Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Britannia regains her pride...

The LibDems report on the proposed programme for the new coalition government.

Under Civil Liberties
"The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.


This will include:
  • A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.
  • The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.
  • Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
  • The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
  • Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
  • The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
  • The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
  • The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
  • Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
  • Further regulation of CCTV.
  • Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.
  • A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences."
More commentary at Heresy Corner.

Can we get Habeus Corpus back too....?

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Big boost in online income for UK Music

(resurrected from my drafts folder...)
PRS for Music - the UK Performing Rights Society has reported on their income for 2009.  It's timely as UK MPs prepare to vote on Digital Britain's future to see what dire warnings it gives about the state of music today... what with all that piracy and all....

So what do we find?
  • income from digital music downloads is up by over 70%
  • income from performances is up by 2,5%
  • income from overseas is up 19%
  • income from recorded media is down 8,7%
  • the rise in income from downloads exceeds the drop in CD sales for the first time.
 It underlines two themes that have been seen before.... that income from live music will be an increasingly important part of an artist's - or songwriter's - income -  and that the music industry needs to provide good commercially attractive online offerings if they want to capture the interest of online music consumers.

Napster was a  decade ago... Did it have to take this long?

Piratpartiet & The Pirate Party -  Make your voice heard.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Britain falls into the democracy gap

Another UK election, and this time it's clearer than ever that first past the post system really doesn't deliver a democratic result. That anyone can defend a political system that delivers such skewed results frankly beggars belief.

Skewed? Well lets see now... The Libdems polled over one fifth of the vote and received about one in twelve of the seats in the house (57) - about 75 seats short of the number that they might expect. Labour's extra six or so percent brought them an additional 200 seats. If it happened in the Ukraine there would be protests on the streets....

Britain though is more worried about a hung parliament. It's better, apparently, to put up with a flawed and biased electoral system than to contemplate that politicians might, perish the thought, be required to co-operate and find what is actually in the national interest.

Language speaks volumes. The very phrase, the Opposition, defines an adversarial role across the benches. Some good old fashioned compromise will do them good...

Whoever ends up wooing the liberal democrats to form a government will do something quite unusual for modern times and actually have a government that represents the majority of the electorate - something that neither the Labour party or the Tories have a habit of achieving in their own right, regardless of how crushing a majority they have in the house. That makes this hung parliament the most legitimate form of representative government in modern times. Is that something to be scared about?

It is at times like these that the 'others' come into thier own - and yes, if you need their support they are going to expect sometrhing in return... but if you can't find a majority of members to support you without those concessions maybe you should wonder if your policy is really what the best thing for the country?