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UK: Address by The Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP: The New Politics

11 March, 2008

By Allison Orr

Excerpt only below. The original of this speech is here: The New Politics


The Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State, UK.

The New Politics, opening address at the E-democracy and Empowerment Conference, London, February 28, 2008.

New technology - from digital TV, to mobile phones, to teleconferencing, and above all the internet - has made a huge difference to the way most of us in the UK work, play and socialise. And it\'s all happened in a very short space of time.

As little as ten years ago, scarcely one in ten of us had ever used the internet. Getting online was expensive, time-consuming, and all too often disappointing.

Today, half of homes are plugged into broadband that gives fast and easy access to a wealth of information and entertainment.

Two in three adults access the net daily.

And though the elderly are the least likely to have ventured online, that is changing fast. In fact, a 2007 survey showed using the internet to be the top pastime for pensioners - edging out even gardening and DIY.

So we\'ve gone from the internet being the exclusive preserve of geeks, to a place where the grannies roam free.

And I very much welcome it.


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