Tag Archives: julian huppert

Slideshow: Bonnie the Lib Dem cockapoo captures the spotlight in Cambridge

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+++Breaking: Jo Swinson to stand for East Dunbartonshire

Great news:

In a statement, she added:

This next Parliament will be pivotal for our country, both for Scotland’s place in the UK, and the UK’s relationship with the rest of Europe.

I’m standing in the general election because I’m passionate about keeping Scotland in the UK, and averting the disaster of the Tories’ hard Brexit. Most people in East Dunbartonshire agree – 61% voted to stay in the UK and 71% voted to remain in the EU. They deserve a pro-UK, pro-EU MP.

East Dunbartonshire is the SNP’s second most marginal seat, with a majority of just 2,167 over the Liberal Democrats. The result last time makes it absolutely clear: this is a fight between the SNP and the Liberal Democrats, and one I fully intend to win.

I helped her get elected the first time round in 2005. She put so much work into it over the preceding two years. She worked part time and every morning she’d go out delivering. Every afternoon and evening she spent canvassing. She was disciplined, organised and effective. And she turned out to be a brilliant MP and Equalities Minister.

Her announcement comes after her old boss at the then Business, Innovation and Skills Department, Vince Cable, announced that he was standing for Twickenham:

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Paddick: EU court ruling on surveillance shows that Government overstepped the mark

When the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act was just a Bill being rushed through Parliament with indecent haste, the pros and cons were hotly debated on this site.Today, the European Court of Justice ruled that the general and indiscriminate collection of data was illegal.

Now, this was a Bill passed by the Coalition Government with Liberal Democrat consent So shouldn’t we be feeling a bit embarrassed by this ruling? I guess we need to look at the position we were in at the time. Even if we’d told the Tories that we wouldn’t support the legislation, there would have been a majority in the House of Commons for it. In fact, Labour would have been falling over itself to make it even more authoritarian.

We also know what the Tories wanted to do with communications data – because they did it with the much more pervasive and illiberal Investigatory Powers Act passed, again with Labour support, as soon as they had a majority.

Back in 2014, we secured some important concessions from the Tories in return for our support on the DRIP Act.  Julian Huppert wrote at the time that it was what we already had but with additional safeguards as he set out the context to it all:

There is an issue we have to deal with now. The European Court of Justice threw out the European Data Retention Directive, which underpins all collection of communications data in this country. I sympathise with the reasons, but we must acknowledge that it causes real problems – we do need to have some way to keep some communications data, but under very careful control.

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LibLink: Julian Huppert “The UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill is about to become law – here’s why that should terrify us”

Julian Huppert MPJulian Huppert has written a powerful piece on Open Democracy.  He writes:

The Investigatory Powers Bill is sneaking up on the final steps before it becomes law – something that should terrify all of us.

Some of the powers in the Bill are deeply intrusive, and with very little possible justification. All of us want to be safe, and protected from terrorists and the like – but the evidence that these powers are all needed is thin indeed. However, the cost to all of our privacy is huge.

For example, a power the state never had before is to require a log to be kept for a year of every website we ever go to. Just think of that – your browsing history stored, just in case it’s ever useful. If you ever choose to visit a depression support website, would you want that to now be logged, potentially revealing your mental health state? What about an abortion advice site? Marriage guidance? Why does the state need to know this about every one of us?

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LibLink: Julian Huppert on criticisms of the Investigatory Powers Bill

 

Three parliamentary committees have now reported on the Home Secretary’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill. All three have raised major criticisms of both the powers proposed and the way they are set out.

That is the opening paragraph in an article by Julian Huppert posted on OpenDemocracy titled Three strikes against the IP bill.

He quotes the reports by the Science and Technology Committee on 9th February, by the Intelligence and Security Committee also on 9th February and finally by the Joint Committee with the remit to examine this bill which reported on 11th February. All were highly critical of various aspects of the Bill, and of the second in particular he claims that:

The proposals around communications data are described as “inconsistent and largely incomprehensible”.

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LibLink: Julian Huppert If you’re pro-science, you should be pro EU

There’s not enough Julian in these parts these days, sadly. In May just under 700 votes kept him from continuing as MP for Cambridge and one of the Commons’ few scientific experts. Today, though, he’s written for the Guardian’s Science column, saying that if you are pro-science, you really need to vote to remain in the EU.

Cambridge is massively pro-EU, for many reasons, but he highlights one in particular

The answer I think lies in another special feature of Cambridge: its world leadership in science and technology. We see this in the huge number of Nobel Prizes amassed here, 92 and rising; biomedical success, such as Humira, the Cambridge-developed anti-inflammatory drug that is currently the highest-selling prescription drug in the world; and technology leadership, such as the silicon chips designed by ARM, which now power almost every mobile device in the world. Last year there was as many ARM chips shipped, as there are human arms in the world.

All of this success, from pure research to the most applied technology, from huge global companies to tiny start-ups, benefits from our international connections, and particularly our role in the EU. We get large amounts of funding from the European Research Council – well above our expected share. Overall, about a quarter of the University of Cambridge’s research funding comes from the EU. Our students go on Erasmus exchanges, experiencing life and study elsewhere, and we get many students coming here from around the EU, benefiting from the free movement of people, enriching our cultural, academic and social lives – and spending their money in our city.

It’s not just Cambridge who benefits, though:

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Lynne Featherstone’s “Equal ever after” is out now – how same sex marriage became a reality (with added Lib Dem flouncing)

Lynne Featherstone Equal Ever AfterLast night, at a glitzy party, Lynne Featherstone’s book, Equal ever after was launched. In it she tells the story of  her crusade as Equalities Minister to deliver same sex marriage.

The launch was attended by Nick Clegg, Jo Swinson, Julian Huppert and many, many more. Sadly, I wasn’t there, even though I was in London. I was at a meeting of the Federal Finance and Administration Committee instead.

You have to wonder what position Jo Swinson was in when she took this:

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