04 August 2008

Open Source and UK Politics

The new dividing line between Labour and the Tories is less about a left-right split than about an authoritarian approach on one side and a more liberal one on the other. And Labour are on the wrong side of it. Many of their social and economic policies may have failed, but where they have succeeded is in developing a targeting, controlling, distrustful state. From the micromanagement of civil servants, teachers, doctors and the police, to ID cards, super databases and the growth of surveillance, the government's answer to too many problems has been the removal of autonomy from individuals and more oversight from Whitehall.

The Conservative analysis is that this over-controlling state is not only disastrously unpopular, it is also one of the key reasons why Labour, despite all its spending, has failed to achieve its goals. Endless supervision has been an expensive distraction, and has sapped energy and morale out of public life.

Amazing how the Conservatives are becoming the party of bottom-up openness - explicitly in the case of open source - and Labour seems determined to become its polar opposite.


johndrinkwater said...

Hmm, looks like it’s time to vote Lib Dem ;)
They seem to have the same arguments and yet I trust them more than Conversatives to keep their point of view after getting the seats.

Glyn Moody said...

Yeah, tricky this politics stuff, isn't it?