YES, says Leon Emirali, an entrepreneur and investor.Stifling regulation, immense political upheaval, and very deep pockets have created the perfect environment for a politics/tech merry-go-round.
NO, says Olivia Utley, deputy editor at TheArticle.Until recently, Silicon Valley and Westminster have rubbed along together comfortably. Big Tech companies felt understood by politicians – and vice versa. Good relations blossomed, and for many politicians and their advisers, tech seemed like a natural next step after parliament. Steve Hilton and Rachel Whetstone made the leap comfortably – and now Nick Clegg is doing the same. But he will be the last. The mood in both Westminster and Silicon Valley has changed dramatically, and the revolving door is closing. The Westminster centrists’ belief that their liberal, global worldview was shared by the country was irrevocably undermined by the EU Referendum. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg and his friends are learning that their vision for a worldwide digital community gratefully united by Big Tech was – to put it mildly – a little naive.
The Westminster politicians who slipped with such ease into Silicon Valley are a dying breed. And the tech giants who welcomed them with open arms are on their knees. Read more: What the Clegg? Facebook taps former Lib Dem leader as global affairs head