Monday, 6 February 2012

(September 2010) Technology at the Heart of Government Policy

Archived (from September 2010):

(image copyright BBC)

David Rogers, the Windsor CLP conference delegate, gave a speech on Monday on the subject of "Technology at the Heart of Policy". The speech is still available to watch via the BBC iplayer (from 1:54:00):

The speech was very well received and BBC South Today spent time with David the following day, highlighting his support for tax breaks for the computer games industry and interviewing him about how he had found conference.

Afterwards David said "I'm happy that people agreed with what I had to say. We should really support and encourage technological growth in this country. It will help to solve a lot of problems."
Here is the original transcript for David's speech (click more if you are previewing this blog post):

Technology at the Heart of Policy
Conference, David Rogers, Windsor CLP.

Labour must put technology at the heart of policy, and recognise that it stretches across everything we do.

To recover our economy, we need to invest in the future. And that future is high technology: Technology to enable jobs, technology to revive our manufacturing industries and technology to help society.

We can only do this by ensuring we have the right skills. Without training, engineering apprenticeships and science graduates, we will only ever be consumers of technology.

Enabling communities
We should think laterally about how we can achieve economic growth through the use of technology. It is a travesty that we do not support rural communities to be more connected. We need to facilitate more remote and home working which will have tangential benefits on our transport network, the environment and for local businesses.

We must not allow deprived communities to become further disadvantaged by becoming a technology underclass. More so, we should transform high-unemployment areas such as Merthyr Tydfil, Port Talbot and County Durham through enabling new jobs from home which could support businesses in London and the South East who are crying out for staff. In this connected world, why should it matter where you live?

We have to drive the use of mobile applications in all areas of local and national government, which will help the disabled, the elderly and increase inclusiveness in our communities. At the same time, we have to understand the technology we are embracing. We cannot give away our private health records to companies in exchange for a computer system and our critical national infrastructure must remain secure.

Generating prosperity and enhancing our economy
Our focus must be on generating prosperity and enhancing our economy. We should be proud of our existing high tech industries and create the environment that allows them to grow. Most people do not realise that nearly all of the world’s mobile phones run on chips designed by a British company based in Cambridge.

We should make bold technological policy moves which will protect the environment, driving fundamental changes to car technology and embedded systems so that we are at the forefront of innovation.

I join the people of Dundee, Oxford and Brighton in asking why are we removing R&D tax credits from the computer games industry? Creative industries are a huge area of growth! We should nurture small developers and technologists and help them protect what they produce. Labour can be proud of its work on Opendata and open government. However, as a party, we need to revisit the digital economy act and ensure that we balance the rights and freedoms of individuals with the absolute need to protect the copyright of content developers.

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that are going to live in a high technology future. Labour should lead us into this and put Britain at the forefront of science and engineering.

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