Sherri’s Call For Help To Have Dead Baby Jokes Page Removed Becomes Just More Bandwagon Fodder For Bob

IT WAS A SIMPLE REQUEST to which any responsible MP would have responded. Sherri and her friends had been sickened by the contents of a Facebook page whose purpose was to exchange pornographic dead-baby-jokes and which was being frequented and supported by paedophiles.

Facebook had refused her request to take the page down so, in response, Sherri set-up her own page to spearhead a campaign to have the company reverse its decision.

The Echo took-up her story and quoted Bob Spink, our local MP, as saying this:-

‘I totally agree and sympathise with Sherri.

‘It’s not just offensive and bad taste, it’s extremely disruptive.

‘I will raise this matter in Parliament by putting down a motion calling for Facebook to clean up its act.’

This was Sherri’s campaign – specifically aimed at a single Facebook page which was causing many islander’s offense; but, instead of framing an Early Day Motion (EDM) that MPs could support, Bob could not resist subverting Sherri’s aims to attack ‘certain user groups on Facebook who target, harass and mock vulnerable or grieving people’ and call upon Parliament ‘urgently to review national policies on policing hateful material on the internet and press Facebook immediately to remove any content of this nature and if it refuses, to legislate to protect society from the irresponsible actions of Facebook.’

Spink’s EDM817 makes no mention of Sherri or the concern of residents. It does not name the Facebook page in question – and it does not bring MPs attention to the pornographic nature of the sick baby jokes or the likely presence of paedophiles in the group’s membership.

And, whereas Echo readers might have been led to believe that Sherri’s campaign would receive Bob’s immediate backing and attention, it actually took him sixteen days before he was able to frame and file his motion.

Bob’s motion was not about Sherri or her campaign. Spink cynically used her expressed concerns about a single Facebook page to turn her issue into yet another EDM he can point to supporting his many positions on the internet.

He can use it to say he has raised the matter of Facebook groups in parliament; that he has raised the matter of internet bullying; the irresponsible actions of Facebook; hateful internet material and, of course, his support for Sherri’s campaign.

This is what Bob does when he raises an EDM – he carefully phrases it so that it can be used to substantiate a wide variety of positions. And then he can say, to an interviewer, ‘Oh, yes. I agree. I have been saying that very thing for years; but the Conservatives and the Labour Government have always opposed me.’

Opposed? What Bob means is they have not supported his EDM on the subject. And the reason why they have not signed it is because it could mean just about anything.

If Spink had framed his EDM817 around the Facebook page that Sherri was campaigning over, and its attraction for paedophiles, there is no doubt in my mind that he could easily have achieved the 100 signatures required to turn his motion into a debate.

But, of course, it could not then be used as a position statement. So he did not.

Meanwhile, Sherri continues to campaign for the Facebook page’s removal – and the publicity given to it via the Echo’s article has seen its group membership almost double to 3,613.

A sick page; circulating sick baby jokes; posted by some of the sickest people on the internet.

Bob will point to his EDM and say: ‘I have been campaigning about this very issue on Sherri’s behalf and raised her concerns in Parliament.’

But there is only one concern that Bob is interested in and only one campaign he supports. His actions here go a long way to prove it…

… (Bad Conscience, 16/11/2009) – On EDMs


One Response

  1. Of course Bob will say that he was not watering down Sherri’s proposal but widening its scope to maximise the number of MPs who could sign it. But, as you say, his resulting motion could mean anything.

    I think most Facebook users, and a majority of internet users, will be up in arms when they see this because, what he has actually framed, is an attack on free-speech. And, for that reason alone, I will be surprised if his motion attracts much more than its 10 current signatures.

    To me this EDM looks more like an amateurish attempt to ban all contrary criticism from the internet like being able to vote for a certain vulnerable MP to be prosecuted for fraud over his expenses and being sent to jail.

    I’m just surprised he didn’t mention the Canvey Beat by name when he inserted “hateful material on the internet” :-)

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