back to article UK digital minister asks for input on strategy, lauds 'sharing economy' biz success

The Minister for Culture, Media and Sport* Ed Vaizey today opened a consultation seeking ideas for gov.uk's next digital strategy over the next five years. Vaizey said that over the previous five years "digital fever exploded from the cluster in east London, and has spread to every part of the country, making the UK truly a ‘ …

He could try starting by opposing unwarranted and unnecessary spying powers that will end up killing the digital economy in it's infancy.

Or does he honestly believe that the snoopers charter (or whatever it's formally referred to these days) is really a good idea?

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Prick.

Other than BS what has come out of whatever he is gibbering about?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Too many people asking to see Theresa May's browsing history?

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I'm sure I saw Peter Manion announce this on "The Thick of it" about 3 years ago....

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Happy

Silicon playgrounds... Delivering digital dividends...

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I have plenty of ideas

Lot's, blue sky thinking, purple prose, you name it I'll provide it. My normal consultancy rates (not jacked up at all, honest) apply.

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Facepalm

Easy Peasy

You want to boost the digital economy? Then scrap the imbecilic VAT regulations that killed off thousands of small digital businesses this year.

This should not be beyond the capabilities of a small child to figure out. It's obviously way beyond a Tory minister.

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Re: Easy Peasy

Didn't those regulations originate from the EU commission rather than the UK government?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Easy Peasy

Yes, they did.

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Re: Easy Peasy

Yes, it originated from the EU, and all the governments agreed to it. It was aimed at companies like Amazon, who can do the paperwork involved trivially. Nobody thought about the effect on small businesses for whom the paperwork is completely impossible, costing far more than their yearly takings.

When that was realised, everyone said "Oh dear. That's terrible. Something really ought to be done about it, shouldn't it?".

But a year later nothing has been done and thousands of small businesses have closed. None of the EU governments have actually pounded the table in meetings and said "FIX THIS NOW!"

So the claims that our government are trying to encourage the digital economy in general are ludicrous. They just want more money for their mates in big business - how they get the money is a mere detail, whether it's 'digital economy' or taxing the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich.

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Facepalm

Kill it with fire

Vaizey said that over the previous five years "digital fever exploded from the cluster in east London, and has spread to every part of the country, making the UK truly a ‘Tech Nation’."

Because five years ago nobody knew about computers in the UK, certainly nobody outside of East London.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kill it with fire

What he meant is the sewer of BS exploded and hipsters can be found all around the place... You can now apply for government grants to redesign your logo and staff playroom if you happen to have a Twitter account and pretend to have found the most ridiculous idea without the need of moving near the magic/tragic digital roundabout (delete whichever your prefer).

Of course that doesn't include any of the area left behind unachieved BDUK target that most live on an Internet drip bandwidth.

Anonymous as I'm one the bright constituent (could have been worst, could be living in IDS constituency).

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Re: Kill it with fire

Vaizey said that over the previous five years "digital fever exploded from the cluster in east London, and has spread to every part of the country, making the UK truly a ‘Tech Nation’."

More of a wet fart than an explosion, given that it didn't get very far into more rural communities, many of which still don't get digital connections much faster than a few Mbps on ADSLMax, and not a few of whom get no broadband connection whatsoever. Even where BT is rolling out its "superfast fibre broadband" (errmmm... where the fibre stops at a street cabinet, so not really fibre broadband at all...), no-one will get the EU-defined "superfast broadband" of 30Mbps or faster if they live more than a mile from the cabinet. So it most certainly has NOT "spread to every part of the country", and the UK will never truly be a "Tech Nation" for as long as much of BT's so-called technology runs on electic Meccano.

What are these fsck-wits smoking? I'm off to the FTTH Conference in Luxembourg in two weeks, and one of my (admittedly, hopelessly pointless) luxuries will be a tour of a Post Luxembourg FTTH facility just to remind me how it should REALLY be done. And I will yet again be able to crack the joke that is not only the shortest joke in the world, but is also instantly understandable by speakers of many languages, and guaranteed to render them helpless with laughter... it goes like this:

"BT"

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Sure ting, Ed ...

/rant alert/

... while the UK government sings the entrepreneurial song, the realities are that I would be stupid to take my little startup and base it in the UK. Bizarrely, before you lot started tarting about with regulations and attempting to classify absolutely any income/profit generating activity as 'obviously a mechanism to evade tax', the startup climate in the UK was not all that bad. There were better startup environments in other countries, but the UK was still tolerable for those of us with European bases.

So here's the kicker - while my little digital startup will make not a gnat's ballhair's difference to the UK overall, it is currently being welcomed with open arms by an ex-colony. With tax breaks and a boatload of other incentives. Yep ... yep ...

Ed, I'd like to slam you for not having a clue ... but that'd be unfair. The problem is that none of you really have much of a clue (in Government, that is). The ones who do have a clue are sidelined or stored in dark rooms and fed on boiled boots. Or they leave for industry to avoid such a fate.

