End the digital divide in the countryside

Our farmers have been on the front line throughout the ongoing Covid crisis.  They and every one of our essential services heroes deserve our thanks and are owed an enduring debt of gratitude which we should all covenant to. One service that we can do in return for all of those in our rural economy …

Barack doesn’t want your Bitcoin

Today’s Twitter fallout is the latest reminder of the importance of cyber security, privacy and trust; all of the issues that social media platforms – and the way we use them – throw up. The attack, described as ‘effective but not sophisticated’, illustrates not just how vulnerable the platform is to hackers but, as significantly, …

Carpe DLT

A week of highlighting potential Distributed Ledger Technology use cases in Parliament. Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] (or Blockchain) has the potential to drive public good in so many different ways. The problem is it’s like the plumbing. It’s an enabler, invisible, in the background and yet, in its uniqueness, invaluable and ground breaking. As my …

Agriculture Bill 2020

The Agriculture Bill arrived in the House of Lord’s this week, Tuesday July 7. This Bill marks the most significant piece of agricultural legislation in at least fifty years. We are facing a huge global challenge. If population growth reaches 10 billion by 2050 as predicted, but agricultural yield and costs in terms of water …

Trust is bust, democracy hangs on: Just, who has sussed, who is fussed?

Thirteen months in the making, today (29th June 2020) we published “Digital Technologies and the Resurrection of Trust”. Our Lord’s select committee report into democracy and digital technologies and a committee on which I was honoured to serve. Thousands of pages of written evidence, hundreds of hours of in person testimony and many more hours …

Blockchain – What Next

Hype or (game changing) Ledger? I’ve been ‘banging on about blockchain’ for a while; first publishing Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) for public good; leadership, collaboration and innovation in 2017. Today, I remain as positive about the potential for DLT (of which blockchain is one example) as I was in 2017. Whilst my interest has endured …

Accessibility, inclusion and being human.

I lost my sight at the age of fourteen. Ironically, one of the most challenging aspects was the fact that people immediately stopped seeing me. The attitudes of those around me became everything. Practical challenges can be solved with practical solutions but access to practical solutions and the willingness of people to consider, or provide, …