Up to town for a meeting of Asslic Futures, a sort of think-tank for middle-aged and post-serious-career local government IT people. Most of the attendees these days are private sector sharks desperately looking for new prey. Times are hard for them since all that lovely e-government money dried up. The trouble is the few real IT directors that do turn up, like me, shy away from them - there being no bar at which drinks can be bought. So they end up practising their patter on their competitors.
An ugly and pathetic thing to observe. Think Death of a Salesman retold by Ian McEwan.
Glittering Events chaired the meeting with his usual eclectic mix of old-hand cynicism and misplaced optimism. I suppose if you have been labelled as the replacement for Simon Rattle, some confusion is inevitable. He did, however, manage to steer the meeting to an on-time conclusion.
Other contributors included the latest wave of "this will change the world" project sellers from the Cabinet Office IT unit. They are getting really exciting these days - information governance. I could hardly contain my enthusiasm.
"What exactly is information governance?" asked Mavis.
"Buggered if I know," I admitted.
"So why do you keep going on about it?"
"Because I am a CIO and information governance is what I do."
"Well, err... am responsible for."
It looks like the government is finally going to relent and scrap its impossible-to-connect-to secure intranet and give us some sensible information sharing protocol so that we will be able to exchange data effectively. Trouble is, it now wants to vet all our network systems engineers.
My provisional security assessment of the tech support team reveals that we have five anarcho-syndicalists, two nihilists, three jihadists, three former members of Northern Ireland paramilitary groups, seven Freemasons, two Scientologists, 11 animal rights activists, eight members of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, three citizens of foreign powers, two Basque separatists, two members of the Red Army Faction, four members of the Free Wiltshire Army and one alien. And when I say alien...
Considering there are only 12 people (well, 11 plus one other sapient creature) in the team, I can't see us winning accreditation.
The security service has completed its vetting. We pass, providing I transfer Graham to other duties. Graham is a Liberal Democrat Anglican with a geography degree from Wolverhampton Polytechnic. The most radical thing he has ever done is put lettuce in his peanut butter sandwich. He did, however, forget to renew his TV licence three years ago.