In Support of the iPad


I completely disagree with Lord Lucas! I declare an interest as someone doing some work for Apple but I nevertheless bought my own iPad and love using it wherever I go – including the chamber. As a small light device it is much easier than the Parliamentary laptop or bundles of papers.

I download PDFs of documents such as the Companion, photos of new peers, White papers, bills, explanatory notes etc. I have an app to annotate them, another app to take notes and sort them into different notebooks. It handles my Parliamentary emails very well and is great for all those other uses like music, TV, newspapers etc. I am using it now for blogging using the WordPress App.

What I would now like is the House to develop an App for iPad, as they should for other platforms such as android. This would then allow me to access the papers for the day, speaker lists, Parliament TV etc. I don’t believe it would be very expensive and would assist a growing number of us using this technology.

In the meantime I would be very happy to demonstrate to any of my colleagues, including Lord Lucas, what apps might get around his frustrations.

16 comments for “In Support of the iPad

  1. Lord Blagger
    14/04/2011 at 12:31 pm

    What I would now like is the House to develop an App for iPad, as they should for other platforms such as android.


    It’s call a web browser.

    Deliver it all so that even the plebs get to read up on what you are dictating they do.

  2. 14/04/2011 at 12:32 pm

    A pet issue of mine – and slight off topic, but why is there so much demand (and supply) for apps that do exactly the same thing as a website?

    I don’t hear people complaining that they can’t (for example) check train times on a PC because there isn’t an app, they just load a website. Yet those same people will complain bitterly that there isn’t a dedicated app for the iPhone or iPad even when the website is optimised to work on the web browser built into those devices.

    I find it a curious (and slightly fascinating) blinkered approach in how people would use a web browser on a computer, but seem blind to the same possibility on a tablet.

    (yes, I know apps can do things browsers can’t, but I am sticking to examples where they offer identical functionality)

    • Dave H
      14/04/2011 at 1:44 pm

      I think in this case the root of the problem is that the browser on the iPad cannot do certain things because, rightly or wrongly, Apple have decreed that it shall not. Therefore, it will not work with websites that assume you have, or can acquire, certain functionality.

      There is a parallel here with government – do we want a government that provides a basic infrastructure and leaves it up to the citizens to provide the rest in any way they wish, or do we want a government that provides everything we need and tightly controls what we can and can’t do in oerder to be able to provide a standard service.

      In theory the latter is much safer because everything is known, trusted and tested, compared to the former approach where you have to exercise some caution because of scammers and con-artists. Apple’s approach is to control everything and you get what they choose to allow, whereas others have the approach that you can have what you want, with little up-front oversight as to the quality and security of the offering.

      [OK, I know it’s not quite that simple, at least in the case of government]

      I wonder if iPad adoption will follow political beliefs? I know Lord Lucas has keen interest in libertarian issues, as stated in his bio, and Lord Knight comes from a party that likes a lot of state control and oversight, which matches their opinion on the iPad.

      I hope the taxpayers don’t have to pay for an iPad app to be developed, it would be better if you’d all buy a product that worked with the existing system instead, unless that requires use of IE6, in which case yes, scrap it.

  3. Lord Blagger
    14/04/2011 at 2:12 pm

    Mind you, with iPads all round, no doubt on expenses.

    Politician caught watching porn in a parliament

    There’s another case in Italy too.

  4. Lord Blagger
    14/04/2011 at 3:50 pm

    Its the way its starts.

    Someone wants a iPad so they can watch movies on it.

    That someone is a politician.

    Then there is the justification. It could be used for work.

    Lots of people tweak, I could get a free iPad, if we can create a use.

    I know, we can read reports on an iPad.

    Saves paper, so it must be cost effective.

    Oh dear, its not compatible, and we’ve bought it.

    Now we need an app to convert everything and my mate Alan says its easy.

    We will get someone to right an app for us.

    How new Britain, its really important we keep up with technical stuff. How better than to have a HoL App.

    So lets pass a law.

    Now we go to the consultants.

    It’s a legal requirement we have this iPad app.

