Daily archives: March 17, 2010

Email your MP about the Digital Economy Bill

I just sent this email to my MP, John Leech-

Dear Mr Leech,

I wrote to you last week about an emergency motion to be discussed at the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference. The motion was passed unanimously and your party now stands against a key feature of the Digital Economy Bill. However, with the election imminent, the Government is planning to rush the Digital Economy Bill into law without a full Parliamentary debate.

If you followed the debate on the emergency motion you will know that the law is controversial and contains many measures that cause concern. The Bill deserves proper scrutiny so please don’t let the government push it through. Rather than helping, many people think it will damage schools and businesses as well as innocent people who rely on the internet because it will allow the Government to disconnect people it suspects of copyright infringement.

Industry experts, internet service providers and huge internet companies like Google and Yahoo are all opposing the bill- yet the Government seems intent on forcing it through without a real debate.

As a constituent I am writing to you today to ask you to do all you can to ensure the Government doesn’t just rush the bill through and deny the democratic right to scrutiny and debate.


Ian Pattinson

It’s a variation on the message suggested here. There’s more information here (including a postcode lookup so you can find your MP).

Only the deniers are allowed to exaggerate, it’s the rules

Two of the Government’s climate change adverts have been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency. To be more effective they presented possible effects of climate change without waffling that there’s only a 90+% chance that manmade CO2 is affecting the climate in potentially catastrophic ways. The lack of this, frankly irrelevant, caveat means that the Government ads made “exaggerated claims” according to the ASA. Silly Government, didn’t they know that only the people with no evidence to back up their denial are allowed to exaggerate?

In an ideal world there would be no need for these emotive adverts, people would simply be presented with the facts and statistics and allowed to make up their own minds. In this ideal world the denial lobby would be stumped because they have so little evidence, and we could get on with doing something about the problem. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and the tiniest scrap of misunderstood data which appears to support the denial lobby gets orders more coverage than the reams of evidence which says they’re wrong.

I had issues with the Government ads. I didn’t think they were radical enough. Telling people thay can turn off a light and save the planet is nonsense. Far much more than that is needed, but that’s a different post.

John Redwood’s delighted by the ruling, of course. But then, he’s shown he either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or is feigning ignorance to curry favour with denial vote.