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back to article No 10 develops Terminator iPad app 'to fire ministers'

No 10 is developing a custom-made iPad app for the Prime Minister that will help him fire ministers, according to a Tory insider. The app will provide David Cameron with a "management dashboard" of real-time data, but according to court journalist Matthew d'Ancona, the goal is to terminate under-performing ministers " …

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...and are we as honest tax paying citizens expected to foot the bill for the exquisite random number generator?

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Anonymous Coward

sounds like....

A

Tick the box....

Is he smartly dressed?

Does she bow to me?

Does he wash?

Does he wear a blue tie?

Clean shoes?

Laugh at my jokes?

Act deferentially to me?

Two faced?

Does she answer back?

Will willingly bend over etc etc

8-10 ticks Someone you'll like to have in your bed

7-8 ticks Tell him he's adequate

6-4 ticks Not trustworthy

Less than 4 SACK HIM

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jai
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hidden code

for(NSString *potentialUnderPerformer in dCameronsUnderlings){

if (potentialUnderPerformer.name==@"Rohan Silva"){

[potentialUnderPerformer multiplyAllStatsBy10];

[potentialUnderPerformer recommendPayRise:@"20k" andPromotion:@"ASAP"];

[potentialUnderPerformer rewardGoldStar];

}

}

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so.....

how many hundreds of thousands will this little app cost us? and how many years late?

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Happy

Fun for all the family

How much fun could be had hacking that app?

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Joke

How many of us want that app?

Could get messy if everyone could fire a minister, but I know we have all wanted to at times.

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Re: How many of us want that app?

It crossed my mind when an alleged Labour MP allegedly was allegedly suspended after allegedly punching a Tory allegedly - Who wouldn't? We're all human. And they've done worse to us.

I would not punch a female or decrepit Tory MP. I would find a female or decrepit friend, tap them on the shoulder, point, and wink.

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If we want to be efficient about it

Couldn't we just adopt the approach Chelsea FC are working towards and fire these people before they take up their posts?

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Flame

Non-specific deity on a prosthesis!

Is it really possible that the prime minister's office think that there is an "app for that"? He is apparently (if this story is anywhere near real) trying to offload his responsibilities as the nation's CEO onto a fucking app?! Deciding who to hire and fire is a primary part of his flaming job - if he cannot manage that himself then someone should direct that app at him.

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And who...

sets call-me-Dave's performance criteria? Can we have an app that sacks him?

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Cut spending FAIL

Cut national debt FAIL

Reduce unemployment FAIL

Economic recovery FAIL

Greater civil liberties FAIL

Sack yourself, Dave

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Performance?

I would say that knowing the performance of ministers both in Parliament and in running their Departments would be a good thing, but as pointed out in the article, this is highly subjective. Really the data should exist already, the app should only be there to collect and then present it in an easy to understand way. You can't 'retrospectively' create data to suit the app. As the saying goes, " Garbage in, garbage out!"

But since Government ministers aren't even appointed on merit or necessarily with the competence to actually do the job (does any other industry appoint people without formal qualfications and interviews?), this app is pointless. Ministers usually get fired when they get caught doing something naughty. Unless the app stores all their misdeeds along with a probability calculation of being caught (boy would I love to get hold of that data!), the data will be useless.

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"the goal is to terminate under-performing ministers "objectively", using "data". The app isn't news, but the thinking behind it is"

What is the new concept, PMs using "Data"? Sir Humphrey has been supplying the PM all the data PMs need for generations - he even makes sure to leave out the irrelevant bits (not to sway the PMs opinion of course, just to be helpful...).

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Finding a good picture on El Reg is somewhat a rarity...

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"an objective set of criteria"

There is - it's the opinion pole rating of the minister in question.

As soon as it gets higher than the PM's they get fired

The only issue could be if Mo Mowlem has a business method patent.

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I am just waiting for some government nerk to be interviewed on this...

Reporter: "So how do you pick whose career to demolish?"

MP: "Oh, thats simple, we just characterise 'loyalty & stupidity around the mean'"

Reporter: "You do realise we're live on air..."

MP: "ah, ummm..."

This can only end badly, the scots git stubs his toe, and half the cabinet are working at poundshop..

Its been attempted before in stocks and bonds (the original LTCM) - when it works its great, when it doesnt its a total unmitigated palladium plated balls up of Stalingrad-esque proportions.

And may the Gods protect us if someone like Mandelson gets a hold of it. To slightly misquote Blackadder;

G: "Can you imagine it, the Gay Gerbil, with the power of life and death over every bally fool in the cabinet..."

