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Friday, June 15, 2012

Time to make a stand

Having now established the idea that Liberal Democrats in Government are not bound by the normal conventions of collective responsibility, the perfect opportunity has presented itself for the party to make a stand and force a change in government policy.

It is possible of course that we can do it the conventional way, in private in the hallowed corridors of power, but if that proves to be impractical then I believe that the party has a duty to oppose Home Secretary, Therese May's plans to require companies to hold details of phone and internet use for 12 months.

The Independent points out that taxpayers will face a bill of up to £2.5bn for this so-called “snoopers charter” giving police, the security services and tax officials the power to track emails, website visits and mobile phone calls.

Cambridge Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert, certainly has “lots of concerns” about the draft Bill:

He said: “It allows data collection exercises that are perfectly reasonable – but would also allow pervasive black boxes that would monitor every online information flow; an idea which is clearly unacceptable. This must be tightened up urgently.”

As a Liberal my every instinct tells me that this is a wrong approach to the issue. Surely the party's MPs feel the same way. It really is time to make a stand. After all, if we can do it on Jeremy Hunt then we can do it here.
I agree with you Peter on the need to oppose this 'big brother' style bill. It’s a disgrace.

I'm not sure I have much confidence the Lib Dems will make a difference. Frankly abstaining isn't 'taking a stand' it’s withdrawing yourself from the debate, while attempting to withdraw yourself from responsibility.

Hopefully you will be able to convince your Westminster colleagues that abstaining isn't good enough and if there is real opposition they should vote against the proposals.
Abstaining was the right thing to do on Jeremy Hunt but not on this bill. I am hoping that we can get it sufficiently watered down within government before it comes to a vote.
The amount of leaks going on, one would expect policy makers to re-think this.
It serves a purpose for terrorists but the whole nation should not be under scrutiny.
Their is other powers to be at work, the expansion of the state, the expansion of the surveillance industry and this law will do more damage than good.
The 'Techno Neurosis' will only expand rather than recede
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