Although mistaking the Tory party for anything more than an extremely skilled spin device at present – think a Dyson washing machine – would be a serious mistake, we were slightly impressed by Shadow Chancellor George Osborne's very tech-savvy speech earlier this month. The monologue principally extolled the benefits of open source – something anyone with any tech knowledge at all will already know – and was littered with references to MySpace, Google and Mozilla.
However all the good work that George has done endearing the Conservatives with a zeitgeist-like shine of technical credibility risks being stripped away by comments made by David Cameron this week where he claimed the NHS has had its heart and soul ripped out and replaced with – a Computer! Yep, while Osborne may have ventured below the surface of Big-Brother doom-mongering favoured by a lot of politicos – Cameron has seen fit to revert to type.
While Cameron may be justified in claiming that the NHS' IT overhaul has been mismanaged and wasteful – sound-bites go a long way and demonising IT is all too easy.
But it's not just the Tories who are going in for some IT bashing this week, the government is at it too. The latest ad for the DVLA seems an odd choice for a government currently being accused of Big Brother behaviour with the clumsily draconian ID-Card scheme. How do you engender trust in a populace already paranoid about Governmental IT cock-ups and ID theft – launch a massive ad campaign based on the premise of monstrous mainframes chasing hapless motorists around the country.