All the numbers account for years

The power of paws, no sooner do I write about the lack of any national conversation about digital when we get the modestly titled “A New National Purpose” from the odd Marvel/DC team up of Tony Blair and William Hague.

Martha Lane Fox has set out very well the Groundhog Day feelings of those of us who cannot believe that digital, data and technology driven change are still seen as somehow “other” rather than being the only game in town.

The report itself is the usual mix of sweeping statements which have been completely overtaken by events:

Over the long run, a successful British state will likely be smaller in scope but more effective in its delivery.

Executive Summary

Statements which repeat the classic failure to understand the difference between universal services to address wicked problems and those optional ones which sit atop the Maslow hierarchy:

Ones which are pure magical thinking:

The return of old friends who promise that this time, this time, it will work:

The random:

And the sensible but dull:

Like everything in the UK these days Brexit is hardly mentioned. It occurs in three places: a footnote reference, a passing reference that it has made attracting talent harder and (a personal favourite this one) where the unfulfilled Brexit dividend is to er do what Germany has already done within the EU:

And lord this paragraph is just profoundly sad:

It’s easy to criticise this kind of paper. And I’m nothing if not easy but let’s be fair. The UK desperately needs to work out what the plan for the future is.

Skills, access, funding and services are all critical areas which need to be addressed and there is a distinct lack of any wider conversation underway.

The UK needs to stop trying to imitate places like Palo Alto, which itself has not been Palo Alto for decades, and to start building on its own successes and areas of expertise.

It needs to stop burning money and opportunity costs chasing the latest dumb tech idea like crypto and instead build a framework for investment which effectively balances risk and reward.

Most of all 60 years on it needs to stop having these “White heat of technology” Groundhog Day moments and just get on with it.

Published by radiobeartime

Ursine Plenipotentiary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: