James Forsyth

Why doesn’t Brown go the whole hog?

Why doesn't Brown go the whole hog?
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Today’s Daily Telegraph reports that:

“As a prelude to next week’s announcement Mr Brown will today set out his plans for “a smarter, more efficient and more responsive government.”

Among the plans Mr Brown wants 2,000 sets of data up and running and available to the public from January. It would include areas like the road traffic counts from last eight years; all legislation on a database for the first time; property prices listed with stamp duty yield; all motoring offences with the type of offence and the numbers, by county, for the top six offences. Farm survey data would also be available.

The Prime Minister will point to the success of crime mapping as an example of where data openness helps citizens.”

So far, so good. But if Brown wants to go down this route, why doesn’t he do what the Tories are proposing and introduce a public right to data, allowing people to get the data sets they need rather than just those that ministers wants to give them?


Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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