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British Coalition Partner Attempts to Block Web Censorship Powers

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the lib-dem-redacted-redacted-regrets-his-redacted-decision dept.

Government 58

judgecorp writes "The Liberal Democrat party is attempting to repeal the controversial web-blocking powers allowed by Britain's Digital Economy Act. The move goes against the policy of the coalition government, and the tactic chosen is a roundabout one: Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert proposed an amendment to a different bill which would have had the effect of repealing parts of the DEA. The amendment was not discussed, but the proposal is a sign that the Lib Dems mean business on this policy, adopted at their party conference."

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About bloody time (2)

EdZ (755139) | about 3 years ago | (#37689462)

Well, let's see if the Lib Dems can keep at least one of their pre-election promises. Not holding my breath though.

Re:About bloody time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689490)

The libs have actually done quite a lot of their pre-election promises, it's just the the mainstream media only focus on the tuition fees and other things that didn't quite go their way.

(full disclosure: I'm actually a Tory voter)

Re:About bloody time (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about 3 years ago | (#37689566)

I think the "full disclosure" is a bit unnecessary when you post AC. Fair enough if you use AC to confess a BNP vote but Tory is no big deal. Well, unless you're in Scotland that is.

Re:About bloody time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689690)

People need to post AC if they have mod powers.
If they don't, they nullify said powers for this entire article.
At least, last I checked, I haven't bothered logging on in... oh, a long time now.

Re:About bloody time (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about 3 years ago | (#37689854)

Hadn't thought of that.

*looks at mod points spent on article*

Yeah, that must be it...

Re:About bloody time (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 3 years ago | (#37693202)

but Tory is no big deal. Well, unless you're in Scotland that is.

aye it's a hanging offence up here!....LOL

Re:About bloody time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37694996)

Funny how things change. In 1955, Scotland overwhelmingly voted Tory.

Re:About bloody time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37696008)

I'm the original AC - I put the full disclosure bit as I thought I ought to identify myself as a Tory not because I think it's a bad thing (if I did I wouldn't vote for them!) but so that I wouldn't come across as a staunch liberal supporter who was just towing the party line.

Re:About bloody time (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 3 years ago | (#37692380)

And in fairness, Julian Huppert (my local MP) actually voted as he promised he would on the tuition fees issue, rebelling against the official coalition policy. Perhaps that was enlightened self-interest, since his constituency is Cambridge, where there is a small university you may have heard of (and in fact a second university as well). Still, he's one of the few MPs who has a serious background in science and appears to want to see relevant evidence before forming policies. While I don't agree with him on everything, he does seem to be basically a decent guy so far.

Re:About bloody time (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 3 years ago | (#37689520)

Doubtful. Nick Clegg has proven time and time again that, since forming the coalition, he is nothing but a lapdog. If the coalition are gonna hurt this bill it will need the full backing of the Tories.

Re:About bloody time (3, Insightful)

Vanders (110092) | about 3 years ago | (#37689672)

I'm not sure what people expect from the Liberal Democrats. Some sort of Night of the Long Knives where Nick Clegg eliminates both the Conservatives and Labour and declares himself Supreme Leader?

Re:About bloody time (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 3 years ago | (#37689694)

yeah, that took about ten seconds on rmorf... (gawd, anyone else still use that??)

Re:About bloody time (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37689826)

They expected that a party with 40% of the seats controlled by the coalition would be the dominant force in policy making,would not have to make any compromises, and would be able to do everything that they said in their manifesto that they would do if they had a majority. The fact that they haven't done this is very disappointing to a lot of people. It also doesn't help that the labour press blame the Lib Dems and Tories equally for bad things, while the Tory press blames the Lib Dems for everything bad that the coalition does and praises the Tories for everything good.

Re:About bloody time (4, Insightful)

Vanders (110092) | about 3 years ago | (#37689982)

not have to make any compromises

Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

would be able to do everything that they said in their manifesto that they would do if they had a majority

Why in the world would anyone with half a brain expect such a thing? They have 40% of the votes in the coalition. They have 9% of the seats in the House of Commons. How, precisely, do you expect the Liberal Democrats to do this without support from either the Conservatives or Labour? Bearing in mind that apparently they're also not allowed to compromise.

People expect magic. It's the same mind set of people who blame the President of the United States for absolutely everything but never question what the Senate or HoR are doing.

