New politics?

Posted on 20/05/2010


With a well hung parliament, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about politics and our power to change things. It’s not like I’ve become a political activist overnight, but considering how little attention I’ve paid over the  past 4 years, things are definitely looking up.

This blog for example. When I started out I imagined it being a place to write about all the entertaining gimmicks I’d found online, ideas I’ve had or even some kind of social commentary. I’m surprised at how engaged I’ve been and how little attention I’ve paid to all these blog ideas. They just feel a bit trivial now.

As well as the Institute of Ideas, I’ve also been getting involved with a London-based charity Worldwrite and their sister organisation Worldbytes. Until recently their motto was something like “a Ferrari for everyone”, and I’m fairly sure they still think that. They’re very: 1) humanist, 2) progressive, and 3) arguementative.

I’m not sure where I am in relation to humanism; I’m probably only slightly progressive; BUT I love a good debate! Whatever their personal/ collective values, they do an incredible job at engaging people politically and enlivening discussions. I’m asking more questions of myself and other people. Even if none of them are answered, I’m just glad to be restless with how things are.

Slight tangent

It’s not exactly proof of democracy in action, and nor does it show that anyone listened to my views. I don’t even know who it was written by. But it’s a response.

Back in April I wrote letters to Lynne Featherstone (still MP for Hornsey and Wood Green) and Lord Clement-Jones about the Digital Economy Bill. Here’s what Lord Clement Jones replied:

Many thanks for your email.

The Digital Economy Bill has now  passed into law.  We have been highly
critical about the so called  "wash-up" process which has enabled this
Bill to pass with limited  Parliamentary scrutiny in the Commons before
the General Election.   The "wash-up" of the Digital Economy Bill was
essentially a carve up  between the Labour and Conservative parties that
ignored Liberal  Democrat arguments to consult more widely before
introducing a  measure to introduce web-blocking for copyright
infringement.   Liberal Democrats voted against the Bill at 3rd Reading
in the House  of Commons and against the Labour and Conservatives
web-blocking  amendment in the House of Lords.

Liberal Democrats remain to be  convinced about the necessity for
technical measures, which could  include disconnection from the internet.
We believe that technical  measures should only ever be introduced
following a rigorous and  thorough analysis into their necessity.
Liberal Democrats were  successful in getting the Government to agree to
a period of at least  a year before the results of any such analysis can
be used by  Government to bring forward technical measures. 

The Liberal  Democrats plan to establish a party working group to look
into  further detail about the issues raised by the Bill and I hope you
will  give evidence to it.

Thank you once again for writing to me.

Best  Wishes

Tim Clement-Jones