Saturday, 19 July 2014

Drip vote shows the need for a "Progressive Alliance" at Westminster.

This week’s use of fear tactics to force through the DRIP snooping laws has led to question on who stands up for democracy and civil liberates

This was  important legislation, affecting all of our lives, being shoved through using an Orwellian nightmare masquerading as a state ‘emergency’. 

As Mike Harris in the Independent put it

The official line from the three party leaders is the emergency legislation to be pushed through by the Executive with the collaboration of Her Majesty's Opposition next week, is merely the continuation of the “status quo” on surveillance. No new measures, they say, and some new safeguards too. What we are being led to believe is that a brave Nick Clegg faced down calls for a new Communications Data Bill (the Snooper's Charter) and this legislation is merely a tidying up exercise.

It's a nonsense. Our hard-fought-for liberties are being eroded by a cozy consensus not within the political parties, but by Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron alone, who, fearing public opinion, are bending over backwards to accommodate the wishes of a clique in the Home Office. Make no mistake, the legislation that will be railroaded through parliament next week is a “diet” Communications Data Billwhich grants the government more power than before to request data from across the globe. None of the safeguards, with the exception of the sunset clause, are actually in the Bill. We have to take the word of the party leaders these safeguards will actually be implemented. It's not even clear if the sunset clause (ending the legislation on 31 December 2016) is worth a jot. It's possible what is called a statutory instrument, a mini amendment, could delete the clause and extend the legislation forever without even a full vote by our parliamentarians.
It is frighting that the three main party leaders can agree to push through such legislation without any form of scrutiny.

Of course their argument is always 

If You Have Nothing to Hide, You Have Nothing to Fear
Well you always have something to fear , especially from people who use the above to back up up their attack on individual liberties.

The 51 MPs who voted against this from Another Angry Voice

Diane Abbott (Labour)Steve Baker (Tory
Clive Betts (Labour)
Brian Binley (Tory
Peter Bone (Tory
NicK Brown (Labour
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Jim Cunningham (Labour)
Philip Davies  (Tory
David Davis (Tory
Nick de Bois (Tory

Nadine Dorries (Tory
Mark Durkan (SDLP)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid)
Robert Flello (Labour)
Hywel Francis (Labour)
Roger Godsiff (Labour)
Duncan Hames (Lib-Dem)
Dai Havard (Labour)
David Heath (Lib-Dem)
John Hemming (Lib-Dem)
Kate Hoey (Labour
Philip Hollobone (Tory
Kelvin Hopkins (Labour)
Stewart Hosie (SNP)
Ian Lavery (Labour)
Mark Lazarowicz (Labour)
Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid
Naomi Long (Alliance)
Caroline Lucas (Green
Angus MacNeil (SNP)
Alisdair McDonnell (SDLP)
John McDonnell  (Labour
Michael Meacher (Labour)
Nigel Mills (Tory
Grahame Morris (Labour)
George Mudie (Labour)
Linda Riordan (Labour)
Margaret Ritchie (SDLP)
Angus Robertson (SNP)
Adrian Sanders  (Lib-Dem
Dennis Skinner  (Labour
Andrew Smith (Labour)
Andrew Turner (Tory
Tom Watson (Labour)
Mike Weir (SNP)
Eilidh Whiteford (SNP)  
Hywel Williams (Plaid)
Sammy Wilson (DUP)
David Winnick (Labour)
Pete Wishart (SNP)

Paul Flynn seems absent from this list so did he vote Yes?
If we break down this vote by party we can see which the true opposition parties are, and which are the parties of the establishment with just a tiny minority of non-conformist MPs.
The representatives of five parties voted unanimously against these measures. All six SNP MPs voted against, along with all three Plaid Cymru MPs, all three from the SDLP, and the only Alliance MP voted against, as did Caroline Lucas of the Green party, making them the only party which stands representatives in English constituencies to vote against this bill.

Does this not point out that with thew Prospect of a  Hang parliament the Greens ,SNP (if Scotland votes NO) Plaid and the SDLP should seriously consider forming a formal Progressive Alliance.

With over 15 MPs they could  speak together on such Legislation pushing forward a message for those who are being let down by the three major parties.

It is clear that now the LibDems have abandoned all Progressive Ideas in return for siting on the Government front bench  and Ed Miliband clearly in his pursuit of "Middle England" .

This week has shown that after the next General election the Parties who still have a backbone and are prepared to stand up for Human Rights and Civil liberties  will have to get together  to give a voice to those of us who stil value them

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