The benefits of three laptops and a “no blame” culture for some e-democrats…
Bristol’s Chief Executive, Nick Gurney, often says “It’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission” and I encourage the Consultation and eParticipation team, which I manage, to adopt this as a mantra. Each team member approaches the work with a sense of creativity, commitment and fun and takes personal responsibility for trying out new and better ways to engage with citizens. There is no blame culture. When things go wrong, as they inevitably do when you are leading the way, we just sit down and work out what lessons have been learned. In this way, each consultation or participation is just a little better and a little bolder than the last.
Stephen Hilton, Corporate Consultation Manager, speaks to eGov monitor on the success of e-democracy at Bristol City Council and citizens participation
Bristol City Council is at the forefront of practice in its use of new technology to consult and engage with local people. In recognition of this, the council was judged to be the leading European city for e-democracy in 2005.
e-Democracy the way forward
The ambitions of the programme are to:
- devolve more power and responsibility for identifying issues and solutions to local citizens and communities
- show that the council is listening to and representing people effectively
- encourage more informed discussion, where people learn to listen and tolerate one another
- reach the least engaged citizens and communities in a more effective way.
Fine words indeed.
Was it just 3 months ago that Bristol City Council, led by Chief Exec Pig Fucker Gurney, were aiming to be the leading digital city in Europe? Remember how they were promising “widening participation” and claiming to be at the cutting edge in innovating new forms of democracy for us through their well-funded efforts to win the government’s Digital Challenge?
So what happens when one of those “least engaged citizens” they’re so keen to engage with and devolve more power and responsibility to attempts to promote some informed discussion?
Er… Pig Fucker gets ’em sacked!
On Tuesday a citizen of Bristol, Felix Waterhouse, posted on to far and away Bristol’s most effective, long term and successful e-democracy site – Bristol Indymedia, a site that puts Pig Fucker’s expensive software efforts from overpaid consultants to shame – a short piece outlining a public conversation he had had that day with Pig Fucker, a public servant (Blogger Passim).
There was nothing secret or confidential about this conversation, although admittedly it didn’t shed Pig Fucker in the best light. So what happened today? It’s only announced that Felix has been dismissed from his agency job for making “libellous allegations”.
So there you have it. If you’re one of Pig Fucker’s £50k plus a year fawning local government officers or one of his overpaid consultants involved in e-democracy then it’s all about forgiveness as “there is no blame culture”. You dare be an agency worker on six quid an hour and attempt any of this alleged e-democracy then you’re fired matey.
Pig Fucker… You’re a fucking disgrace!