MPs Are Very Good At T’Internet Shocker

Iain Dale has headlined his blog post on today’s Hansard Society / Microsoft report, “MPs Not Very Good At T’Internet Shocker”, but it seems to me you could just as well draw the opposite conclusion.

There’s much that’s good and thoughtful and interesting in the report, but … it still suffers from what most such reports suffer from, which is the chain of assumptions, “The internet is good. Politicians should therefore use the internet more. The more different ways they use the internet the better. If there’s any way they’re not using the internet, that’s bad.”

There is some truth in that, but fundamentally it’s wrong. MPs, like the rest of us, have a limited amount of time and many different demands on their time. Assuming they should all be using the internet in all its myriad ways is as flawed as the Luddites who think none of it is for them.

So when you look at the table that shows huge variation in the take up of different internet tools, and big variations across the country and across size of majorities, you could just as well conclude that an awful lot of them are making sensible judgements about what to use and what not to use – and indeed are showing rather more understanding in making those judgements than some of the internet enthusiasts who (often ringing me to try to sell me something :-)) go for “more! better! always!”.

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