Vote on Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, Tuesday 2 December

Ms Meg Hillier MP House of Commons London SW1A0AA

Dear Ms Hillier,

I was disappointed that you chose to support the Government in voting for the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA), despite the fact that it possibly violates human rights legislation.

I hope that you will choose to take a different position in the vote on tomorrow’s Counter Terrorism and Security Bill. Unlike DRIPA, there is no excuse that the Bill has to be rushed through without proper scrutiny. Therefore you have a chance to reject legislation that apparently endorses legalised repression and indiscriminate surveillance and probably violates human rights legislation. I urge you to do so.

There is no doubt that people who wish harm the UK or other liberal states are using the internet to talk to one another. But that is no reason to construct legislation that places ill-considered demands on internet service providers and web site owners to act as adjuncts to the police force. Likewise, there are people who don’t accept that democracy, the championing of free speech and the acceptance of social diversity which we champion in the UK is the best way to achieve political change. These people are using and will continue to use mortal violence against civilians, here and abroad, to try to force such changes. But that is no reason to adopt coercive measures that could themselves critically damage those democratic rights to free speech and diversity in the UK.

Should MPs vote for laws that erode our freedom of expression, we will cease to be a valid democracy. Should MPS vote for laws that turn commercial services online into amateur policemen, those services will cease to provide the economic and social goods that have made them so valuable across the full diversity of cultures in the UK. Please oppose the Bill.

Following the vote on DRIPA there were many who, like me, received letters from Labour MPs that gave every sign of having been been drafted in a central office for distribution to constituencies. I am sure that those people believe as I do that the repeated attempts of Government to rush through ill-informed and potentially unenforceable legislation should be given a thorough and personal critique by members of the opposition such as yourself. This is not a matter to be shrugged off with copy-and-paste correspondence.

Yours sincerely,

Published on 01/12/2014 at 23:54 by Technophile, tags ,

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