Monday, October 16, 2006

These are a few more of my most unfavourite things

Following on the list of the Blair presidency's outstanding achievements in the previous blog, I have been offered a few more to include...

  • More surveillance TV in the UK than any other country in the world
  • The Scottish parliament building is 4 times over budget, a snip at £200m
  • Council tax rising >3x faster than inflation
  • No discernible energy strategy or resource planning
  • The sacking of nurses
  • Human Rights as an industry
  • Postcode medicine
  • GPs abandoning weekend cover yet now getting paid £100k PA average
  • Bugged dustbins
  • The Health and Safety Gestapo
  • Stealth taxes
  • Annual taxation documentation that has ballooned by some 1000%
  • Confusing new postal shipment rules
  • ASBOs and tagging
  • Dr Kelley's "suicide"
  • House of Lords "reform"

One of the most predictable excuses offered by UK governments since the first oil crisis was the news that "global events" were beyond its control; so it also seems appropriate to list the major global influences and trends since 1997 to see how many can be blamed for the mess overtaking The Republic of Blair. Not many of which seem to have been much of an impediment to running the country in the past 9 years. In fact the negative consequences of 9/11 now seem to have been self inflicted, and have left the world in a position where it is powerless to act on the news that North Korea really does have WMD.

All the other events have been grabbed by most nations of the world and turned into fantastic opportunities for development and growth. Countries like India and China have leveraged telecoms and IT to come from almost nowhere during Blair's reign. For HMG's part, IT has been the scene of yet more famous costly disasters in just about every aspect of public spending, despite Blair cabinet fixture, Patricia Hewitt, famously having been a former high flyer with high fallutin' and famously expensive management and IT consultants, Accenture. (Errm, but surely Accenture has been one of the usual suspects involved in many of these costly disasters..?)

Sadly, the one and only public IT project that seems to have worked well has been the introduction of the Livingstone Tax on London drivers - plus of course ultra efficient digital speed cameras; now just about the last industry where Britain proudly leads the wolrd.

Significant World Events since 1997...

  • 9/11
  • The internet
  • The end of broadcast TV as a mass medium
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Cellphones for all
  • Renewable energy competes at last on price with traditional energy

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