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back to article UK.gov smiles and nods at commentards

The government's first attempt at crowd-sourcing policy has ended with every Whitehall department rejecting the public's ideas, or claiming them as endorsement of existing plans. More than 9,500 comments were published on the Programme for Government website, which was launched on 20 May, days after the formation of the …

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Stop

Was anyone really expecting anything different?

That is all....

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Grenade

Status Quo

We noticed they didn't give a rats arse about people commenting on anything they did using the web when pretty much every large/important petition on the number 10 website was dismissed with weasel words and no action.

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Anonymous Coward

lol

Just like the states, the country is run by the beurocrats behind the scene, politicos are just hand puppets used to absorb the media.

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Happy

Well quite...

...but lets not go crazy with thoughts that anyone is in any meaningful running anything

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ROFL

How many times do these 2 dimensional assholes have to come at us all smiles and "we want to hear from you" before we get the idea that they do not give a damn about what any of us think?

One only has to consider the utter hypocrisy of Cleggy & Co' to realise that what is said during an election is nothing but candy coated bullshit and that they no longer care that we know this.

If you want your democracy back then you're going to have take it by force.

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Politicians are there to give us the illusion of choice

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=159216125164 is worth watching. A bit sweary in places if you're at work or near children, but all seasoned conspiracy theorists will nod knowingly.

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Lip service.

"Politicians are there to give us the illusion of choice"

Sounds like something Adam Curtis would say.

Sorry, I didn't check your link. I rarely ever visit Youtube, except for the occasional music vid.

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ooops

I thought you posted a Youtube link. My mistake. I can safely say I NEVER visit Facebook.

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Terminator

perhaps not

But Facebook visits you....

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Mr

wow, you are so cool

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Flame

Good

The public, in the main, is intellectually challenged and ill-informed. It's quite enough of a compromise that we have to allow people who can't name a single cabinet minister or coherently discuss a single government policy, to vote in general elections. We have people who can't manage long division supposedly evaluating the economic policies of the various parties in order to decide who to vote for; what a joke. The idea of letting them have a more direct influence on policy is quite horrifying. No, I'll take faceless bureaucrats and self-serving politicians over Joe Public any day.

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thats why

they are always meddling with the "education system".

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Megaphone

Electoral reform...

I find it quite funny that so many liberal voters are so up in arms that Clegg decided to join in a coalition with the most popular party at the election (both in votes and seats). They bitch about the deals that were done, and that “They didn't vote for this!!!!”.

Yet these same twats insists that PR is the only way to allow votes to be counted; guaranteeing that every government from then on would be a coalition requiring back room deals to get parties that don't generally agree to make a government.

Personally I would love to see a new voting system. Keep the first past the post system but add a 20 question multiple choice test with it, then use number of correct answerers as the vote tally.

The questions would be regulated to ensure they were all true tests of education, such as quite basic maths and English comprehension, but absolutely no recalling of “well known facts” like what happened on Eastenders last night.

This would mean that your average Daily Star/Sports reader could save time by not turning up. The average Sun reader may get vote or two, and so on all the way up to RegReaders who would of cause get lots of votes :)

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I second that

LibDems before election, all in favour of PR, politicians working out compromises together etc. LibDems after election, "we are party of left" we couldn't do deals with any party."

Personally I think athe present govm't isn't such a bad thing. We've seen enough of what is wrong with big majorities, but small majority would be hostage to eurosceptic nutters etc. This way we a get non-labour gov and the libdems get to decide if they want to be in government or perpetual whingeing lusers.

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FAIL

One of the questions could be...

...what is the difference between 'cause' and 'course'.

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Big Brother

@ Good:

"No, I'll take faceless bureaucrats and self-serving politicians over Joe Public any day."

A pity then that we have self-serving bureaucrats and faceless politicians.

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You missed off half of the quote

"At last, government has realised that there are 60 million citizens who really do have ideas,"

Oliver Letwin then continued by saying "Unfortunately we only got ideas from people who were either Labour voters, prison inmates , racists, working class, poor or unwashed. So we decided to ignore them as they're not ideas from our type of people"

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Not sinister

The work of government is constrained by legislation and policy. The civil service departments can't change either of those, so they're likely to park any suggestions needing such changes. The remaining suggestions would cover ways of working. In which case, the exercise is to collect suggestions on how better to do things, suggested by people with no inside knowledge of what's being done. So, from a government dedicated to cutting pointless websites and initiatives, this was all a bit - pointless...

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Good

"On the EU, for example, the Foreign Office posted a lengthy defence of Britain's role in Europe in response to dozens of furious calls for total withdrawal.

