Monday, January 23, 2006

Military may have killed our whale

Britain, UK news from The Times

This morning's Times, link above, suggests that the UK military may have sent the London whale up the Thames as it swam away to escape military testing. Residents in Kent report that activities from Tuesday to Thursday last week resembled a "war zone" with offshore "detonations" cracking floors, windows and ceilings in local homes. This would certainly have been more than enough to disorientate and scare the shit out of the poor creature. One also wonders if its injuries were also a result of those events.

Also in the Times, the vague logic of British law. A woman who hired a hitman to kill her has sucessfully sued him for failing to do the job. Weird - it's here.

Alternet report on how the hub of empire, Amerika itself, has been left behind by the broadband revolution. The main reson seems to be greed. See here. Britain too is plagued by the high price of what this article refers to as "21st Century electricity" but in our case takeup has been pretty high. Edinburgh is currently experimenting with a public access broadband wireless network and the trials are slated to extend elsewhere later this year. My own area, Kensington & Chelsea (London) will be among them, so with luck I'll be able to give first-hand reports.

I may moan about beaurocracy but I'm not sure this is a solution. The Independent reports that the government is waking up the trend now prevelent in the commercial sector - outsourcing. Whitehall propose to axe tens of thousands of civil service jobs bu switching their call centre operations to India. Communication and attitude problems with foreign telephone operators are becoming legendary and many private companies are re-examining the wisdom of this policy in public relations terms. Whether the government is simply behind the times as usual or whether this is a strategy to make access health, safety and welfare departments even more difficult remains to be seen. It certainly won't help with the demand for immigrant labour, since those opportunities are largely for work that demands a physical presence. More than likely it's just another Blairite "bright idea" that hasn't been thought through for long-term effect.


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