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back to article Who runs UK? 'Tories, Lib Dems and Google' says Labour

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman has slammed Google's extraordinary influence over the UK's ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. The Shadow Deputy Prime Minister said "there are three parties in the Coalition: the Tories, the Lib Dems, and Google". It's the strongest attack yet on the Google-Tory …

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Hmm

The UK economy needs to be more creative and less like Google...

Whatever your view on Google they're one of the more creative corporations of the last decade.

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Re: Hmm

Then again this does smell iffy in light of the orphan works landgrab the Govy. seems so keen to fast track into law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

Nothing they do hasn't been done before. They're more like Microsoft, they copy and reduce the cost of technology for the masses, but reduce the quality of it at the same time.

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Ru

Re: Hmm

Creative how?

They've been technologically savvy and have build a very impressive distributed infrastructure on top of which they've built a rather good search engine. And then they've made a massive ad-pushing empire. The rest though? They've had a small handful of interesting acquisitions which they've exploited well (giving us Google Maps and GMail) and a few more 'me too' products that have done very well (Android) but were not novel in any particular way.

Their technical acumen and financial creativity is to be commended, but they prosper when the fruits of other people's creativity, in the form of things that people actually want to see, read or listen to, are available to Google for free and without restriction. This does not benefit the creators of those works nearly as much, hence the accusations of parasitism.

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Devil

Re: Hmm

Whatever your view on Google they're one of the more creative corporations of the last decade

What's your definition of creative? It looks to me like they just bought shitloads of existing companies and ideas.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

Successful undoubtedly but creative ? Not so sure? Seems pretty much everything they do lately is a 'me too'

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Re: Hmm

By the same definition, this also makes Microsoft one of the most creative companies in the history of computer tech.

They have the same business model as Google, buy what ever you need to and slap the corporate logo on it.

Christ, even Ebay has been as 'creative' as that in recent years.

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Thumb Down

Re: Hmm

Creative? When? Their search engine was creative but since then it's mostly been buying other companies or reworking other people's work. Even the core of their business - advertising - is the exact opposite of creative.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

I beleive you will find that the original Google search engine was just a copy/clone of DECs search engine called Altavista.

The big difference was they spent more time on the automatic filters than DEC did, but AltaVista was better at using words AND, OR, NOT and the realy good NEAR (ie: words must be within same sentence) keywords for searches.

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Headmaster

Re: Hmm

I remember Altavista, and Altavista, sir, was no Google.

The big difference is in ranking results by counting backlinks. Altavista returned a huge number of results, and was very good at interpreting AND, OR and NOT, but there was simply no quality ranking by backlinks.

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Anonymous Coward

Boo Hoo Labour

Labour were quite happy arse kissing the Murdoch empire when they were in power and are no doubt trying to kiss it again.

PS Don't forget folks it was Nu-labour's Handy Pandy Mandy who rammed the DEA through in their last session of parliament.

All Politicians kiss big media's ass so they get favourable press and this is why we at the bottom of the shit pile get shafted with protectionist cartel laws that ends up making us pay through the nose.

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Ru

Re: Boo Hoo Labour

So Labour were corrupt. So they will jump at the opportunity to do again if they regain power. So they were incompetent. That won't change either.

That doesn't actually make Harman's point invalid, does it?

Stop getting hung up on the hypocrisy. The content is still relevant.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Boo Hoo Labour

Most Labour people would agree with you.

But can you imagine Gordon Brown writing a joint-bylined editorial in the FT with James Murdoch? Or the fuss that would have resulted if he had?

There's close and there's close.

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Unhappy

I feel so dirty...

upvoting Orlowski....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boo Hoo Labour

That is an interesting definition of close and close mr Orlovski. Very interesting.

How close is "influence a go to war under a false pretext" in your book? In my book it is "closer" than joint technow*nking with some minor collateral abuse of copyright.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boo Hoo Labour

@RU

Harman's point just makes me shrug my shoulders and say so what it's just tired old political point scoring that we have cycling around parliament day in day out that supposed to give us some sort of moral outrage. How can I get hung up on hypocritical wind bagging from politicians ? I expect them to be amoral so whoever takes this stance I'm going to shout crap and throw rotten vegetables at them.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Boo Hoo Labour

By setting the ethical standards you accept so low - won't you get the politicians you deserve?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Boo Hoo Labour

Fucking up successful UK industrial sectors - with real harm to UK exports and revenue and growth - is not "minor collateral damage".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boo Hoo Labour

@AO

Sir,

I do not stock the green grocers however I do unfortunately have to shop at them.

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Holmes

OK, Labour, fair point

But it's still a shitload more preferable to what we're left with after your banking policies.

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Re: OK, Labour, fair point

That banking policies that the Tories thought were too restrictive?

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Google's huge lobbying influence over UK policy makers

In other words, bribery.

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Re: Google's huge lobbying influence over UK policy makers

And Labour is upset that they are not getting their share.

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Anonymous Coward

Unlike the past

I suppose Harman preferred it when UK Plc was run by Labour, Microsoft and News International?

