miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
miss_s_b ([personal profile] miss_s_b) wrote2012-04-03 07:31 pm
Entry tags:

I've Just Got Off The Phone After a Conference Call With the Office of the DPM

... which started politely, quickly degenerated into everybody shouting at each other, and ended up with everybody sounding very subdued.

The Spads did start by trying to defend the proposal; by the end of the conversation, once many many people had explained the technical, logistical, political and financial problems with the proposal, along with the objections on principle, they were saying "well if you're right about what this entails, we won't wear it". And I'm afraid that when one of the them used the phrase "terrorists and paedophiles" in an attempt at justifying this intrusion into everybody's life the F-word rose unbidden to my lips and I didn't manage to stop it coming out. Hopefully enough other people were shouting at that point that it didn't offend too many folk...

I'm not much mollified; I have some reassurance that we've got through to the leadership (or at least, the leadership's minions) this time, but I still don't think they get what the problem is and why everybody is so upset, and I have no confidence whatsoever that this won't happen again... But I think they want to know what the problem is and how to stop this happening again. I don't feel ignored any more. One of the Spads in particular seemed very keen to keep on engaging. So some progress, but I don't know if it's enough progress.

One thing I do feel confident of: the soul of this party is very much alive in people like Jenny Jones and Alex Wilcock and Zoe O'Connell and Richard Flowers and a whole bunch of Marks, all of whom did a lot better than I did at remaining calm and making cogent points and not swearing.
gominokouhai: (Default)

[personal profile] gominokouhai 2012-04-03 06:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for trying.

[identity profile] thepotterblogger.blogspot.com 2012-04-03 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm afraid that I tend to adopt a default opinion that anyone who becomes a SpAd is unlikely to be able to recognise when defending principle is more important than climbing the greasy pole.
ext_550458: (Clegg checks the omens)

[identity profile] strange-complex.livejournal.com 2012-04-03 07:16 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm very glad to hear you have been involved in this. It makes me feel slightly less angry with the party leadership to know that this sort of consultation is at least going on, and of course also very reassured to hear about the sort of people who are being consulted and the things they (including you of course!) have been saying. Very well done on helping to make the case, and let's fervently hope that it does some good.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

[personal profile] rmc28 2012-04-03 07:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, thank goodness this is happening, thank goodness they seem to be talking to the right people. At least they know they need to listen.

And actually, I am encouraged by "I think they want to know what the problem is and how to stop this happening again. I don't feel ignored any more."
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

[personal profile] rmc28 2012-04-03 08:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Are her initials HD? I should send her chocolates or something.

[identity profile] stephensliberaljournal.blogspot.com 2012-04-03 07:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I didn't make the list for "the soul" but then my phone went dead just at the point that I wanted and felt I was able to interject ;-)

ginasketch: (storm)

[personal profile] ginasketch 2012-04-03 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Ugh. This whole thing is terrifying.

Also, fail to the people going "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about"

Yeah, until they start deciding that certain things you do are wrong.

[personal profile] gwenhwyfaer 2012-04-03 09:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the best antidote to such people is asking if they want to put a webcam in their bathroom.
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)

[personal profile] sashajwolf 2012-04-04 11:00 am (UTC)(link)
I always tell them to remember that they are legislating not only for what their Government can do, but for what their opponents will be able to do in five or ten or fifteen years' time.
purplecthulhu: (Default)

[personal profile] purplecthulhu 2012-04-04 07:18 am (UTC)(link)
This assumes that everything works properly. It usually doesn't, so that those with nothing tonide do ave much to fear. Politicians always seem to think systems work perfectly, are ever abused, and never have fragile failure modes. They need to get into the real world more. A lot more.
drunkwriter: Me in South Park form. (Default)

[personal profile] drunkwriter 2012-04-04 08:32 am (UTC)(link)

Do I do or say anything online that I'm particularly ashamed of? Well, yes. But on a legal basis? No.

But in this ever-changing world in which we live in... who knows what behaviour will be proscribed in five years time?

(Anonymous) 2012-04-04 02:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Indeed. Like all those people who had their phones hacked or who have had information sold to the media by the Police. Or the bloke that got bundled off and interrogated because he happened to have the same name as a wanted terrorist.

