Gordon Brown talks digital…sorry I mean nonsense

Where do they get their information from in Government? Are they secretly living in some underground colony where the world is different to the one you and I live in? Or are they all so gullible they fall for anything anyone with a sharp suit tells them?

Take today – Gordon Brown personally backs the new plan for the digital future of Britain. He reckons digital is essential to the future prosperity of the country. So is an honest, well-regulated banking system Gordon. Sorry, I digress.

True, digital Britain is a necessity; but we could have told him that before his party even got into power in Downing Street. Indeed, it doesn’t take an Einsteinian brain to work it out. Anyone with half an ounce of sense has known this for a decade or more. Thanks Gordon for pointing out the obvious.

But while he is jollying it announcing the UK’s Digital Action Plan, behind the scenes other parts of his “joined-up” Government are taking it all to bits. For instance, ministers are proposing that all broadband accounts should be subject to a £20 tax to pay for a quango to deal with “illegal” downloads. Oh my goodness; just as we all need to have an efficient digital Britain, during a recession when we have less cash to spend, the Government wants to get us to spend more on accessing digital material.

Perhaps someone should tell the ministers – because they don’t seem to know – the people who pay the Broadband bills are not the ones doing the illegal downloading. It’s their kids who do that. In other words, the £20 Broadband Tax will have zero impact – but will increase our costs. Thanks.

And, while some ministers are busy proposing a tax on broadband access, the Secretary of State for Culture, Andy Burnham is revealing his lack of knowledge about the Internet. Today he has said that Britain leads the way in content creation. Wrong. It only takes a few minutes with some services like Alexa and you discover that the most significant slice of the content on the Internet originates from North America.

Every time this Government makes any kind of announcement about the Internet they reveal ever more how little they actually know or understand about it. More worryingly, they reveal how little their advisers know. After all, today’s digital action plan is calling for us all to have 2Mbps broadband support. That’s what most people in Korea had five years ago. The advice on which this report is based is clearly out of touch and out of date.

Time for Gordon to get new advisers, new ministers – or if he is so keen on digital technology then perhaps even better for him to get a new address, 10 Downing Street, Seoul. He’d be happier with the broadband connection there – and for some reason I can ‘t quite put my finger on, we’d be happier as well. Bye Gordon.

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