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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Joining the dots

I wrote a post earlier about the social media surgery today on the CLA stand at the Great Yorkshire Show. I don't get out often (!) so it was quite interesting/eye opening talking to real people about their broadband and IT problems. (Very similar to going to the co-op actually; proving 'you don't need to travel far to see the world' - Amy Mason, interviewed by LAnnison, approx 1995 UWN)

This blog post can be read at

It was properly, stupidly depressing to see SMEs, similar to mine, in the same boat as mine for similar reasons. NO SUPPORT. Zillions of quangos and not a single one seems to have a figurehead who gets IT. With our money. Let alone staff who are delivering what is required on the ground.

It seems to me after an inordinately long UNPAID month that has cost me everything I had for boring shit like food for July already, that the time is nigh for "doing stuff". I've been here before so I have a sort of 'cynic' button that generally kicks in to protect my kids from irrational actions, but this is one of those times where I feel (a globally trusted meter for investment!)/have felt that certain things appear to be falling into place.

However, I have to say that the vast majority of my conviction that this is the case comes from an utter despair at what I keep hearing and a belief that "this cannot go on much longer". Maybe my emotions are just mirroring the news. Maybe, just maybe, moments such as a vast media mongulcorp heading on t'butt down the cobbles towing respected institutions behind does that to you. Or maybe, just maybe, the constant failure of overpaid, smug, fat possums, forces you to think that there is a chance for you to succeed with your great ideas, innovations, inventions, products, services etc that can be achieved on a broken shoestring. Sadly, I saw little to zero of that at GYS today. I've been going there for over 30 years so it wasn't some novel experience.

Even short but intensely wet rides on a motorbike allow you to ponder (Friday) and long but lost trips out (Monday) give you a potentially very long noose to hang yourself with. Both of those trips, and several others since Friday have left me with a certain feeling.

A two sentence background - on Friday, I was told to 'get something in' by a meeting on Tuesday, ie by Monday. Never mind I have two children who sort of could do with seeing my face not my back nor hearing that cussed tapping on my ancient and truly knacked keyboard, or that perhaps my business needs attention. Oh no.

We, the people of this country, know what to do. We have, without benefit of overpaid think tanks, consultants, or year on year budgets to play with, thought through the options. For more than a decade. Mostly, we are roundly ignored. That's fine. BUT, when communities and grassroots people outshine the so-called experts BY A BLOODY MILE and are asked to present our plans to prove that the public purse could be put to far better use than an existing fat-bellied, over-populated cattery can,

and, and, AND are willing to start asap, We JFDI.

Emails which arrive saying, This should be deliverable from April 2012 under the current procurement process....if all goes to plan........ well, work this post out.

What you actually mean, oh governmental quangos is, "Allow us to run you around for at least 12 more months. And blow the pot to smithereens. By the time we get back to you there will be none of YOUR MONEY left"

No. No. NO and no. I've just spent yet another day with people who get a wage packet. I don't. I am your target audience as a rural SME without broadband who is trying to bring up her family as a single mum whilst running a business that blows the socks off most others in knowing what is coming in IT. Have you *EVER* supported me? Or have you bled me dry?

I was volunteered to be present last Friday, I spent all weekend writing a proposal (or two as it turned out, for BDUK), I spent yesterday trying to work out how to get a vehicle through an MOT with no money, and today sitting on the stand of an over-funded body's uber expensive GYS stand and having to work really hard to get a free coffee. I am now, at 3.28am trying to upload photos so my resident trolls and the press have something to play with whilst I try really bloody hard to find a paying customer tomorrow before I am expected to support a local pub by taking my kids and I to supper club (we will be washing up), after dealing with a client who I know cannot pay but I can help, and then to a meeting on Thursday eve that I probably will have no fuel for. I have none now so unless we suss ethanol production by Thursday.....

Big Society? Run in the community benefit? Contribute to your area?

How about, as I said to a handily re-named organisation about 8 years ago and have oft repeated -

"When will you stop running existing businesses into the ground?"

Destruction of Trade and Industry may have come up in the conversation....don't even ask me what BIS stands for.

Do you really think I and many, many others are continuously willing to play a game, providing untold evidence, research, ideas, joined up thinking for you all because ONE DAY you might pay us? Or that we may get a career out of it? Pah, pah, pah and double pah.

I have seen how normal everyday people like the farmer clutching at AI straws today get tret by Westminster. (And yes, that's a word here in Cumbria.)

You are about to waste untold millions of OUR money because you are


Do you know what, folks? It is time to CHANGE. We don't want your bloody money, we want you to STOP WORKING AGIN US. With OUR money.

If BIG Society means anything, it means stand back, pin back your lugs, watch and listen. You lot know NOWT.

And I am seriously fed up of being driven into bankruptcy, and being unable to support my own children, or community, so you can draw your wages and spend my taxes and BBC licence fee.

Here endeth today's rant. But not my work as I have a business to run that no-one else could today or any other day.....................70 hour weeks? In my dreams.


Cybersavvy UK said...

The photos won't upload.The video hasn't even started. That's #digitalbritain for you.

I would like to point out that whilst BDUK may be identified in this post, they are by no means alone in attracting my ire right now. Every Govt quango/agency/org should read this as if it purports to them.

(I did apologise to BDUK before hitting Submit - does that count?)

Enough is enough is enough. It is time for a rethink, methinks.

PhilT said...

I expect little from Government and usually they meet my expectations.

PhilT said...

BDUK building in digital divide into their framework :-

50M to market towns
20-50M to villages
<20M to hamlets
2M to edge of network rural communities p19

chris said...

there should not be an 'edge of network' in such a tiny country as ours. Look at the world map. see the video on this post to know the USA has the same problem, and how to cure it. Start at the edge and work in.

Cybersavvy UK said...

Thx Phil for reading this. Would you care to guest post your thoughts on it?

Another document for us to waste our weekends on

And as for the assumption that you start at the centre and work out, delivering decreasingly less effective solutions to those who require them the most - UGH!!

Cybersavvy UK said...

*increasingly [tired, cross, frustrated etc!]

chris said...

phil also found this

Cybersavvy UK said...

Those explanatory notes state FTTC for superfast.....

Looking at the locations of cabinets around me - 3 in total in an area of about 25-30 square miles, the chance of actually connecting the vast majority of properties using FTTC in that final third is minimal.