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Digital Politics – The Tom Watson Interview

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mi1ez 7th July 2011, 09:06 Quote
The UK needs more Tom Watsons in positions of power/influence. Been following and supporting Tom, ORG and Gamer's Voice for years and they do some fantastic work.
Redsnake77 7th July 2011, 10:36 Quote
It really it such a pity that there aren't more MP's with even half the intelligence and experience of Tom. Why do we keep electing these feckless, moronic, over educated - under intelligent, vacuous, incestuous, private school twits?
PQuiff 7th July 2011, 10:47 Quote
WOW!!! and MP thats not a complete dick, sir i salute you. Keep fighting the good fight.
Artanix 7th July 2011, 11:56 Quote
You know though, its not just MP's that are ill informed, its all this bollocks from the media as well, with Hackers going all over the place doing what they want and being above the law.

First, they're not sodding hackers, anybody can DoS attack a website, its stupid that companies have servers that still fall prey to such a simple type of attack (although DDoS does make it difficult to avoid).

Second, its as if the government, media, whoever, is just pushing this crap through and making it headline news, there clearly must be something behind the scene's happening thats getting the news to this level. No I'm not a regular conspiracy theory type person, but I don't see how PSN being down a month can rank as highly as Gaddafi shooting civilians en masse in his own country.

If enough people are force fed this stuff about the internet being a dangerous place, with pedofiles and hackers destroying everything in sight, of course the general public are going to think the digital economy act is a good idea and is helping people.

But as it says in the interview, bad decisions made by people will ill informed opinions, and they have no interest in finding out more themselves, they just want to make decisions, and say "I did this!!" if it works, and if not, blame the coalition government because its somebody elses fault.
BLC 7th July 2011, 12:15 Quote
The key thing here is for people to get off their arse and actually do something. Complaining about things doesn't get results. There is a need for more Tom Watsons in government, but there's also an onus on voters to take action. You don't have to feverishly wave banners at protests, but at least write to your MP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redsnake77
It really it such a pity that there aren't more MP's with even half the intelligence and experience of Tom. Why do we keep electing these feckless, moronic, over educated - under intelligent, vacuous, incestuous, private school twits?

To be honest, would you want someone like Tom Watson as Prime Minister? Don't get me wrong, he's very good at what he does and I have a great deal of respect for him, but I'm not sure he's the man I'd want in charge of: our nuclear arsenal, how many troops we commit to conflicts abroad, the economic recovery, etc.

The reason that we got the government we have is that people voted for them. You or I may not have voted for them, and they may not have won a majority, but more people voted for them than other parties. As above, if you don't like it then get involved.
WildThing 7th July 2011, 12:55 Quote
Great interview, +rep for Tom Watson.
Phil Rhodes 7th July 2011, 13:01 Quote
You don't ferment change, you foment change.
arcticstoat 7th July 2011, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
You don't ferment change, you foment change.

LOL, you are quite right. That's what happens when I write up an interview at the same time as researching brewing finings. Consider it corrected.
John_T 7th July 2011, 13:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redsnake77
It really it such a pity that there aren't more MP's with even half the intelligence and experience of Tom. Why do we keep electing these feckless, moronic, over educated - under intelligent, vacuous, incestuous, private school twits?

To be honest, would you want someone like Tom Watson as Prime Minister? Don't get me wrong, he's very good at what he does and I have a great deal of respect for him, but I'm not sure he's the man I'd want in charge of: our nuclear arsenal, how many troops we commit to conflicts abroad, the economic recovery, etc.

The reason that we got the government we have is that people voted for them. You or I may not have voted for them, and they may not have won a majority, but more people voted for them than other parties. As above, if you don't like it then get involved.

That.

Just because he's interested in and up to date on ONE specific area of government policy, it doesn't automatically make him a better MP than all the others.

