Our greatest peacetime leader

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday April 17 @ 8:30 am

Today we pay our last respects to Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and one of the most important leaders our country has ever had.

As someone who was born in the late 70s and thus grew up in the 80s – I witnessed first-hand the state the country was in due to financial mismanagement by previous administrations and runaway abuse of power by militant unions. I also witnessed the recovery – fuelled by supporting private enterprise, breaking militant unions that were led by people hell-bent on furthering their own ridiculous political aims at the expense of representing workers effectively, and implementing a policy of divesting loss-making state-owned businesses to the private sector where they could sink or swim. It worked, and today businesses like BT, BP, British Gas, National Grid, Pickfords, BAA Airports and more are now thriving, tax-paying organisations where they were once loss-making state industries that were a drain on the Treasury.

My family started the 80s with very little. We ended the decade in a far better place thanks to a better economy, more jobs, better education and a culture of innovation and enterprise. The power stayed on, teachers stopped striking and it no longer tool six months to get a phone installed. That happened because of Margaret Thatcher’s government and the policies it successfully implemented.

When Argentine forces invaded the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher took the decision to send our troops in, insistent that all parts of the United Kingdom warrant defending. The successful defence and reclaiming of the Falklands was perhaps Margaret Thatcher’s finest hour. It certainly was one of the finest of our brave servicemen, many of whom sadly lost their lives successfully defending the citizens of Falklands from foreign occupation.

Everyone is entitled to their own views. For me, Margaret Thatcher represents everything that is good about our nation. She took a country that was floundering and on the brink of economic and social collapse, and implemented her ideology to rebuilt it into a strong enterprising nation where opportunity was available to all if they were prepared to work for it.

We have lost a great Briton today – and we all should mourn that loss, while remembering the great accomplishments made during her time in office.

In peacetime, Margaret Thatcher truly was our greatest leader.

This man is London’s best (and only) hope for salvation!

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday April 30 @ 4:53 pm

Boris Johnson

Tomorrow (May 1st) is the London Mayoral election. If, like me, you live within the boundaries of Greater London, please do not ruin it for the rest of us by voting for the leftie Communist Newt-toucher Ken Livingstone or the damp lettuce-leaf ineffective copper Brian Paddick. Vote for Boris Johnson.

A VOTE FOR BORIS IS A VOTE TO SAVE LONDON FROM ANOTHER 4 YEARS OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FAILURE

I was born in London (in the Middlesex Hospital, which was opposite the IT PRO offices until it was knocked down a few weeks ago), I grew up here, I’ve worked here for almost my entire working life, and lived within the confines of the M25 for all but 4 of my 32 years on this planet.

In that time I have seen London develop and prosper. However, in the last eight years I have seen it steadily unravel and become a cesspit of hate, poverty, social unrest, failed public services, wasted local taxation, failed and unnecessary environmental projects, an underground rail system that is a worldwide joke, and unwanted Mayoral project after another. And there are too many buses on the roads!

Ken Livingstone has been responsible for destroying London over the last eight years, and given another term in office he will finish the job to the point that the effects of his ill-conceived and self-serving policies will not be repairable.

The Lib Dems have demonstrated themselves to be good local council custodians, but nothing more. Their choice for Mayor is inexperienced, a poor public speaker, and was an irritating politically-correct police officer who must share some of the blame for the woeful state of the Met and the frustrations felt by thousands of good coppers who just want to do their jobs. A London with him as Mayor would simply fade into the background, much like the current Lib Dem leadership.

Only Boris Johnson can provide common-sense leadership for the London Assembly and start the work on repairing London’s deteriorating public services and appalling record on law and order, putting London back at the top of the global agenda for businesses and investors, as well as tourism.

A vote for Boris is a vote for prosperity, for good schools, safe streets, jobs, good public transport, affordable driving options, environmental policy that makes sense and a London to be proud of again!

Things I’ve learned this week…

Posted by Chris Green on Monday February 26 @ 3:11 pm

Ok, this post is more a case of things I learned last week, but it’s been a hectic seven days for the IT industry’s most controversial (and according to one reader, dashingly handsome) journalist:

1) My attention has been grabbed by the arrival in the IT PRO office of a giant paperclip and a giant calculator from an as-yet unidentified source (could this be the geek equivalent of sending flowers? If so, keep’em coming!)
2) The Rover 75 will do 120 miles an hour.
3) Sky is set to pull its basic channels from Virgin/NTL/Telewest, which will make keeping my cable TV box pointless as I only had it installed as it was cheaper than installing another Sky box in the house, and would still allow me to get Sky One in my bedroom.
4) Tony Blair is even more of a prat than I thought.
5) Twitter is not only addictive and dangerous, it is also expensive, as my most recent mobile phone bill demonstrates.
6) Trying to plan a holiday is incredibly stressful, especially if you want to do something in August.
7) I’ve signed up for Facebook – not sure why?
8.) My Sky+ box has almost run out of space, so I’m now seriously looking at taking time off work in order to actually watch some of the stuff that I’ve been taping for the last few months.
9) I have started thinking about this summer’s barbecue party.
10) The Slingbox is still one of the best bits of kit I reviewed in 2006, not sure I can part with it now.
11) Words can be powerful things…..

