Yes, Minister. Its called “email”.

Just spotted this announcement from Hain’s office;

The leader of the Commons has unveiled a “ground-breaking” system allowing electronic communication between the government and MPs.

Peter Hain published a written statement to parliament on Wednesday announcing the launch of the electronic Parliamentary Community (ePC).

The project has been championed by the Cabinet minister as part of the programme of modernisation of the House. The ePC will facilitate questions from MPs to be submitted to Whitehall departments via an email-style system, with the government being able to do the same with answers and written statements.

Until now the process has taken place via expensive and time consuming paperwork, despite ministers being keen supporters of the electronic delivery of government services and business transactions.

Hain said “it is hoped that this [new] system may be extended to cover other information exchanged between government and parliament”.

Sounds like what those of us in the 21st century call “email”. Something Guido has been using for over a decade. Next Peter Hain will claim credit for another efficient way of communicating with ministers whilst on the move – “radio telephones”.


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