Garter Day with a Blackberry - a time for reflection

Yesterday I took that day off and attended the annual Garter Ceremony as a guest, albeit not in the Chapel. I switched my mobile off for a blessed six hours but forgot to switch off my Blackberry. I felt very guilty as the only addict in sight – we were on the back row of a grandstand so I could see rather a lot of the crowd – when I used a gap in activity to catch up on that which was supposedly urgent.

Only one journalist got through to me on the EURIM policy studies prospectus . He was querying the data that appeared to show that 60% of the electricity generated in the UK is lost in transmission or otherwise “unused” – hence a large part of the case for smart grid and smart metering. As the clouds melted away to give bright sunshine on a scene of almost timeless pageantry I pondered the 20th century “steam age” obsession with centralisation and control. 

However, when I got home I found a series a e-mails on the cost of the BDUK consultants job-creation programme – after a years delay they are seeking six week responses from local authorities so that they can lock them into another years delays while their framework meanders on – duplicating what can already be done faster, cheaper via other routes.

I also found an e-mail that helps make sense of the current “fight” over NHS reform – as US health care conglomerates seek to hoover up GP practices and PCT contracts using management processes, including IT systems, that are no more fit for purpose than those they replace and but will prevent the re-creaction of the local, pre-NHS, “Big Society” integrated health care that is suposedly a shared objective of the coalition partners.   

Hey ho – back to work