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Gangsters of tomorrow?

I was alerted to an article regarding ‘Facebook labelled ‘digital gangsters’ by report on fake news‘ on LinkedIn. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/18/facebook-fake-news-investigation-report-regulation-privacy-law-dcms) is an interesting read, but there are issues (they always are). First of all Facebook is not innocent, Facebook has bungled a few items and they have done so several times, we have all seen that. Yet the report (at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf) has a few issues too and it starts in the summary. It starts with “We have always experienced propaganda and politically-aligned bias, which purports to be news, but this activity has taken on new forms and has been hugely magnified by information technology and the ubiquity of social media. In this environment, people are able to accept and give credence to information that reinforces their views, no matter how distorted or inaccurate, while dismissing content with which they do not agree as ‘fake news’. This has a polarising effect and reduces the common ground on which reasoned debate, based on objective facts, can take place“, the issues here are:

  1. Magnified by information technology and the ubiquity of social media.
  2. People are able to accept and give credence to information that reinforces their views.
  3. Dismissing content with which they do not agree as ‘fake news’.
  4. Reduces the common ground on which reasoned debate, based on objective facts, can take place.

First of all, these are not lies, they are correct as elements. Yet we need to take another look at these issues. In the first the common side of social media is the part that makes all people talk to one another, even as we agree that when it comes to the display of news people do not really tend to talk, they often merely voice an opinion or a thought. Having an actual conversation in mobile distance based events is as rare of finding a £10 in the jeans you just took out of the washing machine. The second is obvious, it always has been so even before the age of social media, and the difference is that they now voice it to thousands of people at the same time, exposing millions of people to millions of voiced views. When it comes to item three, try to find an accepted labour idea in a conservative house of commons and vice versa, debunking each other’s views is a state of active mind and the non-elected get to have a lot more attention than the elected one (a weird logical truth), it has been the clear path of exposure since even before WW2, the fact that the loudest voice gets the room is not new, it is merely the fact that we get to hear twenty thousand loud mouthing opinions. It is number 4 that is the one issue that gives additional rise to the first three. When I search ‘News’ in Facebook I get the BBC, Nine News, ABC News, News.com.au, and several more. Yet the issue is not that they are there, it is what they state is very much the issue and the report is seemingly interestingly ignoring that part.

For News.com.au I get ‘Kate Ritchie smokin’ undies shoot‘ linking to: ‘Nova radio host Kate Ritchie stars in sexy underwear campaign‘, ‘Woolworths to axe $1-a-litre fresh milk but Coles refusing to follow’, and ‘Sailor from World War II kissing photo dies at age 95’, so as ‘news value’ goes, the value of news is very much a discussion a well, these organisation use social media to the max as to increase exposure to self, which is what it is supposed to do, the committee seems to have forgotten that part. The BBC is all about news, even as ’50 Cent: Claims police told to ‘shoot’ rapper investigated’ stands out a bit (it is still news). 9 News gets the attention with: “Human remains have been found during the search for a woman who went missing more than 300km away, with two people in custody over her suspicious disappearance“, it is all about the clicks as the article (on their site) gives us from the beginning “Human remains have been found in Victoria’s east“, the news themselves are exploiting social media to improve circulation (clicks are everything), yet that part is missing in all this. When it comes to ‘fake news’ the media is equally to blame, yet that part was clearly missed by the committee.

And as we see the news “There’s nothing new about personalised number plates, but soon drivers will be able to go a step further and add emojis!“, all this 2 hours ago whilst,

  • Hamas enlists female participation in border riots
  • London social housing block residents warn of ‘death trap’ conditions
  • Terror expert warns Sweden against repatriating Syria jihadists

They are merely three out of a whole range of news items that do not make it to social media. The issue of ‘the common ground on which reasoned debate‘ requires a much wider base and the media is not using social media for that, it makes the media equally to blame, a part that has not been put under the spotlight either. The media uses social media as it is supposed to be used and it seems that the committee is a little too much in the dark there.

On page 10 we get: “In our Interim Report, we disregarded the term ‘fake news’ as it had “taken on a variety of meanings, including a description of any statement that is not liked or agreed with by the reader” and instead recommended the terms ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’. With those terms come “clear guidelines for companies, organisations and the Government to follow” linked with “a shared consistency of meaning across the platforms, which can be used as the basis of regulation and enforcement”.” You see ‘fake news’ is at the heart of the matter and when we see ‘disregarded’, as well as ‘a variety of meanings’ we get the first part that this is about slamming Facebook (always entertaining mind you), yet the media is at the heart of the matter and they too need to be held to account in all this. It is enhanced by statement 16 on the next page: “proliferation of online harms is made more dangerous by focussing specific messages on individuals as a result of ‘micro-targeted messaging’“, it sounds nice until you realise that the media themselves are doing this too, so the overall view gets to be skewed by the media from the start. So consider ‘Start-up founder says employees should only work six-hour days’, whilst in the text we see (amongst more) “Next, we should cut down or get rid of tasks that “don’t add value” such as slashing wasteful meetings in half and switching off distracting notifications. For process-oriented jobs, Mr Glaveski said it was a good idea to automate where possible, and where it wasn’t, the option of outsourcing should be explored“, which largely impedes the existence of places like IBM, Microsoft, and a few other large players. Yet the idea is concept based and the optional loss of 25% income is not expressed as to the stage of who can afford to continue on that premise.

In all this, the media has its own need for micro-targeted messaging, where that ends is not a given and that part does not matter,  it does matter that the message micro and macro is enhanced by the media themselves, yet where is their part mentioned in all that?

When the reports finally makes it to Data use and Data targeting we get: “We have instigated criminal proceedings and referred issues to other regulators and law enforcement agencies as appropriate. And, where we have found no evidence of illegality, we have shared those findings openly. Our investigation uncovered significant issues, negligence and contraventions of the law“, which we wold expect, yet in light of the larger issue where we see: “the use of data analytics for political purposes, which started in May 2017. It states that it “had little idea of what was to come. Eighteen months later, multiple jurisdictions are struggling to retain fundamental democratic principles in the fact of opaque digital technologies”“, I taught it 20 years ago, although not in a political setting, yet the use of data analysis was used in political fields as early as the mid 80’s, so the confusion is a little weird, especially when the footnote linked to the report (at https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/2260271/investigation-into-the-use-of-data-analytics-in-political-campaigns-final-20181105.pdf) gives us on page 8: “Particular concerns include the purchasing of marketing lists and lifestyle information from data brokers without sufficient due diligence, a lack of fair processing and the use of third party data analytics companies, with insufficient checks around consent“, the issue not given is that marketing lists have been available for 20 years, laws had the option of being adjusted for well over 15 years, yet the players only realised too late (some never did) how affordable Facebook and other social media players made this route towards creating awareness, as well as using media to adjust a person’s view became a cheap solution for political players that had little or no budget. The paths were there for well over a decade and nothing was done, now Facebook is lashed at whilst the lists of Dunnhumby and like-minded owners (Dutch Airmiles) and several others are ignored to a larger degree, a path that has been open to adjustment for decades. The law could have been adjusted, but no one bothered, now we see the impact and the lashing out at Facebook, whilst the players were clueless to the largest extent, the 2015 evidence seen as we see: ‘dunnhumby: how Tesco destroyed £1.3bn of value in 9 months‘, the initial moment already showed the failing of insight (as I saw the entire Tesco disaster unfold when it happened in 2015), and with:

In haste to ready Dunnhumby for sale, Tesco made two critical errors that left the company unsellable:

First, Tesco terminated its 50/50 joint venture with Kroger, instead restructuring in such a way that Kroger bought out Tesco and formed a new wholly-owned data company called 84.51°. In this new arrangement, Dunnhumby USA retained its other clients and was now free to pursue new business with Kroger competitors, but no lost its access to Kroger’s customer data.

Second, Tesco capped the length of time that Dunnhumby would have exclusive rights to use the data from the 16 million Tesco Clubcard users. As outlined above, Dunnhumby relies on this data not only to derive profits from its partnership with Tesco but also from reselling this data to the manufacturers.

