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back to article Last 7m non-digital Brits are OUT OF LUCK: I'm OFF, says Baroness Fox

Gasps were heard in places as far from Westminster as London's Brewer Street as news spread that the government's DIGITAL CHAMPION has quit her role. The job may not be finished - given that a staggering 7 million citizens made up mainly of elderly, disabled and unemployed folk have never been online - but dot-com …

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Silver badge

A bit harsh?

> nothing short of a "revolution".

A revolution means you go round in a circle and end up back where you started.

I know MLF is leaving the job half done, but she did make some progress.

Although the other part of a revolution is the spin ...

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Silver badge

Re: A bit harsh?

No not harsh enough - she was in the job while some progress was made, but I feel she was more surfing a tidal bore than making waves.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A bit harsh?

revolution

rɛvəˈluːʃ(ə)n/Submit

noun

1.

a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new system.

"the country has had a socialist revolution"

synonyms: rebellion, revolt, insurrection, mutiny, uprising, riot, rioting, rising, insurgence, insurgency, coup, overthrow, seizure of power, regime change; More

(in Marxism) the class struggle which is expected to lead to political change and the triumph of communism.

noun: Revolution; noun: the Revolution

"when I grew up it was the Marxism that was very strong, it was like the revolution was coming next week"

a dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes, or operation.

"marketing underwent a revolution"

synonyms: dramatic change, radical change, drastic/radical alteration, complete shift, sea change, metamorphosis, transformation, conversion, innovation, breakaway; More

2.

an instance of revolving.

"one revolution a second"

synonyms: single turn, turn, rotation, circle, whirl, twirl, spin, wheel, roll, round, cycle, circuit, lap More

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Voila, Mrs. Miggins. My robes of State.

Oh go on, Baroness Fox -- it's cat! Oh, look, they've left the little collars on!

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Indeed

Who cares about a dead cat, now that she's a fat cat?

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Anonymous Coward

testament to the vision

testament, funny word in other languages, eh?

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That ID scheme cracks me up.

It's being built by GDS, will do a fraction of what the Government Gateway does (which is being switched off next year, so no pressure there then); is based on the SAML protocol (so no AD integration, but that's ok because we can haz identities in Mongo*); and best (worst?) of all, doesn't, and will not use privacy enhancing technologies (PET). I mean PET in the sense of U-Prove (or CredLib), and not the Information Commissioner's more general sense.

The upshot is that if GDS get their way, your bank, or Vodafone, Experian or Equifax (i.e. whichever identity provider you end up with) will know that you're being treated for amoebiasis because you're using your digital identity to get your amoebicide prescription. Or (less embarrassing, but equally sensitive), that you're suddenly unemployed and claiming tax credits (oh, wait...).

Quite sad really. Take a great technology (identity federation), and do a half-arsed job because GDS is dogmatic about open source, and wields said dogma through the hands of 20-something script-kiddies that haven't seen an enterprise system, let along built one. The other elephant in the room is the choice of Identity Provider. In the UK there are only two logical options (ideally a combination of the two) - the Home Office, and the DVLA. And even those two come with huge privacy implications...

But hey, it's all good. When labour wins the next election the GDS guys will move on to cushy private sector jobs, and some new version of Martha Lane Fox will scrap GDS and invent a new thing, just as what happened to Directgov.

* Unfair maybe. I've no idea what their identity providers intend using.

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Silver badge

Re: That ID scheme cracks me up.

Don't fret - it's missed more delivery dates than the Second Coming of the Messiah. There's no danger of having to use it this side of Judgement Day.

Will the last person at GDS please write a proposal for open source web interface to turn the lights out?

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xyz
Bronze badge

Re: That ID scheme cracks me up.

Oh I can tell you've been there. I think she's found out what the rest of us have. Dealing with IT change in govt means fighting everyone, all the time and getting nowhere. Everyone else has generations of "how to fuck you over" training to rely on, BFFs that scratch each other's backs, an unlimited supply of elephant traps and a retirement date to allow new blood in to carry the group c***ism on forever...

...and you don't. To anyone thinking of applying for or considering Dave's request to come on this job...do yourself a favour...don't.

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DVLA Site seems fine to me.

It may not be the flashest site, but it does the job. I recently renewed the tax on two cars without any problems whatsoever.

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Re: DVLA Site seems fine to me.

That, I think, may have been the point.

The superficial Web 2.0-ified GOV.UK front door generates all the Lane Fox/GDS column inches and dubious industry design awards. But once you need to get actual things done you quickly end up back on the legacy DirectGov sites.

