Response to Jeremy Corbyn's Digital Democracy Manifesto

31 Aug 2016

Responding to Jeremy Corbyn's new Digital Democracy Manifesto, our Chief Executive Helen Milner issued the following statement:

“Together, we will rebuild and transform Britain so that no-one and no community is left behind” was the rallying cry from Jeremy Corbyn at his launch of his Digital Democracy Manifesto.

It’s a great step forward but missing a couple of important steps that I think need to come first. The recognition of how important the internet is - and the huge role it plays in society - is heartening. However, technology offers us all tools, and it is people who use them: how will Corbyn’s Labour inspire millions to take up the tools he’s promoting as game changers?

There is also very little mention of the huge digital divide the UK is facing. Investment in infrastructure and faster broadband will not solve the huge skills gap we are facing - and without addressing the skills, the benefits of any infrastructure investment will be significantly reduced. There are huge benefits to the UK economy as well as to individuals of basic digital skills for all, and so I’d like to encourage Mr Corbyn to couple his ambitious investment for infrastructure with a clear commitment to ensuring excluded people have the skills they need to really benefit from digital technology. Only then, will he really be able to promise that he’ll leave no-one behind.