/rant over-ish/

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Re: Sure ting, Ed ...

In fairness, the Huns are even worse with conflicting messages ... "please start your digital business, we want innovation and entrepreneurship here!" fighting with more paperwork than you ever believed possible. And much the same "No, no, everything gets taxed. Twice is better" real incentive to bring you rmoney in.

Just 'kin beggars belief. So it's off to the New World, off to ex-colonies. And half a chance to profit from innovation and entrepreneurship.

No, Ed & Osbo, entrepreneurship is not just a smokescreen for tax evasion. It's 'kin hard work. Idiots.

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Re: Sure ting, Ed ... @moonunuit

Just out of curiosity what sort of 'innovation' are you trying to promote? What does your startup do?

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Re: Sure ting, Ed ... @moonunuit

Hi Vimes - the 'innovation' will be apparent once we have a first commercial outing of The Thing. First to market advantage and all that. Please understand (and forgive) the slight reluctance to out myself at this stage :-)

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@moonunuit

Out of interest which ex-colony?

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Pity the startup funds come from USA primarily. If the UK govt could see it's way to providing actual cash (rather than tax credits etc), I'd love to start up an international enterprise.

Couple of million should do. Only joking, I need at least £100 million. Used notes, non-sequential. Or Bitcoins.

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American VCs aren't always that intelligent either...

http://www.theverge.com/2015/12/29/10642070/2015-theranos-venture-capital-tech-bubble-disruption

Where governments & getting in the way of 'innovation' is concerned, there are often reasons for that too. From the article:

Personal genetic testing at that time didn’t explain the limitations of what was happening; like, you’d get a breast cancer risk assessment — but the most important genes for it, the BRCA genes, were left out. But 23andMe did get FDA approval this year, and their new site really nicely explains some of the uncertainty in genetic testing and the limitations of their tests. The FDA stepped in to make the tests safer, and 23andMe is selling a better product now! Imagine if they had sold that product from the very beginning.

Sometimes slowing things down and making sure things are done properly benefits everybody with the exception of those seeking profits at our expense.

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Facepalm

The most important thing they can do

Step back and learn about the technology, history and culture they're trying to take over. Not only is is less amenable to the BS that was used in days past to justify interference, those who have made it into what it is today get rather offended when they're sidelined to make way for a "cluster[fsck] in East London" as if the Old Street Roundabout area started it all instead of actually being a Johnny-come-lately artificial development only brought about by being run-down and cheap but serendipitously having nearby, easily extendable fibre infrastructure.

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So if I win the next round of Buzzword Bingo, it's my turn to be the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport?

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Only if you can envision a dynamic paradigm to energise a sustainable and thriving future digital economy.

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Anonymous Coward

Sharing is caring

Better come up with a new buzzword.

Everyone's seen though the "sharing economy" as part of the neoliberal agenda to undermine all workers rights, hard won in the 20th century.

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Re: Sharing is caring

Mr/Ms Anonymous,

do you undermine your workers rights ?

Do you pay them less than a fair days pay for a fair days work ?

Would you if you could get away with it ?

I mean every dollar you pay them is one less in your pocket.

------------

do you undermine your employers rights ?

Do you actively produce less work than you are paid for

Would you if you could get away with it ?

I mean every dollar you're not paid is one more in his/her pocket.

--------------

This is the eternal conumdrum, Capital v Labour

------------

This is false, the real battle is (Capital + Labour) v Finance

Only Capital + Labour = Profit

Finance in a fiat system is parasitical.

(The top of Financial institutions is overepresented by psycopathic personalities)

You can compete (and win) against this neoliberal (Psychopathic) shit you know.

Set some (ethical) goals, create a (n ethical) structure, get some sociopaths to implement and control this structure for you, reward the socios with social inclusion.

Actively penalise any psychos you find in your business.

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Happy

Re: Sharing is caring

I couldn't agree more.

It's about time the rest of Uk population caught on to this one.

ALF

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Is it just me...

...who is wondering why the SoS for Fun has posed this question rather than the SoS for Business, Innovation & Skills? The subject would seem to be a better fit for his department than the DMCS.

I wonder if either actually knows the difference between Mb and MB. And that mb doesn't mean Mb. (mb is another favorite hate of mine!)

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Re: Is it just me...

Commswonk wrote: And that mb doesn't mean Mb. (mb is another favorite hate of mine!)

Millibytes? Sounds like it could be a useful unit after Openretch have been playing with your cabinet. Or was Ed Millibytes another Ed who didn't get the Internet?

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Re: Is it just me...

No; mb is millibits. Millibytes would be mB. You're right about Ed Millibytes though.

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Re: Is it just me...

Of course it is. Silly me. b != B. I've found myself a traffic cone, painted a big D on it and I'm going to stand in the corner with it on my head as penance.

