Thursday, 13 October 2011

IS ROGER GALE A LUDDITE?

Goodness me, Roger Gale's foolhardy war on technology looks set to continue. Is the MP for North Thanet becoming a luddite or something? A luddite tends, after all, to be described as "one who opposes technical or technological change" and Gale's latest call to ban Twitter from the Commons has made him look as daft as a brush. It seems like this is becoming something of a habit. Last month, Gale criticised the government's use of online e-petitions to determine parliamentary debates and now he's having a pop at social media.

Back in August, Gale had a moan about Twitter and blathered on about how he felt it made a "contributory and probably significant factor in the co-ordination of the recent criminal riots" and called upon the government to grant the police powers to terminate "the use of transmitters servicing trouble spots." It amazes me how some Tories claim to oppose a 'police state' but seem quite happy to grant them powers to ensure that "the rights of society to protection" - as Gale puts it - "have to take precedence over the rights of individuals." Funny thing that.

And now, alongside fellow Tory MP James Gray, Roger Gale has called for all mobile phones and iPads to be banned from the Commons. In particular, it appears that Gale doesn't like the fact that some MPs tweet from the Chamber as he claims it 'disrupts debates.' What, and falling asleep on live TV doesn't disrupt debates too? What does Gale propose to do about that, eh? I'd much rather have an MP who is engaged with modern technology to keep constituents informed of what's being discussed via Twitter rather than have some old fart not paying attention and snoring his head off on the green benches.

As it happens, as of today, the majority of MPs have voted in favour of allowing the use of Twitter in the Commons. As for Roger Gale... well, the story of King Canute springs to mind. It clearly looks like he was fighting a losing battle in this instance. Gale's prehistoric views on the use of modern technology risk turning him into a political dinosaur. Maybe we should rename him Roger Gallimimus.

2 comments:

  1. I'm inclined to agree with him myself, but then I again I'm a bit of a luddite too (I no longer even have a mobile phone as I don't wish to remain in contact with anyone when I'm away from my home)...

    Fiddling with these things IS distracting while trying to have a debate. To say that Roger doesn't embrace modern technology is ridiculous though (I'm on his email list!).

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  2. Luke I am with Peter Twitter can be a distraction some of the union meetings where twitter has disrupted things spring to mind. why cant soome one wait untill a debate hass finished before they coment seems rude to me. and I embrace all teechnology.

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