(source: https://digit.hbs.org/submission/dunnhumby-how-tesco-destroyed-1-3bn-of-value-in-9-months/) we see just how clueless the larger players have been and there are additional questions that this committee should be able to answer, yet they cannot and as you can read they decided not to address any of it.

Its members:

  • Damian Collins MP (Conservative, Folkestone and Hythe) (Chair)
  • Clive Efford MP (Labour, Eltham)
  • Julie Elliott MP (Labour, Sunderland Central)
  • Paul Farrelly MP (Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme)
  • Simon Hart MP (Conservative, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
  • Julian Knight MP (Conservative, Solihull)
  • Ian C. Lucas MP (Labour, Wrexham)
  • Brendan O’Hara MP (Scottish National Party, Argyll and Bute)
  • Rebecca Pow MP (Conservative, Taunton Deane)
  • Jo Stevens MP (Labour, Cardiff Central)
  • Giles Watling MP (Conservative, Clacton)

They should also be held to a much higher account, as I personally see this situation. Not that they have done anything wrong officially. Yet the consideration that we see on page 87 where we are treated to: “As we wrote in our Interim Report, digital literacy should be a fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing and maths. In its response, the Government did not comment on our recommendation of a social media company levy, to be used, in part, to finance a comprehensive educational framework“, the fact that digital literacy is missing on a global scale is a much larger concern, one that political players on both sides of the isle in the House of Commons seem to have been ignoring to the largest extent. It should be part of primary school education nowadays, yet it is not.

We see supporting evidence in the ‘Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health‘ publication. When we read: “In 2017, however, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, reported that children were “not being equipped with adequate skills to negotiate their lives online” and that they needed help from adults to “develop resilience and the ability to interact critically with the world”“, we see one part, it comes from oral evidence Q566, which gives us the question by Stephen Metcalfe ‘There is a lot of emphasis on preparing children and young people for a digital life—on making them digitally literate. What do you think digital literacy actually means? What are the boundaries? What should we be teaching them, and at what age should we start?‘, the response is “A report I put out earlier this year, “Life in Likes,” which dealt with eight to 12-year-olds, focused heavily on emotional literacy. Schools seem to have done a decent job in looking at safety online. Children will now tell you that you should not put out a photograph of you wearing your uniform. People go to great lengths to trace you. Safety within school has really progressed, but the emotional resilience to be able to deal with it is not there yet. The key age for me is about year six and year seven. Beyond that, it is to do with the mechanics: how it works and algorithms. You do get targeted with stuff. It is not just everyone getting this. There are things coming your way because the machine is set up to work out what interests you. There are things around terms and conditions and knowing what you are signing up to. We did a big piece of work last year with lawyers that reduced and simplified terms and conditions from 17 pages to one. Of course, when people read it and it says, “We own all your stuff and we’ll do what we like with it,” it gets a different response. That is probably not the thing that will make us all turn off, but it might make us think twice about what we are doing.” Longfield gives us a good, yet in this case incorrect (read; incomplete) answer.

From my point of view through the abilities within Facebook we forget that ‘There are things coming your way because the machine is set up to work out what interests you‘, yet the numbers do not add up, you see the bigger issue behind it is that people can buy likes and some do, so the person clicks on something that has 50,000 likes, yet if they knew that 45,000 likes were bought they might not have clicked on it. It becomes the consideration of likes versus engagement. That elementary lack is important. Engagement is everything and in the consideration of item 4 earlier where we saw ‘reasoned debate, based on objective facts‘, we might seem to think that clicks are an objective fact, yet they are not. The amount of people engaged in the conversation is a subjective fact, yet an actual fact, bought clicks are not and that is an important failure in all this. So when we are confronted with upcoming 2% digital services tax, which is merely a cost of doing business, whilst the lack of digital literacy that is spawned from a lack of education is a difference that most are not made aware of.

When we finally get to the Conclusions and recommendations we might focus on: “Social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a ‘platform’ and maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites. We repeat the recommendation from our Interim Report that a new category of tech company is formulated, which tightens tech companies’ liabilities, and which is not necessarily either a ‘platform’ or a ‘publisher’. This approach would see the tech companies assume legal liability for content identified as harmful after it has been posted by users. We ask the Government to consider this new category of tech company in its forthcoming White Paper” we do see a truth, yet again an incomplete one. The media is equally to blame and not holding them to account, letting them focus on populist views and pressures (apart from the authentic news bringers like the BBC, Washington Post and the Guardian), we are pushed into a skewed view from the very beginning, that part was equally important and avoided throughout the report. For example the Daily Mail gives us ‘amazing footage‘ of ‘Heartwarming moment Syria’s White Helmets rescue two puppies from being crushed to death by rubble after a building was torn apart by heavy shelling‘, yet the news given several hours ago ‘Saudi Arabia has provided more than $13 billion in support to Yemen since 2014‘ never made it did it? The Daily mail was all about on how to not open a beer keg (by making a hole in the side using a spigot and a piece of wood) and ignoring ‘UK-based man charged with inciting attack in Germany‘ (source: Washington Post). So when it comes to the entire matter of social media and their ability of being merely a ‘platform’ (which they are) the accountability of the media as a whole is a much larger failure and the fact that the committee decided to leave that on the side invalidates the report to a much larger degree (not completely though) as I personally see it.

Facebook might not be innocent, yet the media as a whole is just as guilty. They have made the consideration of what is ‘fake news’ a much larger issue. The few that do a good job are filtered into silence by the hundreds of media outlets that do what social media is supposed to do, create awareness of self through promotion of ‘self’ on a granular population, as granular as possible.

The fact that the word ‘engagement‘ is only seen three times in the report, ‘click‘ is only seen twice, ‘filter‘ (like: filtering, filtered) is seen once and so is ‘selected‘, yet the last word is not see in regards to what the user of a social media account chose to observe.

All elements at the very foundation of: ‘Disinformation and ‘fake news’‘, in that light, just how valid is that report and what else are the people not made aware of? So in light of the members of that committee and the amount of money they made (and the costs that they gave the taxpayers) through lunches, travel expenses and all other forms of remunerations: Can we get that back please?

 

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A different day

This is a different day. It started bright and early when I woke up at 06:30 thinking of a new movie, an anti-anti-Islam movie. The idea I started with a few days ago called ‘How to assassinate a politician‘ is now called ‘The Essay‘. A setting in regards to what some people call ‘Freedom of speech’ and whilst some are calling it debatable by organising a cartoon competition, where the best drawing of the prophet Mohammed wins, the entire matter is in even worse taste as the event is taking place on the grounds of Dutch parliament.

The setting is so disgusting because Muslim faith is clearly defined as that there will be no image of Mohammed ever. We get from various sources “The Quran does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, but there are a few hadith (supplemental teachings) which have explicitly prohibited Muslims from creating visual depictions of figures. It is agreed on all sides that there is no authentic visual tradition as to the appearance of Muhammad, although there are early legends of portraits of him, and written physical descriptions whose authenticity is often accepted“, even as Wiki gives us the goods; they refer to the quality stuff we require. In this Sahih al-Bukhariis one of the Kutub al-Sittah of Sunni Islam. Bukhari finished his work around 846/232 AH, and spent the last twenty-four years of his life visiting other cities and scholars, teaching the hadith he had collected. In every city that Bukhari visited, thousands of people would gather in the main mosque to listen to him recite traditions. Bukhari finished his work around 846/232 AH, and spent the last decades of his life visiting other cities and scholars, teaching the hadith he had collected. In every city that Bukhari visited, thousands of people would gather in the main mosque to listen to him recite traditions. The authenticity of his work has been widely accepted by Islam scholars. So in light of this, we need to consider that certain actions are just not acceptable. Even as a Catholic, I have for the most little knowledge of Islam, but the little I know clearly shows the Dutch Politician to act in intentional travesty and hides behind what some refer to as ‘freedoms’ to insult Islam religion and whilst that is happening the Dutch government is still trying to wield ‘diplomacy’ to gain large multi-billion euro contracts all over the middle east, in Muslim nations, yielding to ‘it is out of our hands‘ whilst letting the parliament building facilitate to such biased events of hatred. So at this point, can anyone explain to me why Egyptians are considering the Dutch in ‘Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis selected to build tunnel under Suez Canal‘, there are several alternatives available and they are willing to give Islam the respect it deserves. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Indonesia and several others are confronted with the insults against Islam like the Tweet shown here. Even as we accept that there will always be people who are not merely biased, they tend to be individuals, yet when Dutch Parliament is used as the host of such an event, what does that say? Why would you want to cater to a nation that willingly allows its governmental buildings be used for anti-Islam events? The fact that the official complaint by Pakistan was kept out of the large papers for well over 2 days is also a clear setting that they are setting the stage of what is a very Dutch setting of ‘toleration policy‘ of anti-Islamic events. Dutch politicians like Stef Blok who seems to embrace (to some extent) the bluntness of Geert Wilders. A larger population is now being made aware (they already knew it) that to some extent a multicultural society is for the most a dream at best, yet ‘hallucination’ is actually more appropriate in this environment.