Black: "Yes, unfortunately I can, George; still at least we don't have to write the headlines, or read them for that matter..."

Bald: "I know sir, how about "Gerbils rush in where Fools fear to tread"..."

Black: "My word, intelligence from a Baldrick, better keep quiet - they'll make him first Education Minister if they find out..."

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So, how does this work?

Have the jailbroken the prime minister's iPad, or will this "app" be in the iTunes store?

If it's in the store did the government sign up as an iTunes developer specifically to create an application to aid the useless git because he can't do his job properly?

Will the application need access to location information. the phone book, and the last photograph taken?

Will data from the application be stored on Apple's servers "in the cloud"?

Does Cameron have an iPad and iTunes account for work only or does he use the same one for playing Angry Birds instead of doing his fucking job?

What about Clegg? Will he get a seperate "app" that just tells him what has been decided, or perhaps Cameron's "app" will be integrated with Twitter so it can proclaim "Jus sackd Cleg, LMFAO, ROFLOCOPTER"?

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Makes Obama Look Like a Dumb Fuck.

'Sir! Yes! Sir!... You Control The Big Red Shiny Button Via Your iPAD! Sir!'

'But he gets to sack people....'

'Sir! Yes! Sir!... You Control The Big Red Shiny Button Via Your iPAD! Sir!'

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Meh

Putting cynism aside for a moment...

and forget the whole "app for that" shite, if this type of reporting and analysis were implemented in the right way, it could end up doing some good.

For example, a primary data source should come from those guys at mysociety.org - they've put a huge amount of work into getting data (from belligerent MPs, Crown Copyright lawyers and Parliament) and using it to provide services that dotGov has failed and still is failing to do for it's country. What's more, they did it without a $million IT contract from NuLabour, mostly out of their own pockets. They basically put the government to shame.

Cameron should throw some money at these guys and ask for access to their data. Will it happen? I will be very surprised if they do. No, I imagine data will be based on some mash up of number of newspaper headlines and (whipped) voting record.

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Re: Putting cynism aside for a moment...

No, it will be like the program at the centre of last night's "Dirk Gently"* - it will simply work out a bunch of logically unassailable reasons for the user to do what they had already decided they wanted to do.

* Worth a look - it will no doubt be on BBC iPlayer and replay for those with suitable access on the telly.

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Anonymous Coward

management by spreadsheet?

I'm all for empirical data, but this just encourages ministers to shaft each other to make themselves look better by comparison. Moreso than usual, I mean.

Will there be a cell for 'Dug fellow minister out of the shit for the good of the department/party/country'?

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Happy

I'll code it

It will be objective, honest :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm

So I guess this fit of evidence-led decision making will mean the decriminalisation of various drugs and an apology for past support for media-led decisions and sackings?

No?

Management by metrics is a sh*tty way of managing and results in short term fiddles that hurt in the end. Typical of the tories, not having a clue what they are doing.

I wonder if this is a snide way to sack the Libs and replace them with tories?

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Pint

C'mon people, have you not heard of the No10 'Grid'?

No10 have a communications grid (instituted by Alistair Campbell) with all the big announcements etc across Gov to co-ordinate messages, themes and attempts to bury bad news. There was probably a gap, Mr Silva hadn't been pulling his positive-press-release-weight and so dreamt something up to feed to a friendly Journo.

Either that, or he's mistakenly using this to make a play for Steve Hilton's job by looking all cool and hip ('fire a minister - there's an app for that').

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An iPad app? That will therefore have to be made available in the appstore?

What's to stop me (apart from the lack of apple hardware in my life) from using the app when it gets released in 5 years time? (Genuine question)

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Um - politics doesn't work that way

How else do they think John Prescott walked the corridors of power as long as he did?

But I do hope they feed in data from the likes of FaxYourMP (http://www.writetothem.com/) if they are idiotic enough to make it.

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Re: Um - politics doesn't work that way

John Prescott did a very good job.

Now, before you choke on your lunchtime sarnie...

He was a shit minister. And screwed up at every department he was at, so far as I can tell. But he was apparently surprisingly good at brokering disputes between Blair and Brown. Of which, there were many... Yup, who'd-a-thunk-it, Prescott has diplomatic skillz.

Admittedly it would have been even better, had Blair and Brown just sorted their own lover's tiff out, rather than gridlocking government for a decade - and generally acting like a pair of spoilt 5 year-olds. But what do you want? The moon on a stick!

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Priorities

The economy's in the toilet. Education's not worth the name. The NHS is a mess. Jobs are becoming as scarce as honest politicians.

But, hey, look, I've got an iPad app thingy!

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