back to article How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history

When the Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne realised his wife had left her dress on the train on the way to a charity dinner last Saturday he called lost property. Unfortunately, being a Saturday afternoon, lost property was closed and his wife was distraught. Fortunately Duncan's 50,000 Twitter followers came to the rescue. He …

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Anonymous Coward

hmmm

"Just as Apple, the inventors of the iPhone, ensured that their product was ‘open source’ "

Swing and a miss.

If one wants to sound knowledgeable in the field of IT (or indeed any field) it helps to understand the nomenclature first.

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FAIL

Eh?

WTF is this self-serving and content-free drivel doing here?

The politicians can't even spell IT. They don't have a fucking clue. "Tech savvy" my arse.

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That was a party election broadcast on behalf of the tory party

Since when has El Reg supported electioneering on its hallowed site?

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"Apple, the inventors of the iPhone, ensured that their product was ‘open source’ "

The example given- and the terminology used- certainly aren't Open Source, and you've over-stated it a bit.

They allowed you to subscribe to get an API that allowed you to submit applications to be reviewed against an unknown list of parameters before they decided to let you put your application on their App Store.

An Open Source system is one where you can see the underlying workings and where anyone is free to submit an addition/modification/etc to everyone else.

Also, The Wisdom Of The Many voted in Labour several times in a row. Even now there are people on TV interviews smiling, looking knowingly and saying "Better the devil you know!".

Public consultations on laws online is a fantastic idea until you lose your internet connection because your neighbour's teenager used your WiFi to get Season 47 of The Simpsons. So if you're going to implement this, don't implement that ridiculous 3-strikes thing. And try to get rid of the legalese.

Thumbs down rather than outright fail. You seem on the right track but not quite there yet.

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christ on a bike

Please, it's bloody electioneering everywhere already. To invite lying, clueless gobshites like this in doesn't improve the quality of article around here- and that goes for all the parties, not just the bloody Tories.

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Flame

Open Source?

"Just as Apple, the inventors of the iPhone, ensured that their product was ‘open source’ - meaning that software developers could come along and invent ways to use the phone going well beyond what Apple themselves had initially imagined"

err... since when? releasing an SDK so applications can be developed on your system doesn't constitute to Open Source.

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FAIL

Decidedly un-tech-savvy

You don't understand the term "open source" for starters.

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Coat

Where's my "sellout" T-shirt gone......?

El Reg must have stolen it.

Fair play to the guy for posting an article on here. If he knows this place well, he has to know he is going to get torn to bits in the comments.

Regardless of political standings, I for one welcome our new blue coloured, toff overlords.

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Anonymous Coward

"If he knows this place well"

I'd say his mis-use of the term 'open source', and the fact that he tried to used an Apple product as an example of something positive, would suggest that he does not know this place well :)

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WTF?

I dont care how tech savvy you are

But how much in the pocket of big business you are.

Lets see if you can oppose idea's in government that you opposed in opposition (re: mandybill)

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WTF?

I gave up reading

I gave up reading when you tried to claim the iPhone was open source. FAIL

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Will they by George.

That would be these Tories? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/22/tories_cash_gordon_fail/

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Small matter of an election

OK, so it's pure election propaganda, but 'tis the season for it. A couple of points though:

* "A Conservative government WILL..." The word 'would' might be more respectful to the electorate, who have yet to elect you.

* Using the words "Apple" and "open-source" in the same sentence on a technology website is liable to get you laughed at, even if you do attempt to redefine the meaning of the latter (which, in itself, isn't particularly clever either).

Still, good luck. If you do get voted in, it'll mainly be because we're simply sick of the other lot, but that's usually the way in British politics.

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FAIL

Shurely shome mishtake?

"Just as Apple, the inventors of the iPhone, ensured that their product was ‘open source’"

Mr Shapps, you have shot yourself in the foot there. The iPhone is anything but Open Source. It is user-extensible within the limits Apple have set out, but that's not the same thing. You clearly don't understand the buzzwords you're using! Fail.

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FAIL

Shennanigans!

I call shennanigans! I agree that the Tories will be as "open source" as Apple - that is, not at all!

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Bronze badge

Really?

So is this example of using the Twittervine as a way of getting qualified applications to Treasury posts a serious one? There are hundreds of ways of advertising posts for virtually nothing. That's not the real problem - the expensive and important bit is assessing all the applicants, making sure you have the right person and ensuring the slection process is transparent and accountable.

I seriously doubt that any UK government is going to have much of a clue about technology. Witness the educational background of the average MP (dominated by arts, the law, humanities) with hardly any that have any serious background science, engineering or IT. Tony Blair's approach to IT had more in common with a position of faith rather than rational analysis. We also only need to look at the massive damage done by governments of all colours to education in science and engineering in the UK by the watering down of standards in the name of making the subject "accessible".