The Dutch newspaper gives it best in an article by Hakan Kulcu. Here we see ‘Ik ben bang voor het Nederland van morgen. Zullen mijn kinderen hier nog welkom zijn?‘ (Translate: I am afraid for the Netherlands of tomorrow, will it be a welcoming place to my children?), it is a little paraphrased. The setting is that there are more and more indicators that multicultural are no longer a given, they are at best a hopeful dream. But do you feel that you are investing in what was to be an acceptable setting for the future?

In this the foreign office ‘El Jefe’ Stef Blok is making his bluntness and open wound and a drastic mistake for whatever policy seems to be in effect. So when we are treated to ‘unfortunate and careless‘ speech bubbles of non-consideration, we must accept that there is a larger issue and that is going on whilst the Dutch are hiding in their PowerPoint on settings of tolerance and multi-cultural events. A presentation in falsehood, is that not a decent reason to change that 9 figure contract to someone who is honestly merely about the money (America), or at least trying to be truly multicultural (Sweden and Switzerland)?

In all this my brain is still processing the setting for the movie concept of ‘The Essay‘. Perhaps that idea could be sold in Abu Dhabi or Riyadh, plenty of rich fish in the sea who would love to be a movie producer. A movie part tongue in cheek, so that there is plenty of satire in consideration (when assassinating a politician), having alternative explanatory paths is a good thing. Some politicians look very Arian and we can use that Germany concept easy enough. o, and I must be certain that their movie states at the beginning: ‘Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental‘, which works with the Arian look works especially well as every German dreamed of being one and there are 83 million Germans, so I should get away with it 50% of the time.

The setting should be like …better keep the rest to me, myself and I for the movie sale. That is unless I can get 3.75% of 16 billion Euros in Dutch international contacts. If I pull that off, I will just finance the movie myself. Yet even as I check, the newspapers in many nations are still taking a large detour away from Geert Wilders and the cartoon competition. I reckon that they are hoping that it passes with anyone noticing. The Dutch Parool gives us an actual view that is a lot better, an opinion piece by Frits Bosch. Here we see: “It is brewing under the shiny surface of our prosperity. The elite withdraw into a bubble and deny all existing social problems“. That is actually a lot more accurate than I expected, yet the so called powers that be, the decision makers are for the most these people in a bubble, they include the one percentage incomes and the politicians who seem to be hiding away in The Hague after they got elected, it is in this atmosphere where anti-Islam can grow unchecked and for the most unopposed.

Why should I care as a catholic?

That would be a good question; you see I believe in fair play, for the most i have always adhered to it. I was never greed driven, but the times are not merely changing, the times were never fair, so it is only fair that those hiding behind intentional miscommunication, those hiding through greed driven Status Quo are put into the limelight. Those big businesses that hide behind the corporate cloak whilst whispering at governments via facilitators need to be given the limelight. And if that deprives them of close to 17 billion so much the better. As it is essential for them to be given the option to speech on lost revenue due to ‘unfortunate miscommunications‘, it is fun to see them having to grovel to the settings of their actions and inaction. It will give me more entertainment in the end, because they now facilitate to nations willing to spend close to a trillion dollars in several fields whilst their own wells dried up long ago. Would it not be fair that those knowingly linked to anti-Islam events; that these places are now denied a seat at the table in the Middle East? It seems only fair to me, does that seem fair to you?

Consider that the Catholic bastion Italy, that nation has close to 2 million Muslims, yet in all this, I cannot be anywhere in metropolitan Italy without any church, chapel or cathedral to be within 500 metres, yet in all Italy there are only eight official mosques in that country, does that not seem odd to you?

Why should the Middle East cater to anti-Islamic presence in their country when plenty of other many not anti-Islamic are willing to cater to them?

The world is upside down, so I think it is time that we inform the people on what is actually up and what is actually down, let’s start doing that through a movie, a movie that I call ‘The Essay‘.

 

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Interaction

Today is part on what happened, what we see now and something from the past. It started yesterday when the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/17/vote-leave-strategist-dominic-cummings-refuses-to-appear-before-mps) gave us “The chief strategist of the Vote Leave campaign has refused to appear in front of MPs, risking possible censure from the House of Commons but also raising questions about what more can be done when a witness ignores the will of parliament“. Apart from the folly of his action, there are other questions beneath the surface and they must be answered. Now, for the record, I have been in favour of Brexit! I have my reasons and I will introduce you to some of them. When I see “Dominic Cummings, who has been credited as the brains behind the successful Brexit campaign, told the select committee investigating fake news that he would not be willing to answer questions in public before the Electoral Commission finishes its ongoing investigation into his campaign” I do see a valid concern and even as I called it folly, which it partially remains, there is the setting that these MP’s need to come in front of the camera as well. I have serious questions from these MP’s and if they cannot answer them to MY satisfaction, they should be removed from office, it is THAT simple.

When I see that the leave groups have connections to Cambridge Analytica, I have questions as well. Even as we see “questions about the use of Facebook data during the EU referendum campaign“, we need to make certain that we are not caught on the rings of misinformation and that is happening on both sides of the isle in this case.

You see, to get to the core of it we need to look at the entire mess. Some are still willing to blame it all on Nigel Farage, but it goes deeper. He brought something to light, the issue is that we have had a massive amount of question marks before it started and that remains in the dark. The corrupt and the exploitative never want the limelight. The fact that Nigel brought to light issues on a larger scale needs to be commended. For the longer time, there had been an issue. Even as there was such a large level of positivity in 1975, by 2016 there was not much positivity left, the numbers show a degradation of the interest in being part of Europe. We see all those messages and news casts on how good things are, yet were they? Apart from the large corporations having benefits which did not go beyond the board of directors and senior sales staff having ‘training’ sessions in sunny places, the wheels of the system continued by the workers, by the support systems and the logistics who never saw anything in support return with the optional getting wasted evening on a Christmas party, that was the extent of the appreciation given. When we look at the issues from 2004 onwards we saw stagnation and until 2017 we saw no improved quality of life, whilst bills went up and incomes froze. In all this we see not an increase of living and future, merely a setting of getting by at best. That was never a good setting. So as we consider that the UK had EU costs. Some state “But the UK actually paid around £275 million a week in 2014 and paid around £250 million a week in 2016“, we also see (at https://fullfact.org/europe/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/) a few additional numbers. The numbers look nice, but they leave us with all kinds of questions and the mistrust grows as we are not offered any clarity. It is largely seen with “the EU spent nearly £5 billion on the public sector“, would that not have happened if the UK was not part of the EU? We also see “Extra money not counted here, goes directly to the private sector“, is that perhaps merely commerce? When we see the ‘gravy trains‘ running in Europe on how some ‘elected’ officials make 10 times the average income, questions come to the surface and the EU has never given proper response that is one part that has been setting people off. It becomes even worse when we see ‘Different figures from different sources‘ with the part “The Treasury and ONS both publish figures on the subject, but they’re slightly different. The ONS also publishes other figures on contributions to EU institutions which don’t include all our payments or receipts, which complicates matters“, it is not the ‘complications’ it is the lack of clarity and transparency, transparency has been an issue for the longest time in the EU and the people have had enough. The UK has seen close to no benefit to the EU, only the large corporations have benefited, those who need to work internationally anyway, so 1,500 corporations have a benefit and 150,000 do not and that is a visible setting that the UK faced. Even as we see ‘open borders‘, the fact that well over 60% has not been able to afford vacations for many years see no benefit, the setting had become too surreal. In all this we also need to realise that setting that the ECB have given all involved, whilst everyone keeps quiet that the taxpayer gets the bill. Everyone is seeing this fabric of illusion call quantative easing. Mario Draghi as head of the ECB had instigated a setting TWICE on this spending a trillion the first time and almost double that the second time around, so when you spend €3,000,000,000,000 do you think there will not be any invoice? Do you think that this money is printed and forgotten? No, it impacts all within the Euro, as money loses value you must pay more, you must pay longer and there is nothing you can do on this. Non-elected official spend that much money and they are not held accountable to any extent. In what I personally call a setting of corruption, this Mario Draghi was in a group of exclusive bankers (G30 bankers) and there was a question on it ONCE! There was no response and the media merely let it go, the media that is all up in arms on the freedom of speech did NOTHING! They let it slip away, how can we ever agree to be part of such a setting?

