Some good ideas from the government

Via Simon Dickson, I’ve come across Tom Watson’s1 post on Power of Information: New taskforce and speech. Some things quotes sprang out at me:

We also need to look at the way Government talks to itself. Whitehall is arguably Britain’s most important knowledge factory, but we’re using out of date tools.


I believe in the power of mass collaboration.

It’s very heartening stuff and Tom hits many buzzwords, let’s hope he has the power and gets the support to deliver on some of these ideas. As he says himself:

It doesn’t matter who has the ideas. It’s what you do with them and how you improve on them that count.

…or to put it another way, ideas are cheap, execution execution execution. Let’s see how the Tom Watson and the government execute, but where we can let’s help them help us.


While I was digging around to write this post I tried to find out Tom Watson’s roles and responsibilities, but the Cabinet Office website has no useful information. There’s something we need right now, as a basic piece of information.

Interestingly, while I was trawling the Cabinet Office site, a popup survey asked me if I would like to use:

  • Message boards and discussion forums
  • Moderated ‘chats’ with senior staff or Ministers
  • Wikis or collaborative tools
  • Email alerts, RSS feeds or newsletters of new content or initiatives

My answer… Hell yeah. Bring it on. (Actually, there was just a tick box, so I ticked it.)


  1. Tom Watson is the Cabinet Minister for Transformational Government, sometimes referred to as Minister for e-Government.

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