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Megaphone

So the British government wants to help digital businesses???

How about treating these businesses no differently than other businesses that rely on phones, trucks, machine tools, file cabinets or cash registers? Maybe if Westminster doesn't really understand technology, then they should concentrate on staying out of the f'ing way?

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Re: So the British government wants to help digital businesses???

Yes but they have just splurged 450m pounds and counting on this folly (£7 each), now they have to cover up the fact that match funding on AIM means that T1 investors can cash out at Gov expense and because of Angel funding tax breaks, not one minister will pay tax this year.

Government - not for you but paid for by you

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Re: So the British government wants to help digital businesses???

It might be better if the government concentrated on helping the customers of digital businesses.

Here are a few suggestions:

1: Give the ICO new and more effective powers and make sure it uses them in respect of

2: Protection of customer (personal) data against theft, loss and / or misuse

3: Protection of homeowners / renters against persistent disregarding of TPS protocol

4: Making owners / directors of UK companies who use non - UK call centres that flout the TPS protocol personally liable for any abuses.

5: Ditto owners and directors of UK call centres that flout the TPS protocol personally liable for any abuses.

Having typed that I have to admit to wondering what a "digital business" actually is. For most businesses digitisation is no more than a means to an end; a room full of PCs does not a digital business make - our house insurers have computers but they are not, IMHO, a "digital business". Digitisation is little more than an enabling tool. Yes there is a need for businesses to develop those digital tools but they should not be worshipped as gods. A screen full of pointless Apps does not a digital business make either.

Politicians are all too easily mesmerised by technology, and I suspect that this is an example.

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Re: So the British government wants to help digital businesses???

Commswonk wrote: 3: Protection of homeowners / renters against persistent disregarding of TPS protocol

4: Making owners / directors of UK companies who use non - UK call centres that flout the TPS protocol personally liable for any abuses.

5: Ditto owners and directors of UK call centres that flout the TPS protocol personally liable for any abuses.

These three need a prerequisite: 2.5: Take the TPS away from the Direct Marketing Association, make Ofcom run it and make it mandatory, backed by the ICO and some fairly serious fines.

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Re: So the British government wants to help digital businesses???

Chronos wrote: These three need a prerequisite: 2.5: Take the TPS away from the Direct Marketing Association, make Ofcom run it and make it mandatory, backed by the ICO and some fairly serious fines.

A very good point; have an upvote once this is posted. The TPS is so weak that it shouldn't count as a regulatory system of any description.

Watching television yesterday evening I was regaled (again) by an advertisement for on - line bingo; other ways of parting with one's cash by on line gambling are all too readily available. I may be in a minority but IMHO that is a digital business that should never have been allowed to get off the ground; personal debt is at eye - watering levels in the UK and offering people an easy way of increasing it seems beyond immoral.

Of course HMG gets tax income from the activity so there is little chance of the situation changing.

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Happy

So

they want our ideas on how number crunching will save their world.

What ?

So that they have somethig to reject ?

As is the normal practice of all UK Go Vermins seeking the advice of anyone who knows anything about stuff, other than Going Vermin.

Someone please tell them that,

Christ was not born on a Motherboard, Micorsoft doesn't employ Angels any more than Google's search engine is powered by Binary Elves.

And scooping out more than you deserve, or can possibly eat from the communal bucket AKA "Earth" will soon end in tears for everyone.

So in summary, NO !

The plight of the UK (ie; World) economy cannot be rescued by teaching yet more kids how to code (aka write scripts and hack through all of that crap old code of yore (or Microsoft's crappier code of tomorrow))

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Dear Mr. Vaizey

How about setting up an email account to receive all the ideas on how to become more digital.

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The Democratic APE ... In Real and Present Dire Straits Need of Reinvention and Rehabilitation

Surely a novel and noble enterprising digital business is one in a space place where any self promoting nationalistic government is recognised and treated as an Alien Parasitic Entity....... a veritable AI Non Entity if and when modi operandi/vivendi are into and dependent upon feeding off seeding bodies rather than following leaders/systems that seed feeding bodies.

In such as may be extensive current circumstances, would it be smart, and smart of IT and Operating Systems, to be seen seemingly engaging and fraternising with an enemy Trojan Horse? Or much more intelligent to expose and ignore their peccadilloes .... fully exploit and use and evenly abuse such vital vulnerabilities as virtually appear miraculously in ..... well, Fields of Immaculate Endeavour be they most assuredly. ‽

Decisions, decisions, decisions .......

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L4K

Move digital forward by helping SMEs instead of roadblocks

Running a digital SME I find that every step of the way are road blocks that we do not have buckets of money to investigate or remove. Being in touch with the larger online retailers I know they have the same issues but with a big budget legal, accounting and website budget behind them that small business just cannot meet. Remove some of these barriers, and VAT has to be one of them, and we are on the way up!

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