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Trollface

Can't we just have Google and no Conservatives?

I would have Page and Brin as Prime Minister over any of the dithering shlongs in Labour and the Tories any day.

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Better than the alternative

I always assumed the country was run by a handful of tax-exiles, the popular press, some civil service mandarins and Simon Cowell.

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If they're so close, how come David Cameron has an iPad?

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Anonymous Coward

It was a present.

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Ah, Harriet "mad" Harman

luckily, yesterdays politician.

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Anonymous Coward

Feeble

Oh dear, a feeble attempt to divert attention from Brown and Vadera's manipulation of Libor for political ends.

http://order-order.com/2012/07/04/labours-awkward-libor-chart/

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It would be nice if

Companies could be banned from lobbying, and/or it was illegal to be paid to lobby; you shouldn't get better access to politicians simply by way of having more money. Unfortunately not something I believe would be reasonably enforceable.

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Re: It would be nice if

If you can't ban it, tax it. 95% tax on all income from lobbying. At least that way we have some chance of an overall benefit, and we know the Inland Revenue have the teeth to enforce it.

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FAIL

Labour needs to look at its online presence

The Labour Party site uses googleapis, Google+ and Google Analytics. Maybe Harman should get her own house in order before gobbing off.

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Re: Labour needs to look at its online presence

"to use" isn't the same as "to be used by".

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FAIL

Re: Labour needs to look at its online presence

Like anyone in liebour would know the difference....

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I don't agree with any big business being involved with the government and certainly not influencing policy.

However can Labour really try to take the moral high ground with some of their past disastrous policies?

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The past is the past

If all politicians adopted "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" then they'd all be sat around silently and not doing anything at all.

Actually.....

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No, but...

Labour may not be able to take the moral high ground, but possession of that notional landmass is largely irrelevant: if my fat GP tells me I need to exercise more, it is a bit of a cheek, but it doesn't really invalidate his argument.

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Harman's just upset that Google is opposed to Labour's official policy of censoring web searches in the UK.

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Evil corporation pretending they're in the struggle for net freedom together and evil government who proclaims we're all in this together.

Perfect fit, their two faced way of conducting business also fits the lib dems.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

The Lib dems, two faced? For doing exactly what they said they would before the election, I suppose. That is that they formed a coalition with the party who had the most votes.

Of course people like you seem to think that, everything that's happened after the election which is bad is down to the Lib Dems and everything which is good, hasn't happened at all. The Lib dems in no way tempered some of the more extreme policies of the Tories and they've done nothing except bad things, since they were in power.

I'd also have a pretty healthy stab at you not having bothered to vote at all, because you sound exactly like a few people I know from down the pub, who whinge about politicians, throw around words like "evil", but never actually vote "coz it's not worth it."

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I knew Harriet was out of touch

but I didn't realise it was that bad, but then it has been said the whole point of parliament is to prevent these prats getting involved.

I think Pete 2 is closest.

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Google – a latter-day Pied Piper of Hamelin

Google have been approached by the Government Digital Service (GDS, part of the Cabinet Office) to help with our government's attempts to provide identity assurance so that public services can be delivered online/become digital by default.

Google have been approached to help with the Dept of Business Innovation and Skills so-called "midata" project.

And, as cloud computing service providers, they have been linked to the plans for G-Cloud.

If Google succeed in getting contracts for all or some of these initiatives they will effectively become part of the Constitution. On that, Ms Harman is right.

In the end, the decisions will be made or strongly influenced by Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the home civil service, and Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister. Are they qualified to make those decisions?

They are advised by people like Andy Nelson, government and Ministry of Justice CIO, and ex-Guardian man Mike Bracken at GDS. The latter, at least, seems to be under the misapprehension that governing the UK is a bit like running Amazon or eBay.

http://www.dmossesq.com/2012/04/amazon-google-facebook-et-al-latter-day.html

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They missed out the fourth party

the financiers/banks, akthough they probably didnt want to bring them up to much since they have quite happily been fellating them as well.

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I've always thought

That while lobbying would be hard and probably counterproductive to actually make illegal there should be some minimum requirement that the lobbying organisation pays a sensible amount of UK tax (perhaps directly in proportion to the amount of influence it can pay for).

Seeing companies which actively avoid uk tax funnelling relatively small amounts of money to our absurd political class in order to skew the policy agenda is distasteful even by normal political standards.

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Well said, Harriet!

Now if you can come up with a believable explanation for why Labour behaved in the same way when in power, and promise that they certainly won't ever again allow unelected people to wield undue influence over policy, I would be minded to applaud you as well.

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FAIL

After 13 years in power and having managed to FUBAR pretty much everything they touched, the opinion of any labour "shadow" minister is completely, totally and utterly worthless.

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Anonymous Coward

After 13 years in power...

Yes, but then they were very proud of their Tory policies.

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Joke

tax breaks for creative industries

That's hardly going to help Google, presumably you have to pay tax to get a break, or are they proposing the tax man pays them?

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