Another letter to my MP, Jim Down, about the 3rd Reading of the Digital Economy Bill

I’ve just watched 6 hours of live debate from Parliament. I can’t remember the last time I watched 6 hours of anything. Some of it was riveting, some of it was appalling. Major respect to those MPs who had REALLY done their homework and stepped up to the task of debunking some of the nonsense in the Bill.

As far as I’m aware, my MP Jim Dowd wasn’t there. I don’t know why – he may have  a really good (professional or personal) reason for not attending. But I’ve written to him again asking him to turn up tomorrow to the 3rd reading and oppose it.

Here’s the email –

Hi Jim,

were you in the Digital Economy Bill debate today? I didn’t see you on the live feed (which I watched for about 6 hours), but I wasn’t actually writing down names.

If you weren’t, and didn’t have a water-tight excuse, I’m sorely disappointed that you chose to forgo the chance to be a part of what is a vital piece of legislation, and one that desperately needs more consideration. Your colleagues Tom Watson, Eric Joyce, Fiona McTaggart and Austin Mitchell, as well as John Redwood, put fantastic cases in favour of scrapping the bill in its present form. They demonstrated a remarkable knowledge of both the technical and cultural workings of the internet, as well as a really strong grasp of the relationship between legislation and behaviour online, and also the blatant fabrication of the BPI/DCMS figures on ‘lost revenue’ to ‘illegal file sharing’.

I’m disappointed that you weren’t there to lend your voice, to represent those of us who rely heavily on the internet for our businesses, and for whom large parts of the digital economy bill have very negative consequences.

Please assure me you’re going to show up for the 3rd reading and make sure this ill-thought out piece of lobby-driven nonsense won’t get rushed through before the General Election.


Steve Lawson

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  1. brill letter… may I send it to my mp too? you write what I think much better than I do. but that is illegal init, so I will just send her the link. problem is I don’t think she knows how to click on a link, she gets her emails on dead trees. hmm.

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