Jeremy Corbyn announces Labour’s Digital Democracy Manifesto


Jeremy Corbyn has rolled out Labour’s Digital Democracy Manifesto, promising investment in high-speed internet, digital citizen passports and open source software.

Taking to the stage in London to outline his proposals, the leadership contender outlined how rapid advances in digital technology, data and information can become sources of inequality and exploitation as well as drivers of change.

“This digital manifesto is about ensuring that our advances are shared, utilised and enjoyed by everyone, as part of a wider strategy to rebuild and transform Britain so that no one and no community is left behind,” his statement added.

Key points from the manifesto include:

Universal Service Network: Plans for high speed broadband and mobile connectivity for every household, company and organisation in Britain from the inner city neighbourhoods to the remotest rural community.

Open Knowledge Library: A free-to-use online hub of learning resources for the National Education Service.

Digital Citizen Passport: The digital manifesto stated plans to develop a voluntary scheme that provides British citizens with a secure and portable identity for their online activities. The Digital Citizen Passport will be used when interacting with public services like health, welfare, education and housing.

Programming For Everyone: All publicly funded software and hardware must be released under an Open Source licence, if plans becomes a reality.

A People’s Charter of Digital Liberty RightsA public consultation will be launched with people and parties across the political spectrum to draw up a digital bill of rights.

Massive Multi-Person Online Deliberation: IT will be used to make popular participation in the democratic process easy and inclusive. We will aim to organise both online and offline meetings for individuals and communities to deliberate about pressing political issues and participate in devising new legislation.


Digital issues

The much-vaunted presentation didn’t go as smoothly as Corbyn had perhaps hoped however – as the announcement was dogged by technical glitches.

The Facebook Live feed of the #DigitalDemocracy manifesto didn’t work. Further embarrassment followed when a graphic used repeatedly on the Labour leader’s Twitter feed showed an incorrect URL.

The full digital manifesto can be downloaded here.

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