The practical action con

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

There’s a twitterstorm going on in the UK over the Digital Economy Bill (Mike Butcher’s post gives some background and resonates with how I feel about it).

Part of what’s getting the twitter pitchfork mob animated myself included is a recent amendment put forward by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones, who apparently is paid £70k a year by an IP law firm.

My local Lib Dem candidate is, I’m pleased to see, on Twitter engaging with us all on the topic. What I’m less pleased about is this tweet from her:

thanks for all the comments on Digital Economy Bill, we’re after practical specifics

There’s a risk of misinterpreting tweets, given their length, but I detect a trope here that I really hate. It’s related to the one that provoked Peter Block to write his book, The Answer to How is Yes. What appears to be a virtuous demand for practical steps may actually be a thinly-veiled demand for others not to be angry and not to protest. The author presents herself as if determined to take action but really it’s a way of avoiding responsiblity – in this case, for expressing a clear opinion on the behaviour of a colleague. I could be forgiven for translating it as

Oh dear it’s all so difficult and you’re not being very helpful.

The Lib Dems initiated this noxious amendment and they should not demand someone else take the initiative in cleaning up their own mess. An apology would be a better place to start than patronising your passionate critics.

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