Late and lamentable

1 March, 2016 (22:42) | All articles | By: Stuart Fraser

THIS is what you would have read last night, except that its late and lamentably poor this week. For one, I’m almost too tired to be angry and for two, here, in the white heat of the Conservative government’s digital revolution, in a time when our leaders are busy enabling thrusting entrepreneurs, boosting business, giving hard-working families the help they deserve, I was a little bit stuck.

That’s because, with its usual air of mystery wrapped inside enigma, our broadband chose to go on a go-slow again.

Were our broadband a member of a properly constituted trade union using its inalienable right to withdraw labour in order to advance its cause of better broadband for all, I would, of course, be in full support.

But it is not. Our broadband is a free-market capitalist broadband, organised by British Telecom’s private sector monopoly to deliver maximum profit at minimum cost, and therefore, like every other constituent part of our public infrastructure in this country, it is shoddy, performs poorly, gives not the tiniest fuck for the needs of the customer yet delivers big dividends to the shareholder.

So. I had to stop work again. This is very frustrating and makes me cross, but then almost everything makes me cross.

The answer to this shambles, according to a cross-party Parliamentary committee report, is two-fold. I agree with 50% of their answer. See if you can spot which 50%.

The committee says:

1: British Telecom is a national scandal, an incompetent bunch of money-grubbing bastards thumbing their noise at the populace while enriching themselves. (I paraphrase).

2: The answer is to open up the line infrastructure to more private sector competition.

Did you guess 1? That’s right. That’s the bit I agree with.

Number 2 puzzles me. It is the private sector that has once again failed to deliver a reliable service. Yet still we believe we can trust it.

It doesn’t matter if we trust the private sector to deliver chocolate bars or tiddly winks, because nobody depends on these things. It does matter if we trust the private sector to deliver things on which we depend – water, health, telecoms.

Of little pleasures

One of the great pleasures of my life has been to lie in bed on a stormy morning, listening to the rain and wind, not having to get up. I’ve spent hours in this position, alone and not, constructing dreams, lost in reveries, just listening.

Now, it is a rare pleasure: generally, I have to be up and out very early in order to fulfil my mission in life, which is to labour like a whipped cur from dawn to midnight.

But on Monday morning I was able to hoist the ‘fuck it’ flag, as I was on my own time, not anybody else’s, and so I lay there and listened and was, for a while, happy in my reveries. I don’t know when it will happen again, but I enjoyed while it lasted.

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