Re:About bloody time (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37690138)

not have to make any compromises

Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

would be able to do everything that they said in their manifesto that they would do if they had a majority

Why in the world would anyone with half a brain expect such a thing? They have 40% of the votes in the coalition. They have 9% of the seats in the House of Commons. How, precisely, do you expect the Liberal Democrats to do this without support from either the Conservatives or Labour? Bearing in mind that apparently they're also not allowed to compromise. People expect magic. It's the same mind set of people who blame the President of the United States for absolutely everything but never question what the Senate or HoR are doing.

[Whoosh]

Re:About bloody time (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37690658)

Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

No, but then I would expect people to read my post and the context in which it was written before posting a reply, meaning that I seem to have unreasonably high expectations...

Re:About bloody time (1)

Vanders (110092) | about 3 years ago | (#37691070)

Subtle sarcasm doesn't carry well on the internet. If it makes you feel less pained by my post, replace "you" with "people".

Re:About bloody time (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 years ago | (#37699850)

Wait: you seriously expect a party that is part of a coalition to not make compromises?

No, but the Lib Dems have a choice here. No-one forced them into a coalition and the people who voted for them have a right to expect some of their major policies to at least influence what the government is doing. The simple fact is not a single one got anywhere.

In fact tuition fees, fairer taxes and electoral reform* swung very far in the opposite direction, demonstrating that the Lib Dems don't have any real influence what so ever. You can bet that despite Clegg saying that the Human Rights Act was here to stay that within a year it will be substantially reformed and watered down. The 50p tax rate is doomed too.

How, precisely, do you expect the Liberal Democrats to do this without support from either the Conservatives or Labour?

Bargaining. The Torys need them. They can block any policy by not voting for it. Unfortunately they seems to have signed away all their chips with the coalition agreement, but even now they could simply say "we will not support this unless you support one of our policies".

* I;m not just talking about losing the referendum, but the fact that terms were fixed at 5 years instead of the usual 4.

Re:About bloody time (1)

m50d (797211) | about 3 years ago | (#37691620)

Dropping some manifesto promises in the interests of the coalition: OK. Violating one's personal pledge never to vote for a given policy: not OK.

Re:About bloody time (3, Insightful)

expat.iain (1337021) | about 3 years ago | (#37689676)

I would suggest that the LibDems, like the Tories, have come into service of the nation only to discover the barren waste left by the Labour administration. It's all well and good having grand plans, but when one peers inside to find the coffers empty through abysmal mis-management, it's difficult to step forward with increased spending plans without looking completely nuts.

Clegg and his bunch are in a very difficult situation where they need to keep some stability in the country by not having an early election called that could potentially bring Miliband into government. At the same time they need to keep the Right in check and ensure that some Liberal views are represented. The key to all of this mess is to get the country back on its feet before the Reds are able to get close to another attempt at drowning the UK.

There's always horse trading in politics and this is one area that it would be very surprising to see the Liberals allow to pass through.

Re:About bloody time (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | about 3 years ago | (#37689878)

Yes, I agree it is quite a job they have taken upon themselves, and showing enough results to keep the public confidence will be difficult. However, certain things that Clegg swore he would provide, he has gone against, such as the student fees (not saying I was for or against that, just that he really went against his own word on that one). I think the general public has lost all faith in the LD, which is dangerous in turn because it took both Tory and LD votes to make the coalition, and if lost LD votes go to Labour we could very well be looking at Mr Miliband in a few years' time.

Re:About bloody time (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37690378)

Yes, I agree it is quite a job they have taken upon themselves, and showing enough results to keep the public confidence will be difficult. However, certain things that Clegg swore he would provide, he has gone against, such as the student fees

If the LibDems had ended up with a majority he might have been able to deliver on that promise. They didn't, so it was not within their power to keep all their promises. The coalition agreement decided which promises stayed and which had to go, and once that agreement was made he was right to stick by it rather than break the coalition over something he had previously agreed to. If it wasn't tuition fees they would have to have compromised on some other promise or promises instead of comparable significance, and folks would be complaining about those broken promises. I think you are right, though, that the public doesn't see it that way and will give the LibDems a hard time at the next election, which is a pity. Whatever you think they'd be like in (sole) government, in coalition they do have the effect of knocking some of the nastier edges off Tory policy, and in coalition with Labour would knock some of the crazier edges off.

