Robert Walter MP

North Dorset, (Conservative). Member of the All Party Internet Group. Member of EURIM.


Violent Computer Games

Written answers Robert Walter 13 September 2006 Violent Computer Games

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the outcome was of her Department's 2005 review of the possible link between playing violent computer games and real life violence.

Written answers Robert Walter 13 September 2006 Violent Computer Games

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many computer games published in 2005 depicted gross violence and required a legal classification by the British Board of Film Classification; and how many of these were classified as suitable only for those over 18 years.

Identity cards

Commenting on his website in my View 28 June 2005

... this week we have had the Identity Cards Bill. I believe there are five key tests for any scheme: clarity over the purpose of the cards; whether technology exists to make them work; whether the present Home Office is capable of implementing them; whether they are cost-effective; and what the implications for civil liberties are.
In my opinion the Government has failed to answer these five tests. It is important to remember that this Bill will take a decade to come into full effect. It will do nothing to solve the immediate problems of rising crime, terrorism and uncontrolled immigration. So it is no good the Government trying to use ID cards to cover up for their failure to deliver on promises to be ‘tough on crime’ and to get a grip on immigration.
The cost of ID cards remains extremely unclear. Estimates have risen a number of times by the Government’s own calculations. In July 2004, after much prevarication, David Blunkett announced to the House of Commons that they would cost around £3 billion. Home Office officials said this week that they were sticking by their current projection of £5.8 billion over a decade, or £93 per card. But academics from the London School of Economics say that the scheme is likely to cost between £10 billion and £19 billion, depending on which specifications the Home Office chooses. They estimate ID cards will cost about £220 each!

Freedom of Information

Signed Early Day Motion 845 Freedom of Information 06 Febuary 2007

That this House expresses concern that the proposed new fees regulations under the Freedom of Information Act would allow authorities to refuse on cost grounds a high proportion of requests which they are currently required to answer; notes that the Government's consultation document recognises that this will have a greater impact on journalists, hon. Members, campaign groups and researchers than on private individuals; considers that such changes would undermine the Act's contribution to increased discussion of public affairs, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities; and calls on the Government not to proceed with the proposals.

Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006

That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.