Sunday, 18 February 2007

I Don't Like London

I just don't, okay?

The Tate (Mind the Crap - Banksy was right) full of slides. Good fun. Is it art? Debateable. The one thing that makes it NOT art? Booking tickets. For a slide. Grr.

Right. Now that, and this weekend, is over, I'll speak about something with more substance. Like the government!

Well, more like Civil Servants (who, for unelected employees, hold far more power than people realise) and the business deals they love to do.

Private Eye, as well as several bloggers of note, are staunch critics of PFI. Because it's wank. Fact. MPs and their minions get larger kickbacks than Big Sam for outsourcing (sic), and even when the outsourcing is far below par, noone wants to do anything about it.

This fortnight's PE runs an article In The Back about Michael Dugher, once servant of our fair government, has taken to a far more honorable calling - Capitalist greed, of course! The MoD already pay billions to EDS - whose Company Desc reads:

"EDS provides a broad portfolio of business and technology solutions to help its clients worldwide improve their business performance. Our core portfolio comprises information-technology, applications and business process services, as well as information-technology transformation services."

Grrreat, as Tony the Tiger might say. They sound amazing, of course - their PR budget could probably feed a small African country - the hot air could keep the people warm, anyway. One of the main things they were recruited to do was to create, organise and oversee the new forces payroll service. Given the government has never really tried to recruit a run a decent IT Department of it's own, they were always going to outsource it. And why not to a big company who would, you'd think, take lots of care with the important duty of paying the people who protect our country.

They didn't

With the huge wads of cash the MoD gives them, you think they could test their system carefully to see if it worked, but noone's perfect. And besides, they know their friends (and if the headhunted Dugher is anything to go by, soon-to-be-employees) in the MoD aren't going to pull the plug.

Proper compensation could be used to pay off NHS debts, or build new prisons. But no. EDS love to accept money and the government to give.

One bit out of PE really tickled me - I'll paraphrase it. At the 2001 Election, after a stint as chairman of Labour Students in 1997, a young Dugher said: "If you want to change things for the better, politics is the only way".

He clearly wasn't talking about his bank balance.

Funny how things change, eh?

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