Public demands for a complete ban on immigration were similarly rejected by the Home Office."

Good. Just because a few thousand BNP and UKIP supporters care enough to shout at the government, doesn't mean they should make it policy.

I'm sure they'll ignore plenty of sensible suggestions, but these to nationalist examples are best brushed aside.

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Unhappy

Nonsense

The people of this country, or at least a good percentage thereof, know perfectly well what needs doing. People not elected to positions that affect public life are the last people to know what needs doing.

Tories suggest a cap on non-EU immigration + employers start squealing immediately = they don't give a toss about this country, the people of this country or anything beyond the next declaration of profits. This policy of allowing cheap labour in from overseas is destroying this country - we already have next to no industry, next to no possibility of decent growth - but none of that matters does it?

Large numbers of people know that the drug laws need overhauling. The war on drugs is enormously expensive and utterly unable to deal with the problem - result? Government ignores the people.

Large numbers of people want us out of the EU - it serves little purpose, costs us vast amounts of money and means we have next to no sovereign authority - despite lies to the contrary. Result? The people are ignored.

Removing the age at which retirement is compulsory is retarded and is the fucking baby boomers (not content with stealing the pensions of those behind them, not content with overturning huge swathes of convention and morality so that they could have more fun), now want to carry on working so they don't have to suffer a drop in living standards and bugger the young.

Result - people ignored.

At least two thirds of the people of this country don't want us in Iraq or Afghanistan. Result - people ignored.

The Government of this country is elected by us to carry out our will. Yet the regularly hold us in contempt. All this "returning power to the people" and "restoring the right to peaceful protest" is just crap. The exact opposite is what is intended.

We do not live in a democracy - we live in a media run dictatorship.

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funny, that

in many other instances pressure groups and minorities get preferential treatment.

tail wagging dog etc.

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Re: Nonsense

"Large numbers of people know that" = I think that and when I'm ranting down the pub everyone appears to be nodding in agreement.

Surely the foundation of a truly democratic system of policy making.

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FAIL

Re: Nonesense

So rather than have the Baby Boomers- and all their knowledge and experience- at the top of their game, working away and paying taxes, you'd rather have them sat there producing nothing and just raking in government money? Even if they're all tax-doging bastards, they're still not taking their pensions from the gov't's coffers. So they're still less of a burden than if they were on a pension.

Not really thought this one through, have you?

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Megaphone

Critcally, however:

Despite the fact he might be right/wrong about the other stuff he's posted, this sentence is spot on:

"The Government of this country is elected by us to carry out our will. "

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Lies man

See the section on the home office website entitled

"More tools for police and security services"

And they state that many people wanted the police to have more powers and tools and that they agree.

From what I saw of the suggestions, they were overwhelmingly the opposite of this view!!

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More tools?

I assume they mean they are going to appoint a bunch of tools onto an oversight comittee of people who gave them money.

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Unhappy

Many people wanted the police to have more powers and tools

I'm quite sure that's true. Unfortunately they ARE the police.

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Frankly, I'm pleased

If we let the public decide policy, we'd end up with no BBC, a privatised health service, no immigration, no council housing, our waste would be all be buried not incinerated, breast cancer drugs would be funded regardless of efficacy, homeopathy would be handed out, and the MMR vaccine would be banned, the welfare state would be dismantled, our aid budget would be slashed, science funding would dry up and Cheryl Tweedy-Cole would be Prime Minister.

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Paris Hilton

@censored

"Cheryl Tweedy-Cole would be Prime Minister."

I thought you were listing bad things, but this one is ambiguous as to whether its an improvement over the current state of affairs.....

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i like it!

sounds pretty good.

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a

The difference is between decide and suggest.

The idea of these sites is to let the public directly vent their frustrations to the government without having to go through an MP or the press, who always change things for their own advantage.

Whether the government acts on the suggestions is up to them - they make the decisions and always will.

A side effect of these sites whether you like to admit it or not is that they've opened up debate on a very wide range of issues, which surely has to be better than debate being stifled.

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Grenade

Re: @censored

Thick as shit, but quite tele / photogenic. Only talent is to be able to grin nicely on demand while someone else pulls the strings and keeps the media happy. Tends to polarise opinions, being loved by the sheep but regarded as a waste of skin by anyone with two brain cells to rub together. Not someone you'd trust to run a bath, let alone the country.

No. I had quite enough of Tony Blair the first time round thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

So you're suggesting that...

...Alfred E. Neuman is photogenic???

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@censored

The public may be fickle, but I think you're confusing what the public thinks with what the editors and owners of the national newspapers think and tell the public to think by focusing on specific issues incessantly.