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Mushroom

Re: DVLA Site seems fine to me.

Right, smart-arse, now try changing the address on your driving license.

At the point where you've entered your last three addresses and it still hasn't asked you for the new one, and then tells you you can't renew your driving license because the photo on your passport is too old, let's see if you're still such a fan.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DVLA Site seems fine to me.

Yes, I was wondering what the article was saying until I noticed that the branding was still direct.gov.

Mind you, the DVLA site(s) were always a bit different, because they were run directly from servers in Swansea, rather than on the main direct.gov servers. You used direct.gov to find them, and then everything else EVL and DRP was done from Swansea (with a bit from a mainframe in Salford, but I think that went several years back).

But the systems in Swansea went effectively into maintenance only mode (no new developments) back in 2008 when everything was going pear-shaped, so I guess that the people to change the branding are no longer there (my contract was not renewed, and lots of people were re-deployed away from DVLA by IBM and Fujitsu).

Sounds like the gov.uk site is still just a front.

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Re: DVLA Site seems fine to me.

The link was specifically for renewing a tax disc, not a driving licence. There's no need to be abusive.

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Silver badge

Re: DVLA Site seems fine to me.

" Right, smart-arse, now try changing the address on your driving license."

Been there, done that. Just 3 weeks ago in fact.

Afrer filling it all in they said they'd send me a form to sign and I'd to include a photo, because I'm an old fart from before photo-id's had been invented.

Payment was taken online (I lost my old license years ago ), I received the form and only had to sign and date it (as did the poor sod who had to vouch for my photo), and post it back in the supplied freepost envelope.

Job done!

I was a bit peed off that I couldn't complete it online, but that was because I somewhat optimistically thought I could get away with not requiring a bloody driving ID card.

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Re: DVLA Site seems fine to me.

Yep. You jump through all the hoops, tell it various bits of info, including move-dates for the past 5 years then it drops you out saying that the photo is too old. So you fill in the paper form, post it to 'em, and a week later they send the newly-addressed license with the perfectly-ok old photo on it. Go figure!

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Joke

Re: DVLA Site seems fine to me.

re: "There's no need to be abusive".

I quite agree. The abuse was entirely optional.

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Silver badge

You'd have thought more money would be forthcoming

With the knowledge 7 million people in the country aren't having their emails read by GCHQ - they could be up to anything.

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A more worthy charity than MLF's Go ON UK

Is Mrs Doyle's Go ON Go ON Go ON Ireland.

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Go

MiLF

I would. Just sayin'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MiLF

Martha 'internet' Lane Fox ... That's what you meant .. isn't it.

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Trollface

> Baroness of Soho

Her stage name surely?

> Prime Minister David Cameron gushed that MLF's efforts were nothing short of a "revolution".

Sorry, my gutter mind read that as MiLF.

Ah yes, Friday morning lunacy.

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'Baroness of Soho'

It makes her sound like a big time brothel madame.

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Megaphone

I'll ask

"Your work has helped establish a digital culture at the heart of government. That culture, in turn, is transforming how government works and stimulating a new digital economy, improving millions of lives every day," The PM said in a personal letter to Comrade Lane Fox.

If I walk down my local high street looking at the closed down shops and generally faltering local economy how does this of what Cameron speaks translates into real life hereabouts?

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Windows

Re: I'll ask

@BongoJoe

You can tweet a picture on your smart phone as you avoid the puke on the corner and step right in the dog turd. Nowt changed since the 1980s with this lot.

The Tramp: I'll be in the doorway opposite, in the sleeping bag, ordering a pizza on my smart-phone, that will be delivered by a mini-cab driven by a Latvian postgraduate student funding her research into nuclear waste management. There is a mad poetry in all this. Downriver by Iain Sinclair springs to mind.

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Silver badge

Re: I'll ask

Isn't that more like Neuromancer or Snow Crash?

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Lord Bong of Shoreditch?

May be Dave will enoble Steve Bong to replace MLF?

Alternatively, offer Steve Ballmer an Honarary Knighthood if he takes on the role

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Joke

An idle thought.

Steve Bong is Martha Lane Fox.

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Anonymous Coward

100% coverage scares me.

My mother-in-law has a habit giving work to men who knock the door. If she was given a computer, the chances are good that all her savings would end up in West Africa. That's if she could use it at all; she still doesn't understand her new digital television. I'm sure she would love to watch her grandchildren on Facebook and be able to email them and so forth, and every now and then I consider getting her on-line, but always decide that it is just too dangerous.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not surprising just how stupid our "representatives" are!

We see examples of the stupidity multiples times every day.

Pathetic!

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