the Government comes to its senses very quickly or any newly elected Government does the right thing and overturns this new law. Both of which I'm unsure of the possibility regardless of the intent.

Posted April 8th, 2010