Digital Economy Bill

The Mail:

From: John Dow
Sent: 18 March 2010 12:09
To: DEVINE, Jim
Subject: Don’t rush through extreme internet laws

John Dow
34 Random Street
Anytown
EH54

Dear Mr Devine

I’m writing to you today because I’m very worried that the Government is planning to rush the Digital Economy Bill into law without a full Parliamentary debate.

The law is controversial and contains many measures that concern me. The controversial Bill deserves proper scrutiny so please don’t let the government rush it through. 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 (like Talk Talk and BT) 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 us our democratic right to scrutiny and debate.

John Dow

The Reply:

On 18 March 2010 12:54, DEVINE, Jim <DEVINEJ@parliament.uk> wrote:
Good afternoon Mr Dow

Digital Economy Bill

I have spoken to Mr Devine this morning and he has asked me to thank you for your email.

He asked me to let you know that the business of the House of Commons has now been announced up to 5th April 2010 and the second reading of the Digital Economy Bill has not been included.

He would therefore be very surprised if this were to go ahead before the general election is called.

If this situation changes he will, however, do everything he can to ensure that the Minister is made aware of your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Senior Caseworker
Office of Jim Devine MP
Suite 5 – Pentland House
LIVINGSTON EH54 6NG

The Rant

Dear Mr Devine,

Thank you for your offices reply. As you’ll be aware, the second reading of the bill in question took place on the 6th. A remarkable coincidence. Also, according to the following article in the Times, my fears were completely justified as very few MPs, actually bothered to attend.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/7562734/MPs-criticised-for-poor-turnout-at-Digital-Economy-Bill-debate.html

May I draw your attention to the following paragraph from the article:

“The controversial Bill was voted through its second Parliamentary reading, looking increasingly likely to be made into law. However, at its peak turnout, only 40 MPs, approximately five per cent of the total 646 members, showed up to listen to the debate which preceded the vote. ”

As it’s clear that the situation has changed, as you put it, can you let me know what steps you have taken to make the minister aware of my concerns?

Regards

John Dow

The state of Government in this country is ridiculous.

And the reprise:

Good afternoon Mr Dow

Mr Devine has asked me to let you know that he been actively making representations to the Minister to ensure a full debate on the Digital Economy Bill  but that, since the General Election has been called and he is not standing as a candidate, it is not appropriate for him to be involved further.

It appears, then, that West Lothian currently has no representation in Parliament. Outstanding.

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