back to article Labour targets Tories' Google problem

Labour has chastised the Conservatives for digital economy policies - and is targeting what may be the Conservatives' closeness to Google. In addition to calling for more innovation from the entertainment industries, shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman called for greater corporate social responsibility from Google. "If …


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  1. Tom 15


    Good to see that Labour are sticking to the lefty authoritarian path... it certainly will make it easier for me to work out who to vote for in 2015!

    1. Adam-the-Kiwi

      Re: Yay

      Good to see that the Tories are sticking to their tried and tested "cronyism for big business" method, allowing a large corporation to cosy up to government and influence our democracy through personal relationships.

      So, no change all round then. That doesn't make it any easier for me to decide who to vote for...

      1. Mr Cheddarfingers

        I like the fact that...

        When Google gets involved in politics the question of whether it's interests are aligned with the UK quickly arises, yet no one ever seems to question the rationality of continuing to cater to foreign big media like News International, Hollywood, and the various music corporations out there like Sony.

        I'd wager far more harm has been done to the British film industry by Hollywood muscling it out, and far more harm done to UK music with the strict control into the market that large US corporations retain. I'd wager there's a good reason British acts struggle to break into the US market and it's not because of lack of talent, but because getting a British act through the US corporate gatekeepers who have their own long list of manufactured stars to artifically guide through the charts is quite a challenge. As for the media, well, I think there's little question that News International's foray into British media has been anything other than of net harm, not just to media, but to the health of our democracy to boot.

        Personally I'd put much more faith in aligning the UK with Google than most other corporations out there.

        So Harman can harp on all she wants, it just undoes every little bit of consideration I've had towards voting Labour next election. She's simply reaffirming the view that Brown era corruption, authoritarianism and ignorance is still going strong within the Labour party, that it hasn't learnt from it's mistakes, and that it's still the same old political failure of a party it was 2 years ago. I don't like the Tories at all either if I'm honest, but certainly I'm not voting the Brownites back in. With the Tories you get corruption and ignorance, with Labour you get corruption, ignorance, and economic incompetence.

  2. FartingHippo

    Labour's IT record is hardly spotless

    It's like being criticised by Harold Shipman for having a poor bedside manner.

  3. gerryg
    Thumb Down

    Would that be the Labour Party that... so close to Microsoft?

    Don't misunderstand me, each brings its own problems.

    What would be nice is to have an administration that tried harder not to get close to any of them but focused on looking after the electorate including by enhancing competitive markets rather than by getting close to large corporations.

    Then there's the BBC which seems to have gone all Apple - most recently a programme on R4 last night which seemed to be an extended advertisement for the iPhone and Siri. While the concept of adapting technology for blind/vision impaired was a good one, the prog was a hagiography - (especially correct now he's dead)

  4. Turtle

    Fuuny! Or maybe not.

    Now what would be funnier than seeing the freetards supporting the Tories? But then again, considering how many freetards are fans of the neo-nazi-run Pirate Bay, supporting the Tories should be a cakewalk. But yet again, who really cares about politics when one's access to free digital content is threatened?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conservatives' closeness to Google


    The tories using underhanded and down right sly practices. No Really!

    Eh, DURR. Of course they are, they are Tories after all.

    1. bobbles31

      Re: Conservatives' closeness to Google

      Of course Labour and the Libs have no affiliations to Paymasters at all.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bastards, the lot of em.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple, it isn't Google's job to police the internet on behalf of the music industry.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If labour had their way they'd turn off the internet and we'd all be uneducated prolls

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Harriet Harman: "No-one could imagine how we would survive without Google"

    There is Bing.. Harriet Harman should wake up!

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Bing...

      Yes, there is Bing- perhaps that's just what she meant.

  10. Jon Smit


    There are much greater problems than music piracy that politicians should be addressing. If the youth of today were getting better paid and had greater prospects, they might not need to chase free music.

    Who'd want to work all day at Tesco and still not have enough money to buy a CD ?

