Advertisements

Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘useless

The Third Milliband Brother?

with 5 comments

James Brokenshire

I have very mixed feelings about young James Brokenshire.  He’s a Tory and so am I, so I don’t really want to be too derogatory about him.   It’s very difficult though, just  keeping a straight face, let alone seeing anything positive.  Most difficult of all to ignore is the Milliband in him.  I mean, come on, tell me I’m wrong!

One of my more erudite commenters mentioned the phenomenon of Nominative Determinism.  According to Wikipedia:

Nominative determinism refers to the theory that a person’s name is given an influential role in reflecting key attributes of his job, profession, or general life. It was a commonly held philosophy in the ancient world.

It’s not just that he looks like a Milliband.  It goes much deeper than that.  Alright, so George Osborne is right in there as well and I just know I’ve seen at least a dozen other clones.  I just can’t quite remember their names or distinguish them.  They’re the generation that’s heir to Cameron and Clegg.  They’ve gone from graduate to researcher, never had a real job, eternally trapped within the political bubble. You know the type.  And yes, our politics and our society are broken, broken because of the sort of policies, attitudes and behaviour that James exhibits.

Of course, I’m on the libertarian side of the party and James is way, way opposite.   He comes across as not just a hanger and flogger but a hanger, drawer and quarterer – and that’s just for parking tickets.   The trouble is, I fear he’s making such an twit of himself that he’s doing my party a grave disservice.   For such a young and youngish man he is a very old, very old reactionary Tory.

James is the new Minister of State for Crime Prevention.  Congratulations to him on his appointment at such an early stage in his career.  What an important job!  He does rather bring to mind all those old jokes about policemen looking like they should still be in short trousers.   Does anyone take him seriously?

He’s the government’s front man for the drugs issue.  That’s right, it’s not a minister from the Department of Health who deals with drugs.  It’s the Home Office!  Anyway, even before the current furore, I’d seen James in action in reply to a question about drugs policy.   He’s authoritarian, repressive, intransigent and far, far too sure of himself even when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  This is not someone who believes in “small” government.   Like the Millibands and other illiberal socialists he wants close control of our lives.  I’m sorry but the boy looks silly and he behaves like an idiot.  He’s being taken to pieces all over the internet – ridiculed, abused and condemned.  David Cameron, please get rid of him now!

The trouble is that James is trying to come over all tough and spunky but he doesn’t realise that even men of my sons’ ages have seen it all before.  Eager young politicians who think they know best when they know nothing have been making similar fools of themselves since time began.  To coin a counterfeit phrase,  I’d smoked more joints than he’s had hot dinners before there was even a twinkle in his daddy’s eye!  So many of us had thought through and argued out the drugs issue a hundred times before James even left nursery school.

I can’t really expect a replacement who agrees with me 100% on drugs policy.   What I do expect is someone who is credible, sensible, well informed and committed to evidence-based policy and truth.  James is none of these.  He is making a fool of the government.

What’s really serious is that the man is misguided.  He’s flying in the face of the facts and all the experts.  Drugs policy has huge impact on our society and we need to move away from our present disastrous and oppressive course.  James Brokenshire is the wrong man for the job.

Advertisements

A Fundamental Problem At The BBC

with 3 comments

I am very close to being the BBC’s biggest fan.  It is a remarkable and entirely unique institution.  Somehow it occupies a place between the state and the people which I can find no comparison for.  It would be easy to define it as some sort of socialist idea but it is genuinely independent from the state.  I do, however, have some concerns about its accountability.  I am very concerned about the way it handles complaints.

No Complaints Accepted Here

I have grown up with the BBC and I trust it.  In fact, I think that it’s done a better job of maintaining Britishness and values of integrity, tolerance, fairness and justice than any UK government of any political complexion.  That’s why the curmudgeons in all political parties turn against it.  I think Jeremy Hunt’s recent attacks and comments were particularly poorly judged.  He hasn’t a had a good start in government at all has he?

I made a complaint to the BBC recently and I am very, very unhappy about the way it has been handled.   The subject is not relevant here.  I shall write about it in future but for now it would distract from my point.  I am horrified to discover that the BBC does not handle complaints itself.   They are outsourced to Capita in Belfast which describes itself as “the UK’s leading outsourcing company…at the leading edge of redefining and transforming services to the public.”  For me that needs a huge pinch of salt, a mountain in fact and even then I’m choking on it.

Handling complaints should be at the very heart of an organisation.  It is the essence of your brand.  There is no more important management function.  Contracting them out is an abdication of responsibility.  More than that, it is a complete failure of integrity, a massive mistake.   If an organisation is truly committed to meeting its customers’ needs it must be as close to them as possible.  This irresponsibility strikes at the very heart of everything I value about the BBC.  I am deeply disillusioned.

If this disastrous decision had resulted in a well administered service then that might be some consolation but not a bit of it.  It is dreadful.  Every bit as bad as any horror story you’ve heard about British Gas, BT or yes, even a bank.  This is the British consumer experience at its very worst.