There are hundreds of MP's and there are hundreds of specialist areas of interest that they campaign for - that different sections of their constituencies care about passionately:

- What are his views on economic policy? (Other than the games industry)
- If he gives tax breaks to the games industry, where will the money come from to cover it? What will he cut further to balance the loss?
- What would he do about the national deficit? Cut spending? Raise taxes? Borrow more and risk interest rate rises? What?
- What of manufacturing, finance & the arts? More/less regulation? More money to one at the detriment of the others?
- What are his views on military spending and defence? On all these wars we're in, that his party started? Trident?
- What are his consumer rights views in general? On all these gold-buying companies and short-term lenders with astronomical borrowing rates popping up everywhere? Is he campaigning against that?
- What are his views on immigration? Fine as it is? Too much? Not relevant?
- What are his educations beliefs in general and views on these teacher strikes in particular?
- The health service and all the myriad specific details and choices in that?
- Of retirement ages and the pensions time-bomb we face?
- Is it fair everyone should retire later? Is it affordable not to?
- Of Europe, and whether we should pour more money in the ailing Euro? Will propping it up with billions of our taxpayer pounds help keep it afloat and so help us in the long run? Or is it a case of just throwing good money after bad, to our huge detriment?
- Does he want to lock more people up and build more prisons, or does he want fewer people put in jail for shorter sentences?

Those are just a tiny, tiny fraction of the national topics our MP's have to know about and form opinions on - and it doesn't even begin to cover local issues that will highly charge some of his (and all the other MP's) constituents. It's simply impractical and unrealistic to expect them all to be well versed in everything.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's up to spec on (one aspect of) technology, and I'm glad he's fighting the cause for it, but that doesn't by itself make him a brilliant MP and all the others bad. That's a really shallow and ill-considered argument to make.
John_T 7th July 2011, 13:41 Quote
And I know it wasn't clear from my above comment, but I thought it was a really good article! :)
digitaldave 7th July 2011, 13:44 Quote
and let us not forget tom was involved in that red rag underhand smear campaign that was bullying other MP's for their wives having cancer and other such nastiness.

what we need is actual techies who know what they are on about in these positions, not some career politician gegging our taxes pretending to know stuff.
digitaldave 7th July 2011, 13:56 Quote
if only tom was so vocal about the digital economy act when dodgy mandelson (who he was an advisor for) went behind the backs of the nation and rushed through the act before the elections as he knew labour where getting voted out quick smart and the tories would take their time over implementing the act.

whilst its good to have more people on our side this article wreaks of hyppocrisy, labour will tell you anything if they will benefit from it and tom's interview here is a prime example of this.
the-beast 7th July 2011, 14:01 Quote
Outlaw DRM!
Ayrto 7th July 2011, 14:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
That.

Just because he's interested in and up to date on ONE specific area of government policy, it doesn't automatically make him a better MP than all the others.

There are hundreds of MP's and there are hundreds of specialist areas of interest that they campaign for - that different sections of their constituencies care about passionately:

- What are his views on economic policy? (Other than the games industry)
- If he gives tax breaks to the games industry, where will the money come from to cover it? What will he cut further to balance the loss?
- What would he do about the national deficit? Cut spending? Raise taxes? Borrow more and risk interest rate rises? What?
- What of manufacturing, finance & the arts? More/less regulation? More money to one at the detriment of the others?
- What are his views on military spending and defence? On all these wars we're in, that his party started? Trident?
- What are his consumer rights views in general? On all these gold-buying companies and short-term lenders with astronomical borrowing rates popping up everywhere? Is he campaigning against that?
- What are his views on immigration? Fine as it is? Too much? Not relevant?
- What are his educations beliefs in general and views on these teacher strikes in particular?
- The health service and all the myriad specific details and choices in that?
- Of retirement ages and the pensions time-bomb we face?
- Is it fair everyone should retire later? Is it affordable not to?
- Of Europe, and whether we should pour more money in the ailing Euro? Will propping it up with billions of our taxpayer pounds help keep it afloat and so help us in the long run? Or is it a case of just throwing good money after bad, to our huge detriment?
- Does he want to lock more people up and build more prisons, or does he want fewer people put in jail for shorter sentences?

Those are just a tiny, tiny fraction of the national topics our MP's have to know about and form opinions on - and it doesn't even begin to cover local issues that will highly charge some of his (and all the other MP's) constituents. It's simply impractical and unrealistic to expect them all to be well versed in everything.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's up to spec on (one aspect of) technology, and I'm glad he's fighting the cause for it, but that doesn't by itself make him a brilliant MP and all the others bad. That's a really shallow and ill-considered argument to make.

