UK Gvmt May Take Cues From Wikipedia, Google, MSFT

    April 27, 2009

Parts of the UK government may start to take after some ultra-popular websites and online services if David Cameron has his way.  Cameron, the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, directed nods toward Wikipedia, Google, and Microsoft in a recent speech.

David Cameron
 David Cameron

The speech, which was titled "The Age of Austerity," focused mainly on financial issues.  Cameron addressed one problem by pointing out, "Our government spends nearly 400 million a year on advertising to reach sixty million people while Wikipedia, one of the largest websites in the world, spends about one per cent of that to reach 280 million people."

As for the way in which Google and Microsoft entered the conversation, it boiled down to the idea of putting healthcare records online.  "[A] web-based version of the government’s bureaucratic scheme services like Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault cost virtually nothing to run," said Cameron.

Plus, according to the politician, people might take better care of themselves if their files are just a click away, and thus end up saving the National Health Service a fair amount of money.

These are some interesting ideas, especially considering that the Conservative Party is favored to win the next election.  And let’s not forget that Google’s Eric Schmidt became an advisor to the Conservative Party in February, so David Cameron may well announce more tech-centric ideas in time.