Long-time readers of this column may remember the great Digital Economy Bill saga back in 2010, which culminated in one of the most disgusting episodes in recent Parliamentary history, with the Bill being approved by a near-empty House of Commons in the dying hours of the last government, and with no substantive debate whatsoever. The result was an appalling piece of legislation, whose putrefying corpse is still polluting the UK’s digital landscape, acting as an ever-present reminder of just how badly the Labour treated the online world when it was in power.
Labour is now out of power, and trying to get back into power. I leave readers to decide for themselves whether it would be better or worse than the present incumbents. Instead, I want to concentrate on two initiatives that the Labour Party is taking to help it come up with some decent policies for the digital world.
Here’s the more pressing of them, since it closes on 12 June: Labour’s Digital Government Review:
Labour’s Digital Government Review will set out clear goals for a digital agenda that will improve services and empower citizens whilst being efficient and cost effective.
Under the guidance of our Advisory Board and with contributions from a wide range of stakeholders across the country, the review will deliver a framework for transforming digital government together with concrete policy proposals to make digital services work for the many.
More interesting, perhaps, because more wide ranging, is Labour Digital:
With less than a year until the general election, Labour needs bold ideas. But in the world of technology, politicians often struggle to keep up with the pace of change. Labour Digital is crowdsourcing ideas – bringing together tech experts to help create Labour’s digital vision. From productivity gains to public services, big data and online security, we need your ideas.
So, with an offer like that, how can you refuse? At the very least, it’s an opportunity to tell Labour what they got so badly wrong with the Digital Economy Act, and to help them come up with something better in case they get in next year.