Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mandy's After Dinner U-Turn On Pirates

Naughty nautical Mandy is at it again, threatening to cut off movie pirates in their prime. Who was he lording it up with while running the country and sunning himself in Corfu? Step forward US Hollywood mogul David Geffen. There's no business like a bit of showbiz business.

Revelations in the Sunday Times that Mandy ordered officials to draw up draconian regulations on internet piracy just days after he had a private dinner with a Hollywood mogul who is a critic of illegal file-sharing, brought howls of denial.

And a sharp intake of breath after reading such a long sentence.

There had been no discussion of internet piracy during the Corfu dinner, said a spinner.

But an ever reliable Whitehall source was quick to put the boot in: “Until the past week Mandelson had shown little personal interest in the Digital Britain agenda. Suddenly Peter returned from holiday and effectively issued this edict that the regulation needs to be tougher.”

The Times smells a rat with Mandy's U-turn a sign of caving into lobbyists.

What is it with the unelected and unaccountable deputy prime minister-in-all-but-name and his summer jaunts with the rich kids?

Everything Mandy touches ends up mired in a dodgy mess. What with Gaddafi the Younger and that Russian billionaire bloke, the fall-out is popping up all over the place. His hols should be banned as a political public health hazard.

It's all a remarkable coincidence. Mandy’s intervention comes after dinner with Geffen, the billionaire producer who co-founded the DreamWorks studio with Steven Spielberg.

The chance to cut a few deals with guests of the super-rich members of the Rothschild banking clan at the family’s luxury Corfu holiday villa was too good to miss.

Until the Mandelson edict, the most serious sanction planned against internet pirates was a tickle on the torrents. Now the clampdown, in a so-called Digital Britain bill, could see people who illegally download films and music cut off from the net with regulator Ofcom given greater powers to tackle pirates. ISPs are up in arms.

Cryptically the BBC reports: "It is believed that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has intervened personally to beef up the policy." Well shiver me Long John Silvers.

That's what happens when you leave an unelected peer with a BlackBerry in charge. Old Blairite habits die hard.

Wasn't it Blair who rushed back from a freebie holiday with Sir Cliff, the Peter Pan of Pop Song Royalties, to bang on about extending the royalty time-limit at a Cabinet which should have been discussing high affairs of state?

Will the download crack-down make it to the statute books? Many back-benchers believe anything that has the mark of Mandy has the kiss of death.

The Orange Party doesn't know what all the fuss is about. All that fiddling about with CGI effects putting black patches over one eye and dubbing everyone with rough Ooh-arrghs - just to make a pirate DVD.

Top picture: Mandelson greets Geffen on the 'Rising Sun' luxury yacht in Corfu (Mail)

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