Rt Hon Theresa May,
Congratulations on your forthcoming new role as Prime Minister. We’ve not always seen eye-to-eye (what’s an over-intrusive Investigatory Powers Bill between friends?) but, as you reflect on who will be in your Cabinet, we’d urge you to give due consideration to the future Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy. The incumbent, Ed Vaizey MP, has – in our opinion – not been effective in this position due to a lack of experience (his own website describes him as being more artsy than technical) and failing to engage adequately with the industry on crucial matters.
Without really shaking things up and creating a separate Department of Communications (wherein the artsier elements of culture, media and creative industries can be dealt with adequately by a Minister of Mr Vaizey’s experience), it’s important to have a Minister in place who has the ability to understand the communications industry from a technical perspective – including its benefits, boundaries, limitations and how communications technologies can be applied singularly or in consort to give our United Kingdom the best opportunity to create a digital landscape and supporting economy of international renown.
To this end, we believe that Baroness Joanna Shields might be a wise choice to fill Mr Vaizey’s shoes. Her experience of technology – which includes everything from streaming video and audio, network storage, online marketing, social media and latterly championing the social responsibilities of the Internet as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Internet Safety and Security – suggests to us that she has the abilities necessary to continue to pioneer digital technology within the United Kingdom.
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