The coalition agreement is why I think that the attempt to block the web censorship powers is a bad thing. It would be good it it went through, but it's against agreed policy so it's got no real chance of going through and will just sour relations within the coalition.

Re:About bloody time (1)

RDW (41497) | about 3 years ago | (#37692172)

If the LibDems had ended up with a majority he might have been able to deliver on that promise. They didn't, so it was not within their power to keep all their promises.The coalition agreement decided which promises stayed and which had to go, and once that agreement was made he was right to stick by it rather than break the coalition over something he had previously agreed to.

Yes, much better to break the promises they made to the voters rather than those they made to their coalition 'partners'. After all, the voters are never likely to give them any significant power in their own right (especially now); only their new friends can do that. And no matter that the solemn pledge signed by every elected LibDem MP ('I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative'), and which many voters were naive enough to take literally, did not require (or assume) they'd be in power, just that they'd use their votes against such an increase. Power, after all, is much more important than worrying about the trivial concerns of voters, especially Power wielded purely in the Public Interest in These Difficult Times.

Re:About bloody time (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37692420)

Yes, much better to break the promises they made to the voters rather than those they made to their coalition 'partners'.

The choice is to fail to deliver on all of their promises (by not going into coalition) or fail to deliver on just some of them (by going into coalition). I know which I think is better (and yes, more honourable). If the voters had elected them to government then they might have been able to keep all of their promises, but the voters didn't give them that option. As somebody else has pointed out, they have managed to get over 60% of their policies into government policy with only 9% of the seats, which is a pretty spectacular performance. But you are moaning that you are not represented because it's not 100%? Oh, please...

Re:About bloody time (1)

RDW (41497) | about 3 years ago | (#37693866)

What proportion of this '60% of their policies' falls into the category of 'stuff the Tories were going to do anyway'?:

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/aposcommon%2Bgroundapos%2Band%2Bconflict%2Bbetween%2Bparties/3641187.html [channel4.com]

Allowing David Cameron to honour his own manifesto promises is hardly a 'spectacular' result, just a natural consequence of coalition. The Lib Dems are thrown the occasional bone to keep the rump of their core support happy, but in most of the important areas of disagreement the view of the senior partners has, quite predictably, prevailed.

The tuition fee debacle is something of a special case. This was not just a manifesto promise that might reasonably be taken with a pinch of salt, but a flagship issue that was, uniquely, the subject of a personal pledge made by every candidate to vote in a specific way. Nobody expected the Lib Dems to actually form a government by themselves and implement this policy unilaterally, but quite a lot of people really believed their own MPs would stick to their guns on this issue (which an honourable minority did). In university towns it would have been a significant vote winner. Of course we now know the party leadership had absolutely no intention of keeping this promise if it proved a barrier to power:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/12/lib-dems-tuition-fees-clegg [guardian.co.uk]

Even by the standards of UK party politics, this is remarkably cynical.

Re:About bloody time (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37690250)

None of that ruin you describe should be a surprise to anyone. In fact the coalition members ran on the dire nature of the ruin. Note that Labour itself used ruin and liberal views to gain and keep power for a while.

British voters evidently recognize the ruins wrought by successive governments, are routinely alarmed, and typically elect people who are too. Usually people who offer a relatively (to their later actions) liberal response. People who then heap more ruin on the British. But of course not on all the British - some don't get ruin, but rather riches. They're even less surprised by al lthis.

Re:About bloody time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37690430)

The key to this is to get all the politicians and string them up by the necks. They are all controlled by the same banking clans so whichever colour rosette they wear it's all the same. Red, Blue, Yellow, Grey, Pink... Do you really think it makes any difference ?

If you do you must be 5 years old.

Re:About bloody time (4, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 3 years ago | (#37690302)

What do you expect? Lib Dems are outnumbered 6 to 1 by the Conservatives. I'm surprised at how much influence Clegg has had over the coalition when his party is a small part of the government.

Coalition math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37701674)

You can't look at coalitions like that. Coalition relations are a major subject of political science. One of the key questions is the alternative that the coalition parties have.

In this case, the conservatives have no believable alternative, but the LidDems might bet on a Labour-LibDem coalition after new elections. That means that the conservatives benefit more from stability of the current coalition, and will make concessions to keep the LibDems from defecting.

