Advertisements

Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘object lesson

Massive Outcry For Legal Cannabis On Your Freedom Website

with 5 comments

Your Freedom

The coalition government’s Your Freedom website has, according to Nick Clegg, been “helpful and really exciting”.    It’s been going nearly a fortnight now and anyone who has tried to visit it will have their own experience of how popular and therefore slow and busy it is.

The single most remarkable thing about it though is the massive outcry for the legalisation of cannabis and an end to the war on drugs.  I don’t believe that people’s opinions have suddenly changed.  It’s just that they’ve been given a forum in which to express their views.  If the government doesn’t do something about this issue now they’re going to look pretty stupid.

Your Choice

Mind you, during Obama’s transition, after the election but before the inauguration, he introduced the idea on his change.gov website.  Legalisation of cannabis was the winning idea but it wasn’t adopted.

However, it is true that Obama has made big changes in favour of medical marijuana and that the war on drugs is clearly over.

The site itself is an object lesson in how not to set up an internet presence.   The chosen technology is absolutely useless. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so bad.  HMG could have achieved a much better result with an off-the-shelf WordPress blog just like this one.  This is just another example of the now proven theory that anything the government does with IT will go wrong and cost a fortune.  Who are the idiots who were employed to set up this site?

It is completely overloaded and incapabable of handling the traffic it generates.

The software used for adding comments is the worst I have ever seen anywhere on the web.  When a commenter presses the “add comment” button there is no positive response.  Given how totally overloaded the site is it can take several minutes for the post to appear.  In the meantime, the commenter has pressed the button another four or five times before giving up.  Multiple copies of comments appear and the system slows down even more.

The moderation policy is bizarre to say the least.  It’s glaringly obvious that no thought at all was put into how to organise suggestions.  Consequently, there are literally hundreds of ideas that are almost identical.   Some of these are closed by the moderators and referred to another similar idea – but some aren’t.  They’ve learned nothing from the petitions section of the No 10 website.  It is just crazy!

There’s a strong suspicion of gerrymandering or tinkering with the posts, the votes and the comments.  It may just be the chaos of the site itself but it feels wrong.  There are dodgy things going on behind the scenes and protest is snuffed out.

Overall,  I’d rather we had the site as it is than not have it at all.  It’s just embarrassing though to see how bad it is.

It remains to be seen whether the government will take any notice.  If not though they’ve made a rod for their own back.

Advertisements

Tony Hayward, BP And The Oil Spill

with 12 comments

Good Job

I am really very impressed with BP’s Chief Executive.  He is doing the best possible job for his company – and probably for all concerned.  His appearance on the Andrew Marr show this morning was an object lesson in how to handle such a crisis.  He is suitably contrite.  He is direct, honest, loyal, everything that any board of directors or committee of shareholders could ask for.  Crucially, in the TV age, he looks right.  His appearance is an exact match for his message.

Here is a man who is worth every penny of a salary I would expect to run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

I’m no fan or friend of big oil companies.  There’s little doubt in my mind that BP and Esso/Exxon, the world’s biggest, operate an effective cartel on fuel prices.  They’re so big that no government can do anything about it.

I don’t think you can blame BP for the disaster although obviously it is responsible.  Clearly, you have to ensure that all possible safety standards and procedures are complied with but, given that, it could have happened to any oil company, anywhere.  There’s no more greed in BP than anywhere else. It’s just a business trying to make a profit like any other.

I deplore the oil spill just as I approve of motherhood and apple pie.  I understand that Obama has to give BP an appropriate amount of flak but the important point is how it is dealing with the disaster and all its consequences.  From what I see I think we should all be grateful that Tony Hayward is the man in charge.