Liberal Neil.
pseudomonas: (Default)

[personal profile] pseudomonas 2012-04-03 07:47 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm actually slightly surprised (and heartened) quite how much unanimity there was among Us Lot that "we'll extend the scope but with extra safeguards" is a Bad Idea. And the willingness to tell them that they'd been mis-informed.
pseudomonas: (Default)

[personal profile] pseudomonas 2012-04-03 07:52 pm (UTC)(link)
So glad that Zoe was there, with her awkward facts.

[identity profile] oneexwidow.blogspot.com 2012-04-03 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)
But, but... Don't they read the Lib Dem blogosphere? Haven't they seen the many expositions of the of the arguments why LIBERAL Democrats don't like what appears to be about to be proposed?

Don't they understand that when there is near unaminous outrage something is seriously wrong?

Hope (like you) that the combined efforts of the conference callers gets through!
rhythmaning: (Default)

[personal profile] rhythmaning 2012-04-03 08:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Haven't you seen "The Thick Of It"? Surely every other word used by the Spads was a swear word? ;)

Actually, Ms. Featherstone swore when we were conversing with me yesterday - not at me, mind, and she was very contrite...!

Thanks for sharing this, and for forcefully lingering the points across.

Thinking of it, I'm surprised there wasn't more swearing...!

[personal profile] gwenhwyfaer 2012-04-03 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Sometimes anger is the rational response. I can't help but wonder whether the dismissal of anger as "irrational" is directly linked to the dismissal of principles as "unrealistic". (Unless those principles involve letting the powerful keep all their power and have a little more too, of course.)

(Anonymous) 2012-04-03 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I did a post on just that today. "Calm = correct" is certainly an unfortunate assumption, but it seems to be ingrained into the contemporary outlook fairly thoroughly.

(plug plug http://lower-than-vermin.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/what-is-this-feeling.html )

As for the OP: I'll be very interested indeed to see how this develops. Glad (if not surprised) to see you sticking up for your principles.

(Anonymous) 2012-04-05 12:06 am (UTC)(link)
Squeak squeak, you're welcome!

And all jesting aside, you're most welcome commenting on my blog. :)

[personal profile] gwenhwyfaer 2012-04-03 10:28 pm (UTC)(link)
It's not just "calm = correct"; the corollary, "angry = arsehole", is even more deeply ingrained, and frankly poisonous. Without anger, politics is a parlour game played by disinterested - and increasingly uninterested - powerlusters for stakes they will never have to pay themselves.
ginasketch: (surprise)

[personal profile] ginasketch 2012-04-04 10:51 am (UTC)(link)
Anger in women is especially frowned upon.

Thank you!

(Anonymous) 2012-04-03 10:33 pm (UTC)(link)
So pleased to hear that someone has the contacts to at least try to stop this. A bottle of Scotland's finest will come your way if you're instrumental in stopping this latest horror.

Bruce Ryan IT mac DIT com
etoile: (Lady Gaga)

Re: Thank you!

[personal profile] etoile 2012-04-04 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
I have a half empty one sat on my desk. Some vile foreigner drank most of it and then told me he didn't really like the stuff *seethes*
purplecthulhu: (Default)

Re: Thank you!

[personal profile] purplecthulhu 2012-04-04 07:21 am (UTC)(link)
If you manage to et o Eastercon, you can claim a dram or two from me!
sir_guinglain: (ArgueMainly)

[personal profile] sir_guinglain 2012-04-04 02:12 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations. Unlike some people, I don't think this is already a lost cause, and I think you are proving it.
djm4: (Default)

[personal profile] djm4 2012-04-04 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
I do feel a bit guilty about this. I had a meeting with Tom Brake, Julian Huppert and at least one Special Advisor about this at conference, but I wasn't sure beforehand what the meeting would focus on and went in briefed with all of the technical problems and none of the civil liberties ones. On the other hand, I sort of expected Tom and Julian to be all over those so I wouldn't have to be. I'm afraid that at the time I did sort of buy the line that (where technically feasible) this was a straightforward extension of what we routinely and unpromblematically did with phone data at the moment, and I should have red-flagged that, rather than going 'so you're expecting ISPs to be able to read the contents of HTTPS traffic then, are you? Has anyone told the banks?'

It's possible, then, that they misjudged the level of outrage that this was going to generate. My main excuse is that I was distracted by the passing of the Welfare Reform Act.

[identity profile] priggy.wordpress.com 2012-04-04 02:15 pm (UTC)(link)
How did this conference call come about?
ext_51145: (Default)

[identity profile] andrewhickey.info 2012-04-04 02:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Through the efforts of one very hard-working Lib Dem.