You got the t-shirt too?!

I love this piece! The Minister, the Entrepreneur and the Civil Servant: a cautionary tale.

Having never achieved what Stefan in the comments possibly has, I can really relate to it. 
Many years ago, in the mid 90s when I started campaigning for a better Net connection, my mother was busy saving and building railways. (She ended up as CEO of the Wensleydale Railway, moving people – I want to move data). Her advice was, “Find the juniors in the relevant Civil Service departments and make friends with them. If they are good, they’ll move up through the ranks, and you’ll have a long-standing relationship by the time the Ministers listen to them.” Sage advice.
However, there are some problems with this approach. The good guys n gals end up in totally different departments on their career path, so just as someone really useful who gets IT reaches a position of authority, their talent is spotted and they are moved out. Arg! Then the Ministers come and go without a by your leave and the new one invariably doesn’t have a clue how important rural broadband and FTTH is, and you start the spiel all over again!
The worst example of someone knowing nowt was the trip to No 10. Blair was off visiting the Pressy of the USA, not due back till the afternoon, so we got his sidekick. Who openly admitted there and then that what he knew about technology you could write on the back of a stamp, and yet he’d written the digital strategy. A week on that pretty sofa wouldn’t have been enough, let alone an hour and a bit! The only sop to the wasted journey was the chance to say “F***” out loud during a meeting within those hallowed walls. That particular expletive was required – a few times!
One of the hardest parts is when a Minister or high ranking civil servant comes to your conference, says their spiel and then rushes off to another meeting, missing all the vital information your carefully chosen, and often uber informed, speakers and audience contribute to the event.
Another is when you leave a meeting thinking, “W00t, they really got IT. Now we’re going somewhere after all this time cajoling, explaining, drafting more and more complex business plans etc.” And 3 days later you see a press release saying that your awesome broadband idea has just been nabbed and given to someone from the field of genetic engineering in harvest mice to develop. And somewhere along the line, a zero has been added to the required sum you carefully calculated, and then the figure has been timesed by pi………
And we wonder why we need to make cuts in public spending.
 

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