  11. Justicesays

    Hmm, right

    "Harman says the Conservatives should speed up implementation of the Digital Economy Act,"

    Good plan, get the Tories to push the Labour introduced legislation, then blame it all on the Tories when it becomes wildly unpopular.

    Phrases like "We wouldn't have implemented it that way " Or "The Bill, as originally intended" will feature heavily in the blame pushing ofc.

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    UK copyright law

    So if Google couldn't have started a business here - a business based on copying everyone's data without permission, copying books without permission, running an online pirate video site and being the worlds biggest supplier of links to pirate material

    Shouldn't Britain abandon all it's ACTA and SOPA type laws to create a free and open market to oblige them?

  13. DavCrav Silver badge

    Slightly confused

    Harriet Harperson -- whom I thought everyone had decided to stop listening to after she said that all-women shortlists were a good thing, except of course in the safe Labour constituency where her husband wanted to (and did) become candidate -- thinks that getting rid of advertisements on piracy sites will magically mean that 1) piracy will vanish, and 2) everyone will pay for music, despite the fact that as we are in a recession they might rather pay for things like housing, heating, food, etc., first. And of course not simply listen to all the music they got while pirating it.

    Citation needed.

  14. ■↨

    Harriet Harmful

    So she thinks that the way forward is to fully implement the Digital Economy Act, which is being contested by the ISPs in court, which they will refuse to accept as it imposes duties upon them which make them the de facto internet police, an act which was rushed through Parliament by the Spinmeister General Peter Mandelson immediately before the last election without any of the due scrutiny that a bill like that should and does deserve.

    Harman is, quite frankly, an odious individual and a liability to her party. The sooner Labour get rid of her stench, the sooner they might become plausible and re-electable.

    The Conservatives said that they would have a 'Bonfire' of the poor and rushed legislation that the last government passed. When's it coming? Or is this another victim of the Liberal coalition?

  15. User McUser

    "No-one could imagine how we would survive without Google..."

    You, sir, have a very limited imagination.

    This is why I hate hyperbole... And politicians...

  16. Andrew Norton

    It appears that No.10 fell for 'carousel propaganda'.

    Not at ALL like how the Labour govt. went and forced through a law based on a private chat a record label head had with Mandy, eh. You know, a chat where he flat out lied, and Labour lapped it up to the extent of a 3-line whip?

    Because, you know, that's COMPLETELY different from commissioning a report which came back with the headline point "maybe we should stop listening to those lying lobbyists, and make policy based on fact." That's REALLY evil.....

  17. Si 1

    I stopped reading as soon as I read Harriet Harperson's name.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    "No-one could imagine how we would survive without Google"

    As someone that actively blocks anything that is remotely connected with Google I can confirm that it is not only possible to survive without Google but life is immeasurably better.

  19. ratfox Silver badge

    Google makes piracy too easy

    Also, cars and roads make bank robberies too easy.

  20. Dr.S

    Did this piece just imply that copyright law is dictated by democracy? Because to my knowledge it has been the domain of experts and international conventions for a long while now, far away from the power of democracy.

  21. Paul Webb

    Microsoft ate Labour...

    ... now Google are 'The Beast' it's their turn to dominate the incumbent government.

    Same game, (not so ) different players.

  22. Keep Refrigerated

    Also, while Google is at it...

    Whilst Google is assisting the music industry, could it also assist the Post Office industry - which has really been suffering since the advent of email. The problem is physical mail just can't compete with those email pirates who offer it free, fast and conveniently. If Google would just stop offering free email accounts, the Post Office could find a way to adapt their business model to benefit consumers by having them pay for email.

    Also when they have time could they look into the car manufacturing industry in some way preventing manufacturing from going overseas; the building industry in getting more houses built during the recession; the tourism industry, recovering from climatic disasters and recession; the agricultural industry, from drought disaster; the banking industry, from loss of respect and reputation... and any other industries struggling to adapt to changing times...

    When it's done with that, perhaps we can talk about resurrecting the horse and cart industry, camera film printing industry, canal boat transportation, thatch roofing industry...

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