It would be another matter if the Tories had reasons to believe that they'd win a majority of their own at new elections, in which case the tables would suddenly be turned.

Re:About bloody time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689716)

Yeah, let's see if they can raise the income tax threshold, target funding towards schools with poorer pupils, set up a Green Investment Bank, scrap the National Identity Register, restore the state pensions/earnings link, etcetera.

The BBC Politics Show reckons that about two-thirds of the Lib Dem manifesto is going forward in Government. Looks like you can breath easily...

Something tells me this isn't going to happen... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 3 years ago | (#37689540)

...unless, for once Britain takes notice of what International observers are saying - that this Statutory violation of privacy, with no pretext needed, is against International Law and more to the point goes against Constitutional rights to privacy.

I would sure like to see them use such argument to keep themselves out of the papers for the wrong reasons, much as they use Constitutional privilege *now* to keep certain Parliamentary meetings behind closed doors - while at the same time claiming we in the UK *don't have a Constitution*. Reference to the British Constitution incorporating the Rights of the Subject, 1688, duly and willingly signed y William of Orange. We *do* have a written Constitution; Google it, it's out there.

Endnote: the precursor to Magna Carta, the Code of Alfred, was drafted in 870 at the behest and agreement of the King. Magna Carta was signed at the point of a sword, hence may well be invalid for that reason.

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (0)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37689744)

Britain noticed, it's just that Britain's political options make the US two-party system look like a buffet of wonder. The last election came down to a choice between two identical groups of socially conservative douchebags with indistinguishable policies, and a liberal party that hadn't won an election in decades. And then at the deciding, decisive moment, the liberal party decided to throw in with the capital-c Conservatives without consulting its voters or setting out any ground-rules. Great job, guys! I really feel represented!

No, I'm not bitter.

You're right to be bitter (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689856)

But the UK political options still make the US two-party system look like Stalinist Russia. There you have a choice between two extreme right wing parties, one with extra extreme.

Here you have a choice between several moderate right parties, with the extreme rightwingnut unable to get traction.

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37689926)

I feel represented. The Liberal Democrats are largely pushing policies I agree with, although they're limited by the government being bankrupt and the Tories having 3/5 of the seats that the coalition controls. My Labour MP (who I voted against) feels he has something to prove and has been very responsive since being elected. My Plaid Cymru MEP has been working hard to return IP laws to more sane levels.

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (2)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37690544)

And then at the deciding, decisive moment, the liberal party decided to throw in with the capital-c Conservatives without consulting its voters or setting out any ground-rules. Great job, guys! I really feel represented!

No, I'm not bitter.

Because Labour refused to enter a coalition with them, and the numbers wouldn't have added up anyway. And where do you get the idea that they didn't set down any ground rules? There's a formal coalition agreement [guardian.co.uk] setting down the ground rules.

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (1)

jecblackpepper (1160029) | about 3 years ago | (#37695822)

And then at the deciding, decisive moment, the liberal party decided to throw in with the capital-c Conservatives without consulting its voters or setting out any ground-rules.

You mean "without consulting" in the sense of, for example, holding a special party conference at the NEC to get approval from its party members before signing up to the coalition? If that's not consulting, I'm not sure what is.

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689792)

Challange excepted.

from wiki (first result after googling as suggested):

"Unlike many other nations, the UK has no single core constitutional document. In this sense, it is said not to have a written constitution but much of the British constitution is embodied in written documents, within statutes, court judgments, and treaties. The constitution has other unwritten sources, including parliamentary constitutional conventions and royal prerogatives."

so when we say we don't have a constitution, we don't in the sense that there's no single source of document. which leads us on to what our constitution actually is...

"the bedrock of the British constitution has traditionally been the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK's supreme and final source of law. It follows that Parliament can change the constitution simply by passing new Acts of Parliament."

so any "Constitutional Rights to Prvacy" would be those granted by the very parliment you're riling against.

as for the international laws you're claiming are being broken i can't be arsed to show you wrong as i suspect you are.

maybe back you stuff up with some acutal links next time.

Try again idiot boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37690080)

The Magna Carta is the first instrument of constitution. There are the Statutes that came later (1684, IIRC) that delineated much of the right to privacy. And the Statutes CANNOT be overruled by the Parliament, it requires the Crown accede to that statutes' removal.

You even stated yourself you'd found that there was no single document source.

Then issued a statement from one single source as the sole arbiter.