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tech savvy? but will still screw up all their IT projects

It doesn't matter whether every single MP has a twitter account or not (Q: can they claim it on expenses?), nor whether they can write the most convoluted piece of SQL in history. it's still a very good bet that (in the event they do win, or is it really _lose_) whoever gets power from the election and form the next gummit, that all the major IT projects they inherit, start, cancel or prevaricate over will still be major cock-ups. It's not their fault, or any political party's it's just that they aren't very good at managing things - anything.

Modern day politicians come out of university with a degree in politics, or history, or political "science", or economics or whatever. They then go straight into the party machine without ever getting a taste for the real world, business, running stuff or managing anything more than their constituency office and whatever relatives they manage to sneak past the scrutineers. Basically, the only talents any of them have is to smile at a TV screen, preferably sincerely - for we all know that sincerity is the key: once you can fake that, you're made.

If they were any good at business, trade, finance or anything else that would get them a few mil, (or could even play the guitar), they'd have taken that route instead. So it really doesn't matter if an MP has got an iPod, or could program their way out of a paper bag, they are all inherently bad at the skills needed to run a large organisation - or country. So it really doesn't matter which lot get in, they'll all rely on the same civil servants to mitigate their mistakes, misconceptions, misunderstanding and ignorance. In the end, whoever wins the election it'll still be the government who gets to rule us.

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close, but oh so far

"Just as Apple, the inventors of the iPhone, ensured that their product was ‘open source’ - meaning that software developers could come along and invent ways to use the phone going well beyond what Apple themselves had initially imagined"

see the initial (bit of) optimisim drain away. nice enough idea, hopefully its just a lack of understanding of terminology....

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Excellent!

Our government will be Open Source! I can finally port David Cameron to Linux and sort out that annoying smarmy bug he has had since version 3.2...

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Joke

So if he's Open Source...

Are we going to see forks of the Tories, a la Linux:

Socialist-OS - spends a lot of time in boot up administration, uses a Windows3.1 theme on top of Xfce. Might be usable sometime next decade.

UKIP-OS - no language or timezone choice, after all if you're not using English and GMT then you really shouldn't be using a computer.

BNP-OS - falls over a lot, recasting KDE to use white icons and text on a white background makes it less easy to use than would otherwise be the case. New version (coming soon) may allow a user to have the vowels in screen prompts in black, brown or yellow.

MonsterRavingLooney-OS - runs on anything larger than a digital watch, but no-one's that bothered about it. Window environment looks like Windows, but with dock on the side and randomly launches applications when system is idle (keeps the user interested).

GreyParty-OS - no real GUI, command line only - terminal apps resemble IBM 3270 or Dec VT100 terminals.

LibDem-OS - got a great spec sheet, but so resource hungry that even Microsoft would do a double take. More of a "thought experiment" than an actual OS.

and of course

Labour-OS - ah wait a minute isn't that just ToryOS with a couple of loading screens and backgrounds changed? Has major "security" software installed that raids your bank account at intervals and will call the cops if you have a "bad thought". Right thinking _must_ be enforced!

Joke icon for obvious reasons, although NuLab really deserve the Big Brother one.

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ouch

Tory, Labor, there's really no difference. Neither have ideas or convictions of their own other than the desire to stay in office. They will say or do anything to reach that goal. In other words, they're both the same homogeneous type of wanker.

Except maybe some of the Tory's have moats, and don't like gays as much.

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Coffee/keyboard

Scale

All examples mentioned: tweeting about a lost object, a meeting with the president or job applications work only when these events will be relatively rare.

What if dozens of job offers come up for that same department each week? What is thousands of lost item requests will be posted each hour? Or hundreds of request for the president reach his ear by friends and family each day?

The answer is easy: the channel will dry op, doors will close, filters will be installed.

And almost forgot: Tory would have screwed up again.

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I can't believe it

"leveraging the immense wisdom of the British people we can help to solve policy problems"

well that's us fucked then. Have you *seen* the immense wisdom of the British people?

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hmmm

Maybe they could borrow some from the Dutch...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds

That's the "wisdom of crowds" for you...

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Thumb Up

as i always suspected

the tories are twatters

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Anonymous Coward

What?

You just compared twittering a job ad to the latest NHS system replacement? And you think you're tech savvy? FFS!

El Reg: Can we have a filter for adverts from politicians? If I wanted this sort of bollocks, I'd buy a TV.

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Stop

"You just compared twittering a job ad to the latest NHS system replacement"

It's easy; rather than go to a doctor (wasting precious NHS resources), I just tweet about what's wrong with me, from the comfort of my own home. It's pretty much guaranteed (6 degrees of separation, and all that) that someone with some kind of medical knowledge, or a key to a lost property office, will read my tweet and contact me with a remedy.