That reads like a list derived from the combined pet hates of the Mail and the Sun. Why would a Tech site be interested in asking about those things? Leave those questions to the Times , Torygraph or Guardian. Not that he isn't capable of giving in-depth replies on those subject areas if asked anyway , being the smart fellow he is, he probably could.

Hunt and Vaizey risk doing real damage to the net as we've known it in the UK. Vaizey has no time for the whole idea of net neutrality and both Hunt and Vaizey want new additional blocking filters put on all UK connections at ISP level. I'm no fan of New Labour either, they were indeed overly authoritarian and Mandelson's Act was rushed through without the necessary scrutiny. But they did decide to give Game developers tax relief and they didn't have plans to force through a great firewall of China/UK on all ISPs within one year of taking power. Historically speaking the Tories have always been the more authoritarian party - this is fact.

Tbh , I'm most annoyed with the silent Lib Dems, they made big play about defending net neutrality and net freedom more generally in the run up to the election.
digitaldave 7th July 2011, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
I'm no fan of New Labour either, they were indeed overly authoritarian. But they did decide to give Game developers tax relief and they didn't have plans to force through a great firewall of China/UK on all ISPs within one year of taking power. Historically speaking the Tories have always been the more authoritarian party - this is fact.

and labour have been historically more useless with money/introduce more taxes/leave the country bancrupt every time the get booted out.

also you presume they had no plans for a national firewall, do you not understand what mandelscum did ?

also did labour give tax relief or did they say they will talk about it, two completely different things.

I dont agree that games companies should get tax relief, why are they so special? my industry doesnt get tax relief, rather the opposite, you cant give one withouit giving to all.

and if you do that it has to be paid for by cutting or taxing something else.
SexyHyde 7th July 2011, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redsnake77
Why do we keep electing these feckless, moronic, over educated - under intelligent, vacuous, incestuous, private school twits?

Because with politics the vast majority of people pick a party and continue to vote for them and most people vote for one of two parties, with a common comment being there's no point voting for a smaller party because 'they'll never get in!' Well if you don't vote for them they will never get in. Also most people find soaps and celebrity more interesting than politics so get a lot of there political views from short soundbites in the media or foster views of people they like and interact with (friends & family).
John_T 7th July 2011, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto

That reads like a list derived of the combined pet hates of the Mail and Sun.

It isn't a list of pet hates of anything, and if you think it is you clearly haven't understood what I said. For starters, it doesn't even attempt to answer the questions.

Redsnake77 suggested that because Tom is interested in one topic that he himself is interested in, that Tom is great and that most other MP's are, quote: "...feckless, moronic, over educated - under intelligent, vacuous, incestuous, private school twits".

I was merely pointing out why that was a stupid argument to make. I believe I was quite clear and specific in that.

I did not point to or suggest any potential answers for those questions, (nor suggest bit-tech should have asked them) and nothing I said was party-political, partisan or biased in anyway. Unlike you with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Leave those questions to the Times , Torygraph

and:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Historically speaking the Tories have always been the more authoritarian party - this is fact.

Which is not a fact, but is an opinion. Historically the Conservatives have sought more control in some areas and more freedoms in others - and the Labour Party have sought more control in some different areas and more freedoms in others. Strange how different parties have different ideas eh?

Irrespective of all that, I wasn't making party-political points - I was merely defending all the other MP's, from across the entire political spectrum, from unfairly being called idiots.

I know defending MP's isn't something that happens very often, perhaps that's why you were confused...
Ayrto 7th July 2011, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldave
and labour have been historically more useless with money/introduce more taxes/leave the country bancrupt every time the get booted out.

also you presume they had no plans for a national firewall, do you not understand what mandelscum did ?

also did labour give tax relief or did they say they will talk about it, two completely different things.

I dont agree that games companies should get tax relief, why are they so special? my industry doesnt get tax relief, rather the opposite, you cant give one withouit giving to all.

and if you do that it has to be paid for by cutting or taxing something else.

