back to article Treasury turns to Facebook for cut plans

Facebook is no doubt celebrating today's free publicity provided by its supposed role in planning the UK's economic policy. In fact Facebook's role is limited to providing a link from its Democracy UK page, maintained by its PR company, to what looks like a micro-site cut and pasted from last week's YourFreedom website. The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Well, how about?

    Some crazy ideas out there!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Take a hammer and chisel ...

      ... and go down the Welsh border, then push! Alternatively, extend Offa's Dyke from Connah's Quay to Chepstow, and make it about 40 miles wide in a Westerly direction ...

      (AC because, surprisingly, I do have some Welsh friends!)

  2. 7mark7




    Now the people who can't be bothered to register to vote can spend hours "dissin'" government policy from an extremely well informed perspective.


  3. Anonymous Coward

    The headline is incorrect

    Should be. For f*ck sake, Osborne, bitch...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure I'm alone on this ...

    I'm sure most commentards will be dismayed at the dumbing-down of HM Gov by facebook. But I'm rather more concerned at the dumbing down of facebook by HM Gov.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What? Are they kidding?

    Using Facebook of all things to communicate with the electorate.

    If you voted these jokes in, your just as embarrasing.

    They'll be on Bebo asking teenagers for their opinions next.

    Talk about trivialising politics! Well, there goes my confidence in the UK government.

    1. DannyAston
      Thumb Up


      Nearly everyone I know has facebook, including my gran. Great idea.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: What? Are they kidding?

      The point is, most of the population is already "dumbed down" and if using any social networking site helps get their attention, I'm all for it.

  6. Robert Ramsay
    Thumb Up

    That sofa one was magic.

    hats off to the one who posted that!

  7. Tatsky

    And in answer to "what's next"?

    And next up on the Jeremy Kyle show...

    ...Nick says his partner Dave promised him electoral reform, but now thinks that was all a con. We gave Dave a lie detector test, and will have the results after the break.

    Don't go away!

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      *Then a fight between the two breaks out*

      "Leave him, Dave, He's not worth it!"

  8. Bluenose

    Rumour has it...

    Dave is thinking of using Sadville as the best way to fix Parliament. MPs can all log in as their avatars to attend debates (John Redwood can use Spock as his). This will get rid of the expenses problems as MPs can all live in their constituency houses and not have to worry about whether they can claim for the duck house.

    I'm sure some enterprising entrepreneur can sell the Govt their one Sadville houses where they can live so they won't even need a constituency house.

  9. Gav

    Crazy Ideas

    I had the crazy idea that one of the main reasons politicians are elected is to make good decisions on difficult issues. Not to ask the great unwashed and clueless on the interweb what we should do. The internet over-represents minorities with the craziest opinions and the loudest voices. That's why we don't rule by "he who shouts loudest and longest wins".

    I would despair, were it not for the fact that everyone knows this is a dumb PR exercises where the great unwashed and clueless on the interweb are asked, and then ignored. But they can't complain they weren't consulted.. eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Gav "I had the crazy idea ..."

      "... that one of the main reasons politicians are elected is to make good decisions on difficult issues"

      Ah, but the problem is that they innately prefer their own opinions over anyone else's, so when they're offered good advice by people who know better (David Nutt) they're too fucking stupid to listen and get all pissy about people treading on their toes (Alan Johnson).

      Politicians are elected because the status quo (like any good feedback loop) tends to persist. No-one asks the electorate if we're happy going on the way we do, we just carry on doing the same thing year after pointless year, trying not to think too much about it because it might drive us bonkers if we did.

      Come to think of it: When did anyone ever ask you if - given the choice - you'd go for this electoral system, or a different one? Oh sure we might, possibly, maybe get to choose from a selection-list of predetermined options at some point in the future, perhaps. That's not a very scientific way to go on, though. If you want to do things better what you need is good old boring research involving double-blind trials, careful statistical analysis, people who challenge assumptions and so on. Trying to do that kind of thing via vox-pop is feeble at best: Isaac Newton didn't discover gravity by polling his neighbours, and we won't get better government until we're prepared to do more rigorous experimentation.

      Call-me-Dave won't do that, though, because he believes (probably correctly) that the public won't like experimentation, and if they don't like his experimentation he won't be popular, and if he's not popular he won't be voted in.

      Which brings us back to another of your points: We /do/ rule by "he who shouts loudest and longest wins". We just do it in a more roundabout fashion.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title

      I'd have thought that, after the general election result, asking the electorate anything was a devalued idea.

    3. Greg 16


      "That's why we don't rule by "he who shouts loudest and longest wins".

      Quite often that actually works.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        To quote a great Britain...

        "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

        -- Winston Churchill

  10. Ad Fundum

    It's a lot like TALKSport ...

    ... in that you know that whatever they say, they just make it deliberately provocative and you can't help yourself but get involved in an argument. Well, this spending challenge site is exactly the same thing. It's a giant sounding board for people who ... well, you decide.

    My fave suggestion is banning boob jobs and transgender ops on the NHS. Because that's going to make back the billions that the country owes...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Well isn't that special!

