38 posts • joined Friday 18th December 2009 12:09 GMT
If any of us 'normal' people defruaded the government, we'd be in prison.
If one of the government's friendly outsourcing companies do it, they simply have to promise not to 'make a profit'. Not very harhs - I'm sure that covering costs and wages for your staff until the next contract isn't such a bad deal.
Just as public sector workers can all be TUPE'd out en-masse in privatisations, simply 'nationalise' the relevant staff and facilities in Serco and send the appropriate management to prison.
If we are going to privatise everything in this country, as this governmnet seems hell-bent on doing, companies must have some sort of incentive not to actually rip us all off, and the State has to have a way of continuing to provide the service should fraud like this be discovered.
Do it in house
The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world. It could easily employ a relatively large number of developers and write pretty much all of the software in needs in-house. They would never be idle as there's a huge amount that always needs writing.
I'm a hospital governor, and I've worked within the private sector on a large number of NHS projects and proposals. The amount of money scammed out of the NHS by large SIs is sickening. The tendering process takes a huge amount of time and effort on everyone's part, and the cost to the UK economy as a whole must be huge. What's more, once the project is delivered the NHS doesn't have that institutional knowledge and the suppliers have them over a barrel for support. At the moment, if a clinician finds a problem with software then it's bad luck if the spec wasn't quite right - the supplier might change it for a huge fee. Maybe.
Think of the money saved not having to put everything out to tender, but having a large permanent staff on hand to develop anything that needs doing. What's more, the knowledge wouldn't be lost every three years and there would be people around to work on problems in any system.
Of course, this would never happen under a government that is in thrall to the 'free market'. This is sad, since the fact that it would be cheaper, quicker and more efficient is without doubt.
Hey, leave BBC4 alone - it's great
@David Perry 2 said "noone has any praise or dislike for 4. So it can go."
Well, maybe not in your experience, but BBC4 is easily the best channel the BBC produce. Intelligent, thoughtful programmes that would never be made by the likes of Sky. It's *exactly* what the BBC should be doing. Better than they get rid of sport, soaps and the other mindless, mass-market crap that Murdoch is happy to churn out before they ditch any actually decent TV.
"The Conservatives vowed to abolish uber-regulator Ofcom" Yeah, because they might have caused some headaches for Tory-pal Murdoch. I doubt they'll be gunning for Ofcom any time soon, given the unsurprising revelations of how evil News International are, and how Jeremy Hunt and the Tories were basically going to dance to whatever tune they demanded. Damn good thing we have the Guardian.
How long would it take nuclear to pay for itself without subsidy? Oh yes, that's right - it never has, so nobody knows.
People like Page don't like paying for electricity that actually costs a realistic value. Fossil-fuel generation is unsustainable and everything else is more expensive. What does he want us to do, exactly? Electricity is inevitably going to cost more, although perhaps it would be nice to see an escalating tax on it with the revenues used to subsidise the bills of the poor to cover necessities. I doubt Page and his right-wing nutjobs would like that much, though.
What part of 'unsustainable' don't you understand?
Words fail me. The only solution is a reduction in energy usage, and it's luddites who call this 'going back to living like peasants' who are holding back science. While energy is cheap there is no incentive to enhance energy efficiency - energy needs to become considerably more expensive.
Power generation and the means of it are a red herring. There are lots of perfectly rational moves we could make as a nation to help avert an energy crisis, such as changing our appalling building regulations so that insulation is much more efficient. It's perfectly possible to heat a family home with a tiny fraction of the energy currently used on average, but what do we do? Moan at each other about how alternative energy won't work (on one side) or how nuclear is evil (on the other) and nothing gets done.
IR35? Cry me a river
So we're meant to feel sorry for anyone who is hit by IR35? Cry me a river.
Your 'one man companies' aren't companies in any real sense - they are just a mechanism for you to receive a salary over a short period of time. It's only right hat you pay any tax due, especially as you still take home much more of your pay than permanent employees, IR35 or not.
I'm not speaking from ignorance - I was a contractor for a few years. The everyday tax dodging and greed, legal as it might be, was sickening. I got out of it because it just felt wrong, and yet the number of contractors who somehow felt put-upon was amazing. These are people who are legally receiving something like 80% of their gross income of more than 100k. No sympathy.
I suppose I'll get some thumbs-down on this from contractors. A lot of them have a somewhat warped sense of worth.
And this is why the world is doomed
People have stopped learning how to think for themselves. Every newspaper article, even if it is an opinion piece, should have references to the original material. Does this happen in our mainstream media? Hardly ever.
I wouldn't argue that opinion pieces shouldn't appear, but they should always be marked as such and the original references should always be made clear. That's the only way we can hope that the public might actually think for themselves a bit or take columnists to task when they are clearly wrong. We shouldn't give any weight at all to almost any unreferenced material.
