Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tom Watson becomes a Camroon?

Anyone paying attention to Tom Watson MP's blog may be aware he was giving a speech called "Government 2.0" about technology and, well... and Government. This is preusmably because, in the words of his friend Sion Simon he is a "proppa blogger".

Putting aside the entirely irritating use of "2.0" looking at his speech it would appear Tom Watson has decided to start agreeing with David Cameron and George Osborne. Do we need more evidence of a Government that is really being led by the Opposition? First on 'Crime Mapping'
Tom Watson – 10 March 2008:
"Just imagine if every incident of crime could be geographically tagged? It could transform community policing."

David Cameron – speech at the Google Zeitgeist Conference, October 12 2007:
"Crime mapping is a great example [of the power of open information]. At one and the same time it enables you to hold your police force to account, get the government to spend money in the right places, and even to help choose where to live."
Or how about standardising information across Government?
Tom Watson – 10 March 2008:
"Embedding data mash-up into thinking across all of government not just the early adopters within departments."

David Cameron – CCA speech on setting government information free, 29 February 2008:
"We will require local authorities to publish information online and in a standardised format. That way, it can be collected and used by the public and third party groups…Setting local information free really is the future."
Or so-called 'Open Source Politics'?
Tom Watson – 10 March 2008:
"There are three rules of open source: One, nobody owns it. Two, everybody uses it. And three, anyone can improve it. Our future thinking must view government more like a giant open source community. So far government ticks boxes one and two, no one person owns it and everybody uses it."

George Osborne – speech to the Royal Society of the Arts on ‘Open Source Politics’, 8 March 2007:
"Open source politics means rejecting the old monolithic top-down approach to decision-making. It means throwing open the doors and listening to new ideas and new contributors. It means harnessing the power of mass collaboration. And rather than relying on the input of a few trusted experts, it means drawing on the skills and expertise of millions.
Never let it be said that the Government have run out of ideas, oh no!
Hat Tip: To a kind and friendly email correspondent.


Mostly Ordinary said...

Oh bollocks a Labour MP talking about IT projects before a budget.

tory boys never grow up said...

Shock horror politicians from opposing parties have looked at an issue and both come to similar conclusions.

Believe it or not in the rest of the world - sensible people with all sorts of different viewpoints do the same thing all of the time. Perhaps instead of getting into arguments about whose idea it was first all parties could just agree to agree and get on with implementation - and actually if you get below the rhetoric I suspect that agreement could easily be reached on 70-80% of public policy (I could list the areas where the Tories now agree with Labour policies but that would be a little pendantic and would take quite a lot of time) - which would then leave more time for a rational debate about the other 30%

And I think you will find that Tom Watson has had enough of a interest in this area for a long time, and he did invite others to contribute through his blog, to have reached his own conclusions

On a personal level, I do think that a little sceptism is perhaps needed when it comes to open source programming - there are some consultants who would like to nothing better than sell over-engineered open source solutions, and embracing open source does not mean giving up all the necessary skills in project selection and management - which are sadly of a pretty poor standard in both the public and private sectors (perhaps thinking about how these can be improved is somthing else the politicians could agree upon)

Diablo said...

No offence, Dizzy, but I am getting fed up with seeing George Osborne's name being mis-spelt in blogs. There is no "u" in Osborne - same as there is no "I" in "team" - as David Brent might have said.

I'll get my coat!

Anonymous said...

"There are .... rules of open source: One.... Two...... And three, anyone can improve it. Our future thinking must view government more like a giant open source community."

The latter only until we proles say something different, I presume?

Is there an Idiot 2.0....?

dizzy said...

I think it's highly amusing that "tory boys never grow up" is posting a comment in this particular thread.

Praguetory said...

Especially after all Tom's ideas for regulating public sector blogs/any blogs that embarass the government.