UK LibDems pledge to repeal the Digital Economy Bill

Nick Clegg, leader of the UK Liberal Democrats party, has pledged to repeal the odious Digital Economy Act, which was rushed through without substantial debate before Parliament adjourned for the election. Time to start asking the other party leaders and MPs if they'll support the repeal of the DEAct and a revisiting of the issues from the bottom up:
Q: Will you reconsider the Digital Economy Bill considering the manner it was pushed through, without proper scrutiny, the lack of MPs in attendance at the Bill's hearing and also taking into account that some ministers have demonstrated considerable lack of technical knowledge on the consequences of the proposed legislation?

Nick Clegg's answer: "We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their internet connections cut off. It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited."

STUDENT QUESTION TIME - Nick Clegg answers your questions (Thanks, Glyn!)


  1. “We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment”

    All talk. If the Lib dems were against it, why did just about nobody in their party turn up to vote against it. Including my Lib Dem MP.

  2. I will support anyone who repeals the Digital Economy Act. So what a great thing it will be when we get our FREEDOM BACK!

  3. They let it slip through, and that was bad.

    But a pledge to repeal it, that’s good. That’s delicious and tasty.

  4. Given a hypothetical “benefit of the doubt” perhaps the Lib Dems did not turn up to vote because they all knew the Labour whips (and Tory music biz poodles) had ensured enough votes would be in the ‘aye’ lobby to make sure that any amount of Lib Dems voting against would still not have stopped it. But it’s just hypothetical – I have no data to hand re actual voting numbers.

  5. Pledge? What pledge??

    “It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited.”

    So that’s a commitment for who to do what exactly?

  6. Discount this.

    At this point in the election cycle Nick Clegg (and any of the rest of them) will say *anything* to get some positive exposure and maybe a couple of extra votes.

    They’ll promise us the moon until 6th May, then wipe themselves off on the curtains and swagger out leaving the electorate soiled and used, just as they always do.

    Manifesto and election pledges are not legally binding in the UK. They’re nothing but a wishlist.

  7. Don’t believe a word of it. They had their chance to stop it, but were too busy electioneering to carry out their duties as elected representatives of the public. And now the campaign’s underway, and surprise surprise, here’s a politician making an empty promise to look at something once elected.

    It’s falling for this sort of nonsense that gives us the government we deserve.

  8. @george57l

    I spoke to a number of Lib Dem MPs and that was exactly the case. Due to the smaller size of the party, anybody outside the main representatives i.e. Don Foster would not have had opportuity to debate at the final reading.

    The whips were indeed out in force for LabCon and any Lib Dem vote would’ve been futile.

  9. As has been said the Lab/Con whips were out to ensure any LibDem motions would be defeated so there was no option but to concede as the effort is much better spent on the campaign trail where you can see the LibDems coming up strongly.
    The LDs are in favour of repeal of the DEAct HOWEVER please remember that if there is a hung parliament and coalition government then there will have to be horse trading over which policies from each partner are enacted. I hope that repeal of the DEAct is one of the lines in the sand for the LibDems but I do not know.
    The manifesto pledge is that if in power (as an absolute majority) it would be repealed, in coalition unfortunately everything is up for grabs, at the top of the LibDem wish list will be Proportional Representation, no income tax below £10k and action on tuition fees (at least that is my guess I am a LibDem council candidate) whether we can get this as well as action on the DEa depends on Lib Dem seats.
    But bear in mind the other parties are happy with the act. Only the Lib Dems give you a possibility of changing the Act. The more seats we have the stronger our bargaining position in the coalition government

  10. Just one thing, the power of Social networking will greatly influence the votes this time round. The people are finally in control as we are all connected through someone.

  11. LibDem Lords had a big part in forming this draconian legislation, in the interest of their big business pals — the major instigators were both corporate lawyers who sepnt years representing the interests of the likes of corporations intent on stamping on people who engaged in the human instinct to share things, rather than demand payment for everything.
    These 2 Lords introduced Clause 18, which aimed at banning websites, even some that merely provided links to material that might violate somebody’s copyright. This went too far even for the government, but they were outvoted by the many rich Lords representing their corporate pals.
    Only when the damage was done, when the Bill was largely formed and ready to be rushed through the House of Commons, did Liberal leaders hastily backtrack after protest from grassroots members.
    Clegg’s party was as 2-faced, maybe even more so, than the other parties. It resulted from a merger of free market liberals and wet socialists; those 2 distinct wings remained, with deep divisisons below their opportunistic surface.
    Kennedy, Cable and their ilk were social democrats, Clegg, Campbell, Ashdown were liberal free-marketeers.
    They put on their right of centre face in their south-western heartland — which the Tories need to take back to win — leftist face in those northern areas where they’ve made inroads into Labourland.

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