By Tony Attwood
It is a shame that most electors in the UK don’t read party manifestos, for if they did it would stop them getting some nasty shocks in the months and years following an election.
But they never learn and this year the Conservative Party pledge to introduce huge regulations on the way the internet works, using the now notorious phrase, “Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree,” would have allowed the government to decide what is said online. It gained no support from other parties, and I am certain that feeling will now be enhanced as the Party looks to find ways to hold onto power.
The plan was to allow Britain to become “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet”, and would add further the to Investigatory Powers Act through which the government can and does force internet companies to keep records on their customers’ browsing histories, as well as giving ministers the power to break apps like WhatsApp so that messages can be read.
With even more wide ranging powers it would have meant that any website run from the UK, such as this one, would be in danger of being shut down without warning. Since the process would undoubtedly have been handled by automatic systems everyone would face sudden removal and mega fines, and then a process of appeal which could take years. We certainly could not have survived – the risk would have been too great.
So it looks like Untold – and of course all the other blogs – now will not face this threat. And although many of us here fundamentally disagree with and often utterly dislike some of the other blogs we face, we’ve never wanted them to be forced to shut. The democratic nature of our society demands that even in football, all legal voices should be heard no matter how much we disagree with them.
The election result was also a triumph for Arsenal’s MP, Jeremy Corbyn, who is himself an Arsenal supporter, and who was predicted at the start of the campaign to be doomed, and his party with it. It was also a personal triumph for Mr Corbyn, who gained an amazing 40,086 votes in Islington North wherein Arsenal is based. The Conservatives who came second won 6,871 votes.
So with us able to breathe a little easier this morning, we can now start getting on with life again while the politicians argue about the nature of reality, and other such things.
I’ll be back with some football thoughts in a short while – but it has been a bit of a long night so it may take a little time.
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