May 28th, 2009


(no subject)

Oh dear, Nick Clegg has lumped Open Source Software with political gimmicks in a Guardian article:
Open-source software, new select committee chairs and legislative text messages will not rescue British democracy. They are designed, I fear, to provide verbal cover for maintaining the status quo.
OK, he's right in as far as just introducing Free Software to government won't actually do much to fix democracy, and the points he makes on electoral reform and electing the Lords are very important¹, but the phrasing seems to dismiss Free Software as a gimmick, which is utterly missing the point. It seems to be rubbishing an important idea simply because the tories have decided to adopt it and it isn't something much of the electorate will care much about.

¹ Although I'm still not convinced by fully elected Lords. I like the best of the current Lords, where it acts as a technocratic reviewing chamber, with less party politics, that can be overridden by a democratically elected body. However, the devil is in the detail of how people get appointed to such a chamber, and I don't have a good answer for that. I certainly would like to get rid of the automatic appointment of bishops and the remaining aristocrats though, and the whatever the appointment system is, it can't be entirely at the whim of the current government.