Social politics

Rob Paterson decided to challenge a government pseudo-consultation about child education. Just using blogging and facebook he has helped put a spanner in the works. He seems to be getting somewhere and I like his interim conclusion:

It’s early days and it is not all clear. But what is clear to me is that having a few bureaucrats do what they want is going to get hard for them.

Until now, a typical government consultation was to have what you wanted already decided and have a couple of hours with the punters – everything was decided in the back room.

Well this is just not viable anymore.

1 thought on “Social politics

  1. Jeremy Sweeney

    I spent a fair number of years working on government consultations, both as a lobbyist working to get my clients point of view across, and as someone genuinely trying to get peoples input into policy development i.e. consult them. Often, as Rob patterson describes, it was fake consultation, where we either ignore what we hear that we don’t like, or hold up as evidence in support of our case what we do. In truth, I find myself prone to doing the same thing, despite best intentions. I think it is part of the human condition to find attractive what we like or supports our perspectives and prejudices, and ignore what does not.

    It is a legitimate arguement to say that Governments should be held to a higher standard, and they should. Yet at the same time who or what is ‘Government’? Only a collection of people, not unlike us in many ways (and like us in all the important ones in terms of limitations, pressures etc.)

    The internet, and its democratisation of information and influence (though perhaps not as much as everyone thinks) is one good defence against manipulating consultations – long live the Pattersons of this world.


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