Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Nick Clegg ruined my blogging


I just published a blog post (80% written on the train this morning) about plans by the government to allow police to monitor the internet use of anyone and everyone without needing a warrant. But, because I was at work today, I wasn't able to finish and publish the blog post until this evening. Which means I have just found my entire blogpost made redundant by this piece of breaking news:

Web and email monitoring plans will not be rammed through, says Clegg

The article then goes on to say:
The government will not "ram legislation through Parliament" to increase monitoring of emails and web usage, Nick Clegg has said. 
The deputy prime minister said the proposals would be "published in draft" first to allow them to be debated. 
Earlier, the Home Office said it planned to "legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows".
Now, this can mean either that the government is kicking the proposals into the long grass or that they're going to slow down to try and placate critics but are still determined to get the proposals passed.

I'd like to hope it's the former, but Clegg and Lynne Featherstone have also been very defensive, and, come to that, misleading about what the proposals will mean. And, at the end of the day, there is no justification for a law which allows people to spy on you online without even needing a warrant.

So, I'm going to give Clegg and Co the benefit of doubt until the end of the week to firmly crush these proposals. It's obvious that the tories are gagging to pass this draconian legislation as soon as possible which is why it'll probably be politically impossible to kill this other than by kicking it into the long grass - but that's the bare minimum which Lib Dems should demand.

Incidentally, why do British Home Secretaries always look at countries like Iran and China as inspiration rather than examples of "how not to do it"? Just wondering...

But yeah, what pisses me off about this, even given the news announcement, is that Lib Dems had to yell so loudly about this before our leadership abruptly switched from supporting it to kicking it into the long grass - they really do seem to have gone completely native on a hell of a lot of fundamental issues.


  1. He made the announcement on World at One on radio 4 today.

    1. Yeah - but I only just found out about it.

  2. Full credit to the back bench Liberal (and some Tory) MPs who have kicked off about this.

    As you indicate, it should never have been a starter in a Liberal Democrat government, so the senior Libs in the team should have knocked it on the head before anyone even heard of it.

    Likewise credit to Clegg for his comments about private trials.

    Simply this is something that the Americans demand from the English courts, so that never again will evidence be given in open court about the misdeeds of the CIA. It was probably part of the quid pro quo for letting Cameron on Airforce 1, and tucking him up in the presidential bed.

    The Americans would be less likely to share secrets with Westminster if the liberals can block this. That's something that all British governments have fought to avoid since 1946. However, it suits me nicely.

    It is absolutely abominable that the English are even considering this.

  3. Nick Clegg ruined your party.

  4. Nick Clegg's favourite song.

    Its my party and Ile cry if I want to. :)


I'm indebted to Birkdale Focus for the following choice of words:

I am happy to address most contributions, even the drunken ones if they are coherent, but I am not going to engage with negative sniping from those who do not have the guts to add their names or a consistent on-line identity to their comments. Such postings will not be published.

Anonymous comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will continue to be posted. Libellous comments or remarks I think may be libellous will not be published.

I will also not tolerate personation so please do not add comments in the name of real people unless you are that person. If you do not like these rules then start your own blog.

Oh, and if you persist in repeating yourself despite the fact I have addressed your point I may get bored and reject your comment.

The views expressed in comments are those of the poster, not me.