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19,000 Emails Against and 0 In Favor of UK Draft Communications Bill 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-looks-close dept.
Qedward writes "Open source writer Glyn Moody discusses the Draft Communications Bill (aka Snooper's Charter) in the UK and how the Joint Parliamentary Committee that had been considering the bill received almost 19,000 emails during its consultation period. He notes: 'Out of 19,000 emails received by the Committee on the subject of the proposed Draft Communications Bill, not a single one was in favor of it, or even agreed with its premise. Has there ever been a bill so universally rejected by the public in a consultation? Clearly, it must be thrown out completely.'"
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19,000 Emails Against and 0 In Favor of UK Draft Communications Bill

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  • Re:Unfair comparison (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:53AM (#41628757)

    Isn't that rather the point of the article that there is obviously not much of a reason to support this bill.

  • by Altanar (56809) on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:12AM (#41628843)
    Emails to your representative can work [arstechnica.com].

    "When SOPA-PIPA blew up, it was a transformative event," said Dodd. "There were eight million e-mails [to elected representatives] in two days." That caused senators to run away from the legislation. "People were dropping their names as co-sponsors within minutes, not hours," he said.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:14AM (#41628855)

    I'm with Billy Connolly when he said that "the desire to be an MP [modify as appropriate for your jurisdiction] should automatically prevent you from becoming one."

    Isn't that more or less a rehash of Douglas Adams? "It is a well known fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. Anyone who is capable of getting themselves into a position of power should on no account be allowed to do the job."

  • Re:Unfair comparison (Score:4, Informative)

    by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:25AM (#41628903) Homepage

    But this bill is what we wanted. We voted the people in to government that are making this bill.

    I'm sure the government will use some bullshit excuse like this.

  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:37AM (#41628959) Journal

    Clearly, the submitter doesn't understand the purpose of a consulation in the UK if he thinks this will get the bill thrown out.

    The purpose of a public consultation is so that Westminster can tick a box saying "we had a public consultation". If the consultation is favourable, they additionally may say that a bill has public support. If a consultation is negative, the consultation is simply ignored. I've responded to a couple of these consultations and I shan't bother again because they were simply ignored despite volumes of correspondence voicing (often constructive) opposition.

    Perhaps a consultation won't be ignored if the majority of the comments are from marginal constituencies, but 19,000 voters can safely be totally ignored if not.

  • Unfortunately (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:52AM (#41629019) Journal

    As I already commented, consultations generally are to tick a box "we had a consultation" (not to pay any actual attention to the responses), furthermore the document from "JOINT COMMITTEE ON DRAFT COMMUNICATIONS DATA BILL" is already titled "WRITTEN EVIDENCE: SUMMARY OF CHAIN EMAILS" (sorry about caps, copy and pasting from the PDF). They note more than once that most of the emails are pro-forma and go onto mention it's from a political pressure group website. This means furthermore that the responses will be ignored.

    If you're ever responding to a European Union consultaiton, they say right up front that pro-forma responses will be ignored (at least they are honest) - so if you ever want the slightest chance that your response to an EU consultation then you have to write your concerns in your own words. I suspect Westminster is the same, they just don't come right out and say it.

    Therefore I'm even more pessimistic that anyone is going to pay the slightest bit of attention to this consultation - it will be full steam ahead for this awful bill.

  • Re:Unfair comparison (Score:5, Informative)

    by RaceProUK (1137575) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:49AM (#41629283)

    Not quite, but not that far off.

    The way it works is we all vote for an MP to represent us, then the party with the majority of MPs is (formally speaking) invited by the reigning monarch to form a government. If a majority isn't achieved (and the requirements vary a little depending on how the vote swings), then parties can team up as a coalition.

  • Re:Unfair comparison (Score:4, Informative)

    by Xest (935314) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:43AM (#41629591)

    We use First Past the Post in the UK, chances are your opinion doesn't matter to your local MP anyway because they more often than not get elected with less than a third of their constituents supporting them.

    AV would've fixed this to some degree because it would've forced MPs to be at least somewhat palatable to over half their constituency, but it still wouldn't have been led to truly representative governments. Unfortunately the Tories and Murdoch saw that any hope of them having to at least somewhat listen to most of their constituents was thrown out the window whilst hypocritically and hence nonsensically arguing against an actual proportional representation system with the excuse that they wanted an electoral system where the electorate had representatives, which is great, except most of us don't, because our MPs don't actually represent our views in the slightest. As such, the Tory argument was actually irrelevant to the vast majority of the population as a change from a system where you have a representative that doesn't give a fuck what you think, to a system where you don't have a representative at all, is absolutely no change at all.

    But here's the real irony, the referendum WAS proportional, and most of the UK's population was too dumb to see that if they wanted MPs that at least somewhat listened to them, that was their opportunity. Instead, over 2/3rds of the population decide they didn't want that, and hence gave their implicit blessing to the status quo - of having MPs that don't give a shit what the vast majority of the country thinks.

    So honestly, you can't even blame MPs, the electorate had their chance and threw it away, it's the electorates fault entirely for being so fucking dumb on average that MPs don't listen to them because the electorate voted to maintain a system where MPs don't have to listen to them.

    So don't blame the MPs, like most people they're doing their job in a way that best suits them, and the electorate gave them the blessing they required to carry on doing that.

  • Re:Unfair comparison (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @08:28AM (#41630065)

    Both the Conservatives and the Liberals were opposed to this proposal before the election when Labour called it the Interception Modernisation Program, and both campaigned against 'Labour's Surveillance State', yet when they were elected they simply renamed the IMP to CCDP and are now preparing to implement it with almost no changes from the previous governments proposal
    e.g. http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2009/09/Reversing_the_rise_of_the_surveillance_state.aspx

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