Feeds

Britain's Tories love open source (true)

All aboard the Osbornesource bandwagon!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

George Osborne, Britain's shadow chancellor of the exchequer, has stuck the Conservative Party's banner firmly on the internet bandwagon.

Speaking at the Royal Society of Arts yesterday, he applauded the "democratisation of information" brought about by the internet.

And he championed the Open Source movement by stating how the British government should save money by ditching its conventional software licenses.

George Osborne speaking in 2006

Osborne suggested that the principles of transparency used in open source software development could also be applied to political discourse and the workings of the establishment.

"We need to harness the internet to help us become more accountable, more transparent and more accessible - and so bridge the growing gap between government and governed," he said.

However, one Open Source guru who is advising Osborne told The Register that he couldn't speak to us on the record for fear of losing his new-found links to power. It was too great an opportunity for the Open Source movement to pass up, he said.

Bottoms up

According to Osborne, the internet phenomenon was "rapidly eroding traditional power and informational balances".

It is an alluring idea, and one that enamours British politicos, boxed in as they are by spin and secrecy.

Osborne described the internet ideal as well as any suited-and-booted revolutionary - with a touch of condescension: "The Internet is like a child pushing at boundaries of authority and challenging the established way of doing things."

"The challenge is for the pushed to resist the urge to push back - to regulate and legislate; to try to tame and control," he said, in contrast to the Labour government's instinct to regulate the internet, and suggestion that the freedom child, since having been proven so effective on the web, should be shown upstairs: "Top down politics is no longer sustainable in a bottom-up age."

The internet phenomenon has inspired in Osborne three policy ideas, he say. The first is the democratisation of information, in the name of which his Government Spending Transparency Bill was being pushed through the legislature. This would involve the details of government spending to be published online for all to see. But his office said just what information was published would be limited with the commercial in confidence arrangements it struck with its suppliers.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.