Hence: idiot boy

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37690364)

All royal definitions of power were signed at the point of a sword, directed one way or the other. The only reason there ever has been for their validity is violent consequences.

Or "that's the way we do it", and "we haven't changed it since we became a democratic republic". Some of the swords from history weren't even anything but imaginary, as "divine right" was enforced by pure superstition for many centuries.

They're all invalid, except while they're accepted by the consent of the governed.

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 3 years ago | (#37694286)

That's Statute, my friend - those Acts of Parliament forming Civil Law and the Criminal Code. Common Law has basis in the ancient documents such as the Code of Alfred (870), Magna Carta (1215, 1225, 1297 etc.), the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1688/9). Full executive power was granted in 1911 by the passing of the Parliament Act, to Parliament, by virtue of the fact that it did away with the requirement of a Monarch placing her Seal on an Act to pass it into Law. Thus, the House of Commons (the Lower House) now acts as the first Arbiter of the Civil Code, the House of Lords (the Upper House) as the final Arbiter and those with the final say in what does and doesn't get passed into Law. As I have heard it described, the Monarch since 1911 is nothing more than the World's most highly paid bellhop (referring to the fact that she held the door open for a visiting dignitary some while back and somehow the papers missed it!)

I'm using the term "Law" very loosely here. An Act of Parliament is still a Statute, both of which are differentiated by the Statutory Interpretation Act 1978 and I forget the other one, which was passed in 1830-something which makes a very specific distinction between the two when referring to Oxbridge ordinances. Common Law, on the other hand, is not specifically written in what is termed "black letter" (sometimes used when referring to Statute), but rather it is based on Case Law (decisions made by Judges in criminal and civil proceedings which may or may not support or be supported by Statute, or in some cases such as murder, even predate the Civil Code and/or recorded and available judicial decisions).

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37696082)

I know all that - though the world's richest woman has a lot more influence over Parliament than does a bellhop.

So? All of those "ancient documents" signed by various warlords were signed at the point of a sword. Whenever a sword wasn't pointed at the warlord to sign the document, the sword was pointed by the warlord as they signed the document.

If you're going to question the validity of the Magna Carta because its agreement by the king was coerced, you have to question every other royal agreement on the same basis.

Re:Something tells me this isn't going to happen.. (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37690480)

Yes, we have a constitution in the UK, but where do you find a provision on privacy that would be relevant in this case? For example, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights forms part of our constitution, but that only says "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation" (my emphasis). The government argues that this is not "arbitrary".

Transcript of second reading in Commons (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 3 years ago | (#37689554)

I'm on the 4th column [parliament.uk] at the moment, and so far all I've read are "Honourable Friends" thanking "right honourable Gentlemen" for introductions, support, thanking them for the thanks, offering support for other amendments which in turn gets further thanks for the support, and reciprocal thanks for their thanks!

Can't they just talk about sorting out these crappy laws instead of thanking each other?

Re:Transcript of second reading in Commons (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37689616)

If you were part of a club which gave you a huge wage and expenses account in exchange for arguing all day, you'd spend all morning high fiving the other members too.

Britain in a nutshel (1)

Teun (17872) | about 3 years ago | (#37690668)

Yes, Britain in a nutshell: self-congratulatory :)

Too late (2)

Cholten (253069) | about 3 years ago | (#37689580)

From the Open Rights Group's Glyn Wintle who sometimes gets stories posted on /.

++

They time ran out in parliament so they did not get to the digital economy act clause. So it will not make it into the bill.

Julian tweeted "Thanks all who contacted their MP about my #deact amendment; lots of MPs talked to me about it. Sadly, we'll have no time to debate it."
"So ... My #deact amendment wasn't reached in time, so wasn't taken. I'll keep looking for opportunities!"

The minister did say it would be

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2011-10-10a.80.0&s=Digital+Economy#g87.3

Dr Huppert mentioned the Digital Economy Act 2010. He will be aware that the Government announced in August that they did not intend to commence sections 17 and 18 of the Act. There might not be time to debate his new clause, but we are now working on a wide-scale review of the communications sector with a view to publishing a Green Paper by the spring of next year, and a draft Bill by mid-2013. Policy on tackling online copyright infringement, including site-blocking, is being considered as part of that review and, given our intention to conduct that wide-ranging review, it would be premature to act now to repeal sections 17 and 18 of the Act in isolation from any other legislative changes that might be needed.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2011/10/12/uk-government-to-review-deact-isp-website-blocking-as-part-of-new-comms-bill.html

There was also a ammendment that was not reached that said some thing about charging for data, that could be interesting if any one has time to look at what it was about.

