Alex pointed out yesterday the Taxpayers’ Alliance opposition to the public sector using Web 2.o technologies:
Taxpayers don’t want more Web2.0. They want an end to wasteful spending.
Now, if you think that spending money on Web 2.0 is necessarily wasteful (and that was the full depth of the Taxpayers’ Alliance – no nuanced point about some Web 2.0 technologies, or some projects – it was just this blanket opposition), you’d have thought the Taxpayers’ Alliance would apply the same standards to themselves?
In which case, they really had better shop themselves to their funders for wasting money as, er…, their own website is build on Web2.o technologies. As Simon Dickson points out:
I was interested to find out more about TPA’s view of ‘Web2.0′… so I visited their website. Or specifically, their Typepad-hosted blog. How very ‘Web2.0′ of them. I wonder do they know about the various government websites which have also used Typepad for its cheap hosting, instant availability and high degree of configurability. I haven’t heard them praising it, so maybe not.
But (and if you are a Taxpayers’ Alliance donor, you really should look away now) it’s worse than that. Because the Taxpayers’ Alliance ran a job ad for themselves earlier this year looking for someone specifically to work on Web2.0 projects for themselves:
The new venture will have an exciting Web 2.0 component, so a general familiarity with UK politics on the internet is essential and an understanding of Web 2.0 campaigning would be extremely beneficial. (Hat-tip: @otherTPA)
Not quite consistent with blanket opposition to using Web 2.0 technology as always being wasteful is it?
Mind you, one thing the Taxpayers’ Alliance has got right is their handling of the media (or, conversely, one thing the media has got wrong is the handling of the Taxpayers’ Alliance). I say that because this is only the latest in a series of increasingly extreme, verging on the absurd, comments – nearly all of which have been reported by the media at face value. Far more moderate comments from other pressure groups across the political spectrum are regularly accompanied by critical counter-quotes from others. The TPA, thought, usually gets a free ride.
Here’s a quick reminder of some of those other extreme comments: if you spend 11 seconds a day at work doing non-work stuff, it’s a terrible waste (even if you spend that time in your lunch hour), public sector bodies should never change their financial policies (a bit weird, you might think, give the TPA’s policy is to call for change, but hey ho) and training staff is a waste of money (the one exception where there was some comment back).