Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “New media”

Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

The internet was at one stage hailed as a major democratic tool – allowing us “voters” to have a direct input into the democratic purpose (beyond that of putting an “X” on a piece of paper every few years).

But now we are not so sure. Read more…


EFF: Censoring the Web Isn’t the Solution to Terrorism or Counterfeiting. It’s the Problem.

From Electronic Frontier Foundation 25 November 2014 Jeremy Malcolm (© Creative Commons Attribution License)

In politics, as with Internet memes, ideas don’t spread because they are good—they spread because they are good at spreading. One of the most virulent ideas in Internet regulation in recent years has been the idea that if a social problem manifests on the Web, the best thing that you can do to address that problem is to censor the Web.

It’s an attractive idea because if you don’t think too hard, it appears to be a political no-brainer. It allows governments to avoid addressing the underlying social problem—a long and costly process—and instead simply pass the buck to Internet providers, who can quickly make whatever content has raised rankles “go away.” Problem solved! Except, of course, that it isn’t.

Read more…

Are the geeks inheriting the earth?

There is an interesting article in the Observer of 11 May 2014 by Andrew Smith about his birthplace, now known as Silicon Valley. He concludes:

… for all the excitement and convenience they generate, the tech people are giving us a world which suits them, which we need to start treating with far more caution than we presently do. …
Observer, 11 May 2014 : Silicon Valley: an army of geeks and ‘coders’ shaping our future

It is a worrying portrait of the place that “gives” us apps for our mobiles and tablets and mega-presences like Facebook that seem to be mediating moderating and manipulating so much of our communications.

It is in many senses the same problem as Westminster – an out of touch elite having undue influence on our lives. Read more…

Social Continence and Conservatives

It seems that our prime minister thinks that just because he has an iPad, he can be socially incontinent. He needs to realise that iPads (at least those made by factory workers in China for Apple) come with responsibilities, and he should set a better example – or at least try to.

In the last week we have seen: Read more…

Twittering over Gibraltar

After making a bid to ease tensions over the telephone, Mr Cameron said on Twitter: “Constructive call with Spain’s PM Rajoy. I made clear my concerns re Gibraltar and that our position on sovereignty won’t change”.
BBC News Website 7 August 2013: PM has ‘constructive’ call with Spain over Gibraltar

Is it just me or is there something wrong about our PM thinking that he has to witter about this issue – and reduce a complex issue to 140 characters? Read more…

Appropriate Twitter?

Writing on Twitter Prime Minister David Cameron said: “My best wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh who is in hospital tonight. I hope he has a swift recovery.”BBC News Website 6 June 2013 Prince Philip admitted to hospital

I’m sorry, but if I wanted to send the Duke of Edinburgh my best wishes, I would not do it by Twitter. Read more…

Post Navigation