It's funny how the most vocal criticism of the BBC comes from the owners of Sky and Five, the push towards privatised healthcare is sponsored by those providing it, those who led with headlines like "Hoorah for the Blackshirts" are anti-immigration and the Human Rights Act (which implements the European Convention, largely inspired by British lawyers post-Nuremberg so arguments that it's not British astounds me) , those who have contact with Sir Prince Charles (as Look Around You memorably sort of called him) or the flaky wives or friends of newspaper editors support homoeopathy and tax dodgers (no, I don't mean avoiders) want to focus on benefit cheats rather than their own sins which cost the taxpayer 10 times as much.

Admittedly, your point would probably hold water if we let the public decide whether to bring back the death penalty, which is why I actually agree with you, just not with those examples. After all, we wouldn't have heard of the crooning malarial Geordie if it wasn't for the plutocrats...

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Paris Hilton

Faulty premise

Ah - it seems a shame that the forever mixing up of Whitehall (Civil servantry or (un)civil servantry) should continually be mixed up with Government.

Maybe it is time for uk.gov to really be UK Government and uk.whatever to really be civil servantry?

Make it so the twain might never, ever be confused again.

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PT

Yes, minister

Everyone _knows_ that Whitehall finds a way to carry on doing what it wants, no matter what the public wants or what the politicians tell them to do. But looking on the bright side, at least you don't have the American system, where after every election the civil service is restaffed with clueless campaign contributors or political apparatchiks who serve only the party. The British civil service may be conservative (small c), but in the main it puts what it believes to be the national interest first.

"Make it so the twain might never, ever be confused again."

Twain (Mark) was not confused, he knew exactly how things work. As he wrote so many years ago, "If your vote mattered, they wouldn't let you do it".

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Paris Hilton

Ah - I wish it were so

But in the UK our civil servantry tends to serve no others than itself.

Best pension, best employment, best expenses, best salary structure, ... , and it also has the best excuses for it was, is and to be so,

For example, funding.

Services funded by government tend to be managed so that the bulk of the budget goes on staff income with a very, very solid management structure that tends to be over-managed and the result is that there are usually a lot of people doing very little with negligible trickle through to service users (mandatory disabled facilities grant anyone?)

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Paris Hilton

As a ps:

ps: maybe there is an international need to separate in a consistent way the Government part of things from the well-placed employees charged with delivering policy?

The fudging seems far too universal and far too effective.

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Troll

Consultation ...

A vehicle to let the gullible think they are influencing things and playing a part in the "democratic process" whilst being dictated to.

The best use of consultation is in determining how many stupid people are out there willing to rise to the bait.

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Non-reciprocal law of consultations

If they agree with the government point of view then all well and good and the government gets a pat on the back for being in tune with the people. If the consultation opposes the government view it's all the work of an orchestrated campaign by a minority pressure group whose opinion is unrepresentative of the majority.

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cmw
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Open Standards and Open Source Response

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/newsroom/news_releases/2010/100730-government-transparency.aspx

An Extract:

Open standard and open source the way forward

We are committed to the use of open standards and recognise that open source software offers government the opportunity of lower procurement prices, increased interoperability and easier integration. The use of open standards can also provide freedom from vendor lock in. In September 2010, we will publish Guidance for Procurers. This guidance will ensure that new IT procurements conducted by Government, evaluate both open source and proprietary software solutions, and select the option offering best value for money.

I look forward to reading this when it is released.

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Anonymous Coward

What do you expect?

This is a government that allows the NHS to waste money, time and resources with homoeopathy!

Here's an idea to save money - stop blowing on quackery and stick to evidence-based medicine.

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Homeopathy

What's wrong with spending resources on homeopathy? Placebos can be very effective, and homeopathic remedies are pretty much the best placebos available.

If someone who would otherwise be given more expensive medication can go away more satisfied with the sugar pills and chat with a sympathetic doctor then it seems irrational to deny them access to it.

In fact, it's safer if people go to the NHS for their homeopathic treatments, as that way they stand a better chance that someone qualified might notice if there's actually something life-threateningly or contagiously wrong with them that needs immediate attention, or if it's safe to leave them in the hands of the homeopaths.

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FAIL

What's wrong?

What part of "it does not work" do you not understand?

If placebos are so powerful, why do doctors bother giving drugs at all? Perhaps what they should do at the first appointment is shake the "magic tambourine" and declare you cured. See if the placebo effect can cut admissions and drug prescriptions?

Who is to say that homeopathy is any cheaper anyway? Many drugs for day-to-day problems are either produced on a mass scale or can be purchased as generics; this makes them cheap.