Sales stats of the Kinect may be interesting, but is it really fair to compare the sale rates of all 'electronic consumer devices', regardless of value?
'100 quid gaming peripheral sells faster than 500 quid tablet computer for what could have been a tiny period of time' doesn't sound so impressive.
For goodness sake..
When is the Register going to drop it's weird obsession with climate science and just get on with talking about IT? Asking someone like Lewis Page to understand climate is like going to a meteorological news site and talking about operating systems.
Stop talking about stuff you know nothing about and get on with talking about what we come here to read. There are plenty of other places out there that will accept your bizarre conspiracy-theory 'anti-science agenda' articles.
God, Android fanboys are a bunch of whiners aren't they? Why can't your marvelous and 'open' platform just use the Web version of iPlayer?
I won't watch the iPlayer on an iPad, but the BBCs universal service commitment makes it logical to do so. Sure, there are hacks to do it, but will most people know them? Nothing wrong with an app, and if it's just bundling the 'hacks' then it was presumably very cheap to make.
And you can shut-up about 'wasting' licence fees. I groan a bit every time I see sport on the BBC. I don't watch it, and the sums spent on it are vast. Do I complain about it though? No - the BBC isn't just for me, it's for everyone, even simpletons who get exciting about grown men kicking a ball around.
Just grow up you bunch of whingers and get upset about things that are really important, like the destruction of the NHS that is currently going on, for example. Get a grip on what's actually important and write and complain to people about that.
Not so 'new'
So it's a bit like the Garmin GPS watches that have done pretty much the same thing for... oh, two years, or maybe longer? Is it not worth mentioning them? The article makes it sound like this is some sort of new-fangled technology.
Tax Payers Alliance are *not* a credible source of information
You are kidding, right? You quote the Taxpayers Alliance - a bunch of right-wing nutjobs, as if they are an impartial voice of reason? They are a pressure-group of rich private lobbyists. Their 'research' is worth about as much as their desire for 'fairness', unless by 'fair' you mean a system where the country is run by the rich.
I suggest you see these chaps for a more reasonable view held by normal people, not millianaires: http://www.taxpayersalliance.org/
Piracy? Who cares - ban them anyway.
I don't care whether it will stop piracy or even be that effective - the more idiots who insist on talking on their phones in the cinema who get chucked out, the better. Ban them!
GPs != NHS
GP surgery sites are not 'the NHS'. GPs effectively run private businesses that have contracts with the NHS - their Web sites are not run by the NHS at all.
PCTs are the NHS. Their sites tend to be quite good. One can only imagine what it will be like when our current 'enlightened' government of privatisation weenies scrap them all and let the GPs run things. What would have been a single PCT site to cover a large area will become dozens of smaller ones, all different to each other. In short, things are being set-up to be a lot worse, and a lot more expensive.
OFCOM protecting the consumer again
While this is undoubtedly a good thing for the consumer, I'm guessing that Murdoch will just apply more pressure to his Tory cronies to accelerate their programme for his media dominance.
The lack of scientific understanding shown by some Reg contributors is a joke. Forget about the somewhat crackpot loony right-wing climate change deniers, but the authors? This is meant to be a technical site, where people how some understanding of science and technology, yet here's another article that is scientifically illiterate. I can only assume that this is trolling to get page views... or at least I hope so.
Bizarre religious slant
I don't quite understand the way this article concentrates on religion. And putting it in the title? This is a story about a scary advert. Why would Catholics complain, or even care? Did the writer grow up in Northern Ireland or some unevolved bit of Scotland where issues such as which branch of Christianity people believe in are even thought about?
Yeah, she killed a bunch of people. So did other monarchs, for various reasons. We should be glad that "Strangely, there were no complaints from Roman Catholics". Is that 'strange'? It reflects well on modern Britain, where we've thankfully left that sort of mumbo-jumbo behind.
You do realise that only 4% of NHS staff are managers? That is considerably less than almost every private organisation. They have a thankless yet vital task that we all depend on.
Managing such a large organisation is hard. The NHS has a huge budget and literally life-and-death responsibility. It needs properly trained managers, not doctors and nurses who are doing it as a sideline. The demonisation of NHS managers is lazy politics with very little bearing in reality. Of course there are useless ones, and of course there are problems (such as it being hard to get rid of the useless people), but that's true of doctors and nurses too.
Tax on the selfish
So, charging for waste generation is a "punitive and vindictive tax", eh? Can Alex Deane tell us how it's 'vindictive' that people who generate waste should pay to dispose of it, when the alternative is that we all subsidise them?
A tax or charge on non-recyclable waste is absolutely fair. Those of us who make an effort not only to recycle, but to choose products that have minimal unnecessary or unrecycable packaging are going to end-up subsidising the landfill habits of the lazy and selfish. I bet these people who go on about a 'rubbish tax' are the same people who bang-on about 'people on benefits' and the money they cost too. They are no better. Either recycling and reduce your waste or pay your way to bury it without burdening us taxpayers who actually care about something other than our wallets.