Aside from (hopefully) making me better, my illness - and the cure - are stored in the 'cloud' for all prosperity. My suffering is documented, and it's a simple check to see whether I tweeted *after* the remedy was suggested to identify whether I recovered or died.

The next time I tweet about an illness, a different lost property official (or doctor) can see my entire medical history, and easily recommend a course of action.

Medicine 2.0.

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Joke

Frightening

Don't post things like that here, that sounds so close to existing policy ideas that you run the risk of the Gov stealing it and actaully using it!!

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Paris Hilton

Come on Reg, this is five days late

Step. Away. From. The. Keyboard.

Labour is keen on blowing money on huge, centralised IT projects. The way this article reads, the Tories are setting themselves up to blow their cash on 'new media' evangelists. At least that might be a little cheaper.

Taking a few points from the article:

"Now, assuming the department has a Twitter following and that the message gets re-tweeted – where the original message is re-broadcast by others to their own lists"

We know what re-tweeting is, thanks. And your job ad won't be. Unless it's an amazing job, which it isn't. Go and ask some of your industry friends how often their corporate messages are re-tweeted. And then remove from the count all of the media agency people who are doing the retweeting themselves to boost their reach numbers.

"– it would surely only be a matter of minutes before applications started flowing in from highly qualified candidates. And the cost to the treasury? Pretty much nil."

Minutes? Behave yourself. If you can't see the difference between Duncan Bannatyne and an IT recruitment ad, maybe you should stick to waving papers about and sitting on a green bench.

"we will look to leverage the immense power of so-called cloud-based computing where information is decentralised, shared and improved by the wisdom of many."

Do you know what cloud computing is? Here's a clue. It's not Twitter.It's not Facebook either. It's got nothing to do with crowds.

"Just as Apple, the inventors of the iPhone, ensured that their product was ‘open source’"

Is this a late April Fool's joke? Come on Reg, you giggled about publishing that bit didn't you? Scamps.

"By introducing a powerful new 'Right to Government Data', we will enable the release of government datasets to be manipulated and presented by others, thereby empowering citizens with more useful, accurate information."

Well done Sir, a sensible, coherent policy. Have a banana.

"We'll publish online every item of central government spending over £25,000 and local expenditure over £500. As well as publishing every contract in full."

B**locks, I don't believe you. Bet BAE Systems don't either.

"And we'll throw open democracy too by introducing a technology enabled Public Reading Stage to each Bill so the wisdom of crowds can improve laws and spot potential problems."

Right, go and find somebody who knows what they're talking about or pipe down, you're making a fool of yourself. Paris might do, she knows what people re-tweet for a start.

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So thats the Conservatives covered...

When will we see the Liberal Deomcrats, WankLabour, UKIP et all posting their IT manifestos on El Reg?

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Silver badge

Re: Excellent!

kill -9 mandelson

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Pint

kill -9

Better make it a silver-tipped stake:

sudo kill -9 mandelson

And you'll need to also watch out for zombie processes - you can't be too careful when dealing with the undead.

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Headmaster

Re: (re: Excellent)

Got a fix for that

while true; do

kill -9 mandelson

echo "Die"

done

Don't forget that - as one of then undead - that the Dark Lord won't be that easy to kill - it'll take more than one attempt.

Anyone want to do an equivalent in VBScript?

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Joke

In VB script!

Dim IsMandelsonDead as Boolean

Dim HeadAttached as Boolean

Dim Stab as Integer

Dim Decapitate as Integer

Do Until IsMandelsonDead = True

If HeadAttached = False Then

Stab = Stab + 1

Debug.Print "Die die die!"

Else

Debug.Print "Sever the head, or destroy the brain... the second one won't work!"

Decapitate = 1

HeadAttached = False

End If

Loop

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FAIL

Amazingly tech savvy!

Amazing article - I've been lobbying for more ill informed political propoganda but didn't think my wish would be granted!

None of the parties are any good at using technology but only the Conservatives have the confidence to preach their technical greatness.

Whether it's the hilariously awkward clips of David Cameron 'just being himself' in the kitchen or the incredibly successful Twitter campaign which opened up hardcore p0rn to the masses - the conservatives have it all covered.

Also I too was disgusted at Labour's waste of money on websites! It's not like the Conservatives spent money on websites with literally no use whatsoever...oh wait - they do e.g. http://cash-gordon.com/

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Sock-puppeting Tory sods

Grant Shapps is the same MP who sought to explain a sock-puppeting event involving his YouTube account with a claim that his account was 'hacked' using an "all too guessable" password; '1234'

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"1234"

"thats the sort of combination an idiot would have on his luggage"

oh... wait...

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"Vote Tory we dig Tw*tter"

Blatant electioneering from a posh clown who clearly doesn't have a clue!

