Comparison of Divisions: Terrorism Bill — Clause 1 — Encouragement of Terrorism — "recklessly indifferent" — 2 Nov 2005 at 15:30 with Division No. 74 on the same day at 15:41
Vote (a) : Terrorism Bill — Clause 1 — Encouragement of Terrorism — "recklessly indifferent" - 2 Nov 2005 at 15:30 - Division No. 73
Clause 1 of the Bill says:
A person commits an offence if (a) he publishes a statement or causes another to publish a statement on his behalf; and (b) ... he knows or... has reasonable grounds for believing that members of the public... are likely to understand it as a[n]... encouragement... of acts of terrorism...
The amendment would have changed part (b) into:
(b) ...he intends or is recklessly indifferent to the fact that the publication will be understood as an... encouragement... of acts of terrorism... (c) It is not necessary... that he intended to cause... a specific terrorist act.
In other words, to be guilty you had to actually want to cause offence, as opposed to your words merely being interpreted as offensive, which is easily done even if it is not your intention.
The issue of this vote is almost exactly the same as the next one. You can see a comparison between the two votes here.
Vote (b) : Terrorism Bill — Clause 1 — Offence of Encouragement of Terrorism — "intends" - 2 Nov 2005 at 15:41 - Division No. 74
The majority of MPs voted against making the offence of Encouragement of Terrorism only apply to cases where an individual intended their actions to encourage terrorism.
NOTE: The clerks of the house have confirmed their list of names, though it differs from the official count for the Ayes of 299, meaning that there appears to be a majority of 3 rather than just 1. Click HERE for the list of MPs including those who were absent.
Clause 1(1) of the Bill says:
- A person commits an offence if (a) he publishes a statement or causes another to publish a statement on his behalf; and (b) ... he knows or... has reasonable grounds for believing that members of the public... are likely to understand it as a[n]... encouragement... of acts of terrorism...
And the question which was the subject of this vote was to append the phrase:
- and intends that his statement shall have that effect
which would have meant you couldn't break this law unintentionally.
The measure of similarity between these two divisions is a calculation based on a comparison of their votes.
There were 646 MPs who could have voted in both of these divisions, and 578 voted the same way, with 7 voting in opposite ways. There were 40 MPs who didn't vote in either division, and 21 who voted in only one of them.
We invert the vote on the second division if it makes the distance closer (since the meaning of 'Aye' and 'No' are often interchangeable depending on how the question was put). In this case, they line up the same way. An 's vote in in only one of the divisions contributes a factor of 0.2 to the distance. The calculation runs as follows:
([same-votes] + [differing-votes] + 0.2x[abstain-in-one])
(578 + 7 + 0.2x21)