Comparison... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37689600)

...an amendment to a different bill which would have had the effect of repealing parts of the DEA.

1. Law is put into effect.
2. New law is put into effect.
3. 'Prior fart' used to nullify 2.

Nice, people.

Re:Comparison... (1)

Megane (129182) | about 3 years ago | (#37690972)

3. 'Prior fart' used to nullify 2.

Ewwwww, who prior farted?

Re:Comparison... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37691030)

3. 'Prior fart' used to nullify 2.

Ewwwww, who prior farted?

Believe it or not, it was an intentional statement :)
And no, I didn't fart prior. Don't look at me! Stop it!!

hu wa? (4, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 3 years ago | (#37689692)

The Liberal Democratic party in the U.K. are actually Liberal Democrats? The colonies have soooo much to learn.

Re:hu wa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37691106)

The Toriesd co-opted Labour via Blair and New Labour, now the Liberal Democrats have been co-opted by Clegg. The Tories are of course co-opted by the US. There is now only one main party in the UK - the Tory Party. Thatcher was very rescient when she said "There is no alternative"

I'd never have thought a bunch of tory wankers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689696)

..would be trying to ban porn!

Re:I'd never have thought a bunch of tory wankers. (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37690596)

They are only trying to stop the plebs getting at it. They don't need the internet for their porn, they get it delivered in person.

Party Politics (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#37690144)

The "coalition" government in a parliamentary government is a group of parties, none of which gained a majority of seats, which agree to vote their seats together when the prime minister is elected from the candidates (each a parliament member). Together they pool into a majority that elects the prime minister, who is practically always a member of only one of the coalition's parties.

But there's no reason those parties should always vote together on every question in the parliament. In fact they should often, even usually, vote differently. If they always agreed, why remain separate parties? Likewise, they should often introduce legislation against the position of other coalition members, if they want to get what they want. Without their own votes, the rest of the coalition doesn't have a majority, therefore with their own votes the minority who voted against the PM they supported is the majority. In other words every party in a coalition is a swing vote, so it should have more power.

The fact that this kind of legislation introduction is remarkably rare shows how corrupting political parties are, in this case in the parliamentary model. In a parliament the parties are institutionally the power center, as parties pick the chief executive - the people do not. The parties conflict with both the democracy, interfering with the people choosing their representative in the prime minister, and with the republic, coercing parliament members into voting according to a party agenda instead of their constituents' interests.

Parties are private political clubs that take money and other things of value from interests who aren't constituents, or who are privileged constituents, to determine who is elected and what laws are passed. The institution is clearly a leading cause of bribery, secret betrayals, and other corruption. They should be exposed and outlawed, not institutionalized.

As George Washington warned [wikipedia.org] in his presidential farewell address [slashdot.org]

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, isi tself a frightful despotism. -- But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. -- The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of a Public Liberty.

        Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise People to discourage and restrain it.

        It serves always to distract the Public Councies, and enfeeble the Public administration -- It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection -- It opens the doors to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the Government itself through the channels of party passions. [...] Thus the policy and the will of one country, are subjected to the policy and will of another.

Re:Party Politics (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37690694)

But there's no reason those parties should always vote together on every question in the parliament. In fact they should often, even usually, vote differently. If they always agreed, why remain separate parties? Likewise, they should often introduce legislation against the position of other coalition members, if they want to get what they want.

Partly true. But they negotiated a joint position on most matters before they entered coalition, so although they disagree the horse-trading is already done. The Tories will grit their teeth and vote for a policy they hate because the LibDems have agreed to grit their teeth and vote for a policy they hate in exchange. So they vote against each other far less than their ideologies would suggest, not because they've abandoned their ideologies but because that's what being in coalition means.

Interestingly, the guy's a slahdotter (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37690328)

JulianHuppert [slashdot.org]

Re:Interestingly, the guy's a slahdotter (3, Informative)

julianhuppert (1004733) | about 3 years ago | (#37692326)

Yeah - but I very rarely have a chance to post!

Julian

fucK!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37691302)

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