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Jimmy Wales To Become UK Government Adviser 95

judgecorp writes "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is to become a U.K. government adviser on open government. The unpaid post, announced at SXSW, will see him contributing ideas on issues including the single government portal open.gov.uk, among other things. Wales has been an outspoken critic of some government intiatives in the U.S., including the SOPA act on copyright — whose British counterpart, the DEA, is already law."
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Jimmy Wales To Become UK Government Adviser

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  • Fucking wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @12:19AM (#39335559)


    This is about the most sensible government related news (especially from teh UK) I've heard in about a decade.

    Some people may or may nhot have objections to Mr Wales personal politics and drives (I can't think of any right now, myself). Some people object to anything. But having a guy with a deep dedication to freedom of information in a place where he can at least get a point of view across to government, even if it's then ignored, is a huge step forwards.

    • Re:Fucking wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @12:50AM (#39335733)

      even if it's then ignored, is a huge step forwards.

      That depends on the purpose of putting him into that role. If the purpose is to get input from someone who is actually trying to make things better, then it is a good thing. If the purpose is merely to appease the masses by putting in someone and then not listening to a thing they say - just to have the appearance of trying to make things better, then it is worse than not putting him into that role at all.

      Sorry for the half empty tone here, it's been a frustrating day for me.

      • The true reason is, so that they can put him behind bars for protesting
        against content tyranny with the SOPA blackout.

      • by Nursie ( 632944 )

        It's true, but even in glass-half-empty world, the politician has realised that it's a concern and a symbolic gesture must be made, which is progress in my book!

      • by SlashV ( 1069110 )
        The government may have listened to the Godfather.. Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.
      • If the purpose is merely to appease the masses...

        It's an appointment that only a minority will take notice of let alone approve of; so I don't think it can be considered as pointlessly populist.

        Having said that, the current government does seem to concentrate on appeasing a minority to the exclusion of all else. A different minority though.

      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        They did the same thing in America with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They created it, they appointed Elizabeth Warren (a longtime supporter of consumer protections and more regulation), and then made her completely ineffective at getting anything actually done.

    • Please Read (Score:5, Funny)

      by GonzoPhysicist ( 1231558 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:01AM (#39335781)
      How could they ignore him, just think of all the personal appeals he'll be making.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      even if it's then ignored, is a huge step forwards

      I totally agree. We should send letters of thanks to the UK government .. might I suggest:

      "Dear PM,

      We, the peoples of teh internets, would like to offer our thx for your efforts to allow Jimmy Wales (our spiritual leader) to not be heard.

      We're not at all naive, and understand that this is a mere token jesture to placate the non blue-bloods, but nonetheless feel that this is a great step forward.


      How's that?

    • Re:Fucking wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:53AM (#39336009)

      What's he going to do, shout down some good idea from someone just because they haven't posted enough and aren't well known? Following rules are more important to Wikipedia than actually getting the facts in. Actually, I guess that makes wikipedia and normal governments pretty similar...

    • Re:Fucking wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:32AM (#39336145)

      This is about the most sensible government related news I've heard in about a decade

      This is so true. While I doubt about it, that would be even greater if it could have a bit of influence over the other European countries. E.g. France, a country that currently takes the exact opposite direction.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Some people may or may nhot have objections to Mr Wales personal politics and drives (I can't think of any right now, myself).

      He's a follower of Ayn Rand. Seriously. Not that that should stop him advising on open government, assuming that he knows anything about the subject which he may do.

      • by Nursie ( 632944 )

        Hmm, that is a cause for concern, but yopu're right, if he's only advising on-topic then all is well.

        TBH the UK could do with an infusion of smal-government ideology. But only a small one. Never should go full-rand...

        • While the words have changed somewhat over the past few years, one of David Cameron's (current UK Prime minister) key stances in his early opposition was "small government". It still seems that he thinks this way, but has represented his thoughts on the matter ("big society"), and being in a coalition government obviously means his party does not have carte blanch to do as they wish there.
      • He's a follower of Ayn Rand.

        Well, that's ruined my day. Dare I ask for a citation?

        • He's a follower of Ayn Rand.

          Well, that's ruined my day. Dare I ask for a citation?

