Feeds

Labour manifesto changes a byte bit

But is that the only bit?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

If you thought that what a party puts in its manifesto is a cast-iron guarantee of promises to the electorate, then think again – because the Labour Party appears to have no qualms about amending its online manifesto, post-publication, and hoping no one will notice.

The change is a technical one: a mildly embarrassing typo suggested a Labour commitment to give "virtually every household in the country a broadband service of at least 2 megabytes per second by 2012".

As a sharp-eyed reader pointed out, they must mean 2 megabits. A commitment to a 2 megabyte broadband speed would actually imply something like 16.8 megabits – which is well beyond the physical capability of the UK telecommunications system.

As it stood, this was no more than a minor embarrassment: yet further evidence that New Labour – like most politicians – have a poor grasp of IT technicalities. But take a look again today at their manifesto, same page, same para and the typo has been magically corrected. Labour are now committed to the more accurate pledge of 2 megabit speeds by 2012.

Labour's 16.8 meg broadband pledge.

The Labour manifesto before, promising all the broadband you can eat...

The same passage after a stealthy edit.

...and after, with a decidedly more modest offering.

The only problem with this correction is that – as far as we can see – there is no acknowledgment of any amendment having been put in place. This is widely recognised as an issue when it comes to online publishing: the ability to change what appears and therefore to rewrite the past.

Readers of a literary bent will get a whiff of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which featured this technique heavily, with the all-powerful Big Brother state constantly editing the past so that citizens were never able to depend on knowing their own history.

On the surface, this is small beer. But look again. Originally, the rogue speed appeared on page 1.6. Now it is on page 1.7. What else has been changed? Those with copies of the print manifesto may be able to tell us – but this ought not to be necessary.

Perhaps they have changed little - that's not the point. Labour have shown themselves prone to serious Big Brother tendencies – and once found out, the question remains: what else have they changed?

We have asked the Labour Party for comment, but so far we have not heard back from them. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.