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11/10/2021 15:40:59  

The former UK minster of state for what is now the digital and culture department, DCMS, has warned of the looming battle in parliament over the exact shape of incoming online safety legislation. From a report: In an interview with TechCrunch, Ed Vaizey -- a former Conservative Party MP, now Lord Vaizey of Didcot, who was head of the culture, comms and creative industries department, as it was then, between 2010 and 2016 -- predicted a huge tug-of-war to influence the scope of the Online Safety Bill, warning that parliamentarians everywhere will try to hang their own "hobby horse" on it. The risk of over regulation or creating a disproportionate burden for startups vs tech giants is also real, Vaizey suggested, setting out several areas that he said would require a cautious approach. "In theory it's just going to be the big platforms that will be regulated," he said of the scope of the Internet Safety Bill, which was published in draft form back in May -- and which critics are warning will be catastrophic for free speech. "Some platforms that should be regulated could potentially not be be regulated. But you're right that people are concerned that, in effect, there's a paradox -- that it could help the Facebooks of this world because the regulatory hurdles that get going might be too big. And if anyone is capable of being regulated it's Facebook, as opposed to a startup. So I think that's something we have to be very careful of. "Secondly, although I support the principle of legal but harmful content being regulated I have no doubt at all that that is going to be the big battle in parliament. The balance between legal but harmful free speech is going to be a huge battleground. And it will be interesting to see in what form it survives. And thirdly -- I think, paradoxically -- everyone is going to try and hang their own particular hobby horse on this piece of legislation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

23/09/2021 12:36:24  

While Nadine Dorries was an excellent pick for the new DCMS secretary, her SpAd choices are just as interesting. Who else would hire a senior SpAd – in the form of Rob Oxley – who Kevin Maguire reminds us this morning wrote an op-ed in 2012 calling for his now-boss to get the sack for going on I’m A Celebrity?[…] Read the rest

22/09/2021 16:36:16  

After the excitement of the cabinet reshuffle, the vague intrigue of the ministerial reshuffle, and the insider intel on SpAd appointments, we get all the way down the new government PPSs. Brace yourselves for the dizzying excitement of the newly-completed list in full:

PM: Andrew Griffiths & Sarah Dines
Deputy PM: Mike Wood
Cabinet Office: Jane Hunt & Ian Levy
Treasury: Claire Coutinho & Craig Williams
Home Office: Paul Holmes & Gagan Mohindra
Foreign Office/W&Eq: Bim Afolami & Sarah Atherton
Defence: Suzanne Webbe & James Sunderland
Justice: Julie Marson & Joy Morrissey
Health: Saqib Bhatti & Natalie Elphicke
BEIS: Mark Fletcher & Felicity Buchan
COP26: Katherine Fletcher
MHCLG: Angela Richardson, Jacob Young & Danny Kruger
Trade: Jack Brereton & Peter Gibson
Education: Sara Britcliffe & David Johnston
DEFRA: Fay Jones & Selaine Saxby
Transport: Laura Trott & Nicola Richards
DWP: Flick Drummond & Gareth Bacon
Scotland: Ruth Edwards
Wales: Virginia Crosbie
Northern Ireland: Jonathan Gullis
DCMS: John Lamont & Lia Nici
Leader of the Commons: Lucy Allan
Leader of the Lords: Chris Clarkson
Law Officers: Alberto Costa
CCHQ Chairman: James Wild

The reshuffle est fini.[…] Read the rest

20/09/2021 10:35:48  

The Commons’ DCMS Committee will get an opportunity to scrutinise the BBC’s top bosses tomorrow, with the promise of tough questioning over their foot-shooting decision to hire Jess Brammar as their new executive news editor. The Committee announced on Friday MPs will be graced with the presence of Tim Davie, Richard Sharpe and Leigh Tavaziva, who will face questioning on the Director-General’s progress on his initial priorities, the licence fee and “senior editorial appointments”.[…] Read the rest

14/09/2021 10:34:35  

Happy national coding week everybody – undoubtedly a key skill most children should learn in school. DCMS welcomed the week in with a tweet about how “learning digital skills is essential” – a lesson their social media team clearly needs to take to heart.[…] Read the rest

10/09/2021 17:33:55  

This morning, Guido reported on cross-party fury after Policy Exchange revealed a taxpayer-funded venue is currently hosting a three-day 9/11 event with CAGE, who Boris previously described as “apologists for terror”. Among the theatre’s funding was a £33,671 grant by DCMS…

Asked by LBC this morning, Oliver Dowden said that while it was the first he’d heard of the story, he would look into it.[…] Read the rest

10/09/2021 14:33:52  

Some lighthearted patter from yesterday’s DCMS committee has been flagged to Guido, when SNP MP John Nicholson cross-examined Commonwealth Chief Creative Officer Martin Green:

Nicholson: Some of the Commonwealth countries, Martin, are the most homophobic countries in the world. Will there be a challenge at the Commonwealth Games over some of these policies?

[…] Read the rest
10/09/2021 12:33:52  

A Camden theatre that receives tens of thousands of taxpayer funding has been slammed for hosting a three-day event with a group that Boris previously described as “apologists for terror”. In April 2021 they were given a £33,671 grant by DCMS…

The Camden People’s Theatre has been accused of a “grotesque lapse of judgement”, compounded after it emerged they’re to soon host one CAGE speaker who previously questioned whether Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11, and another who called Jihadi John a “beautiful young man”.[…] Read the rest