Monday, 29 January 2018

Theresa went to Davos

During her outing to Davos, the Prime Minister called for international co-operation to develop ethical rules for the use of technological breakthroughs in areas like artificial intelligence.  For once, I agree with her.  There are many issues on which the sensible way forward is to reach an international agreement on a common set of rules.  It means of course that not every country will get exactly what it wants out of that set of rules; there will inevitably be compromises to be made. 
Nevertheless, having a single set of rules can work very well - up until the point where one country decides to ‘take back control’, to coin a phrase, and demands the right to make its own rules.  And that’s the problem that I have with her proposal: there’s something more than a little disingenuous about a Prime Minister whose only significant policy is that her country should have the absolute right to set its own rules jetting off to Davos to tell an international gathering how important it is that they all abide by a common set of rules.  That neither she nor her advisers spotted the incongruity shows how deeply ingrained in their mind-set is the idea of British exceptionalism.

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