We have given away the quality of life and we are letting this go, in that regard Nigel Farage was perfectly correct, we are better of outside of the EU. The moment we heard this we got a lot more than a few ruffled feathers. Banks started threatening to move away, the same screwed up individuals who bolstered massive profits in bonuses as our lives faded in 2009; they are all about the gravy train. Why should anyone support this?

Now we get a new setting, with Cambridge Analytica, people woke up! I warned many people for well over 4 years, but they were all about ‘the government should not spy on us, we have a right to privacy‘, those same individuals got played in Facebook, pressed on fear, pressed on choices and like lambs they went to the slaughter and no one ‘blahed’ like the sheep they were. Yet there is a setting that is now in the open. When we act on fake news, is that fraud? The news was not asking us to jump, the people at large merely did and now they are crying fowl (pun intended), the turkeys got the sauce and now realised that they were going to dinner, yet they were the meal, to the ones getting fed.

So now we go back to the first setting. We have two issues; the first is the investigation from the Electoral Commission. That investigation is still ongoing, so why exactly is the digital, culture, media and sport committee rolling over that event? When we see the quote “lawyers had told him to “keep my trap shut” until the Electoral Commission completes its investigation into Vote Leave this summer“, I tend to fall behind Dominic Cummings in all this. When we look at parliament and specifically the ‘Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee‘, I personally come with the blunt and direct question (and as politically incorrect as possible) with the question to the conservative members Damian Collins (Chair), Simon Hart, Julian Knight, Rebecca Pow and Giles Watling. In addition also to the Labour members Julie Elliott, Paul Farrelly, Ian C. Lucas, Christian Matheson, Jo Stevens as well as Brendan O’Hara from the SNP. My question would be: ‘Who the fuck do you think you are interfering with an investigation by the Electoral Commission?‘, I might get shut down that they have a perfect right, but in all this, the overlap, this does not add up well. This is about interfering, creating opportunity perhaps? We can all agree that there are issue, that there are coincidences, yet with the exception of the Scottish and Welsh member, they are all from Brexit constituencies, I think that this bad news is going to their heads, and serious questions need to be asked by the media regarding a committee that is what I call clear interfering with an electoral investigation. Is that not a valid question? Oh, and for the number, you can check that at http://www.bbc.com/news/politics/eu_referendum/results.

the other quote we need to consider is “It is the second time this week that a potential witness has turned down a formal summons to answer questions from MPs, after Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg turned down a request from the same committee“, so why are they, trying to get Mark Zuckerberg in the ‘dock’? Do they need the limelight? What silly questions could they ask that the US senate could not come up with? Another quote from Dominic Cummings was “He said he had been willing to give evidence to the committee after this date, but the MPs’ decision to issue a formal summons via the media showed their priority was “grandstanding PR, not truth-seeking”” and I tend to agree with that.

When I look at two publications, the first being “The potential impact of Brexit on the creative industries, tourism and the digital single market“, I see issues, I seem them as personal issues, merely on what I have personally witnessed over the years that I have visited England. The first is “There is a phrase people like to use, “Locals selling to locals”. It does not matter whether it is the box office or the Royal Opera House or whether it is the distribution department of a television company selling finished programmes or formats, you need multilingual, multicultural teams to sell great British content around the world or to sell great British culture to tourists who come“, which might be true as a setting, yet in practicality? This is about local selling skills, how many grocers are hiring foreigners to sell a great cabbage? I also have an issue with Deirdre Wells, Chief Executive of UKinbound. She gives us that she employed; “70% EU nationals in their London office so they can communicate with the outbound operators in Germany, France and Italy and create those sorts of business deals in their own languages—that is still primarily how business is done. They need those language skills with skilled operations staff who can work with their clients overseas to be able to put these packages together“, which is interesting as most metropolitan Europeans speak English, in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway that language skill is way above average. Now, we can accept that language skills are important, yet when I see the footnote (16) and I look there, we see: “16 Q63“, I wonder what Q63 actually was, it goes a little further when we consider the issue given with item 31, where we see “Visit Britain emphasised the dearth (meaning lack of skill) of language skills available to tourism and hospitality businesses and compared the lack of skills affecting tourism with the IT skills required by the wider business community: In a 2013 survey of businesses by the Confederation of British Industry only 36% were satisfied with their employees’ language skills, compared with 93% who were satisfied or very satisfied with school and college leavers’ skills in the use of IT.“, here we see a reference to ‘IOB 027 p6‘ (at http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/culture-media-and-sport-committee/impact-of-brexit/written/42076.pdf), the paper gives a good view, yet it lacks a view of the Total EU compared to the rest of the world, when we see mention of “70% of respondents agreed that ‘the weak pound makes it a good time to visit Britain. This was highest in China (85%) and the US (78%)“, so if that is important, how large a slice of the cake do they represent? In light of that connection we need to see how important the EU slice is, if we are looking at a margin compared to the US and China, why are we bothering over the crumbs? At present we cannot tell, because it is missing, which tends to imply that the impact is not as large as expected, because I am (roughly) 89.4335% certain that if it was massive (compared to China and US) it would have been mentioned clearly and shown in some kind of Pecan Pie setting. [42076]

The second setting is seen in ‘Facebook written evidence‘ as published 26th April 2018 [attached]. Here we see in regards to This Is Your Digital LifeWhen an advertiser runs an ad campaign on Facebook one way they can target their ads is to use a list of email addresses (such as customers who signed up to their mailing list). AIQ used this method for many of their advertising campaigns during the Referendum. The data gathered through the TIYDL app did not include the email addresses of app installers or their friends“, which make the plot thicken, in addition we see “We also conducted an analysis of the audiences targeted by AIQ in its Referendum-related ads, on the one hand, and UK user data potentially collected by TIYDL, on the other hand, and found very little overlap (fewer than 4% of people were common to both data sets, which is the same overlap we would find with random chance)“, so at this point, I see no actual need to invite Dominic Cummings at all, or better stated, inviting him before the Electoral Commission finishes its report, it seems that certain members like the limelight a little too much. In addition we are treated to: “Our records show that AIQ spent approximately $2M USD on ads from pages that appear to be associated with the 2016 Referendum. We have provided details on the specific campaigns and related spending to the ICO and Electoral Commission. In the course of our ongoing review, we also found certain billing and administration connections between SCL/Cambridge Analytica and AIQ. We have shared that information with ICO for the purposes of their investigation“, it merely makes me wonder more on things being done twice at the same time, if there is validity to this, I cannot see it at present, at least not until the Electoral Commission is published. It makes perfect sense to scrutinise the findings to some degree, but to give two summaries at the same time overlapping one another is merely a way to diminish factuality and muddy transparency as I see it. Written-evidence-Facebook

In this, Yahoo had an interesting article last year at https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/brexit-remain-campaign-struggled-grasp-145100601.html), herer we see M&C Saatchi give us: “The downfall of the “Remain” campaign during Brexit was due to its inability to understand the electorate, according to the advertising chief enlisted to run the campaign. M&C Saatchi’s worldwide chief executive, Moray MacLennan told CNBC in the latest episode of Life Hacks Live, how M&C Saatchi’s unsuccessful Remain campaign struggled to grasp what the British people were really thinking about. “Everyone thought it was about leaving the European Union. I’m not sure it was. It wasn’t about that. It was about something else.”“, this is important as chair holder Damian Collins used to work for M&C Saatchi, so for the chair to take notice of his friends (if he has any), might not have been the worst idea. in that light, we see that there are issues that plague the British mind, yet the Remain Group never figured out what it was, which now gives light to all but to (Wales and Scotland) ended up with a ‘leaving’ constituency. It seems to be a mere example of a flaming frying pan, and no lid to stop the flames. In that, in light of the fact that M&C Saatchi tends to be terribly expensive, I wonder who funded that part of the deal, is that not a fair questions too?

