"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"The long term impact of the Internet" - how Lady Dame Jane Pauline Neville Jones' Fan club got to think about it

The Ditchley Foundation is one of those curious, reserved bodies that have much influence but who remain little known and their purpose even less understood - although they have a very elegant, clear, well illustrated and informative website.

Founded and funded by the donations of Sir David Wills and based at Ditchley Park in north Oxfordshire which he acquired in 1953. It , "organises private and highly focussed conferences of senior international experts to address issues of transatlantic and indeed global interest."
For readers here , one of the most interesting this year was held the weekend of June 1st - 3rd on the subject of , "The long-term impact of the internet" which was chaired by Mr Tim Gardam.

"Ditchley’s style and programme provide an opportunity for brainstorming unique in international affairs. Small invited groups of about 40 distinguished men and women are brought together from senior levels in the worlds of politics, business and industry, academic life, the civil service, the armed forces and the media. Conference subjects are carefully chosen in response to new international challenges arising from issues of concern to democratic societies. Conferences stress open, informal discussions that reflect personal thinking and take place under strict rules of confidentiality." says the website.

It would be fascinating to know who attended and what was said at that particular secluded chat. Mr Tim Gardam is of course Principal of St. Annes College, Oxford. A product of Westminster School, Gonville and Caius (Double first) BBC, inventor of Newsnight and Timewatch, and also once a Director Channel 4 who undertook for Tessa Jowell a study of digital TV in Britain.

The Foundation has a list of Governors constituting both the great and the good and many members of the Lady Dame Jane Pauline Neville-Jones Fan club - indeed, surprise, surprise she is one of the Governors. As is Sir Rodric Braithwaite , GCMG once our Ambasador in Moscow whose dulcet tones we so frequently hear on the BBC along with Ms. doe eyed ex Home Office, Director of Liberty Sami Chakrabarti, Oxford know all quasi historian Tim Garton Ash, Peter Hennessy, Peter Mandelson, the mysterious Dr Matt Ridley, Sir Crispin Tickell, Baroness Warnock, and that ever present psephologist Sir Bob Worcester.

..and it seemed like only yesterday that Clarence Mitchell of The Media Monitoring Unit (MMU), part of the Cabinet Office's Central Office of Information (COI), is considering how to add blogs and forum entries into its regular summaries of public policy coverage that are distributed to government ministers.

Hang on it was yesterday ...Government blog "monitoring" - first step to regulation, censorship ...

Now there is a coincidence.

You may be wondering what the picture of Clementine Churchill is doing here - well Winston Churchill when wartime PM used Dytchley as an alternative to Chequers in the war and the Dytchley website has some fascinating pictures of the GOM. This is the caption to the one above...

Clementine Churchill and Viscountess Cranborne in the Library. Viscount Cranborne was the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs 1940-42, and both he and his father, the Marquis of Salisbury, were allies of Churchill and staunch defenders of white-dominated administrations within the Empire.


Roger Ditchley said...

Re: "The long-term impact of the internet". If you wanted to know what was said and who attended click here.

The purpose of these events is to sell tickets to seats around a table. The attendees come to tell other, like people how grand they are.
Speakers are not there to give a comprehensive view of their subject but to make the attendees feel good.

As for the Govt. monitoring blogs.....on 15 Feb 2003 Central London was brought to a standstill by over a million people going to Hyde Park to protest the War. The Govt. treated this display of opinion with indifference. It seems unlikely they will pay more attention to people anchored to a seat in front of a screen.

Some bloggers have an unrealistic view of their importance. Keep your visitors happy, that's where the money is.

Shutter said...

Many thanks - our researc h staff have at last mastered the arts of searching the Dytchley archive.

Maybe you are right it is a talking shop for the pompous and self serving.

Nonetheless we note that Mr Andrew Stott
Deputy Chief Information Officer, Delivery and Transformation Group, The Cabinet Office (2004 ); Chair, UK Government Chief Technology Officers’ Council.
found time to attend - and needless to say Mr Negroponte wanted to devote some time to his mission for one lap top per child.

It would be exceedingly naive however to think that tese emeninent and very busy people such as
Dr Michael Levi
Fellow for Science and Technology, Council on Foreign Relations, New York (2006-).

Have nothing better to do with their time than spend an agreeable weekend in the Oxfordshire countryside chatting away for no purpose..or that Mr Philip Bennett
Managing Editor, The Washington Post (2004-). cannot find betterthings to do.

Some bloggers have an unrealistic view of their importance. ... indeed, but it would be an unwise Government didn't keep it's ear to the ground.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish