Social media will invade the workplace

At some time during the past decade, workers began to notice that their domestic computers and communications were surpassing the tools on which they worked. Before the firewall was a boundary of privilege, since only larger companies were rich enough to afford all of the new goodies that came to pass every year (unless one was wealthy or an early diy adopter). Now, it retards progress and more workers notice that their information rich lives are only replicated on their personal smartphones. That will make work a pretty barren place for the next generation, used to more than just email for their lives.

That the current tools of social media will penetrate the majority of workplaces is a given. What form it takes is unknown. Some will build internal models. But the key is privacy versus transparency. Social media is outward looking and has colonised the longstanding kingdoms of brand management and marketing. Reshaping the internal institutions of companies will prove a very different process and extremely challenging to the current command and control hierarchies that have developed to meet corporate and regulatory needs.

Miliband's comfort zone: New Labour lite

Ed Miliband's conduct during Prime Minister's Questions showed how far the opposition had drifted from their years in office. On policies for policing and the NHS, Miliband called for the coalition to halt both bills and reinvest the monies earmarked on frontline services. The hooting then degerated into New Labour exchanges over money, numbers, targets, waiting times and the misinformation of management information systems. Was this not the style that debased political conversation in a policy free environment.

If neither Miliband nor Cameron can move beyond Blair's malign presentations in their exchanges, then further shit will stick to their characters. But it is Miliband's view of Labour's role in this crisis that has proved most interesting. With a smallish lead in the polls, Miliband has been tempted to tread the path of the amnesiac: Labour's culpability in public sector spending is conveniently forgotten and a blanket opposition to every cut is instituted. Why make waves and alienate potential voters? In this tactic, Miliband copies the puerile populism of New Labour, unleavened by any manifesto for change. His policy review promises to provide context for this tactic in the near future, but firming up a position will undermine Miliband's opportunity to attack all facets of government. I would expect Labour to remain a defender of the public sector without exception for many months to come.