As I see it, Hannah White, of the Institute for Government states it best when we see “Every time everyone observers the emperor has no clothes, in that parliament can’t force people to come, they lose a little bit of their authority“, which is an awesome revelation, so as we witness levels of interaction, whilst we are realising that the players should have known a lot better than what we are witnessing gives rise to other matters. What matters that they are why they are larger than you think remains a speculation to some degree and we all will have our own ideas on that. Yet without clear and accurate data it is merely speculation and we should not depend on speculation too much, should we?

Or perhaps when we consider ‘Dominic Cummings, who has been credited as the brains behind the successful Brexit campaign‘, we might, in light of the Moray MacLennan disclosure consider that Dominic Cummings comprehended the voters and Will Straw (the opposing team leader) did not, we need to realise that wars have been lost with a smaller disadvantage like that, so the Remain group might merely have themselves to blame for all this. If interaction is about communicating, we can deduce that not properly communicating was the cause, and in this the grandstanding by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will not help any, will it?

 

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The views we question

This is not a piece of me knowing, this is not a piece of me telling how it is. This is me questioning certain choices and certain actions. When we now see the actions as displayed by the press, is the press correct, was the press played or is the press playing us? To help to you in this, let’s start with two articles, both in the Guardian. The first (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/14/nhs-crisis-my-frail-mum-was-forced-to-wait-on-the-floor-for-eight-hours), where we see the emotional start ‘My frail mum was forced to wait on the floor for eight hours‘, I myself have had to wait in triage twice. This happens. There is only so much a hospital can do, as for the wait on the floor? When we see the first story appear we see “It was another seven hours before he went upstairs for an angioplasty and a stent. The A&E staff were under immense pressure, having to deal with far too many patients, but they did an amazing job“, now this person was from Worcestershire, famous for its Lea and Perrin’s sauce. In another case we see “It took 30 minutes for the paramedics to get there but when they arrived they were brilliant“, as well as “I don’t want to blame the paramedics or any staff at the NHS. They do a wonderful job and do their best to take care of patients when they arrive. But the issue is with the government and the lack of funding to our healthcare services” from that same person. Finally the one that is important here is “Dr Liam Brennan, president, Royal College of Anaesthetists: ‘These are no longer winter pressures, but perennial pressures’” with the added quote “In my 34 years as a frontline doctor I have never seen the breadth and scale of the relentless demands across the whole health and social care system that I see today“, in all this, this is the part that is in the eye of the hurricane, because, when we look back to Baron Kerslake, or as he is called in the House of Lords ‘bobby’ (assumption from my side). You see, he came up in an earlier blog, appointed as the Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. On February 17th 2016, in my blog article ‘Behind the smiling numbers‘, I wrote (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/02/17/behind-the-smiling-numbers/), “The title ‘Income tax must rise 3p to stop NHS ‘staggering from year to year’‘, which implies initially that the NHS needs £1.95m, which might be OK. Yet the truth is far from that, the text gives us that Lord Kerslake stated “Income tax will have to increase by at least 3p in the pound….”“, which is another story entirely (and first evidence that members of the House of Lords are gifted with a decent sense of humour)”, which came from a February article in the Guardian. Now when we consider The Royal College of Anaesthetists (www.rcoa.ac.uk), we see “Anaesthetists are qualified doctors who are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). The first step towards a career as an anaesthetist is medical school. Undergraduate medical training normally lasts for five years and medical students normally graduate with a bachelor’s degree. After graduating, the newly qualified doctor enters foundation training in hospitals around the UK. Foundation training lasts two years and after the first year, trainees become fully registered medical practitioners. Through the second year of foundation year training, trainees apply for postgraduate training in one of the specialties, of which anaesthesia is one. Trainees can apply for the seven years anaesthesia programme or the eight years anaesthesia programme which includes two years of the Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) programme. Trainees also have the option of completing dual Certificates of Completion of training (CCT) in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine. The dual CCT is similar in principle to achieving dual degrees and will normally take 8.5 years to complete“, so as we see staff shortages, as we see resource shortages, we also see something else, do we not? The quote from Lord Bobby, my apologies for this error, I meant Lord Kerslake, Baron Kerslake no less, it is my personal believe that harsher calls should have been made near a decade ago. In this former Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron should have made larger adjustments towards the NHS. Yes, we know that the Labour party bungled 11.2 billion pounds in that regard, but that was IT, staff is another matter and adjusting for those needs should have been done a long time ago. I have had an interest in becoming an anaesthetist a long time ago, if I had known the dire shortage then, I would have appealed and applied to Professor Peter Hutton in person in 2001. I might not have made it and unlikely I would have been able to do this, but I would have made the effort, a part I now see a failing Lord Kerslake with Lord Kerslake stated “Income tax will have to increase by at least 3p in the pound….“, I believe that if this is going to get saved, Prime Minister Theresa May will have to increase taxation to all working people by £1 every month as per January 1st 2016 and all pensions by £0.50 as per that same date. The treasury coffers will need to make a larger change, yet if anyone in House of Commons, the House of Lords or Parliament has any serious consideration to keep the NHS alive, that action is now needed. It is not unlikely that we will see a 2018 judicial public inquiry regarding the actions, practices, responsibilities and funding of the NHS. There is no telling which Lord Justice would be chosen, yet in these levels of failure, in these levels of events and the inhumane pressures that the medical profession is now under, brings a pain to my heart a lot more severe than a heart attack (I had more than one of those, so I know). The reason for all this is that there is a similar atmosphere all over the Commonwealth and if we want to prevent such a disaster in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, something needs to be done now.

The second article I mentioned was ‘NHS in crisis as cancer operations cancelled due to lack of beds‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/14/health-service-in-crisis-cancer-ops-cancelled-nhs). The second line is the one that brings the beef to the table: ‘Hospital chief warns government must face the truth, as patients lose surgery dates with some only receiving one day’s notice‘, the question becomes how could this have come to such a dire place? You see, this is not just some refugee or illegal immigrant thing, this is what I personally see a categorical undermining of an essential support system. This is a basic view, but is my view incorrect? It can only be seen as such if there is a visible spike of 30%-45% of Cancer patients and I am fairly certain that actually newspapers did not make such a report. In this the quote “Today, writing for this newspaper, the chair of King’s College Hospital, London, Lord Kerslake, a former head of the civil service, suggests Theresa May’s government is not sufficiently in touch with the reality facing NHS hospitals and staff to appreciate the severity of the crisis“, in this I would respond is that Lord Kerslake left the needs of the NHS too shallow in his 3 pence required statement, perhaps I just got that wrong, but if I misread it, than who else did that very same thing? Yet there is another gem in this article and it is shown a little further down that piece. The quotes “Kerslake also sides with Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, who last week questioned the prime minister’s claim about NHS funding“, “Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons health select committee, criticised the government for blaming GPs for the crisis” as well as “She said in a tweet: “Pretty dismal stuff for govt to scapegoat GPs for very serious NHS pressures. Failure to understand the complexity or own responsibility.”“. So we have a few political fires going on and the fact that Prime Minister May reacted poorly is just one facet. The one that does matter is “failure to understand the complexity“, you see, it seemed to me for the longest of time that there was too much politicisation with the NHS, which is why I am referring to the essential need of a judicial public inquiry of the NHS. Why on earth has the NHS become so complex? Is that not a valid question too? In this world, is medical care and health care the one item on everyone’s agenda to keep that as simple as possible? In that, we see another part, in advance I will apologise for the upcoming ‘less’ civil words, but why the fuck is anyone handing over £340,000 to PwC? The headline from the Coventry Telegraph ‘Coventry and Warwickshire NHS chiefs fork out £340,000 for advice on how to SAVE money‘ (at http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-warwickshire-nhs-chiefs-fork-12436466), there is in addition a small part if each forked that over, or if this was a total amount. The fact that PwC, you know the ‘idiots’ involved in fallen places like Tesco and BHS, now they are advising the NHS? How much is that going to cost the tax payers after the initial fee that equals 13 annual incomes for most UK working citizens? The quote “The document, released in December, aims to address the need to bridge the local NHS funding gap of £267 million which will exist by 2020 if services stay the same in the region” gives rise to even more worry. Not only is the NHS a quarter of a billion short in roughly 1080 days in Coventry and Warwickshire, to survive they have to move? How will that aid the people in Coventry and Warwickshire? Will they end up with any health care at all, or will the local Romani Gypsies with oils and herbals need to be relied on? You think that I am exaggerating? If so, please feel free to inform me on how those two places Coventry and Warwickshire, with 340,000 and 550,000 people end up coming up short by £267,000,000 in three years? Well if advice comes at £343,000 on private consultants, that shortage might be reached rather quickly, but that is not the story is it? The story is how funding has failed and how much more it will fail over the next three years. So, as such, is my view as I personally see it of an essential judicial public inquiry that far-fetched?

