I’ve noticed a lot of people getting quite agitated by this Guardian piece about how the Programme for Government ‘crowdsourcing’ (sic) exercise has ended ‘without a single government department expressing a willingness to alter any policy’.
Now, I’m speaking for nobody but myself here – but what the Guardian piece doesn’t fairly reflect is that it was not a crowdsourcing exercise, nor even a consultation.
It was the definitive statement of the outcome of negotiations between the two parties currently forming the country’s coalition government. It was not ‘give us some ideas for what you think we might have agreed.’ The comment box provided an opportunity for people to voice opinions or ask questions, and government promised it would listen.
There was no commitment to take the responses back for a second round of coalition negotiations. To do so would have been quite ridiculous. So I’d argue that it’s entirely reasonable for the departmental responses to take the position of ‘well, we’ve heard what you say, but…’.