Never done this sort of thing before, lets see how it goes. Digital Economy Act amendments are being discussed right now: Refresh the page for updates.
16:19 – Neville Farmer, discussing the Digital Economy Act, bemoans the fact that 20 years after Tim Berners-Lee, a Brit, devised the Web, there is still no dedicated minister for the modern technologies that play such a large part in our society. We have four ministers for transport, yet no ministerial oversight for vital technologies.
16:22 – Evan Harris, Oxford West and Abingdon – ‘vexatious or trivial litigants’ would not, under this Amendment to the Digital Economy Act, be allowed to sue the hosts of libellous online discussions – the first responsibility should be to catch the person who wrote the words.
16:25 – Evan Harris says jokes in poor taste, such as the famous incident where a twitter posting a jok about a bomb in an airport, should not be criminalised.Support for amendment 3 will help bring criminal law into 2011.
16:27 – Viv Bingham, Hazel Grove - most poor families do not have the money to access the internet.
16:33 – OK, live blogging is a hell of a lot more stressful than I first imagined! Away for 10 minutes while I get a STRONG coffee. Refresh the page for updates.
16:38 – I’m back, and Don Foster looks scary!
16:44 – Barbara Janke, North Bristol – ‘digital economy is absolutely crucial’, Britain is lagging behind the rest of the world.
16:48 -Peter Jones – Scrapping HS2 will save £30m. It’s more important that information be able to travel quickly, than it is for a businessman to be able to travel quickly from London to Birmingham.
16:51 – Sue Doughty asks for help for the game industry in Britain, lest we lose what developers we have.
16:52 – Jennifer Warren – 10 million adults in the UK have never been online.
16:54 – Joe Jordan mentioning Polish communism, I’m interested! Says that the DEA act, which allows internet use to be cut off completely for users, is a violation of Net Neutrality.
16:58 – Mary Reid, Kingston – ‘the current system we know is not working.’ Says that expertise required is too dispersed.
17:03 – Mary Reid, quoting a report, says that technology is an enabler for achieving policy objectives.
17:09 – The lovely Bridget Fox, Islington says that although the technologies are new, the philosophical debate is ‘as old as the hills.’ There seems to be overwhelming support for Option A at the conference, although there are some dissenting voices. ‘If there is one thing worse than the tyranny of the expert, then it is the tyranny of the ignorant.’
17:11 – Votes on motion F28 – Amendment 1 lost. Amendment 2 carried. Amendment 3 carried. Amendment 4 carried.Option A in the motion retained – don’t think I even saw a single hand for B. Motion ‘overwhelmingly carried.’
17:13 – Norman Baker, Secretary of State for Transport is now speaking.
17:15 – Norman Baker - no longer will Wales have no electrified railway.
17:17 – Norman Baker mentioning efficiency gains that can be got out of Network Rail – savings which can be passed onto the passenger.
17:20 – Apparently cable theft is organised crime.And most of the good ideas in politics come from the Lib Dems. Norman Baker again.
17:27 – 15% of the population live in areas with charging points for electric cars near them. Both Norman Tebbit and the current speaker Norman Baker want people to ride bikes to work. Or did I miss another piss-weak joke from a politician? Hard to tell. Gotta say, bike riding does improve the health of a nation – look at all those sexy German and Dutch people!
17:30 – Apparently it’s full steam ahead at the Department of Transport. Fantastic material there, Norm.
17:35 – Ooooooh, it’s time for Motion F31, Recognition of Specified Associated Organisations and Associated Organisations! And people say the language of politics puts the ordinary person off! Well, this is the last piece of business for the day, and it looks like it’s gonna be a thriller.
17:38 – Andrew Hudson, Walthamstow, who proposed an amendment, wants to withdraw it! Ok, I’m confused here – probably shouldn’t try to jump directly into a conference cold!
17:41 – Amendment overwhelmingly voted against. Hudson looked massively flustered during his speech.
17:43 – Crispin Allard attacking DAGGER (Democrat Action Group for Gaining Electoral Reform)- saying that a group promoting electoral reform effectively is needed, and DAGGER is not that group – it needs to be put out of it’s misery. Electoral reform cannot be successful while DAGGER remains an AO.
17:47 – Sorry, Dave Page, Manchester Gorton – I need a coffee, and this party business is making this need greater.
17:56 – Back to the thrillfest. Votes – motion carried ‘pretty much without disagreement.’ Well, that was fascinating.Looks like that’s it for the evening, so back tomorrow!