“Technology keeps moving forward, which makes it easier for the artists to tell their stories and paint the pictures they want.” ~ George Lucas 

You might not have noticed, but there is a very significant birthday today. The iPhone has turned 10.

A generational shift in how people interact with each other has happened since the phone was launched on the 9th January 2006 and it’s now impossible to be almost anywhere without seeing people (myself included) with their head buried into their iPhone or similar device.

Yet take a look at the app/play/whatever store and search for “Labour Party” and you’ll find one app.

Now, you might be thinking that sounds great, an application that will give one all the press releases from the party, where one can find our latest policy positions to share online and tell one’s community about. An app where one can get facts to help the rebuttal of smears against Labour Politicians.

Well, I’m afraid to tell you that isn’t the case. What one will be able to do, though, is have a look at the details and schedule from the last Labour Party conference. When I say, ‘details’, I don’t mean what was said in key speeches alas, but where the fringe events are and where to get a coffee.

The images you’re seeing are exactly what is shown for the app.

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Now, just think of the potential of what we could do with this technology, a resource for every member of the party. Over 600,000 people able to help spread the news of what Labour is, what we stand for, what we want to do for society.

 

Instead, we can tell people where to get a coffee in Liverpool or Brighton.

As a starter for 10, here are just a few things we could have had on such an application:

  • Profiles of the Shadow cabinet members
  • Policy positions
  • Rebuttal facts
  • Press releases
  • Electronic canvassing sheets that link into the main database
  • Social media ready messages
  • Hints and tips on how to canvass
  • Latest campaign news and advice

The list is endless and unfortunately our rivals are aware of this.

When one searches for the Labour Party in the app store, one may notice the second app that’s listed. It’s the Conservative Party. Now, I know you’ll be tempted to pull a face when you see this and move swiftly past but I would urge you to take a look at their app.

iphone 3

As you can see, the Conservative Party app offers a lot more and offers a way to mobilise a message dangerously – giving credence to the ideas that have damaged us for a generation now, that we pose an economic risk to the country and every single person that lives within it.

What makes this worse is that Labour is the party that organises whilst the Tories have long relied on carpet bombing areas with vacuous leaflets that say very little and could easily be rebutted if only activists and members were empowered with the tools to do so.

Accepting and embracing technology that is now a decade old seems like an appropriate place to start.