"I think he's misunderstood how government should work. Consumers, or voters as I call them, have an opinion, then it's up to the government to follow that opinion as they are supposed to be our representatives. They are not supposed to tell us what to think"
Sorry Matt, but I think it is you who does not understand how a parliamentary democracy works. You vote for your local MP. The winning MP then gets to sit and do what s/he wants in the house for the term of their membership. There is nothing to say they have to stick to their pre-election promises. There is nothing to say that you get to tell them what to do. They can even switch parties if they so choose. You as a constituent have no control over this. The local party could deselect them, but they wouldn't lose their seat. All you can do to control them is vote for somebody else at the next election.
There isn't even anything to stop the prime monster appointing to his cabinet people who are not elected members. Mandy being a case in point.
This may not coincide with your view of how democracy should work, but it is how our democracy works, and indeed how most other democracies work too. Democracy is only an illusion of popular control.
In terms of the article it appears that Mandy is confusing "sharing" and "downloading" rather too often for my liking.
Downloading is getting something for which you didn't pay. It's not actually stealing. At best there is the argument that you deprived the publisher and IP owner of income, but this would only be the case if you would otherwise have bought the album/movie/software/whatever. After all it's not actually a crime to buy fake designer goods at your local market.
Sharing on the other hand is providing the content to others, which is a different thing altogether. However I do think this differs from manufacturing or selling counterfeit goods in one important respect; the sharer does not make any money from sharing.
The problem here is that one thing British law has had going for it for a very long time is that it evolves to meet new situations. The courts make fresh interpretations of law in light of changes in the way the world works. How it should work is that when the completely new situations arise parliament then pass new legislation which will then be interpreted by the courts. Because we deal in common law what we have is one big law and any new legislation has to be intepreted in the light of the existing law. This matter of law being interpreted by the courts is a useful foil to parliament passing ridiculous laws.
In this case what Mandy seems to be trying to do is cut the legal system out of it altogether. The proposed system as explained seems to work by the rights owners passing complaints to the ISP and the ISP acting upon them. So that the rights owners are judge and jury and the ISP is cast in the role of executioner. There is absolutely no way that such a system complies with our laws. The best that could be said of it is that your contract with the ISP could make this legal, however I can see no way that the government could legal force such contract terms on the ISP. If an ISP refuses to impose such conditions upon it's users I can't see that Mandy would be able to do anything about it.
Mandy has a lot in common with Burlesque-oni (apart from the bit about young ladies, natch) he seems to think that he has the right to create and implement his own laws without the involvement of parliament or the legal system.
Yes the law needs to be changed to deal with this situation, but this isn't the way to do it. If somebody is sharing files then the rights owner should have the right to take them to court. The law should be changed to impose a formal structure upon what punishment can be meted out to the sharer and what restitution can be rewarded to the rights holder. It should not be changed to impose a system which cuts the law courts out of the loop. It is not up to the rights holders, the ISPs or, indeed, the government to decide who is in the right or wrong and what the punishment and compensation should be. That is the job of the law courts.