Labour: We'll Foster Greater 'Internet Based Democracy'

Aug 12, 2014

Labour wants a "digital revolution" that will "shift power away from Whitehall," it has declared, suggesting the plan may form part of its pitch to UK voters in next May's General Election.

Jon Cruddas, the party's MP for Dagenham and Chi Onwurah, who holds the Newcastle upon Tyne Central seat, announced in the Guardian yesterday that the opposition's policy review "has seen a fundamental rethinking of the basic assumptions on which our party has been built for the last 30 years".

In February 2014 Labour began its "Digital Government Review" to find ways that tech can be used to change the way we interact with the government and, more importantly, how the government interacts with us.

Now, Cruddas and Onwurah say that, "We know we must transform the way we do government. Big-state, top-down solutions just won't work because to transform our country we have to help people be active participants, not helpless observers."

The pair also admitted that it's unlikely that the British government will be the best suited for their "digital revolution" stating "with its distance from the frontline of public services and culture of low-risk-taking, the most exciting new uses won't come from Whitehall."

While Labour make calls for "transparency in the performance of public services" and national and local collaboration, the Tories' own digital efficiency and reform group (ERG) has focused on utilising the Internet to try and streamline transaction services.

George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, and Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, announced that it saved £14.3 billion from 2013 to 2014, for example.

However, the policy review has yet to reach its conclusion and is currently being considered by the non-partisan advisory board and will end in Autumn. 

Author: Nathan Chai
View the original article here.
Published under license from