Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tom Watson's Internet Pledge

As you know, Labour's Tom Watson and I have had our, ahem, differences in the past. But I do think the initiative he has announced on his blog is a good one and one which other candidates might like to adopt on other subjects.

Last week Watson was one of the few Labour MPs to vote against the Digital Economy Bill. He's now seeking endorsement from his West Bromwich constituents for a ten point "digital pledge", and asking people on his blog what they think of it before he puts it into a leaflet, which will then be delivered throughout his constituency.

He's clearly setting himself up as the MP for the Internet. Every MP should have one or two areas of specialisation and it could well be a good idea for them to share them with their constituents before they face them at the ballot box.

1 comment:

iCowboy said...

Watson wasn't just one of the few Labour MPs to vote against the bill, he was one of the few MPs of either major party to vote against it. The Conservatives whole-heartedly supported the more draconian elements of a bill dreamt up by the media industry. Their performance was shameful to put it mildly with Ed Vaizey looking only just stupid than Steven Timms as the chamber debated issues that its clear almost no one understood.

The Tories backed legislation that allows people to be disconnected on nothing more than allegations; they gave their support to a law that allows the secretary of state to ban entire Web sites on the grounds that they might at some time in the future be used to hold information that may breach copyright, and they gave the secretary of state the power to amend copyright law as they see fit without recourse to Parliament.

In the same week, the Tories also refused to stand firm on removing DNA of innocent people from databases because otherwise they might be perceived to look week on crime.

It's not been a great week for their principles or their commitment to freedom of expression. Lucky for them they had the argument over NI to distract attention from their cowardice.