So he goes off to Palo Alto, sees Silicon Valley, and thinks yes, we should have that there.
He notes that there’s no public sector driving SV. But he then assumes that we should have the public sector driving the UK equivalent.
This is not a state-driven ecosystem, in European terms, but is governed by a sense of “publicness”.
How remarkable, eh? People manage to cooperate with each other without the State doing it for them. This market idea….
There is also an understanding that one person alone, given all the technical complexity and potential to make colossal mistakes, is unlikely to crack whatever problem presents itself. You have to collaborate, open up, build fluid teams and work together.
Yup, see? These markets and companies things, they’re methods of cooperation. That don’t need the State to get going.
Change is afoot in Britain. Last week, the CBI and government held a conference at Warwick University celebrating their new joint belief in industrial strategy, opened by a video clip of David Cameron giving his wholehearted backing. But while a repudiation of simple Thatcherism, this is not industrial strategy 1960s style. It is more an attempt to create an investment and innovation structure across eight technologies and 11 key sectors: the Palo Alto effect in British terms. It is hesitant and intellectually hazy, but there is no doubting the direction of travel. Public institutions and public money have to catalyse innovation together. It is the beginning of something potentially important.
There you go. Evidence that this is all possible without the State (possibly even, evidence that it is necessary that the State is excluded) is evidence that the State must be included.
It’s just bizarre.
But essential ingredients are missing. As a country, we don’t get the importance of computer code or the scale of the revolution unleashed by digitisation. There is no process or institution that will not be transformed. One important reason why there is no British Twitter or Facebook is because too much British business culture – operating in one of the least supportive environments in the world – has little nobility of intent or purpose, and thus ducks engaging with such immense challenges. Intellectual effort is instead expended on avoiding tax, stripping workers of rights or selling out. Instead of obsessing about leaving the EU, Britain should be exercising every sinew to enlarge the EU single market.
What a fucking dingbat. Has he never heard of ARM for example? Autonomy?