Last night I attended the demonstration outside parliament, organised by the Open Rights Group. They, I and others are determined to prevent the arbitrary passing of the Digital Economy Bill in the pre-general election ‘wash up’ period, where bills are voted on without debate or parliamentary scrutiny. Currently Harriet Harman, the Leader of the House, is signalling that our wishes will be ignored and the most draconian, pro-corporate, anti-civil rights legislation yet attempted by New Labour will be waved through, regardless of the consequences. Under no circumstances should that be allowed to happen, and it was heartening to speak to Tom Watson MP after the demo – he made it clear that the organisation’s campaign to lobby MPs into demanding a debate for the Bill (which because of the limited ‘wash up’ period would mean either killing the Bill or forcing the removal of the contentious clauses 11-15) was beginning to have an effect. We must redouble our efforts, and watch the video for very clear reasons why. I spoke on Tuesday with Shami Chakrabarti from Liberty, who denounced the Bill as an attack on due process and the rule of law. She’s right, and it should concern us all.
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