Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Response from my local MP ref Digital Economy Bill

I received a response from my local MP, John Mason MP. Some good and bad points, first John "will generally vote against Government measures to curtail debate" which I take it as John Mason will vote for a debate before the bill is passed.

Sadly though, it looks like the SNP are following the lead of Pete Wishart MP who cannot be acting independently in this matter as he is contracted to the music industry and therefore has commercial interest in this bill being pushed through.

Pete Wishart MP (Digitial Economy Bill section) on Open Rights Group Wiki

This is a stock reply as my wife filled out a form via 38 degrees ( and received exactly the same response.

Thanks for your email.

As I am not the SNP's spokesperson on this subject I will be guided by the line the Party is taking. Our spokesperson is Pete Wishart MP. I will certainly feed in the comments you are making as our group considers its position.

My own comments would be that I agree this should not be rushed through by the Government. I have seen a number of pieces of legislation during my time at Westminster that have not been properly considered or given adequate time for debate. You can take it that the SNP MPs including myself will generally vote against Government measures to curtail debate.

On the question of copyright I think there is a balance to be struck. It is long established that writers of books and composers of music should be protected for a certain length of time. If this did not happen, presumably no one would be able to afford to write a book or compose music. However, I do agree that such protection has to be reasonable.

I must admit I am very suspicious of the motives of huge companies like Google and Yahoo. Their primary aim is maximising their profit and I fear a lot of ordinary people get hurt in the process. Just as censorship applies to films at the cinema, I do think there needs to be some control over the digital economy. Facebook seem to have been taking a somewhat irresponsible line recently. If individuals and companies cannot exercise some degree of self-control, then I think there is a role for government to get involved.

I hope this explains my thinking a bit, however, I am certainly not an expert in this area. Feel free to come back to me on any point.

Yours sincerely

John Mason

Member of Parliament for Glasgow East - Ball-Pàrlamaid airson Glaschu an Ear
Scottish National Party - Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba
888 Shettleston Road, Glasgow G32 7XN


sjmurdoch said...

You should send a reply.

MPs actually do generally care about their voters' views, but are busy people. They send stock letters, and if they get no response they consider that the question has been answered.

If you now reply to their stock letter to say you are still not happy, the MP will pay a lot more attention.

Barry said...

I made a mistake by leaving the form letter in 38 degrees unchanged. However, I have been exchanging emails with John Mason over the last week. Whilst I haven't replied to this specific email, I have replied to my existing thread specifically asking his feelings about the 1st reading last night in the house of commons.