    Legal requirement you say? Lets think. “Usual cost is 50K for this sort of job, but its a legal requirement. Lets open at 5 million, plus its clear they haven’t a clue, or they wouldn’t be asking for it”

    It’s 5 million.

    Not my money, but sounds reasonable.

    Would you like the iPads too? We did a great deal recently for Boris for some bikes. [1]

    Can you do that?! Great.


    [1] 140 million for 5,000 bikes is 28,000 pounds a bike.

  5. MilesJSD
    14/04/2011 at 5:03 pm

    I am with Lord Lucas in this vital democratic-governance-communication issue;
    therefore against this posts’ blogger Lord Knight;

    and for the reasons, please see my two posts to Lord Lucas’s original “iPads in the Chamber”, below.


  6. Carl.H
    14/04/2011 at 5:56 pm

    We’ve the referendum coming up, local elections,the NHS bill and what do we get bloomin ads for Apple.

    How about how great Mercedes are at getting you into the House or perhaps the best place for suits.

    Do you really, at a time of great cuts, wish to come across in this way ? Cake anyone ?

    Two for the list to go methinks.

  7. Twm O'r Nant
    14/04/2011 at 6:25 pm

    For a change the former Mr J.Knight, college lecturer, is on topic, and it sounds very convincing.

    I don’t know about a comparison with govt as Dave h suggests, but it is surely the rules that Apple applies , that Lord Lucas mentions and objects to, that are the key to the success of the Apple enterprise.

    But that is also the case with the foundation of the worldwide web, that the rules laid down by the W3C (World wide web consortium) were the ones responsible for the immediate success of the W3.(Hell it was bad to start off with, but then W3C had not wound up its own proceedings.

  8. MilesJSD
    15/04/2011 at 3:41 am

    The Negative-Uroboros: Time to introduce its ancient deeply-collective but blindly-unconscious presence here:

    Lord Knight’s own embodiment within this powerfully paralysing brain-lifeform,
    the negative and negativising uroboros literally trying to swallow itself forevermore and alas! largely succeeding but never completely,
    is evident from his opening masked ‘confession’ of being employed by Apple
    (Apple, an allegedly current worm-in-the-heart and suspected destroyer of democracy, is the senior and owning partner in an Apple-&-Knight infiltrative-take-over of parliamentary and democratic governance-ability and power, or failing that its disruptor and destroyer)

    (in which Carl H has hit the nail on the head, by shifting our focus onto a few bigger hot-pots, the NHS bill, the Referendum on AV, the Local Elections gloved-mitts-up between the Cons and their puppet Lib-Dems,
    to which we could add the Already-Super-Wealthy-Snouts in-our-Trough ongoingly bit-between-teeth run-away Bankers and Top-Tenpercent insane-stallions;
    and the Cap Immigration Issue)

    but by his one-upmanship boast that he is the key expert in Parliament who can help numbers of less-literate Lords, Baronesses, Bishops and Other Peers, to become expert in the use of this ‘Apple iPad British-Governance-Saving Device’, Lord Knight has begun chewing away the heart of the Upper House as it were in ever-decreasing-circles … but we know alas! that he won’t disappear…

    and we have to note that we, The Democratic Sovereign Power Electorate People, are not even mentioned to be in need of better means, of communicating upwards,

    much less to have our already-posted request herein ignored by Lord Knight:

    (to Lord Lucas’s iPads post)
    “”Thank you for the tail-end positive note, that

    “perhaps…TV coverage of the Lords + tablets in the chamber + Twitter
    a way for the general public to participate in House of Lords committee-stage consideration of bills (and is) Worth a try”.

    Would some altruistic and public-spirited expert, on this “way for the public to participate”, kindly post-up some keyboard-details as to how we (hardly-literate) public could go about succeeding in using and honouring this aforesaid way ?

    (I am using the LOTB way reasonably OK I think;
    but have not yet been able to budget my waning pensioner energy, time, trust and other valuables to succeeding with the “Lords + tablets” and the “Chamber + Twitter” ways).
    And I fervently, passionately, and coolly-intellectually want to.
    Please. “”

    So, Twm, as a negative-uroboros-public-and-parliament-negativiser, Lord Knight is far from being “on-topic”;

    but he is apparently oblivious to the presenc of us Public, as he chews away on Apple’s behalf at the very heart of our People’s Last Defenders, the Peers in the House of Lords.

