The Labour Party has published its manifesto for #GE2015 – here is a quick cut and paste of the egregiously digital, media, open data and other bits that reflect the interests I write about here. It is just a cut and paste job for quick TLDR reference – will improve this post as the day goes on. Naturally it isn’t just about where any of these issues are mentioned explicitly, they will pervade others.
We will build an economy that works for working people
We will cap structural social security expenditure in each spending review
so that it is properly controlled. We will implement the proposals of Labour’s
Zero-Based Review, which has already identified savings we will make through
reforming old government bureaucracies, devolving power and services to our
towns and cities, and redesigning public services, and which we will continue
in government. We will invest to prevent social problems rather than waste
money reacting to them. And we will use digital technology to create a more
responsive, devolved, and less costly system of government.
We will help our families and communities to thrive
..We will take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime, such as anti-Semitism
and Islamophobia. We will challenge prejudice before it grows, whether in
schools, universities or on social media. And we will strengthen the law on
disability, homophobic, and transphobic hate crime.
Improving productivity and a new industrial
…Labour’s longer-term approach will drive innovation and build on our strengths
as a leader in digital technology. We are just at the start of the internet revolution.
Digital technology has transformed start-up costs making it easier to run your
own business. There is a widening in the application of new transformative
technologies in the fields of robotics, genetics, 3D printing and Big Data. Our
economy is developing a network of connections that will revolutionise innovation.
Labour will ensure that all parts of the country benefit from affordable, high
speed broadband by the end of the Parliament. We will work with the industry
and the regulator to maximise private sector investment and deliver the mobile
infrastructure needed to extend coverage and reduce ‘not spots’, including in
areas of market failure. And we will support community-based campaigns to
reduce the proportion of citizens unable to use the internet and help those who
need it to get the skills to make the most of digital technology.
We will provide world-class health and education services
Our public services are a measure of the strength and decency of our society.
But we need a change in how we design them by pushing power down and
organising them around individuals and families not centralised bureaucracies.
…We can save money and create more responsive services by building
co-operation between public services and organisations. Pooling funds across
local areas reduces inefficiency and avoids duplication. Services must be joined
up in ways that make sense to the people who use them.
Labour will use digital technology in reforming our public services. People will
be able to feed back on services quickly and simply, making sure their voices
are heard, stimulating improvement and saving on the costs of service failure.
We will reform government to give more power to people
Labour believes meaningful and lasting change for the better is only possible
when people are given the power to change things for themselves. Our
governing mission is to break out of the traditional top-down, ‘Westminster
knows best approach’, and devolve power and decision-making to people and
their local communities.
…We will further develop digital government to enable better communication,
more collaboration, and sharing of data between services. It will make services
and transactions more efficient and simpler for people to use. To create a more
connected society we will support making digital government more inclusive, transparent and accountable.
We will continue to back the principle of ‘open data by default’, releasing public sector performance data wherever possible.
In return for greater devolution of funding and responsibility, we will establish
local Public Accounts Committees, so that every pound spent by local bodies
creates value for money for local taxpayers.
Our Freedom of Information laws have shone a light into the darker corners of government and are a crucial check on the power of the Executive. We will extend their scope so that public services run by large private companies are included. And we will repair the damage done by this Government to the vital safeguard offered by judicial review.
The free flow of information and of different points of view is crucial for open
debate and countering concentrations of unaccountable power. That is why the
concentration of media power in too few hands is damaging to our democracy.
No one media owner should be able to exert undue influence on public opinion
and policy makers. No media company should have so much power that those
who run it believe themselves above the rule of law.
Yet the current system for protecting against these threats is inadequate.
Labour will take steps to protect the principle of media plurality, so that no
media outlet can get too big, including updating our rules for the 21st century
We remain strongly committed to the implementation of the recommendations
of the Leveson Inquiry. We expect the industry to establish a mechanism for
independent self-regulation, which delivers proper redress for individuals, as
set out in the Royal Charter, and agreed by all parties in Parliament. We made
a promise to victims of the phone hacking scandal. We stand by that promise
and will keep it.
Our system of public service broadcasting is one of Britain’s great strengths.
The BBC makes a vital contribution to the richness of our cultural life, and
we will ensure that it continues to do so while delivering value for money. We
will also commit to keeping Channel 4 in public ownership, so it continues to
produce vital public content.
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