Estonia’s e-revolution began in the 1990s, not long after independence. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, then the country’s ambassador to the United States, now Estonia’s president, takes some of the credit.
“We need to really computerise, in every possible way, to massively increase our functional size.”
Estonians today vote online and pay tax online. Their health records are online and, using what President Ilves likes to call a “personal access key” – others refer to it as an ID card – they can pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy. The card offers access to a wide range of other services.
Estonia is 1.4 million people. They don’t get a £10B handout from a kind uncle across a small sea. And yet people say that Northern Ireland could never be sustainable, never mind survive on it’s own.
Of course it could. But we’d need to change into a nation that could. Imagine if Northern Ireland was an asset to the United Kingdom rather than a liability? Imagine if the border poll was a reality because the Republic of Ireland valued us rather than being deathly quiet about unification.
Imagine if the ancient province of Ulster was “wanted” by either of the UK or Ireland?