Twitter is lively with reports that Nick Clegg has confirmed the Snoopers’ Charter will not be in the Queen’s Speech. Furthermore Clegg himself has blocked the Communications Data Bill.
Big Brother Watch carries a report here.
I’ve done a lot of clearing up other peoples’ mess in my life and career. Most of these messes were the result of people ignoring my advice, things going pear shaped (as I had said they would) and then being asked if I would remedy the now fouled up situation. I’m sure those of you who are or have worked as techies for any length of time know the sort of people I mean.
When things really went titsup I was often asked to not only help clean up the mess but do so in a way that ensured the titsup situation would never happen again. Those responsible for things going titsup in the first place would wail their innocence and protest that things should be done differently but never actually front up with a positive suggestion in the face of my action plan.
So it is that I have some empathy for the Coalition government as it looks to clear up the mess that Labour left behind it. Under the Labour government, the UK state had ballooned into a seedy, control freak sumo wrestler who got his kicks from sticking his nose into every part of peoples’ lives, failing to protect the people they are supposed to serve from deliberate illegal acts and attempting to spread fear and misinformation about groups like photographers.
It is finished. An exciting election which gave us some compelling theatre and drove the media speculation machine into overdrive has finally given us a new Prime Minister and a Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition government. The control freakery and paranoia of New Labour has been rejected. Nick Clegg had achieved that which every Liberal, SDP and now Liberal Democrat leader during my life had desired – to have the balance of power in their hands.
It’s a genuine question. There is much speculation about a hung Parliament and potential coalition governments. Is tactical voting a sensible idea?
Here’s my view on the issue.
Taking a break from housework yesterday I flicked through a few channels and found an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation being shown. The episode shown was “The Drumhead”, a story about a Starfleet admiral who sees everyone as consipirators and spread mistrust and paranoia anywhere and everywhere she goes. Because of her high rank very few people have the influence or authority to challenge her obsessions while many others fall under her spell. The witch hunt is only stopped once it became clear to a superior that she was zealously pursuing the investigation, in the absence of evidence, for personal reasons.
It struck me that there are a few similarities between the issue covered by this episode and the current political climate in the UK and how the Houses of Parliament are dealing with the Digital Economy Bill (link to Twitter search on the topic, some very relevant responses).
It’s already widely known that Sith Lord Mandelson now believes that internet users are all criminal scum who download pirated music, games, films, terrorist device plans and spread evil gossip and misinformation about this control freak government. He believes that the bedrock of British Law, the concept of innocent until proven guilty, should not apply to internet users such as you and me. Merely a whisper of an allegation should be enough to get sanctions taken against people. No trial, so no due legal process before a judge. That is what New Labour stands for.