21st Century Government: Finally What We Expect?


Whether we’re referring to ancient technophobes or the ‘youth of today’ who cannot function without their FaceBook and Twitter being directed straight to their BlackBerry, the majority of society has been realising that the government desperately needs to play catch-up. As a confessed technology addict (with less knowledge than enthusiasm) I am utterly delighted that the Coalition Government is finally giving technology the time of day it deserves.

The new website https://www.gov.uk/has now been launched for public testing and the accessibility and ease of navigation are practical and astounding. For example, under “Crime and Justice” everything can be located from information on getting an ASBO to reporting suspicious terrorist or extremist activity to MI5. Alone this is useful, but when considering that the new system is estimated to save up to £50m a year, it cannot be faulted.

One of the first Personal Computers

Technological advancements are rapid and as a nation we must keep up.

The Commons Science and Technology Committee report was also released today which has its focus on public safety although it was concluded that “the internet is still a reasonably safe place to go about one’s business”. They believe it is necessary for a wide-reaching awareness campaign advocating adequate personal internet security, particularly in regard to online banking and giving personal data away. They do realise, however, that scare-mongering tactics that have previously been used aid no-one and merely detract from the usefulness of the World Wide Web. For those groups in society who were never socialised to accept this technology in their lives, it has become a source of unnecessary fear and a form of technological isolation. With more ways to connect to society and friends than ever before, technology should be a source of empowerment rather than the potential for crime, fraud and identity theft which the media readily portrays.

The political sphere is often traditional and rebukes change where possible, but for Britain to retain its place on the world stage we must embrace postmodernity and the advancements it brings. Globalisation is a reality, not a concept and accessible technologies will be key factors in the efficient economies of the future.

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Posted on February 2, 2012, in Coalition Government, Comment, Looking Forward and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. An interesting article Natalie.

    I hail the new gov.uk web interface – it’s a step-forward for governments to be using such up-to-date methods to provide web sites, and in a clear and concise way which is more appealing to a technophobic user. It’s such a long way to go though. The reality is, Britain is flagging significantly on the international stage when it comes to computer literacy. I think the sad but true reason that services like gov.uk had to be simplified and introduced is because there is a technophobic root running through so many British people strangling their ability to comprehend computing. Even at schools, kids aren’t even taught what a hard drive is, or how a server works – really quite simple concepts; instead they are taught how to use Microsoft Excel – skills which are so easily learnt, and then so easily forgotten.

    But that’s a side-track – this is definitely a sign that this government is switched on, literally, when it comes to these things.

  2. I was going to try to make it to the party but so far away from me .tsk. Hope to meet you in the spring tuhgoh and also Sarah if she will be in West Virginia too. I am so happy that you will go to Italy how exciting.

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