Exactly right - it's the greedy private sector that is responsible for these costs, not the public sector.
What the councils (and the government) should do is take on permanent employees for this sort of thing. If the council doesn't have enough work, then a few councils can band together and share the staff. This should also be done nationally by the government for any government IT projects.
Doing this would be a lot cheaper in the end as we taxpayers wouldn't be lining the pockets of contractors and consultants. However, the Daily Mail readers and other right-wing whingers would never allow it. It's the right, with their misguided faith in the market and private sector, that actually causes this sort of mad spending. If you cut the public sector to the bare minimum then of course they are going to depend on consultants!
Good old EU
A story about the EU on The Register without the usual right-wing ranting against it? Hmm. It seems that such people don't like to draw attention to all the good things it does.
Blame the Tories
And this is why Tory voters should be ashamed of themselves - they are supporting a party that is actually defending a system where the party with the most votes would come third. A Tory vote isn't a 'vote for change', it's a vote to keep the same, unfair, undemocratic system in place.
UKIP and BNP?
I'm not sure it's fair to compare UKIP and the BNP, both single-issue xenophobe parties, to the Greens, who are a progressive party with actually through-through policies (whether you agree with them or not). It says a lot that the BNP haven't even bothered with a manifesto, really.
Organ database? Why bother?
We shouldn't have to bother with such a database anyway. Let's just make it the law that everyone donates everything unless they wear a 'medic aware' bracelet to indicate otherwise. Even in the time taken to check records someone could do waiting for an organ.
Most people who are not registered donors simply haven't got around to it. People who actively opt-out should have to make an effort (and put to the end of any recipient list, of course - selfish bastards), and wearing a bracelet is something I'm happy to see them have to do. Why should we all subsidise their selfish ways?
Scrap a progressive bit of legislation and let all the crap though. The 'market' won't provide decent broadband to rural areas, and as someone who lives in a city I'd be only too happy to pay 50p to provide it. Come on Tory voters! I know you think only of yourselves, but it's worth it because you'll be able to get a decent connection at your holiday cottage or second home in the Cotswolds.
It's exactly this 'me me me' sort of rubbish that demonstrates why the Tories should never be allowed to gain power. God help us all.
So, the BBC might well kill 6music - something that absolutely no commercial providers want to provide. Why not kill Radio 1? That's pretty much the same as every commerical local radio station, and listeners are well supplied with alternatives.
BBC haters can't have it both ways. Either the BBC exists to provide programming for minority audiences (such as 6music) and can't be criticised for low audience figures, or it is there to compete for mainstream audiences, against commerical rivals. How can scrapping the minority services match its public service remit?
If budgets must be cut, go for the mainstream. Scrap EastEnders! That's exactly the sort of thing that commerical rivals make, and I bet the cost of a couple of episodes would pay for a whole year of 6music output.
So, yet again the private sector prove that they are the ones to make efficiency savings and so on, eh? When will people learn?
So EDF *says* it will, while Ecotricty *has* done. I think I know who has the green credibility so far, despite slightly nutty UFO claims.
I'd rather live next to a windfarm that goes wrong than a nuclear powerstation that goes wrong. Whatever the nucleartards claim, how many people have actually suffered ill-effects from nuclear vs. wind power? I think wind is winning the 'safety debate'.
Heh, Tory fail
You have to love it - the Tories love of privatisation is coming back to bite them. If they hadn't started selling everything off and trumpting the 'free market' in the first place then 'New Labour' would never have been invented and this wouldn't have happened. So state ownership of ports is now bad while another country owning our water companies is somehow good? They can't have it both ways...
Not really the BBC
So it's not really the BBC that are asking for this, but the rights holders to the programmes. I'm sure that this won't stop the BBC-haters having a go at them and moaning about licence fees.
What are the other broadcasters going to do, and how are they going to handle the rights holders objections? Are they just going to put DRM on everything?
Top Gear certainly used to be something vaguely useful about cars. Now it is a platform for the idiot Clarkson and a braindead audience who howl with the glee of a five year old when things blow up or are catapulted off cliffs. The actual useful content to anyone who actually wants to find out about cars is close to zero.
If I want to waste an hour of my life on the deluded gibberings of a right-wing flat-Earther like Clarkson I'd just read some nonsense by Andrew Orlowski on The Register.
Probably a saving
Firstly, this isn't the cost of just the iPhone version, but then when does the Reg ever miss an opportunity to bash Apple?
Anyway, do the people moaning about this know how much it costs to care for and treat people who injure themselves (or others) through drink? If this 10k app stops even one person causing an accident by drink driving, or being the victim of an assault, it will have probably have paid for itself. Just one.
You self-obsessed right-wing nutjobs need to use logic rather than just anger sometimes.
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