When you start to get to the expensive drugs/treatments, you are getting towards serious heart problems, cancers and a whole slew of nasties. But not to worry, a sugar pill is cheaper. Jesus!

They only "alternative" medication that can claim any real credence is herbalism - and that's hardly surprising as we still get lots of drugs and compounds from plants. But this does not mean I expect the doctor to treat my skin rash (say) with lavender tea. Unless lavender tea has been proven to work in a double-bind study that has been published in a peer reviewed journal.

The very fact that homeopathy is even given elbow room in the NHS is a clear indication of governments ruling by populism rather than evidence and fact; and the populations growing inability to critically assess data and reach logical conclusions (not being helped by the disaster that is the British education system)..

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Even more depressing

Is that they piss hundreds of thousands of pounds away on such sites and "consultation".

If you're going to blatantly disregard the will of the people, then at least save money by not bothering to ask us in the first place.

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Big Brother

Not again?

Once again the mention of UKIP and BNP in the same sentence. For one thing, at least UKIP have a workable policy to cope with one of the things BNP would simplistically (and futilely) try to undo.

Mass immigration was started with no mandate from the people and so was our eventual joining of the EU (no *not* the original Common Market).

Over a period of 60+ years many people have been subject to propaganda for these policies to the extent that to go against them seems extreme to many, regardless of the actual merit of doing so.

Especially as many of those people who have been subject to propaganda have grown up and become lawmakers themselves :(

AC, because getting a fair hearing on this is damn near impossible.

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Unhappy

Oh what a surprise, the two faced control freaks didn't listen.

It doesn't matter which party is in power, its the same pattern of behaviour every bloody time. Its sickening how in a world that needs progress, these people in power are so profoundly useless. They act more like an obstacle to progress. :(

While they say they are listening, they show through their actions they are not really listening and so they continue on utterly refuse to change their ways.

Sadly it once again shows politics is utterly infested with Passive–aggressive Narcissists who have a relentless pattern of Obstructionism towards any view that isn't their own. On the surface they pretend to be listening, but then they go off and do exactly what they intended all along.

At least in a sad way its better than centuries ago where leaders were Aggressive Narcissists who sought to dominate by war and general violence against their people, but these days our control freaks in power dominate by Passive–aggressive means such as Obstructionism, Procrastination, and seeking to blame everyone but themselves and end up creating profoundly chaotic vastly over-complex systems of control that are impenetrably complex to everyone. So we end up with everyone forced to be tied down to their ever changing mass of rules, regulations, forms, procedures and endless pointless meetings (and its getting ever worse the more information and power they gain over us all). Politics is like an infested near endless sea of Obstructionism. Meanwhile they and their rich friends get ever richer whilst they all piss our tax money away pointlessly playing at holding their self important near endless discussion meetings.

As society cannot progress via political means, then that leaves it up to science and technology to force progress onto the politicians. The politicians have to be controlled by monitoring their every action and move that they say they do in our name (after all they say they work for us when they want us to vote them into power). Its time we force our government representative (our employees) to be totally accountable to us all, so we can detect and fire the worst of them. So if they want to keep playing their two faced obstruct games, we at least can then get to detect each and every obstruction they do, so we can then throw the worst of them out of their positions of power. Maybe then our society can finally work towards some real progress. :(

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Big Brother

The people have spoken

You had your say in May, now shut up and prepare to be governed.

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Big Brother

This is the nub of it

There is an awful lot wrong with politicians but the fact is we hire them to do a job that simply cannot be done by 60 million people all meeting in the local pub. We do not hire them to 'do our bidding', but to 'run the country'; and faced with 60 million variously motivated discontents the latter is unlikely to mirror the former.

Every few years we get the chance to sling them out if we are not satisfied. In the meantime we must let them do what we hope is their best, bearing in mind that running a 21st Century highly developed Western civilisation is a bit more complex than running the local youth club. We can keep them in line somewhat by constantly heckling and harrying so that they walk forever in fear of being slung out.

And we should be thankful that we live in a country where every few years we CAN sling out the government. Fans of the EU might think carefully about that statement, bearing in mind that a de facto government has all the power of an elected one, but is a damn sight harder to get rid of. Ask yourself who makes the laws of this land - CLUE: it is not the democratically elected British Government.

The British 'government' may move the deckchairs about, but the EU's Titanic, on which we now blithely sail, is steered by faceless, unelected, unaccountable, unsackable bureaucrats somewhere on the Continent, over whom we people have absolutely no control whatsoever.

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What if...

ALL 60+million of us campaigned for "None of the above" to be added to ALL ballot papers?

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