In that part, the PwC will have more to explain. When we see: “The sum cannot be broken down as you request as the work was undertaken on a fixed fee basis but please note that the work was commissioned in line with government framework rates.”, what else was done, how many hours and what data was the advice based on? In addition we see that the payment to PWC LLP, who were commissioned by the STP member bodies to help to develop the STP between July and September 2016 (as quoted), so this Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) gives a solution, which involves:

  • University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust
  • NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group

It now becomes a question on where the trimming would need to be, more important if there is an upcoming shortage of a quarter of a billion, is there an oversight of what has been billed, what has been received and with three commissioning groups, should we fear what kind of a gravy train is running here. How many clinical commissioning groups are there in the West Midlands? If every county has one, how much in payments go into those clinical commissioning groups? These are all questions that are not heard by too many places. I think that there is an issue, I am not sure if what I am raising is an issue, but with only part of West Midlands, if they are short by a quarter of a billion, what shortages can we expect to see in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire? Consider that the West-Midlands is around 5.8 million at present. Implying a lot, that part you should realise when 15% of a West Midlands is cause for a quarter of a billion in shortage, where is the rest of West Midlands at? Is that such a weird question? Even as there is absolutely no fault to the medical practitioners themselves, there is a fair bit of uncertainty regarding the governance of the medical profession and the governance of the NHS trusts. It is the scent of silence. In this I equally blame the Labour party as they did not change direction funding the NHS as it should have. Now, we know that the financial crises has hit everyone, this is a fact of life, yet the issue we see when the Guardian quote “saying that the real amount of extra cash being given to the NHS in England between 2014-15 and 2020-21 is only £6bn and even that much smaller sum has only come from cutting spending on public health programmes and medical education and training by £3.5bn” was given on October 31st 2016 also implies the partial pressure we see mounting. by cutting £3.5bn on medical education and training, we can see one headline, namely ‘NHS in crisis as cancer operations cancelled due to lack of beds‘ as it changes into ‘NHS in crisis as cancer operations cancelled due to lack of qualified surgical staff‘, when some of these specialists require 8 years of training, that view is not overly pessimistic, it is an actual reality that the UK could be facing from 2019 onwards, yet for how long cannot be predicted because the changes in policy are unknown and they will largely influence for how long this problem will continue, as well as it will continue to grow as a problem.

In light of this, perhaps a light hearted alternative? When we see the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35121632), how long until politicians will consider: “Nearly 1,500,000 people were killed this year as part of the government’s NHS sustainability cull“. You see, if we do it to the badgers, how long until people are on a similar list to create convenience?

 

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Classifying defection

This is at the centre of my dilemma today. Part of me knows that some of my exam results have been posted. I have two more exams, which makes me too scared to check them. If I fail, my life will feel it is over and I feel like admiring the great view a person has when he leaps down the Empire State Building, some say that this view is the best and it is apparently a one-time option. Anyway, if I fail, I will get more depressed then I already am, If I pass I might relax a little too much whilst I have two exams between now and coming Tuesday morning, hence the fear to check.

On my 2 hour point of rest, I got my hands on this article ‘Rochester by-election: “two more Tories ready to defect”‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/20/rochester-strood-byelection-voters-polls-ukip), for most of my life I  have seen defection for the most as an act of treason, we take a team and we stick by that team (or company), I have watched scores of ‘managers’ ‘defect’ to the status or situation that benefited them the most, which I considered betraying the company that hired THEM to do a job. The then hid behind words like ‘miscommunication’ and ‘what was the best option’ the added part ‘for themselves’ was a bit of an issue to me. Corporations take this as the cost of doing business, but is that the acceptable truth of the matter? I actually do not know.

So these thoughts were in my mind as I read the article. You see, the question becomes who does an MP owes allegiance to? The party he is in or the people who elected him? That part is now unclear. Are these two MP’s Tories who serve Rochester and Strood, or are they Rochester and Strood MP’s who serve the conservatives? That is the question that phrases my mind. Yet when we look into the article another option is started to form. When we see the following parts: “My view is that Ukip membership should come back and join the Conservatives and be part of a centre-right majority in this country” and “Tolhurst said she was still hopeful of winning, but was reduced to begging for votes from supporters of other parties in an attempt to keep Ukip out of the constituency“, so what are we dealing with? Is this a situation where two MP’s are actually trying to sway both sides to stay in a seat, no matter whom they serve, are they playing both sides against the middle or are we looking at another play, one of voter management into getting the waters slowly managed by surfing the questions of the voters and through surfing these waves, to guide themselves into the opportunity to make the waves alter slightly, little by little into a new direction.

It is consistently illogical to expect the waves to react to the surfer, but is that entirely true? As the surfer becomes part of a wave, does that surfer not influence that what he is part of, or does the surfer just glide the wave, enjoying the motion but never to interact the wave so that the surfer will not get crushed by the wave as it engulfs him? What is true, by which definition and to what extent?

So why is this small part of Kent so distinct? I do not think it is distinct, I think that there is a play in motion, but to what extent is not clear. Consider the entire change as UKIP is growing beyond what most parties considered possible. Tories are scattered, Prime Minister David Cameron is all over the place to get a hold of the change, but the issue is not conservative based or Cameron based, it is in my mind constituency based. What is planned for the 75,000 voters and how should they be regarded as? In that area Mark Reckless does have a massive advantage, so why is there an issue with UKIP? The question becomes, what will happen, will the 23,000 people support conservatives and all move towards Kelly Tolhurst, or are we witnessing the sentiment within a constituency as they align and identify with the values that UKIP is advocating? If that is happening, are the conservatives on the right path, or are they ignoring the drastic need to educate the people towards why UKIP is the bad choice. Let us not forget that the conservatives got the economy started to the smallest extent whilst the EU is bleeding recession all over. The cautious approach by George Osborne is what is moving England towards better economic waters, which is also why the influx of immigrants is taking massive shapes, all towards better times. It seems to me that UKIP talks nice, but they have at present no way to continue the positive waves, in addition, the needs of change they will force upon the system could undo the forward strides the conservatives achieved within the first 6 months Nigel Farage starts implementing change, which he will believe to be ‘for the better’. The greatest danger here is that the results are only known after the fact, then it will be too late, so there is the link to my own fear, knowing will have repercussions. Ignorance is bliss to some extent; it lets me focus on what needs to be done. I can do it to my issues, Mark Reckless can do it towards the change he believes will make the difference and Kelly Tolhurst will just focus on becoming the new conservative for Kent. Yet Parliament will not get to ignore anything, it needs to dynamically alter its strategies on changes as they happen. David Cameron needs to remain dynamically active, but what of Nigel Farage? Is he dynamically active as we see ‘Farage rejects deportation claims amid UKIP migrant row‘ (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-30111694), is he tactically changing points of view in regards to the battles he can win versus those that halt him (a dynamical act), or is he stating dynamical changes whilst not actually being dynamically active? As we see the quote in the BBC article “But Conservative MP Damian Green said Mr Reckless had come ‘dangerously close’ to advocating a repatriation policy while Labour’s Yvette Cooper said Mr Reckless had ‘let the mask slip’“. Is he truly slipping the mask, is he opportunistically inclined as the bulk of middle managers all over the place, or are we watching a different tactic, one that requires the voters top change course, just like the waves for a surfer, yet if waves cannot change direction, was the direction of the voters an actual direction which was never seen correctly?