    Tail-end apology:
    Look you, if “we are all in this together”; and
    “things are going to get a lot worse”; and
    “there are some very tough statements to be made”
    then we might as well show proactive and bravely join with and give voice to such “progress” versus “regress”.

    • Twm O'r Nant
      16/04/2011 at 8:14 am

      but he is apparently oblivious to the presenc of us Public, A lower middle class self seeker, no doubt about about that.

  9. Lord Blagger
    15/04/2011 at 9:29 am

    I have to wonder too if the Lords are going to try and get on the band wagon with MPs and their little tax avoidance scam.

    I mean, imagine leaving Lord’s attendance allowances off the list. It means Hector can come and investigate all those over claiming.

    You know the peers who don’t clock in but still manage to claim on the expenses.

  10. maude elwes
    15/04/2011 at 1:53 pm

    This thread is a blatant advert for the Apple ipad. And for the guy who put it up here to earn kudos.

    He wants you to buy it whilst it is at its most expensive. The price will fall considerably if you wait. Think of it as deferred gratification!

    It does do what it says it will though. In the main.

  11. Carl.H
    15/04/2011 at 11:25 pm

    Lord Sugar & Jack Straw have stated their intent to upgrade both Houses and each seat will be equipped with one of these:

    In order to keep the advertising politically correct here’s a list of other parties:

    Blackberry Playbook 32GB Tablet PC
    Samsung Galaxy Tab (Wi-Fi Only)
    LIFEBOOK T730 12.1 Inch LED Tablet PC
    Nook Color Android 3.0 Tablet (Honeycomb)
    Dell Inspiron Mini Duo 3487FNT Convertible
    Toshiba 10.1-inch Android Tablet PC Honeycomb)
    Gigabyte T1005P 10.1-inch Convertible Tablet Computer – Latte Gold
    HP Slate 500 Tablet PC

    For Professional reviews, not from Jim or Ralph from the Bishops Bar, please see:

    We’re still awaiting the arrival of the drugs baron for his view on other tablets.

  12. lordknight
    16/04/2011 at 9:49 am

    Apologies if commenting on technology makes me appear variously elitist, out of touch, trying to sound trendy, profligate etc. I think tablet computing will take off for many of us at home, work and school. Maybe it is easier in handling public opinion if Parliament is behind the curve in their adoption, but I believe we should move to get the efficiencies sooner rather than later.

    • Dave H
      16/04/2011 at 10:11 am

      I’ve tried tablets and have yet to be convinced, but then I’ve never really liked touch screens. I still use a netbook so I have a display separate from the keyboard. However, I can appreciate that typing makes more noise than using a touch screen, so that in certain places the tablet is better.

    • Carl.H
      16/04/2011 at 10:30 am

      My Lord, the excuses for having tablet computing in the chamber are ridiculous.

      1)Finding documents: So everything on the internet is to be believed ? If the tablet were connected only to library sources of sound evidence fair enough but that isn’t the case.

      2) Noting the public view: This is tosh. The few of us that come here fight hard to get our views across and we are always told back up our views with hard evidence-see #1

      These tablets and other devices will be used for amusement a majority of the time, major parts of speeches maybe missed. The main reason students are not allowed to use their tech in class is because Authority knows they will be used incorrectly to the detriment of study and concentration.

      I have not heard you call for white boards or for PowerPoint presentations in the Chamber both of which would possibly be better assets when giving evidence.

      Would you give a Jury tablets so they could gain more knowledge during a trial ?

      The use of this entertainment device in chamber is not one of the technologies I would like to see implemented. Whilst the language, traditions and voting (divisions) remain firmly in the 17th century I can only see the allowing of such devices as a way of avoiding the boring (and perhaps important) tasks the chamber undertakes.

      I cannot see anyone jumping up to interject that they have just found that has crucial evidence that destroys the Ministers.

      If I came to see you and all through our meeting I was texting how would you feel? If I rang you during an important Cup game at the Emirates would you answer ?

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