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A fascinating insight into 11 Downing Street

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Paul Mason | 16:44 UK time, Friday, 27 November 2009

There is a superb example of the way the government is embracing Web 2.0. I have just seen a tweet from #hmtreasury pointing to the fact that there is now a bunch of photos of 11 Downing Street on flickr.

Here they are!

If you click through to them you will see a series of the kind of Marie Celeste style photos of stately homes that upmarket estate agents have put online when some member of the aristocracy has had their property seized.

You can see the 19th Century prints that line the staircase; the original Low cartoons from World War II making fun of politicians and situations we have long forgotten.

There are no people. Every surface has been polished, but no people.

I can attest to the fact the photos are genuine because I have been inside No11 for the various drinks parties Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have thrown there; and memorably stood on those very stairs as Mr Darling's special adviser tried to explain to us the legal basis for the chancellor's decision to guarantee all savings in Northern Rock; oh and traipsed through the subterranean passageways as the PM and chancellor bailed out the banks.

These rooms have been the scene of some of the most testosterone driven crisis meetings of modern economic history - the sacking of Fred Goodwin and Andy Hornby, the Northern Rock bailout, and who knows what else? Not to mention the all-night curry sessions that have kept the chancellor's two favourite tandoori restaurants in the black during the downturn.

Now what would be really Web 2.0 would be to put a Skyped up camera in these rooms and leave it running. Taking photos of empty rooms and uploading them to flickr and then alerting everybody on Twitter seem a little, well, er - shouldn't they be busy organising a new round of efficiency savings?

Alternatively we could liven things up by using the pictures as the backdrop for silly photomontages depicting the events described above. In a moment of ennui during my 12 hour shift working on tonight's programme, I have given it a go. Captions please?




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