Britain’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will (according to The Times) cite eBay as an inspiration for a public service reform White Paper released later today. Among proposals designed to offer greater transparency for parents, pupils and patients, Gordon Brown will say that: “people will take it for granted that they will access other people’s reviews and ratings before buying something on eBay and yet we do not have systematic access to other people’s experiences when choosing a GP practice or nursery.”
Have you stopped sneering yet? I do hope so. Because it’s a fascinating point. We all know that eBay’s feedback system has its flaws but a meaningful and clever use of user reviews may be just the shot in the arm that this country’s public services really need.