Memo To Gordon Brown: An iPhone App Does Not A Digital Strategy Make



Here in the UK, politics is in a strange limbo and will be for the next few weeks. The sitting Labour government has to call a General Election very soon (most bets are on April 6th for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to visit the Queen to ask her permission).

As a result, not much is happening. The political parties are making frantic behind-the-scenes preparations for the election, while the politicians are going through the motions, waiting for the official election announcement to be made.

All of which makes this morning’s speech by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in which he announced a new official 10 Downing Street iPhone app, all the more surreal.

Brown is not well known for any love of technology (although I think he’s slightly more tech-savvy than his hopelessly Luddite predecessor Tony Blair, who openly admitted his complete ignorance of all things technical). But what annoys me more than anything else is that Brown should waffle on about Britain’s digital future on one hand, while his Government desperately tries to push the disastrously flawed Digital Economy Bill through Parliament with the bare minimum of debate.

That Bill, if passed, will allow household internet connections to be cut off permanently on the say-so of vaguely-defined “copyright holders”. The music and film industries are strongly in favour; pretty much everyone else, including the ISPs, is very strongly against. It’s a case of lobbying overtaking common sense.

If you live in the UK and, like me, you think this rush to push through a bad law is a bad thing, you should do something about it – soon.