Tory Party promises an Open Source Britain, if elected

Matthew Aslett points out that in reality, politicians are leveraging Open Source in their campaigns. This runs contrary to the potential fantasy the Mr. Enderle cooked up. From the article:

Conservative shadow chancellor, George Osborne, has promised “that an incoming Conservative government would create a level playing field for open source software in the UK, in a move which could save taxpayers more than £600 million a year.”

Incredible scenes, as Glyn Moody has noted.

According to a speech made by Osborne at the Royal Society of Arts:

“What it is about is better and more effective government. The problem is that the cultural change has not taken place in government. There isn’t a level playing field for open source software. As it stands, too many companies are frozen out of government IT contracts, stifling competition and driving up costs.

“Taking into account the experience of companies and public sector bodies, it is estimated that the Government could save at least 5% of its annual IT bill if more open source software was used as part of a more effective procurement strategy. That adds up to over £600m a year. The internet age is transforming politics and has the capacity to transform government. Let’s start being open source right now.”

Osborne also announced the appointment of Mark Thompson, of the Judge Business School at Cambridge University, to advise the Party on how to make Britain the open source leader in Europe.

Now, there is no guarantee that the party will win (they haven’t in well over a decade) and the election might not be until as late as 2010, but the fact that Open Source has now made it into political campaigns is an indication of just how mainstream and accepted it is. If you’re still blindly flighting it (which is different than wholesale agreeing with it), you really are fighting a rising tide.


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