This is part of my thinking, part that all parties seemed to have ignored, or at least it is a change that many did not consider. These matters are centre in the upcoming by-elections. The people have made mental changes to the parties and what they stand for. Instead of waiting election, Nigel Farage seems to be changing the landscape by these tactical changes, as areas move towards by-elections, we see a shift for the worst (if you are a conservative), so as the deck is stacked in favour of Farage Ukiporated, we see the approach where the 2015 elections are already being drawn vastly against the conservatives. Yes, 75,000 people in one part of Kent is not a big thing, but as this is only one constituency, which others are under attack? Let’s not forget that it is not just the conservatives that are under attack, the Liberal Democrats and Labour both have areas where the voters have been making changes, waves that are all taking other turns and directions, what will happen there? The UK, 650 surfers (read constituencies), and its politicians all trying to ride the waves, will they change boards or get crushed in the waves as they are not respecting the power of the wave. In my mind we will see plenty of surfers adapting to the waves, so will they therefor be the betrayers of the party that gave them the surfboard, are they respecting those who voted for them as they change the waves in a mindset of the price of doing business or are they doing nothing more than serve themselves as they surf for as long as they can. Who do they surf?

 

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They don’t know what they do!

The article started funny enough. The headline ‘Leaked universal credit memo shows jobcentre staff struggling with rollout’ gave me a clear indication that this is another one of these, let’s get into a world we do not understand (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/27/universal-credit-leaked-memo-scheme-rollout).

I admit that my words here are presumptuous, but I have seen this before, to be honest many of us have seen this before. There was the NHS with 14 billion plus wasted and there were a few other projects, all gone down the drain. So, why can’t some people get their act together?

The first quote is likely the most offensive one, especially in my eyes: “The DWP had promised to have 1 million people on the scheme by April 2014 but, dogged by delays and tens of millions of pounds of IT write-downs and write-offs, the original timetable has been scrapped. Just 15,000 people are on the system“, you think what is wrong with this picture. Consider a $389 notebook, not a great piece of equipment, but I can install a variety of SQL products and have these filled with a database containing the population data of Poland in about an hour, so why do we see a system with only 15,000 records? (intentional trivialisation was used here)

When we get to the timeline (which by the way was not chronological), we see several issues. Let us take a look at them.

28th April 2013 – Trial begins for Universal credit (UC), which is covered in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/mar/31/liberal-conservative-coalition-conservatives)

Universal credit introduced.
The new in- and out-of-work credit, which integrates six of the main out-of-work benefits, will start to be implemented this April in one jobcentre in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. The aim is to increase incentives to work for the unemployed and to encourage longer hours for those working part-time. It had been intended that four jobcentres would start the trial in April, but this has been delayed until July, and a national programme will start in September for new claimants. They will test the new sanctions regime and a new fortnightly job search trial, which aims to ensure all jobseeker’s allowance and unemployment claimants are automatically signed onto Job Match, an internet-based job-search mechanism. Suspicion remains that the software is not ready.

The issues are as follows:

  1. Will start to be implemented this April‘, this means that the system had been prototyped, this means that the software has been tested and that the interface has been tested by users, so that a nearly clean version goes online.
  2. The information ‘Suspicion remains that the software is not ready‘, should have been a very clear indication that the brakes had to be applied and at this point, investigations on the entire track should have commenced.

24th May 2013 The Major Projects Authority review expresses serious concerns about the department having no detailed “blueprint” and transition plan for UC (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/24/universal-credit-danger-failing-whitehall-review)

Universal credit in danger of failing, official Whitehall review says
The first official government admission that Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship plans to remake the welfare state has hit trouble emerged on Friday night when the Cabinet Office’s review of all major Whitehall projects branded the universal credit programme as having fallen into “amber-red” status, a category designating a project in danger of failing.

You think? How about, the issues shown after a month when there were already doubts we see an utter lack of commitment, there is no other way to describe it. When I see the quote “Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, hailed the publication: ‘Major projects need scrutiny and support if we are to succeed in the global race’“, which in my book comes across as ‘only silent scrutiny is allowed. This project is too big‘, which in my eyes is nothing less than a joke, one the taxpayer is paying for by the way. I must also clarify that this is how I initially read it, not how Francis Maude stated it, he seems to want accountability, so do I, it is just too convenient that many involved are not named at all.

In addition we see “An MPA rating of amber-red will anger the DWP, which has insisted that universal credit is on time and on budget” furthermore we see “Data has been exempted from only 21 projects in the review by the Major Projects Authority (MPA), where disclosure would damage commercial interests or national security“.

So now we get the following:

  1. Who at the DWP had made that statement? We want to see his name and his dismissal; I say again dismissal, not his resignation.
  2. Was the same person making the claims in regards to October 2013? This means that we were at that point faced with two delays on a pretty expensive endeavour. More important, until now, there has been a slacking handle on this project, which is likely to be only one of many.

Now we look at two events:

5th September 2013 A National Audit Office report reveals ministers have written off £34m on failed IT programmes and the launch may be delayed beyond 2017 (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/05/david-cameron-24bn-universal-credit-problems), where we see ‘David Cameron’s £2.4bn universal credit project riddled with problems‘, so the entire UC is more than just a few pennies and we are not seeing any accountability, no criminal charges and no product. We can look at the quote, which is “The National Audit Office said universal credit, the £2.4bn project meant to consolidate six welfare payments into one, has been beset by ‘weak management, ineffective control and poor governance’“, I am about to call it something else entirely.

31st October 2013 The Guardian reveals ministers have been presented with a radical plan to restart UC and write off £119m of work over the past three years (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/31/universal)

Now we see the following additional quotes “Ministers attempting to put the troubled universal credit welfare reform programme back on track have been presented with a radical plan to restart the scheme and write off £119m of work over the past three years” and “The risk assessment warns that the plan to start again, the ‘design and build’ web-based scheme, is ‘unproven … at this scale’“. It says the plan to fix three years of work on universal credit is still “not achievable within the preferred timescales“, describing it as unrealistic”

These two give us the following:

  1. If we revisit “In March 2013 Duncan Smith told parliament that universal credit ‘is proceeding exactly in accordance with plans’“, then why on earth is Duncan Smith in any government building? If we look at statements from Margaret Hodge and the NAO, there is a clear indication that extreme sanitisation is needed at the DWP, the fact that this multi-billion pound fiasco is still around at that time should give cause to many serious questions.

Just to make sure the reader understands the gravity of this situation, the bungling and wasting of resources at that point could have given nearly every current university student a FREE University degree, which is saying a lot, in addition, those studying IT, might have completed the project for the price of their education, which is saying a lot!

  1. Writing off 119 million of work delivered. A failure is not work delivered, who was minding the stores, the contracts as well as the targets that had to be met? The fact that the amount in the database at present (15,000 people) could have been achieved with a $99 program called Microsoft Access, so can we have the 118,999,901 back please?

When we revisit the September quote “The DWP said the department would continue with the planned reform and was committed to delivering it on time by 2017 and within budget“, we can clearly see that either the DWP has no clue what it was doing, or we have another echelon of people and their ‘goals‘ messing things up.

Are my assumptions valid? Well, so far I did not waste billions, so I am inclined to say yes!

By the way, who did the original costing, who presented the plan and what remains of the initial plan? Because a blowout of these proportions should be regarded as clear evidence that the thought might have been nice, but none of the deciding parties had any clue on what was being decided on (my evidence here are the squandered billions as we see them melting away).

You see, in the old days, in my life, designing a database system was relatively simple. It took 5 weeks and a few iterations of tweaking to get the customer this container system. It worked like a charm! That is what is needed here. People have been overcomplicating things by massive portions.

