Nick Clegg wants to ditch Digital Economy Bill... or does he?
A while ago, we told you about the Liberal Democrats being a bit simple minded when tackling the Digital Economy Bill. Clegg & Co. wanted an amendment in the bill that would allow national web-censorship and, worse still, in a leaked document, suggested that the party were taking orders from the British Phonographic Institute.
Essentially, the recording industry told the LibDems what to say and essentially, wrote their proposal for them.
On the back of a good performance in the televised leadership debate, Clegg is going all out for a charm offensive by saying that he wants the Digital Economy Bill to be "repealed".
Says Clegg: "We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their internet connections cut off."
"It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited."
It seems that everyone is in agreement that the LibDems have always opposed the controversial bill, despite the fact it was LibDem lords who pushed for a clause to be inserted which stated that "The High Court shall have power to grant an injunction against a service provider, requiring it to prevent access to online locations specified in the order of the Court.”
It's obvious that the Digital Economy Bill could be a real vote will in the lead up to the election, with many of the first-time voters being far more interested in their rights online as opposed to fiscal promises and foreign policy. They want tunes and YouTube.
However, the Guardian was contacted by the party who wanted to clarify Clegg's call to repeal this bill, saying that "most of the bill" is welcome... they just don't like the idea of cutting off people's internet. The Lib Dems would "take it off the statue book and replace it with something better".
The Lib Dems are playing the indignant card on this and stating that they wanted a more thorough debate on the whole thing, despite the fact only a quarter of the MPs attended the debate itself. There's something fishy about all of this and to my mind, it reeks of electioneering.
What do you think?