What's on Dave's dashboard?
David Cameron now has a special app to run the country. But what else is on his iPad? John Rentoul sneaks an iPeek
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Wednesday 07 March 2012
How do you know if someone has an iPad? They tell you. And David Cameron, through the hallowed osmosis of the Parliamentary Lobby, has told us that he is a signed-up member of Team Tablet. His has been nicknamed Dave's Dashboard and, at a cost to the taxpayer of £20,000, a bespoke app has been designed for it to give the Prime Minister real-time data on what is going on in his Government.
The app was built by Downing Street's IT support, known as Rohan Silva, deputy to Steve Hilton, the Silicon Valley enthusiast who is married into Google and who is off to Stanford University for a year's sabbatical. Tony Blair did not have a mobile phone when he was prime minister and hardly touched the computer on his desk at No 10.
But Dave is a touch-screen Tory and totally techno, and it's no surprise that he has an app for running the country. In a 2010 interview with the Daily Telegraph, he boasted he was "very proud that I've got an iMac and I've got a speaker remotely linked without a wire, which I did myself. I have all the music on the iMac. The cool thing is that I now control my iMac from the iPad, to play through the speaker". Rohan, watch your back.
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