At tonight’s Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA) Awards Labour MP for West BromwichTom Watson was announced as the Internet Hero for 2010. This is just a bit of fun at the one time in the year that the ISP industry lets its hair down, but it does have its serious side.
The work that Tom Watson did in opposing parts of the Digital Economy Bill was highly creditable. He stood up for human rights and fairness. It shows that Members of Parliament do have a conscience and are willing to speak out when that conscience troubles them.
Tom Watson went against his own party’s whip on a matter of high principle and unlike many of the tame politicians that came out of the parliamentary woodwork (bars) to support the Bill at the final vote.
It was clear by then that all most MPs were concerned with was getting re-elected and not sticking their head above the parapet. Had some of them, now no longer favoured with an electoral majority, taken Mr Watson’s stance they might still be MPs.
An interview with our Hero will appear at a later date. I wrote this post in advance having been on the selection committee for the Award and therefore knowing the winner. At the time of publication I will be celebrating with him.
Work on the Code of Practice for the Digital Economy Act continues at its unrealistically frenetic pace.
Internet Villain was Lord Mandelson for introducing the Bill in the first place. He did not reply to our invitation to attend the Awards. Lets not talk any more about him.
Footnote – Tom Watson was unable to make the Awards but Eric Joyce MP, also a DEAct opponent, accepted it on his behalf.