Opinion

An election that hasn't covered the channel issues

The polling stations have opened and the chance to make your vote count is underway and by the time the swingometer stops swinging some time in the early hours the result should be done and dusted.

The last few weeks have been exciting with the first ever televised debates and the closest contest for generations. It has however in some respects been the same as most elections for the channel.

As usual the subject of technology was kept to the fringes and only occasionally came onto centre stage and when it did it was the question of faster broadband and access to rural areas that was held up as the topic to debate. For the last couple  of decades the politicians have done their best to portray almost complete ignorance of technology matters and that continued again.

There was also little talk of how important the IT sector is to the British economy other than to make vague references to emerging and creative industries but most of that talk seemed to be about green and biotechnologies. Wind farms and carbon reduction tools are important but so are ways of helping us all work better, share information. Get the cloud right and potentially there could be an impact on road traffic as less people commute.

But more importantly for the large majority of the channel that describes itself as an SME there was little clarity from any of the main parties about their tax policies and the potential impact on smaller firms.

There was also a noticeable absence of talk about reducing red tape and making life easier for SMEs on the bureaucracy front.

Hopefully now with the shouting over what will emerge is some sort of certainty because this election has been used by many customers in the last few months to delay spending. Now that excuse has gone the hope is that things improve.

The politicians have done their bit but now its time for the real work to be done and as usual the channel will be rolling up its sleeves providing technology leadership across the UK.

This was first published in May 2010

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