  1. Web based solution.
    Really? With all the intrusions, phishing and other forms of malignant issues, you are going to a web based option? Let’s be clear, this system is all about letters and numbers, so an ASCII based system, which in the old days it was called a DOS program. In this situation a UNIX solution should be sought, but the overall idea is clear. In addition, UNIX is much safer, better protected and scripting allows for evolution when needed. I knew a guy once, who created a scripted solution for product distribution for a global Fortune 500 company, it was one of the few innovative software solutions that actually worked and worked when most systems had to be upgraded, it worked on a Pentium 1 with 90 MHz, a system we now buy for $49 (if even for that much), It conversed with several dozens of locations.

Now, today, when we look at the UC, something bigger is needed, but the systems of yesterday are already 2000 times stronger than the initial system it was designed on, so we can clearly see that the spending of a few billion require a deeper digging, as well as a serious interview by the members of the House of Commons towards the involved members of the DWP.

  1. more web-based system
    The risk assessment, dated 11th October, says the plan for a faster, more web-based system would involve writing off £119m of previous work, and cost the DWP £96m to develop. However, it warns ministers that they will have no idea if the web-based system will work until the summer of 2014 ‘when it is live for 100 claimants’

And the laughter just does not stop here, ‘more’ web based system? The people here did not learn the first time? If you want speed, consider simple ASCII, with perhaps local formatted XML. You see, you get loads of characters across in mere milliseconds (36 characters including 10 numbers tends to be fast), and let us not forget, this is all set towards 6 systems, so you need speed. So only this summer was there any chance of knowing anything, so can we wonder again where the money went, because someone is getting pretty rich here and it is not me (alas).

In these two issues we see a reiterated failure, which gives a clear signal that the original design, which would have been BEFORE money was spend, should not have passed any hurdles as I see it.

When I think ANY project I see the following

  1. request
  2. design
  3. prototype
  4. finalise
  5. test
  6. implement

Now, I will admit that a large project needs a lot more, but these 6 steps for the initial trial should have been done in 90 days for 7 tests. One test of each system and the 7th to see one person collected on all 6 systems. Now we have a master that gets us trials where this simple program could be used to star testing everywhere and see if data comes across, yes, this is nowhere near finished, but in the foundation we see what happens if the data of 150,000 people gets requested, so now we know that data can be obtained and we see a timeline of speed and more important bandwidth, because that will be the killer. If we revisit the original time line where the plan was offered in October 2010, which means that this test could have been done before Christmas, so how was time and money wasted, because as we see the Multi Billion pound bill that would be the direct question evolving from this.

The complications
Yes, I am not ignoring this. A system with this much data access will need all levels of security and encryption, there is no denying this, yet using a ‘web-based’ approach seems to me that we might as well give a copy of all this data to the cyber criminals. There are always suite options of security, and yes that needs work, yet some local test could have been made, in addition, a system this vast will need all kind of implementation servers and trained support staff, steps that were not even anywhere near implementing, were they costed for?

When we see the timeline and the involvement from ‘interested’ parties, I cannot stop but wonder what could have been if the right people had sat down, because those involved screwed the pooch big time and the taxpayer can see the billions they have to cough up for a system that never worked.

We will end with three quotes all from the October 27th 2014 article.

  1. leaked Whitehall documents warned of a failing IT system, more than £1m in wasted expenditure, and how only 25,000 claimants would likely to be served by the system by the general election next year.
  2. The government has written off or written down £130m on the project, which is designed to revolutionise the culture around claiming benefits. It now expects 100,000 people to be on the system by May 2015 and for 100 centres to be involved in its delivery by the end of this year.
  3. When fully rolled out, UC will make 3 million families better off by £177 a month and lift up to 300,000 children out of poverty.”

From the three points we get the following, if the system is turning nuts and bolts at present when there are between 25,000 and 100,000, what complications will we see when the other 2.95 million are added, if we see the issues with less than 4% populated, what happens when the other 96% is added?

When we see the quote in regards to a couple not getting paid, whilst in addition changing their details took three months, we can conclude form the quote “The DWP said the couple’s claim had been delayed because the pair had failed to complete the correct forms. Responding to Dispatches’ findings, a spokesman told the Guardian: ‘Universal credit’s IT system is robust and effective, and we have trained 26,300 work coaches who are successfully providing new support to claimants to help them better prepare for work’“, well if there are 26,300 work coaches and there are currently 25,000 in the system, why did it take three months to correct this? In addition, how come the wrong forms were filled in, what was the cause of that? Should the system not have reported (almost immediately) that the forms did not constitute their current social status/predicament?

This is more than a simple failing; this system seems to lack basic foundations, especially with three months delays.

The sad part is that this is not the first issue we see, when we consider the NHS debacle which I discussed in ‘the second exploitation‘ on August 10th, how the NHS options resulted in a wasted 15 billion, whilst no one seems to take a deeper look at how such large amounts get wasted. Now with the UC we see a similar development, it would be so nice for someone in Whitehall to recognise the need for actual change so that squandering might be minimised be a lot more then it currently is.

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A Label for Labour

If we can use the information (to some extent) that the Guardian gave us this morning, then the first reference would be ‘Whinging’ 1. To complain, whine 2. A message from the labour party! So, the second one actually explains part of the newscast. The story was how according to Miliband, Cameron was losing control over the energy policy. (At http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/24/edmiliband-davidcameron) How does he figure that?

The facts are not that unclear. There once was a non-fairy tale involving 6 commercial enterprises, who to some degree had to make a profit. In addition, the following headline should be interesting “Every UK home to face 15pc energy price rise” (Jan 2008)

Not to mention that parliament had an interesting document (at www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn04153.pdf ). There are two issues, one, several sources mention an average 16% annual increase during 3 terms of labour. I mention it, but some numbers are sketchy, so I have some reservations how correct those numbers were, even though the parliament briefing papers do show a spike in that time frame.

It does not matter what the direct cause was, however, in three labour terms, nothing was done to limit that price increase, so labour’s nagging whilst the honourable Ed Miliband is on the non-winner side of the isle is rather fishy to say the least. Yes, we should acknowledge that The Electricity Act 1989 was enacted under the conservatives by Baroness Thatcher, then Prime Minister Thatcher. I reckon that there should always be a certain amount of questions when we privatise any form of utility. Commerce is the quickest attack on any wallet (a life lesson that is universally accepted).

So, even though there are questions, the one involving 3 terms of labour and energy prices should remain high on that list.

The article has a few other points of attention, Miliband’s quote “But this prime minister is too weak to stand up for the consumer and he always takes the side of the big six companies.” Really Edward? You do remember the greed issues involving a commercial enterprise? Or perhaps the London School of Economics classes (the ones on Economy) had a different focus? ;-), you party animal you! 🙂

Anyway, we can nag on the last three terms (but then we might sound like labour), in this term there needs to be an actual focus not on stopping (which is slightly non-realistic), but to some extent limiting price increases. Although allowing the French and the Chinese into the UK energy game might put a limit on price hikes to some extent, but it remains to be left in the hands of non-government, hence at that point, it remains a commercial play. What are the options?

There is actually an idea that might work. The idea was not mine; I picked it up in Sweden around 2001. The idea was that sound stable firms started to buy and install wind farms (in this case 1-3 turbines per firm). There are plenty of places to do that. The UK and Scotland could offer such areas too. Yes, in many places people might complain on the view, and they could select to pay £100-£200 a year more, or just accept the ‘lesser’ view. Consider that these people will get some tax benefits, but more importantly, they could lessen the power grid pressure and at times contribute to the net inviting refunds. There is an additional benefit. As the net gets a power feed, all over the place, losing power points would not have the blackout results other solutions have. So consider that through whatever non-governmental funding these windmills are added, the UK grid could end up getting a solid power addition by 1500-3000 turbines.

In the past I have ALWAYS spoken out against the irresponsible investment of retirement funds. If we accept that these turbines would prove to be a stable return on investment, keep price hikes down and allow for alternative ways to stabilise power needs, then why not look into such an adoption?

I never heard anything mentioned in that regard in the House of Commons (I do admit, I dozed off at some point, but it was 02:00 when that happened). So perhaps we can all look for a solution together? Because no matter where you live, we all need water and power, having alternatives when greed driven elements strike is NEVER a bad idea.

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