UK.gov international net clean-up plan gathers dust
Burnham lacks friends in Washington
Months after announcing his intention to work with the Obama administration to develop new restrictions on "unacceptable" material online, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham is still waiting for anyone in Washington to listen to him.
At the end of December, Burnham took to the airwaves and newspaper pages to decry "content that should just not be available to be viewed". He also suggested international cooperation to create a system of cinema-style age ratings for English language websites.
Burnham pinned his "utterly crucial" hopes for tighter regulation of internet content on Barack Obama, who at the time was still weeks away from inauguration.
But yesterday in response to a question from the Liberal Democrats, Burnham's junior minister Barbara Follett conceded that four months into the new US administration, no progress had been made on the plans. Officials in London were still waiting for someone interested to be appointed across the Atlantic, she explained.
"I remain keen to discuss an international approach to areas of public concern about certain internet content and look forward to engaging with the appropriate member of the US Administration once the relevant appointment has been made," Follett said.
In December, Burnham insisted he was not aiming to impose a new international censorship scheme online. Nevertheless, he said the internet was "quite a dangerous place" and that it had been created "as a place that governments couldn't reach."
"We are having to revisit that stuff seriously now," he added.
As months pass with no action, however, the Culture Secretary's comments are increasingly likely to be seen as political kite-flying. The office of Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Don Foster, who asked the question about progress on the plans, said it was prompted by the government's silence on the issue since Burnham's statements.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport did not respond to a request for further comment. ®
You might like to look up a classic lecture by Isah Berlin on the subject of "Negative & Positive Freedom."
As I have followed British politics I am weary of all sides. It seems to me that the divide is between the authoritarians, who do not trust the electorate, and democrats who more or less believe in the idea of personal freedom. Labour appears to have quite a lot of authoritarians in its Ministerial ranks. This seems to be the true legacy of Tony Blair.
Multiply that by the level of IT ineptitude (conficker infection still going on I believe) and large IT contractors promising whatever the Minister desires to get their snout well into the trough and you have a very nasty mess brewing.
My usual guide is to vote tactially. If you don't liek the current MP, find out who was runner up and vote for them. This seems to be the only way MP's get the idea.
governments, especially left-wing governments, who I have a tendency to support in most other things, are utterly terrified that there may be an area of life that they cannot regulate. Much as I sympathise with left-wing social attitudes, the need to control what others do has always been a nasty aspect of socialist thinking. It has long since passed the stage where I can continue to support this government and, even if the dreaded Torys get in, we must remove Labour, at the earliest opportunity, before they assign a civil servant to look over the shoulders of each and every one of us.
It really is getting very worrying. The moment the HRA was signed, Labour then started trying to undermine it, bringing in laws based on ideology rather than evidence or worse on the back of a tabloid bandwagon. I am truly appalled at how much they now interfere, even in our private lives. Burnham is just another facist controller who wants to be the arbiter of what you or I can look at, read or listen to online and in the privacy of our own homes. It is about time they were shown that they are here to serve us, not 'lead' us. We are the masters and they have forgotten that.
Krudd and Conjob FTW
"Spotty little fucks like this need to keep their noses out of things like the internet," unfortunately us in the good ol US....oops sorry, Australia, it gets hard to tell the differemce sometimes, actually voted a spotty little fuck just like him into supreme power and now he's keen to censor us all whether we like it or not, so just learn from our plight, blighties, get rid of him by any means necessary as the saying goes!
Steve from AU