Thursday, 5 May 2016

#IPBill commons committee stage... Was it worth it?

Looking at the report here, I see almost entirely typographical or grammatical changes and nothing else.

These include serious changes like:-


And perhaps the most meaningful change I can see is:-


I know there were many proposed changes (I help draft one) that would actually impact meaning. I see almost nothing that does that.

The Lords have their job cut out for them now.

P.S. I was a bit confused as the date is April, but no, this is the changes released start of May...

4 comments:

  1. It's complete bullshit. No matter how important some of the points raised were, the committee essentially voted the same way each time.

    On a completely unrelated note, if you provided a service similar to BT Infinity Unlimited at comparable prices, and were not subject to spying bullshit, you would instantly win my custom. Though given that you don't currently operate such a service, this strongly implies you don't want customers like myself on your network, which is of course entirely fair.

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    1. We do FTTC and terabyte monthly download, not the same price. And even with no monitoring in our network people need to work in the assumption that there is monitoring somewhere and work towards end to end encryption.

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  2. You aren't confused, but I think you may not have appreciated a few aspects of how this process tends to work and why you wouldn't expect to have seen substantial changes yet.

    1. If the govt is going to give way on a point, it wouldn't normally just accept opposition amendments which have been inexpertly drafted. The normal course would be for the government to get Parliamentary Counsel to draft something similar and then table that amendment themselves. Sometimes the wording will be agreed with opposition parties behind the scenes. Sometimes the govt will suggest draft changes or work with the opposition so that the opposition can table an amendment that is better drafted. Sometimes amendments drafted by the government are 'handed out' to the opposition or backbenchers.

    2. Before a Bill is introduced, the lead department has to write round all other departments and get clearance for it. The same is then true for every policy change. So even if an opposition amendment was tabled in Committee and the government thought 'oh, fair enough' the Minister can't accept it there and then. That's part of the reason you get Ministers agreeing to consider things.

    3. Big concessions will normally get made in Parliament proper rather than Committee. That's because it will attract more than in Committee which (with respect) few people follow. Both the government and the opposition usually like concessions to get publicity - because the government gets to look reasonable and the opposition gets to look as if they have secured a few wins.

    The result of all this is that if changes are to be made in the first house, you would expect them to be at report stage. The changes made so far are just the government fixing typos and mistakes that they've noticed.


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    1. Whilst I don't doubt that your knowledge of parliamentary protocul and procedures is flawless, I would ask "what opposition?" Some would say we don't have one, full stop, but if the Labour Party is officially opposing the IP Bill I must have missed the news. The only parliamentary opposition that I can see comes from a few sporadic MPs from all parties and I can't see the government bothering to appease them when they know they will get official cross party support for the bill as it stands. I'm sure the shadow cabinet are secretly delighted with the bill as they will have intrusive spying powers when next in government and would have tried to pass something similar had they won the last election. All power corrupts and the corrupted will always seek ever greater powers.

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