Digital Economy Bill To Be Whipped Through Parliament

lord peter mandelsonThe digital economy bill has been a fairly hot potato, with the legislation being criticised heavily by one or other group whatever is proposed, added or amended. Whatever shape the bill takes, it’s either going to limit the rights of the consumer (including you, me, everyone buying stuff on iTunes, and everyone ripping it off from the Pirate Bay) or of the content and service providers (record labels, software companies, ISP’s etc). With an extremely close election coming up, everyone in the House of Commons is walking on eggshells, hugging babies, being nice to small dogs that hump their leg etc. in case they lose a vote, and the last thing they want to do is offend anyone, or have any difficult bits of legislation to do in the beginning of a new Parliamentary term.

This being the case, the complex, much amended bill is now likely to be hustled through the usual process of open debate in the commons, with only minimal discussion and a directive being issued by the leaders of the political parties for their MP’s to vote it into law quickly, without too much ugly fuss, so they can get on with the process of smarming up to the voters, slagging each other off like schoolboys and making sure they can pay their nannies and keep the moat full of Cabernet Sauvignon next year.

The directives thus issued are enforced by party ‘Whips’ that go round and make sure that MP’s are doing what they’re told and not acting [heaven forfend] on the basis of their individual opinions, hence the title…

This whipping will not prevent any of the increasingly acrimonious public discussion outside the halls of Government: it just means that we’re going to be lumped with an improperly discussed and refined piece of law governing one of the most important and fastest growing sections of the UK economy. I’m voting Green, in case anyone wondered…

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