Bit tech doesn't do politics normally and I guess this is why. However, politics is intruding into the tech world so....

Left us bankrupt? hmm the problem I have with this is . Would the Tories have not bailed out the banks ? for this was the big crash event. Btw the Tories were calling for less regulation of the banks than even Labour would accede to. George Osborne praised Ireland's then tiger economy as the model for the UK -so what did he know?

Further, as for the tories; did they or did they not say they'd match Labour "pound for pound" on public spending? Gordon Brown was the iron chancellor remember as recently as 2007, who took over the Labour leadership in 2007 unopposed, with "soaring public opinion polls" because of his huge economic credibility. That was only in 2007!!!. So to say Labour's time in office was one long disaster is to rewrite history Daily Mail style.

BTW, I' didn't vote Labour I voted Lib Dem
Ayrto 7th July 2011, 15:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
It isn't a list of pet hates of anything, and if you think it is you clearly haven't understood what I said. For starters, it doesn't even attempt to answer the questions.

Redsnake77 suggested that because Tom is interested in one topic that he himself is interested in, that Tom is great and that most other MP's are, quote: "...feckless, moronic, over educated - under intelligent, vacuous, incestuous, private school twits".

I was merely pointing out why that was a stupid argument to make. I believe I was quite clear and specific in that.

I did not point to or suggest any potential answers for those questions, (nor suggest bit-tech should have asked them) and nothing I said was party-political, partisan or biased in anyway. Unlike you with:



and:



Which is not a fact, but is an opinion. Historically the Conservatives have sought more control in some areas and more freedoms in others - and the Labour Party have sought more control in some different areas and more freedoms in others. Strange how different parties have different ideas eh?

Irrespective of all that, I wasn't making party-political points - I was merely defending all the other MP's, from across the entire political spectrum, from unfairly being called idiots.

I know defending MP's isn't something that happens very often, perhaps that's why you were confused...

Not confused at all.

Why bother listing all those things, it's kinda patronising to think the poster who thought he is a good MP because he 'gets it' on tech issues is oversimplifying things. Many people only vote on one issue and that's the one that's important to them. There are 450,000 highly paid civil servants with deep specialised expertise in every area of government, these help make informed decisions when you're in the Executive. The idea that the average indistinguishable, careerist, lobby fodder MP worries about that list is laughable, they do what they're told . Tom Watson is showing some initiative and should be applauded.
John_T 7th July 2011, 15:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Bit tech doesn't do politics normally and I guess this is why.

This is very much why, as politics tends to make the Intel vs AMD / AMD vs nVidea arguments look as weak as they really are by comparison.

In terms of the economy, there is a world of difference between running a deficit in bad times and building up a structural deficit in the good. This is the key point of contention between the major parties, and it has nothing to do with the recent global economic downturn.

The Conservatives did not say they would match all of Labour's projected public spending pound for pound, (that would make them Labour themselves) they said, rightly or wrongly, that they would match the projected NHS spending pound for pound. Which apparently, rightly or wrongly, they have.

Gordon Brown was ridiculed for being called the 'Iron Chancellor' long before 2007 - not least for selling off the nations gold reserves at historically low prices. Ask any pensioners how they feel about him 'doing a Maxwell' on them.

Gordon Brown took over the Premiership unopposed simply because it was an internal party-political move and none of his colleagues contested him. "Soaring public opinion polls" had nothing to do with it, and he was removed from office at the first time the public were asked about it.

Irrespective of all that, I think bit-tech should be kept relatively political free, so I'm willing to say "let's agree to disagree" if you and the others are as well. There are plenty of other more appropriate forums for these types of discussions - and if people misunderstood my earlier comments and think I started this, then I apologise for that, as that was not my intention.
John_T 7th July 2011, 15:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto

...it's kinda patronising to think the poster who thought he is a good MP because he 'gets it' on tech issues is oversimplifying things.

No you're right, listing some of the other things MP's are also supposed to be expert in, (and hence why they may not be expert in this one particular field) is patronising.

