I’ve been thinking quite a lot, recently, about the sorts of parents we don’t approve of. Don’t look at me like that, you know exactly what I mean.
There’s a lot of government rhetoric flying about, at the moment, concerning benefits claimants, and ways of levering people out of the benefits system. I have several problems with it. The first, is that it just rhetoric. If they were actually seeking to save money, they wouldn’t be making random gestures about people who claim more than £26,000 a year in benefits, because, actually, it’s unspeakably difficult to claim that much in benefits. Seriously, if affects about six families in West London, and however grumpy you feel about housing benefit paying for homes in places you can’t afford to live, it’s a trivial, trivial number of people compared with the overall benefits bill. Slapping caps on Housing Benefit, and overall benefit income, has a catastrophic effect on the people it affects, and saves the rest of us almost nothing. Its only possible value is as a gesture, a sop to the Daily Mail, and a position statement, and I wholeheartedly object to messing up people’s lives to make a statement. Continue reading Assumptions and aspirations→
It winds me right up – every time anything, and I mean anything is seen as getting in the way of people being chained to their desks, it costs the UK economy. Never a mention of how driving people into an early grave or mass depression from unrealistic demands would cost the UK economy.
We worship at the alter of productivity, if something isn’t seen as productive (and who knows what that means) then it must be demonised and ultimately we must put a price on it.
Today it’s facebook at £14bn, but what else costs the UK Economy?
Free downloads £12bn
Social Housing Squeeze £2.5bn
Sickness £16.8bn – (because people wilfully get ill)
It’s like a huge weight has been removed from my computer – or someone has given the hamster some performance enhancing drugs! after almost 6 months of dodgy internet Virgin Media have actually got around to fixing the problem in the local exchange and Me and 600 of my closest broadband neighbours can all use the internet again, without being thrust back into 1996.
It all started back in October when I began to suspect our wireless router of being pants / getting interference from the other 11 wireless networks you can see in our house. In hindsight it was just the beginning of the problems, it was so hard to diagnose because at the time it really depended on which way you held your face. I phoned virgin media, but because the wires where all in daisy’s room I never actually followed it through.
When I did get to sorting that bit out routing all the wires into another room so I could call at night when it was broken – all ready with wireless and wires and laptops – the man on the phone said – oh yes its a known problem, have £5 – it was like I got a small prize for spotting there was something wrong and bothering to phone.
Then it got really bad – at the end of November beginning of December I got “super-slow-modem-broadband” installed in my house – the wet string was obviously drying out. So I went on a campaign of social media attack and twittered and forumed virgin until they basically admitted it was all broken and stopped charging me for broadband. but event that was in January*.
So since then I’ve been moaning to anyone who comes within 5 yards of me and mentions the internet -” my broadband is naff ” it’s a great shame because back before October I was a Virgin Media evangelist. I would have recommended it to anyone, the speed is always what it says it is, never slows down at night, always fast, no connection problems for well over 10 years.
Now? I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone – not because the product isn’t good – it is fast, it doesn’t slow down and it doesn’t cut out – when it works – it’s just if Virgin Media over sell their broadband in one area – you could loose your broadband for 1/2 the year! .
* moving for us was a pain – we have no BT line – and that takes 6-8 weeks, which is how long i was told the fix was going to be (to be fair it was from when they said that)
Having slow broadband is like having your arm cut off; well that might be a bit harsh. It’s more like when you trap your thumb in the door, and then it swells up a bit and then every time you do something it you knock it and start to realise just how much you actually use your thumbs for picking up stuff and holding on to things.
My Friendly Broadband Provider Virgin Media have told me that it’s something more complicated than they are willing to explain and it will take 6-8 weeks to fix – which is a long time to have a swollen thumb.
I’ve thought about moving to some other way of getting the internet into the house but the lack of physical BT wire means it would need reconnecting and surprise surprise that takes 6-8 weeks.
My Insecent moaning on twitter and in emails has gotten me £15 of my bill – but i still don’t have broadband I would call in any sense of the word broad.