All that careful makeover work to re-brand the Conservatives as 'NOT the Nasty Party' was a bit of a waste.
Whenever the Tories get into power they always start selling off anything that 'we' own or cherish and isn't nailed down, to their chums. This time is no different. They've already made a start on our forests and woodlands. Now it's our Internet.
I wasn't surprised that Culture (that's a joke!) Minister, Ed Vaisey*, would want to side with big business and betray the founding principles of Net Neutrality. I WAS surprised that he's jumped to it with such alacrity. Normally the Tories trail cravenly in the wake of the Republicans on the other side of the pond, but this time he's leapt ahead of them. In America, even the omnipotent right-wing media lobby have been really struggling to re-instate commercial and political gate-keepers on the one media they don't control - and make no mistake, establishing a two-tier Internet is the first stage toward achieving exactly that goal.
I'm also surprised and disappointed at the total lack of interest/comment by anyone (other than me, as far as I can see) in the travel sector.
Let me put it to you simply....
- When your video clips - I'm talking to you guys Tnooz, Travelgurutv, icrossing, etc, - start stalling because Murdoch has bought all the premium bandwidth for Sky, don't expect anything more than an "I told you so" from me.
- What, Mr Cutting-Edge-Travel-PR? You think Google is going to pay extra so your clients' destination promo vids can run smoothly on Youtube? Dream on! If you want to publish high def videos, get out your credit card.
- And, all you bloggers out there, don't expect ad revenues and affiliate sales to grow steadily and provide any kind of income when you are consigned, along with all the 'mom & pop' specialist tour operators and travel agents, to a sluggish Internet backwater populated by hobbyists and enthusiasts, while the big boys (Tripadviser, Expedia, Virgin, Opodo, travelsupermarket, TUI, et al) are running free with the wind in their hair on a paid-for premium Internet service.
Oh, remind me.....
What is the latest parameter that Google has been focusing on in the last 12 months, when it judges the significance of a website.... um ....SPEED!
Now get with it! Stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the guy who invented the World Wide Web and defend it.
Write to your MP, sign every petition you can find, follow the #netneutrality tag, and start making a fuss before you lose the Internet that you've taken for granted all this time and your right to a voice that is as loud as everyone else's, not as loud as you can afford.
* Oh what's this? (Falls off chair in surprise - not) Ed Vaisey's Declaration of Financial Interests Note BSkyB.