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London Mayoral Candidate Wants to Track £17 Billion City Budget in Real Time on the Blockchain


Felix Online, the student magazine of Imperial College London, has published an interview with the Respect Party candidate for mayor of London, George Galloway.

The Respect Party is a left-wing U.K. political party founded in 2004 as an offspring of the Stop the War Coalition, opposing the Iraq War. The Party has been compared to “anti-establishment” political parties such as Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain.

Galloway, a controversial politician who appeared in the Big Brother reality show in 2004, joined the Respect Party after having been expelled from the Labour Party.

The Felix Online interview covers many topics of interest to London residents. Galloway is determined to “run Uber out of town” and formulates radical proposals for solving social issues.

“On the housing area for example, we intend to purchase any house that is unlived in for a year to tackle the prevalence of hundreds of thousand of properties in London that are not actually being bought as houses but bought merely to park mainly foreign money beyond the reach of their own regulators and media and so on, and this is simply unacceptable,” says Galloway.

In foreign policy, Galloway supports the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is “a strong supporter of Europe and strong opponent of the way that Europe is currently run.” On immigration, he thinks that London is a great city because it’s a multicultural city in which the minorities are now the majority.

Galloway’s Mayor’s Chain will be especially interesting to Bitcoin Magazine readers.

“I’m going to put the entire £17 billion budget online in real time in blockchain and this will allow the public in to see exactly what’s coming in and exactly what’s going out, and where it’s going to, and make representation about it,” says the London mayoral candidate.

In the proposed plan, every detail of the budget approved by sessions of the council would be logged on a special blockchain called the Mayor’s Chain. The rule would be that if an item is not registered on the Mayor’s Chain, it doesn’t exist and cannot be paid. This would ensure that everything is fully transparent from the start.

“So for example if the mayoralty transferred today 50,000 pounds for such and such a service, members of the public instantaneously can say, ‘I know that that same service could be provided much more cheaply,’ and we’ve identified that we can make very substantial savings in the budget, perhaps 900 million pounds saving, just by public participation,” says Galloway. “So we’d be the only government in the entire world whose entire budget was transparently online and influenceable, and I think it might just set a trend.”

Galloway may be a controversial politician, and he might not have much chance of becoming the next mayor of London, but his Mayor’s Chain proposal seems a real killer app that could – and should – be adopted by cities and nations worldwide. The citizens could look up all bids, contracts and expenses on a public tamper-proof blockchain, vote on proposals for the allocation of public funds (perhaps via small token payments from registered addresses), and spot corruption and inefficiencies immediately.

It would be a real, disruptive, world-changing killer app.

Photo Vince Millett / Flickr