          Would you accept Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] as a source in this case?

    • Re:Fucking wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SimonTheSoundMan ( 1012395 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @03:33AM (#39336321) Homepage

      Humm, best thing since Gordon Brown's cabinet of "all the talents" maybe. That had plenty of notable advisers.

      Also remember most of the House of Lords is made of people like Jimbo (not personality but success).

      • Re:Fucking wow. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by lxs ( 131946 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @07:50AM (#39337099)

        Remember the fate of David Nutt [wikipedia.org]? Goverment advisors are not supposed to actually give advice of have an opinion of their own.

        • I wish some TV broadcaster would re-commission 'Yes Minister' or 'Yes Prime Minister'.

          • I, too, would like to see this re-commissioned and brought up-to-date. Unfortunately, though, I don't see it happening in the remotely foreseeable future.

            In the meantime though, just re-watch the same old episodes when they are re-run. Was doing this a little over a month ago and my step-daughter (late teens and relatively switched on) walked in, caught a couple of minutes and then stormed off to watch TV in her room saying that she'd rather watch some "next top model" crap that the current affairs progra
    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )


      This is about the most sensible government related news (especially from teh UK) I've heard in about a decade.

      That would require the appointment to be more than just spin and there to be some chance of them listening to what he says even if it is not what they want to do anyway

    • by Eskarel ( 565631 )

      Well there is a sort of irony about the fact that a man who has turned what was supposed to be an open organization into a gigantic nest of nepotism, cronyism, corruption and abuse of power in charge of an "open government" initiative.

      Whatever you might think about Wikipedia, and it has a lot of positive attributes, its governance sucks. The place is in a lot of ways more corrupt and has a greater lack of transparency than the government he's now advising.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary_of_State_for_Wales [wikipedia.org] (Although constitutionally he'd be ineligible, of course)
  • The DEA is not SOPA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @12:30AM (#39335625)

    Not only is the DEA not SOPA, it was also pushed through under very dubious circumstances right before the last election (most MPs didn't even vote on it, never mind discuss it properly) and is subject to ongoing legal challenges on several counts.

    It's a silly bit of law, made on a technicality, but let's not get hysterical.

    • (most MPs didn't even vote on it, never mind discuss it properly) ....

      what I observed was a near empty room, someone suggesting voting, then suddenly a room full of MPs from all sides all doing as their whips had told them too. It looked like a *lot* of MPs voted to me

      • That's pretty close to what happened, except that it only appeared to be the Labour MPs who were whipped enough to turn up en masse, and even then quite a few rebelled. The Tories mostly kept awfully quiet, despite earlier seeming like they supported the legislation, and the few who did turn up came down marginally against the bill overall. The Lib Dems who did vote were voting against. In any case, fewer than half of our then-MPs voted, which for a bill this controversial is appallingly low.

  • Seeing his mug on Wikipedia's "beggin strips" made me cringe.

    The cute college girl with the labret piercing, on the other hand...

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:11AM (#39335823)

    Invade Pakistan - a personal appeal from Jimmy Wales.

  • The guy who brought edit wars, [citation needed], and ceaseless begging to the great hordes of the Internet is going to be a consultant to the UK gubmint? Despite doing it pro bono, he's overpaid.

  • He should have become advisor to the government of WALES
    • He just did.
      • IIRC, the governance of Wales is now separate from that of England, unlike what it was until fairly recently.
        • Yes and no. Wales now has a separate government from England - the Welsh Assembly - but they still both come under the heading of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
        • Yes, but at the same time a resounding no.

          The UK parliament in Westminster has legislative powers over the whole of the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).

          Scotland has it's own, elected parliament, with quite wide ranging authority to set policies that apply only to Scotland. Scotland, however, still remains part of the UK and subject to the UK parliament (much to the dismay of their First Minister, if the press is to be believed).

          Northern Ireland has it's own, elected parliament, simi
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A man in charge of a site that polices additions to its content and will not allow certain ideas to be posted or themes to be followed, is going to advise the UK Government on openness.

    Coming soon - Bill Gates to advise on Open Source.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    hmm good one

  • he has to sign an NDA??? and as such remove anything from wikipedia that contridicts that NDA?

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.