The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Up in the clouds with the Telegraph

"Hey, you, get off of my . . . real-time opinion forum."

To the Telegraph and its bright and shiny new service, Debate2010. Described as "the UK's largest real-time opinion forum", it has been launched ahead of the election campaign to offer an online space to "debate topics, propose ideas, vote and comment".

The service is "made possible" (no less) by, a technology company that specialises in cloud computing.

A happy coincidence, then, that one of the first entries posted by a "reader" is titled "Embrace cloud computing today!". The entry goes on:

[Cloud computing] is cost-effective, offers good security, and dramatically boosts productivity. The UK government should roll out a massive initiative to encourage business of all sizes to embrace cloud computing today!

This is crowdsourcing in action, ladies and gentlemen, and certainly not some low-level astroturfing. If there's a more important issue facing the British electorate between now and 6 May, I'm struggling to think what it is.

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