Category Archives: General

The lot.

Speed Matters

I have been involved in a lot of discussions over the last couple of years about the broadband speeds that most users need in the UK. This debate was given extra impetus with the Digital Britain report proposal for a universal broadband service at 2Mbps – To ensure all can access and benefit from the


Following the stunning success of Barack Obama with his message of ‘Change’ last year, opposition parties everywhere are itching to claim the change label in their own contests. In the UK, the Conservatives have been moving into this territory with extensive use of the not-so-subtle slogan ‘Vote for Change’. This creates a challenge for the

An Allowance for MPs but not for Attendance

I have posted before on my thoughts about reforming the allowance system for MPs. While this involves a daily allowance, this is a very different system from the ‘attendance allowance’ system being proposed now by the Prime Minister which I think is a mistake. Any new system should still be regarded as a payment to

JG Ballard RIP

I was sad to hear yesterday of the death of JG Ballard as I have gained so much enjoyment from his books over many years. It’s always hard to pick favourites amongst an author’s work, but the ones that made most impression on me were probably ‘The Kindness of Women’ and ‘High Rise’.

WoW Machinima and Downfall Remix

I may be late to this party but am now a convert to the joys of World of Warcraft Machinima on YouTube, especially this great version of I’m Too Sexy. This led me tangentially to this freshly subtitled version of Downfall, the excellent movie about Hitler’s last days that is so darkly absorbing. I wasn’t

Naughty MPs’ Expenses

As the latest ‘scandal’ about what MPs claim as expenses unfolds, I for one would be happy in future not to know what they spend their money on. That is to say that I hope they will institute a system which does not require item-by-item claims, but uses a simple daily allowance system to ensure

Google vs PRS

Interesting to see that nearly all of the comments on the BBC blog article about Google’s decision to withdraw premium music videos from YouTube in the UK are firmly on the side of Google and highly critical of both PRS’s fees and the complexity of the system.

Power of Information Taskforce Report

We have now published the final version of the report from the Power of Information Taskforce that I have been chairing over the last few months. This has been both interesting and enjoyable for me, exploring ways to improve access to and use of public sector information, and thinking through new models for government to

Snow and Political Interviews

This week we have had heavy snowfalls in the UK followed by the usual challenges to politicians about the public sector response to this event. Two things struck me listening the various interviews. London Mayor Boris Johnson sounds like a contestant in Just a Minute when replying to questions. For anyone not familiar with this

Obama Online in Office

Two observations from a session on new media, politics and lessons from the US at the Oxford Media Convention today. Firstly, the existence of a transition period creates huge differences from Parliamentary systems like the UK. The Obama team have been able to spend several weeks thinking about how to adapt their vibrant online communities