Divisive Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has published a 'digital democracy manifesto' which aims to address concerns regarding the growth of a societal gulf between technological haves and have-nots in the UK.
Published following a press conference late yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn's digital democracy manifesto
is described in a somewhat error-peppered summary as 'about ensuring that our advances are shared, utilised and enjoyed by everyone, as part of a wider strategy to rebuild and transform Britain so that no one and no community is left behind.
' Accordingly, it outlines a range of topics on which Corbyn's Labour Party will campaign, from the promise of 'high speed broadband and mobile connectivity for every household, company and organisation in Britain from the inner city neighbourhoods to the remotest rural community
' to a 'Digital Citizen Passport [which] will be used when interacting with public services like health, welfare, education and housing.
Some of the more interesting extracts from Corbyn's manifesto include the promise that 'all publicly funded software and hardware is released under an Open Source licence,
' a commitment which goes beyond current governmental requirements. The manifesto also promises to 'create a free-to-use online hub of learning resources for the National Education Service,
' and that 'the BBC Charter will be updated with a commitment to nurture programming from local and identity communities; Ofcom will protect network neutrality; funding bodies will be encouraged to sponsor new media arts projects; we will reform the laws on intellectual property so that producers and consumers benefit.
Another eye-catching area of the manifesto is described as 'Massive Multi-Person On-line Deliberation,
' a pledge that the party will 'utilise information technologies to make popular participation in the democratic process easy and inclusive
' with both online and offline meetings. Corbyn has also pledged to 'launch a public consultation with people and parties across the political spectrum to draw up a digital bill of rights,
' and to 'finance social enterprises whose websites and apps are designed to minimise the costs of connecting producers with consumers in the transport, accommodation, cultural, catering and other important sectors of the British economy
' through the National Investment Bank.
'Technological advancements have transformed our daily lives, and politics is changing too. The issues may not change that much – people want decent housing and decent jobs, they want access to education and opportunity, they want thriving public services and a society which works for the millions not just the millionaires. But the terrain on which opinions are formed is changing,
' the manifesto summary reads. 'With rapid advances in digital technology, data and information can become sources of inequality and exploitation as well as. This digital manifesto is about ensuring that our advances are shared, utilised and enjoyed by everyone, as part of a wider strategy to rebuild and transform Britain so that no one and no community is left behind.