    After reading a couple of stories, here, today, I believe it's fit to say: If there was any time when the second coming of Bugs Bunny should be at hand, I believe that only his wily antics would be able to bring the necessary grain of salt back to the proverbial landscape. He was such a good-natured and yet clever cartoon bunny.....

    Either that, or Jessica Rabbit. Sure, why not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      you and i reading the same story??

  12. LinkOfHyrule

    Lets give people on benefits food parcels! yay!

    Who the hell are these idiots posting so-called ideas on that site, anyway?

    Do they really think some governtard official is actually a) going to pay attention and b) actually thinks their ideas about paying the unemployed with Lidl gift hampers instead of benefits is a good idea?

    EPIC FAIL from all parties involved I'm afraid.

    1. Andy Enderby 1


      Unfortunately, this is exactly what our leaders are considering, and has been reported elsewhere, along with forcing anybody whos doctor believes them not to be within 6 weeks of death out to work. Got a clue who'll employ such ? er no..... thought not.

      Good bye welfare state, education, if they run true to form healthcare, and social mobility.

      After all, us serfs should know our place.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    ... how bad could it be? Facebook (l)users running the country instead of the government, and I use the term 'government' loosely, bit of a misnomer if you ask me. Look on the bright side, we would have some of the best maintained farms in the world.

  14. peter_dtm

    You really don't understand the concept of democracy do you ?

    The so called political elite only listen to

    Themselves & their hangers on

    Democracy : by the people for the people

    Remember ?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Why the brouhaha

    It's better to try to engage and attempt to listen rather than just put bills out there like the Digital Economy Bill. I don't understand the commentards here, maybe they're not on facebook?

    1. Matt 13

      oh yes, democracy...

      one man, one vote...

      and he isnt any one of us!


    Treasury turns to Facebook...


  17. N2 Silver badge

    Well I tried

    Im no follower of Facebook or whats the other one, some ornithologists site?, anyway there was a question

    Election 2010: What do you Want? It lacked the option

    'bugger off to France even if the Conservatives win with a vast majority'

    Tony & Gordon Clown fucked us over good and proper & its going to take a long, long time to get anywhere near fixing with the likes of facebook input.

  18. Atonnis

    Oh come on...

    There's one reason they've done this. This gives the illusion that the government is asking the people for help, and keeping the Facebook users busy enough that they believe their opinions matter.

    All the while those in power can continue to do whatever they like, and they will.

  19. Baskitcaise
    Big Brother


    I presume that "they" will be able to harvest all the commentards details from faceslap/myarse/whatever and probably start a nice little database.

    Gubberment WIN?

  20. Grim2o0o

    Wake me up...

    ...when the UK has been given back to the land of the sensible...

    I'm off to hibernate untill these Eton boys have had their fun - or wrecked the economy even further by listening to people on Facebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      if you think you can do better, run for election. I don't think its resonable to slag everyone off if you've nothing positive to contribute yourself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        I would but...

        .. in the north east, even after Labour demolished the UK, the majority still voted for a monkey in a red rosette.

        I refuse to name which monkey I am referring to.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    It's already been solved.

    I offered them it for ten million after tax, because that's how much I think it will cost me.

    I even emailed the treasury, and vince cable.

    Anybody bothered responding?


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I retired my facebook account in protest of its privacy issues. Does that mean this government no longer can receive my idea's?

    While we are at it, why does the BBC, a public paid for broadcasting company, promote twitter and facebook?

  23. Andy Hards
    Thumb Up

    I have the only real answer

    Make amanfrommars the President for Life of the State of Ingerlayund.

    I for one would welcome our manfrommars overlords.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Reg now brought to you by the Daily Mail

    Seriously guys, you (rightly) complain when the previous government brings in crazy oppressive laws and that the establishment are out of touch then when the new government come in and actually try something new you still complain.

    Cynicism is fine so that you aren't disappointed but try laying it aside for a few minutes and give this new idea a chance, maybe they will ignore everything but you know what? They definitely won't do anything you want if you don't do anything other than complain here!

    I find it hilarious that you guys find it highly amusing to talk about the "Daily Fail" when in fact you sound exactly like them.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I wouldn't touch Facebook with a bargepole but if the government are just using it for free advertising of the real site I don't have problem with that. You can't complain that they made the 'Spending Challenge' site hard to find if they rope sites like Facebook into publicizing it .

    It's worked with me, via El Reg. Having had a look now, there are some hideously stupid ideas and comments on the site (a bit like there are on the Register), but there are also some interesting threads with actual good discussions. Moving troops out of Germany, and replacing the car tax disc with an equivalent fuel charge were just two I saw.

  26. george19


    Can our Supposedly well educated MPs not make decisions on behalf of the country.if not what are we paying them huge salaries + huge expenses for.They would want paying if they were putting any good schemes forward tell Osbournes lot to get their fingers out,or do the decent thing and leave.

  27. SteveK


    Given the demographic of Facebook users, probably not a representative sample of the UK population. Still, perhaps there's some merit in putting in for EU subsidies for Farmville?

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