In the interests of balance are we going to see "Vote Labour, our Orwellian database lust will keep you all in work" and "Vote Lib Dem, we won't get in but at least you won't have to feel guilty for voting in the next 5 years of sociopathic lizards"?

Shame, Reg

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Pirate

"posh"

Always good to see a little light class warfare.

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Tweet the job.....

OK, so YOUR network gets it first and so on.

Nepotism much?

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Six degrees of separation

separation works downwards as well as up. Will the ones with less than six degrees of separation from the gutter, have an equal chance, in this electronified nepotism?

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FAIL

Since 'Apple' and 'open source' outrage is rife my tuppence is

'By introducing a powerful new 'Right to Government Data', we will enable the release of government datasets to be manipulated and presented by others, thereby empowering citizens with more useful, accurate information.'

Ah. I see. Allow 'others' i.e. business free access to our data. Nice. Just not feeling that 'warm glow' about that prospect somehow, I wonder why?

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Dead Vulture

Never has the Reg Gravestone icon been so apt

I can barely cope with all the climate-change horseshit..... but this Tory-suckjob takes the fucking cake!

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OMG

AC (12:19 6/4/2010) is right, however, this is very concerning.

I thought the present government were incompetent. The main opposition look as bad, if not even worse.

The author's voting record is interesting:

"Voted against removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords"

"Voted strongly for a wholly elected House of Lords"

So how does that work - elect new members but let the old ones stay in place until they die ?

"Voted very strongly for replacing Trident" - Lewis Page would vote for him then...

"Has spoken in 8 debates in the last year — well below average amongst MPs."

"Has received answers to 1803 written questions in the last year — well above average amongst MPs."

So weak interpersonal skills then...

iPhone = Open Source = late April Fool. Fortunately, the election is in May. Imagine the headlines - "Conservatives win in landslide election result" or "UFOs land" or "iPhone is now Open Source"... which one is more believable ?

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Big Brother

Well

"Conservatives win in landslide election result" obviously, because UFO's already landed in Jordan and the iPhone is clearly already open source :p

Plus of course they're not Gordon Brown...

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Thankyou. Damned by your own gob.

I won't be voting Conservative.

A few choice words and phrases that did it for me:

"Leveraged" What's wrong with 'used'?

"Cloud computing". Cloud thinking. Means nothing without explicit context.

"empowering" You mean giving the illusion of power.

"...government datasets to be manipulated and presented by others..." Manipulated is the operative word, Governments are the experts. I can see the excitement of lunatic fringe groups with all the grasp of statistical analysis of a typical slug. "Hello I'm from the Wool Safety Council and want to know how many died in horrific knitting accidents last month. None you say? Same as all the months before?"

Headline: Horrific knitting deaths still at record levels.

I think I know what he means but it's the way it comes over... A simple "We'll release all government data that's safe to be in the public domain" would be a start. At least we might get a debate about the word 'safe'.

Oh well, at least no-one said "going forward".

Is there a party with someone who knows of what they speak, when forming and explaining IT policy?

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SJG

Naive Rubbish

Please spare us from this naive rubbish. So what will the twitter message say in the limit of 140 characters ? Point to the non existent website I suppose.

With a probable twitter population of 1m, what about the other 25m people in the UK? What about rural communities with no mobile access. There is a much greater usage of twitter in the under 35s, so what about the over 35s.

... and on the publishing of information in the cloud and presenting it as an alternative to an NHS patient database.... I dread to think of the ramifications of publishing highly sensitive personal medical information into the cloud. Oh, but yes, I seem to remember that what the Conservative party has already suggested is that we give all that personal data to Microsoft to manage for us ..... another company much graced in open source ... I think not ...

I won't even bother to comment on 'Apple' and 'open source'.

Sorry, but this just goes to prove how out of touch the politicians are with the reality of the modern world and specifically with IT. Recommendations poorly thought out, completely misunderstanding the fundamental principles of technology, and essentially just replacing one monolithic set of suppliers with another set.

It's about time politicians started to listen to the real experts, not just to large companies with vested interests.

... and Labour is just as bad - just see the Professor Nut stuff ....

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Boffin

Your stats are a little out

Just so you know there are over 61 million people in the UK

Over 46 million are registered to vote, based of government statistics.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/Product.asp?vlnk=319

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FAIL

Hmm

I expect this article has managed to reflect badly not only on this MP and his party for the poor understanding shown of the issue and misjudgement of the audience but also on El Reg for allowing this blatant attempt at electioneering to go ahead. Down with this sort of thing!

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El Reg - Labour supporters?

By allowing a Tory MP to betray his ignorance in public, are we being nudged back into the arms of Labour? Not that I have any ideological aversion to that, but is there a hidden agenda?

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