Meeting with #HackedOff / @HackingInquiry this Evening

Myself and several others met with #HackedOff this evening, re: the Leveson Royal Charter.

I won’t go too much into the details of who was there, what was said and who said what, not because it was painted as Chatham House or anything – I don’t believe that disclosure was even mentioned – but chiefly because I found the whole experience rather fraught and am still too angry.

The key points as I understand them are:

  • Any amendments to the charter and the clauses of whatever bill the charter has been attached to*, need to be tabled by Friday afternoon.
  • The Lords will debate whatever bill the charter has been attached to* on Monday; any amendments they demand will go back to the Commons for consideration.
  • Once the amendments (if any are accepted) are settled and bedded-in, the whole thing will get royal assent.
  • HackedOff spent an awful lot of time explaining that all of the bits of the bill that they thought we would think were the most bad, were chieflyTory bits.
  • Yet they also spent a lot of time arguing that the whole thing had cross-party support and was bound to get royal assent and was essentially inevitable…
  • …and that therefore we should settle our differences and all work together to focus on drafting potential amendments that would forward-guess the future of internet innovation in communication, which we could suggest to the Lords for debate.
  • Oh, and also, HackedOff was in no way responsible for the bill as-drafted. Or indeed the current rush. Honest.  Not their fault at all.

There’s a reason that I don’t like politics and prefer coding.  Coding is clean.  Politics at this level is not compromise, and it’s not about other peoples’ compromises either; it’s more like trying to waft the farts of other peoples’ compromises in a general direction which you hope will be least offensive to people you care about but who will definitely be impacted.

*It has been attached to some-bill-or-other that is being debated in the Lords on monday simply to assure the charter’s passage into law, irrespective of the (ir)relevance of Leveson to the bill at hand. This, apparently, is how law works in Britain nowadays, not unlike in the USA – shoddy legislation is shoehorned into law by parasitic means.