Not What It Used To Be

In sharp contrast to the rest of the BBC’s websites, try making a complaint online.  It’s like something from the very early days of the internet with clumsy, badly aligned fields and an archaic feel.  I almost expect to hear a modem whistling away in the background.  From a complainant’s point of view it’s quite useless.  You don’t get any option to save a copy of your complaint or email it to yourself.  You don’t even get an acknowledgement once you’ve completed it so you’re left with a completely unsatisfactory feeling of uncertainty.  Did they get it or not?  Will I get a reply?  When?

It gets worse.  Complaints are lost.  They don’t get answered at all.  They certainly don’t get answered within the 10 working days promised.  One answer I received was just laughable in its anodyne, crass simplicity.  It was nothing more than an patronising acknowledgement of what I was “unhappy about”.

Useless

I could go on even further but I won’t.  It does get even worse and it becomes embarrassingly so when Capita start to trot out the oldest excuse of all about “system problems”.  It is an excruciatingly bad, defining example of appalling customer service.  I’d say it takes the biscuit.

All this is the inevitable result of outsourcing your complaints procedure.  That aspect of business that should be one of your most important tools.  What’s worse is that Capita are absolutely useless at doing the job.

It is no exaggeration to say that, for me, this rocks the very foundations of everything I believed about the BBC to the very core.  It is not the organisation I thought it was.  I feel betrayed.  I am “disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.   In fact,  I am very, very, very disgusted of Weymouth, Dorset.

Ian Tomlinson’s Death Puts the Final Nail In the Coffin Of British Justice

with 34 comments

The Man Who Destroyed Justice

Keir Starmer’s decision not to prosecute PC Simon Harwood, who clearly assaulted Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protest, while concealing his identity, is an outrageous scandal.  It is perhaps the most shameful episode ever in the history of British justice, a system which has long held a much higher opinion of itself than it ever deserved.  Today it is proved to be utterly useless and Starmer’s conduct proves him to be both incompetent and entirely unsuitable for his responsibility.

Starmer’s weasel words in his statement are truly pathetic and demonstrate weakness, a complete inability to see beyond legalese to the truth and are a clarion call for his dismissal.

We the people of Great Britain care not one jot for the disagreement between medical experts.  We want this matter put before a jury.

We want PC Simon Harwood’s head.  He is a murderer.

We want Keir Starmer’s head.  He is an apologist for police brutality and an incompetent Director of Public Prosecutions.

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.

ITV Cock-Up The World Cup. Immediately!

with 22 comments

Unbelievable!  I would never, ever, not in a million years choose to watch any sporting event (or anything else I can think of) on ITV.

Now I know why and I know I’m right!

ITV Hopeless Dorks

Less than five minutes into the game, at a completely inappropriate moment, at the merest pause in play, it cuts to an ad.  I can’t even remember who it was only four minutes later, so it was a waste of time and money anyway.  Then the screen goes black for perhaps 20 seconds.  Then we get the pictures back – England have scored!

What absolute, unforgiveable INCOMPETENCE!

Only the BBC should be allowed to screen such important events.  ITV is useless .

Sack somebody now!

Advertisers!  Pull the plug on the jokers before we boycott you!

Written by Peter Reynolds

June 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Banker Robbers Supreme At The Court Of Contempt

with 4 comments

In an outrageous and disgraceful judgment the supreme court (no more capital “S” or “C” from me) has protected our corrupt banking institutions from the Office Of Fair Trading.  See the full story here.

Stupid Old Fools

The supreme court had the opportunity in one of its first judgments to set itself on the side of the people and justice.  Instead it has shown itself to be on the side of the establishment, the banker robbers and the executive.  If only this would herald the arrival of the tumbrils and guillotine into the streets of London.  Then the bankers and the judges would understand the meaning of injustice as their headless bodies lie in the street and others twitch and dangle from the gallows.

The OFT has been shown to be as toothless and useless as the Data Protection Act and the Information Commissioner.  These institutions are established merely as a sop to public opinion.  The establishment, the banker robbers and the executive have  no interest in justice for the people, only in lining their own pockets and protecting their own interests.  They can lend each other £60 billion or more in secret, deceive the public interest, yet they will not overturn the gross injustice and blatant thievery that are bank charges.

The bankers and the judges molested and buggered each other at Eton and Harrow.  They molested and buggered each other at Oxbridge.  Now incapable, except for a little self-molestation, they are buggering us.  Watch them get away with it as they duck, dive, lie, cheat and bribe their way out of trouble.  It may be difficult to prove the brown envelopes changing hands but what is happening in these judges’ offshore accounts?  We hold you all in the deepest contempt!

Next will come the supreme court overturning Sir Christopher Kelly’s proposal for the reform of MPs’ expenses.  Coming up on the inside is the Iraq Inquiry which will almost certainly see Tony Blair off the hook for lying to Parliament and the people.

It may be difficult to contemplate revolution in the modern age but in 1789 Paris and 1917 Moscow that was their modern age.  The establishment needs to understand that its conduct is unacceptable, that with the gift of the internet and communications technology, the people have far more power. You are walking a tightrope towards your own destruction.