10/03/2005

Welcome to the website for the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group - APIG

Welcome to the website for the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group - APIG

On Tuesday 8th of March, APIG and Hansard Society held a meeting at Portcullis House (next to the Palace of Westminster) to discuss "Will the Internet reconnect Britain?".

THere was a welcome speech from Milica Howell from the Hansard Society e-Democracy Programme, and it was chaired by Derek Wyatt MP (from APIG).

There were then two talks "Can we close the Digital Divide" by Catherine Bronley, Research Director at the National Centre for Social Research which shows that younger people are more likely to use the Internet, as are people who have gone through formal education (university) such that the social characteristics of people who use the Internet or want to use the Internet is very slim. So things need radical change to get non-users to have no interest to use the Internet to use it.

John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University gave a talk on "New Technology, New Politics", which concluded that access to the Internet does not appear to engender more trust in government of make it more likely that people will get involved politically, but it does mean people feel more able to get involved. Even here, however, it seems unlikely that the impact of the new technology will be sufficient to herald a new politics.

There was then a talk by Donna Young General Manager of BT Wholesale, "A view from the commercial sector". Unfortunately this was just BT pushing their 21st Century Network (21CN) and how it was going to be great for everyone. Enough said here for the moment.

The final session was from Brian White MP (Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on e-Demoncracy) which talked about how developments in media issues as they affect political process and work of Parilament and Government informing current Parliamentary debate through meetings and reports.

For a mostly goverment run event, it was actually quite interesting.
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