Calling people "feckless, moronic, over educated - under intelligent, vacuous, incestuous, private school twits" on the other hand is perfectly reasonable and rationale debate....
Hovis 7th July 2011, 15:44 Quote
Tom Watson is good people. He's been getting properly stuck into the phone hacking at the NotW scandal, and has been since the story broke. That's not a small thing to be getting stuck into when you consider the power that Murdoch wields over the media.

I should just add that my local MP is Nadine Dorries. So relatively speaking even a potato taped to the side of a duck looks like a solid parliamentary advocate from where I'm sitting.
Ayrto 7th July 2011, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
This is very much why, as politics tends to make the Intel vs AMD / AMD vs nVidea arguments look as weak as they really are by comparison.

In terms of the economy, there is a world of difference between running a deficit in bad times and building up a structural deficit in the good. This is the key point of contention between the major parties, and it has nothing to do with the recent global economic downturn.

The Conservatives did not say they would match all of Labour's projected public spending pound for pound, (that would make them Labour themselves) they said, rightly or wrongly, that they would match the projected NHS spending pound for pound. Which apparently, rightly or wrongly, they have.

Gordon Brown was ridiculed for being called the 'Iron Chancellor' long before 2007 - not least for selling off the nations gold reserves at historically low prices. Ask any pensioners how they feel about him 'doing a Maxwell' on them.

Gordon Brown took over the Premiership unopposed simply because it was an internal party-political move and none of his colleagues contested him. "Soaring public opinion polls" had nothing to do with it, and he was removed from office at the first time the public were asked about it.

Irrespective of all that, I think bit-tech should be kept relatively political free, so I'm willing to say "let's agree to disagree" if you and the others are as well. There are plenty of other more appropriate forums for these types of discussions - and if people misunderstood my earlier comments and think I started this, then I apologise for that, as that was not my intention.

Well it's disputed :"By 2007–08, the public finances were in a stronger position than they had been when Labour came to power in 1997". source IFS

In 2007 the debt was lower than in 1996 .

FYI, I was never a supporter of Brown , but Brown's and Labour's poll ratings were sky high when he took over as leader in 07, so much so that the Tory press feared for the future of the Conservative party. Virtually every respected political commentator agrees that had Brown had the guts to call an election back then ,he'd have won. The 'Bottling it' moment , was pretty much when his problems began- political and economic.
yakyb 7th July 2011, 16:43 Quote
having used some of the information from data.gov.uk i can agree it is a very useful service
digitaldave 8th July 2011, 00:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldave
and labour have been historically more useless with money/introduce more taxes/leave the country bancrupt every time the get booted out.

also you presume they had no plans for a national firewall, do you not understand what mandelscum did ?

also did labour give tax relief or did they say they will talk about it, two completely different things.

I dont agree that games companies should get tax relief, why are they so special? my industry doesnt get tax relief, rather the opposite, you cant give one withouit giving to all.

and if you do that it has to be paid for by cutting or taxing something else.

Bit tech doesn't do politics normally and I guess this is why. However, politics is intruding into the tech world so....

Left us bankrupt? hmm the problem I have with this is . Would the Tories have not bailed out the banks ? for this was the big crash event. Btw the Tories were calling for less regulation of the banks than even Labour would accede to. George Osborne praised Ireland's then tiger economy as the model for the UK -so what did he know?

Further, as for the tories; did they or did they not say they'd match Labour "pound for pound" on public spending? Gordon Brown was the iron chancellor remember as recently as 2007, who took over the Labour leadership in 2007 unopposed, with "soaring public opinion polls" because of his huge economic credibility. That was only in 2007!!!. So to say Labour's time in office was one long disaster is to rewrite history Daily Mail style.

BTW, I' didn't vote Labour I voted Lib Dem

gordon brown was in his own words gifted a fantastic economic opertunity to make changes, he gave away our gold for the cheapest price gold has ever been sold at and agreed to loans to give third world nations billions we couldnt afford, labours greatest economic mind proves why we should never, ever, ever trust labour ever again.

you might not be old enough to remember but labour did this last time, thatcher came into office after labour bancrupt the country, she had to sell everything to pay for the mess labour made, and again they where gifter a bouyant economy and left it ruined.

you might have a agenda here but it simply will not wash, we dont forget.
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