An Internet trolling expert and general election candidate has thrown his weight behind the Lib Dems’ plans for a Digital Rights Bill, but says youth rights should be a core feature.
The Pluralist Party candidate for Liverpool Walton, Dzon, known professionally as Jonathan Bishop, says he fully supports Liberal Democrat proposals for a Digital Rights Bill. “Whilst as a trolling expert I know that current laws are good enough to protect rights to free speech and from Internet abuse, a new law to set out case law and CPS best practice in black and white will stop the misuse and lack of use of current legislation,” he said. “It is essential that at the heart of this bill that youth rights are protected, as all too often it is young people that are prosecuted and convicted for trolling, even though if case law like DPP v Chambers were applied they would be found innocent.
“A new Digital Rights Bill should insert into existing trolling law like the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and Malicious Communications Act 1988 prescribed defences against prosecution based on what is set out in DPP v Chambers, DPP v Collins, DPP v Connolly and the DPP’s guidance on offences arising out of social media, so that only those incidents of trolling that are illegal are prosecute whereas those that are free speech are not.”
Nick Clegg is leader of the Liberal Democrats who has proposed the Digital Rights Bill. “The way in which we work, socialise, buy products and use services has changed at lightning speed since the digital revolution,” he said. “However government and politicians have responded at snail’s pace, and failed to ensure the rights of consumers, businesses, journalists and children are protected in the online world.
“Our Digital Rights Bill will finally enshrine into law our rights as citizens of this country to privacy, to stop information about us being abused online, and to protect our right to freedom of speech.”
Lib Dem proposals include a Code of Practice for online services who would by law have to correct information about members of the public where it is inaccurate or defamatory and enshrine in law the responsibility of government to defend the free press, including the rights of journalists and citizen journalists to express their views freely online.
Walton residents have been left in the dark over plans to close libraries in the Liverpool City area. In the run up to the local elections councillors are silent on which libraries will go and which will stay. Some residents are clear where they stand, however.
Members of the Fazakerley Community Federation and the wider Fazakerley community have signed a Liverpool People’s Party petition calling for local library services to be maintained and not transferred to Walton Library as part of an enhanced “hub” for council services.
Dzon is the Leader of Liverpool’s People’s Party and election candidate in the Liverpool Walton seat being contested in the UK general election. “As a Fellow of the library body CILIP, I have been heavily involved in campaigns to keep local libraries open,” he said. “Times are changing and community ownership is becoming the norm, so whilst Fazakerley is well placed to take up the gauntlet with its Community Federation, if elected I will use my experience as a Chartered Librarian and social entrepreneur to ensure all libraries can be saved through community ownership.”
A staff member of the Fazackerley Community Federation said the idea of a community run library is possible, but challenging. “We already own the library building and receive rent from the council for it,” they said. “It will be a significant cut in our revenue, but we would do all we could to keep it open.” Labour Mayor Joe Anderson said cuts to community organisations, like Fazackerley Community Federation will be essential this coming year. “Big cities such as Liverpool, facing huge challenges with deprivation, have been hit hardest by the cuts,” he said. “We are now down to cutting through the bone of much loved and cherished council services. “Every decision is heartbreaking.”
The Leader of The Pluralist Party has welcomed the decision of the Department for Work and Pensions to reverse its insistence that only jobs based within Wales should have a Welsh language translation.
The DWP had said that because Crocels, of which the Pluralist Party is a group member, is advertising a job in Liverpool that it would not translate the ad into Welsh. The job is a self-employed vacancy for the position of Election Agent for the 2010 General Election campaign in Liverpool Walton. This seat is being contested by Pluralist Party leader Jonathan Bishop, under his political name of Dzon.
Arwel Owen, a spokesperson for the DWP explained the U-Turn. “The Department operates a Welsh Language Scheme where we are committed to provide a bilingual service for any vacancies that are located in Wales or for any vacancies that are based outside Wales where it is clear from the job description that there is a Welsh language requirement for the vacancy,” he said. “[A] translation of the vacancy has now been completed and posted onto Universal Jobmatch.”
Dzon welcomed the change in stance. “The successful candidate for this job of election agent will be chosen on merit, with the ability to speak Welsh limited to translations of our party names, emblems and descriptions,” he said. “If the person happens to speak Welsh they will have a lot of opportunity to do so, such as with the Electoral Commission in Cardiff.
“As an organisation based in Wales, it is Crocels’s policy to encourage use of the Welsh language wherever it is possible to do so, and advertising vacancies through the medium of Welsh is part of that policy.“
A job advert for an election agent will not be translated into Welsh, the UK Government’s job vacancy advertising service, Universal Jobmatch, has said.
The Pluralist Party, also known as Liverpool’s People’s Party, is based in Swansea in South Wales and has a policy of advertising all its vacancies in Welsh as part of its partnership with other organisations in the Crocels Community Media Group.
A spokesperson for Universal Jobmatch explained the situation. “[W]e are unable to offer our Welsh translation service for jobs which are not based in Wales,” they said. “Please be aware that unless your job is based in Wales or has a Welsh Language requirement you will not be eligible to receive a Welsh translation of any future vacancies.”
Jonathan Bishop is the Chief Executive Officer of the Crocels Community Media Group and Party Leader of The Pluralist Party. He has been selected by the Pluralist Party to contest the 2015 general election in the Liverpool Walton seat under his political name of ‘Dzon.’ He says the situation is totally unacceptable. “All Crocels members have agreed to use the Welsh language for advertising job vacancies through services accessible to Welsh speakers,” he said. “In this election we will using our English and Welsh bilingual logo on the ballot paper, and whilst the job will be selected on the person’s ability to do the job, there would be many opportunities to use Welsh, such as with the Electoral Commission in Cardiff, if a Welsh speaker was appointed to the position.“
Liverpool Walton’s Member of Parliament, Steve Rotheram, has had his voting record on the economy criticized for failing to support the lives of the hardest working families in the country.
