Tim Farron, president of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, suggests that “ideas have legs, and the internet makes them walk. But government needs to help them run. And letting political dogma, fear or ignorance blind you to fresh thought is a particularly frustrating kind of politics which leaves Britain behind”.
Essentially, Farron believes there is a very real risk that policymakers ignore the tech sector because they don’t understand it or because they are scared of not looking like an expert.
When it comes to technology, it’s important that our political leaders know how to get simple jobs done. This was highlighted in recent Crucial.com research, which found that 72 per cent of Brits think it is important for political leaders to be tech-savvy because it is a fundamental part of everyday life.
Some 52 per cent believe that being knowledgeable about technology helps politicians to understand the industry and how it encourages economic growth. Similarly, over half believe it will keep Britain from being left behind as a nation and 30 per cent suggest it will improve our global reputation.
However, the insights also show that 64 per cent of people do not believe that Britain’s top politicians boast sufficient knowledge of technology to help boost the economy.
But how can the UK government highlight their prowess in technology? Brits explain that using social media is a great way to find out whether a politician is tech-savvy or not. And what better way to showcase technological and social media skills than in this year’s General Election.
Politicians? Tweeting? They might actually surprise you. A whopping 91 per cent of UK politicians are already on Twitter, which is welcoming given that 45 per cent of Brits believe that being tech-savvy allows politicians to connect with the public. Not to mention that 49 per cent believe that being good with social media simply makes a political leader more effective at their job.
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But out of all the UK’s politicians, it would seem that Boris Johnson needs to up the ante.
Last year, Johnson vowed to make London the “tech capital of the world” and according to the new research, young voters are placing their faith in the ever-entertaining London Mayor, with almost a quarter of 16-34 year olds nominating him as the most tech-savvy British leader.
But how is he comparing to other UK politicians when it comes to the tech-savvy ‘Twitter test’?
Sure, he won the Twitter awards in 2013, but editor-in-chief Lucie Cave suggests it’s for an entirely different reason than whatever skills he may have.
“Realistically, they probably voted for him because of the zip line thing at the Olympics,” she said.
According to Talkwater, despite being seen as the least tech-savvy politician by Brits, UKIP leader Nigel Farage actually did the most tweeting.
And despite Johnson being deemed second most tech-savvy politician, after the PM, he tweets the least out of all of them.
There seems to be an interesting pattern emerging when it comes to actually finding out whether a politician is tech-savvy or not.
According to the Crucial.com research, we believe that Cameron tops the list, followed by Johnson, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and then Farage.
In actuality, and in terms of Twitter, Farage is the top tweeter, followed by Balls, Clegg, Cameron, Osborne and then Johnson.
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