Since being elected to the UK Parliament in 2010, Steve Rotheram has voted against having lower taxes on petrol and diesel for motor vehicles and against proposals to auto-enrollment of pensions, which will have an impact of the financial security of ordinary working people both in the short-term and long-term.
Steve Rotheram also voted against the reduction in corporation tax, which is what is levied on most businesses in the UK. Dzon, who is the prospective parliamentary candidate for Liverpool’s People’s Party’s in the 2015 General Election in Liverpool Walton, is also a social entrepreneur and says Steve Rotheram needs to go back to the drawing board. “The corporation tax regime under Labour was over-complicated and unfair, and thanks to the changes going through that Steve Rotheram voted against, it is now possible for my IT businesses, and those of others, to pay lower corporation tax for the patented and other technologies we build to help grow the economy.
“The problems we have seen with the banks were known well before Gordon Brown became Prime Minister and it is only by rewarding those who take risk with their own money and not other people’s – unlike what the bankers do – that the economy can become immune to the ups and downs caused by speculation and misselling.”
Dzon, who has a Masters degree in Economics and Social Studies, wrote the book, ‘Gamification for Human Factors Integration: Social, Educational and Psychological Issues,’ which he wrote under his professional name of Jonathan Bishop, suggests ways in which society can change to bring out the best in people through participation in the economy and not the worst.
The UK Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton, Steve Rotheram, is part of the establishment and part of the problem – that is the message of the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Liverpool’s People’s Party, Dzon.
Since being elected to the UK Parliament in May 2010, Steve Rotheram’s record has been to conserve the Westminster status quo, Dzon says the statistics show. “Steve Rotheram has only voted 46% of the time for further devolution to Scotland and Wales, he has voted against giving control over the police to local people, and has only voted to reform the way the UK Parliament works on 32% of the votes,” he said. “Steve Rotheram might have only become MP for Liverpool Walton in 2010, but his links with the establishment go back even further.”
Dzon holds a Masters of Economic and Social Studies and edited the book, ‘Transforming Politics and Policy in the Digital Age,’ under his professional name of Jonathan Bishop. The book suggests ways in which people can have a greater say in decisions using the power of technology.
Steve Rotheram, the UK Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton, has been criticized by a prospective opponent ahead of the 2015 General Election.
Steve Rotheram recently confirmed that he felt it appropriate that prisoners at HMP Liverpool should be entitled to a Christmas lunch. “The fact that there are so many people in Liverpool having to access food banks because they can’t afford to put something on the table is an indictment of the government, and is no fault of prisoners,” he said. “Those who are incarcerated in prison need to be treated with dignity at Christmas as well.”
But Internet campaigner Dzon, who is a prospective parliamentary candidate for Liverpool’s People’s Party, says Steve Rotheram’s views are inconsistent. “Steve Rotheram wants the introduction of tougher jail terms for Internet trolls,” he said. “Many of people convicted of trolling are young men in their 20s, often from impoverished backgrounds.
“Would it not be better to allow these 20-year-olds to go to food-banks rather than waste taxpayers money incarcerating them for what in most cases could be seen as free speech?”
Dzon has done research under his professional name of Jonathan Bishop, which has found that those who are actually likely to be doing trolling are people from wealthy areas who are bored, as the figures show that areas with the highest number of young people not in education, employment or training actually have the lowest levels of trolling. Dzon’s research is published in volume 5, issue 3 of the International Journal of E-Politics.
Opportunist anti-trolling MP Steve Rotheram, the Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton, has been criticised for claiming that Internet trolling law “is confusing and depends upon what you find grossly offensive.”
Dzon Bishop, who is the Pluralist Party’s candidate standing against Steve Rotheram in Liverpool Walton in the 2015 General Election says that Rotheram’s stance on trolling is a conceit. “Steve Rotheram wants everyone to believe trolling laws don’t go far enough to give him something to battle for,” he said. “He has been told time and time again by trolling experts like myself and government ministers there is enough legislation, but he will not listen.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has published very clear guidance on Internet trolling and if there are any issues around trolling offences being wrongly dealt with then that is probably as a result of our archaic policing system where incompetent people are allowed to ignore the common law for their own purposes such as to build self-efficacy and self-pride rather than administer justice as they should be doing.“
The Pluralist Party has formally signaled its intention to support Dzon, known professionally as Jonathan Bishop, should he be successfully nominated to stand for Parliament in the Liverpool Walton seat in the 2015 UK general election.
Dzon says he is standing in Liverpool Walton for one very good reason. “I don’t think one can legitimately criticise a politician who’s policies one is totally opposed to unless one is willing to stand against them,” he said. “Steve Rotheram and I have different points of view on Internet trolling and free speech, so I will be standing against him to give the people in Liverpool Walton the chance to say which of us they agree with after questioning us both at hustings.”
Cllr Gavin Callaghan who is an aide to Steve Rotheram reacted to the prospective candidature by saying: “This has honestly, just made my day.” But Callaghan, who recently ensured Dzon was not able to attend a ’roundtable’ event on Internet trolling at Westminster, said Dzon’s “chances of being in any Hustings is, well, very remote.”
Mark Beech is the nomination officer for the Pluralist Party. “To become a Pluralist Party candidate is simple, as so long as someone can get a valid nomination with the support of the people to stand in any given election they are automatically nominated if they support the principles of pluralism – which includes that are people’s views should be heard.
“We wish Dzon luck in securing the nomination with the will of the people behind him.“