Tune in next time for more unusual thoughts and cryptic messages.

Last chance to sign the anti road charging petition

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday February 14 @ 6:58 pm

If, like me, you believe that we already pay enough to use cars in this country, then please consider signing the following e-petition:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax/

The deadline is February 20th. There are over 1.4 million signatures so far, but we need more.

New UK airport procedures create chaos for business travellers

Posted by Chris Green on Thursday August 10 @ 9:35 am

IT PRO

3.30am hand luggage ban extends to laptops, phones, PDAs, BlackBerry devices, electronic car keys and even newspapers.

Following the overnight discovery of a UK-based plot to blow up one or more aircraft in mid flight, the Department for Transport and the Home Office have introduced sweeping restrictions on carry-on luggage on all flights departing from UK airports creating chaos at check-in and hampering business travellers.

read more at IT PRO

Identity theft

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday October 25 @ 9:30 pm

Had a bit of a shock this morning when I received a letter from Mint, one of my credit card providers.

It would appear that I have been the victim of attempted identity fraud, as someone tried, unsuccessfully, to obtain a credit card in my name, using my correct bank details. However they got a few things wrong including my first name and my date of birth. Coupled with the fact that I am already a customer was enough to set off the alarm bells at Mint.

It may be a case of shutting the door after the horse has bolted, but suffice to say I will be investing in a shredder for destroying all correspondence that is due for the bin from now on, and I have a meeting with my bank on Saturday to arrange for all my cards and bank details to be changed.

Be warned: Identity Theft, failed or otherwise, is a pain in the arse!

Multiple bomb attack on London – Emergency Services Plan is put to the test

Posted by Chris Green on Thursday July 7 @ 9:00 pm

The London Evening Standard newspaper reports the attacks
The London Evening Standard newspaper reports the attacks

And so the long-expected terrorist attack on the very fabric of London’s infrastructure finally happened today, as a series of bombs destroyed significant parts of the London Tube network, injuring hundreds and killing several. A further bomb on the top deck of a bus in Upper Woburn Place tore the vehicle in half, hurling seated passengers – along with their seats out all over the street, and killing at least one person at the time of writing.

In fact, as I write this, 38 people in total have been confirmed dead, with unconfirmed reports from credible news agencies placing the figure as high as 50. Wounded number over 700, with many more having fled from the scene and thus not forming part of the emergency services count.

Mobile phone services across London were jammed with all major networks reporting problems as people tried to contact relatives and friends. BT also experienced massive call volumes and struggled to connect calls both within London and around the country. A spokeswoman for Vodafone said the emergency services were being given priority access to its cellular network.

We knew this would happen one day, and given out 25-year experience of dealing with IRA attacks, we thought as a city we were ready to defend and react. And by the looks of it, we are reacting well despite what happened. I remain concerned that we do not yet know if there was any chemical element to the Tube blasts, and that the Home Office is commenting that it had no intelligence ahead of today of an imminent attack.

We are also unsure as to the motive of the attack – was it to coincide with the G8 summit in Edinburgh, was it to humiliate London after we won the 2012 Olympics bid, or was this simply an overdue reaction to our military activities in the Middle East. An alleged group linked to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility via a web site, but again, authorities remain uncertain if this is legitimate, a hoax or simply an attempt to cash in on another group’s activities.

One area that I am remained concerned about is Transport For London’s insistence that it will be able to resume a limited Tube service on Friday morning. Surely the Tube network needs to be closed for several days while a thorough search is conducted of every tunnel, station, carriage, cupboard and toilet? Apparently not – I think this is a mistake.

I argue that to allow events such as this to affect our day-to-day lives is wrong – it means the bad guys win! But at the same time, we must maintain as high a regard for mass public safety as possible, and it is clear that if TfL pushes ahead with a Tube service tomorrow, then public safety will be at risk.

Learn from Clear Channel, which has announced that after consultation with Hyde Park security personnel, the Queen concert in London’s Hyde Park on Friday and the REM concert there the next evening (Saturday) have been postponed for a week on public safety grounds. This is the best option all round under the circumstances.

Mobile phone camera footage from inside one of the bombed tunnels, as scared passengers walk from their stalled train to the next station
Mobile phone camera footage from inside one of the bombed tunnels, as scared passengers walk from their stalled train to the next station

Walking wounded exit the scene of one of the Tube bomb sites
Walking wounded exit the scene of one of the Tube bomb sites

The remains of the double-decker bus in Upper Woburn Place following the explosion
The remains of the double-decker bus in Upper Woburn Place following the explosion

For the families of those who were killed in today’s attacks, our thoughts are with you all.

For my friends who follow this blog whom I have not yet spoken to directly – I am fine. I have been in Amsterdam all week and only flew back this evening, and so the only aspect of today’s events that I have experienced first hand was the gridlocked traffic between Heathrow and my home in Ruislip.

London to host 2012 Olympics

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday July 6 @ 1:02 pm

This is indeed a sad day for Britain, and specifically London. Not only will taxpayers be funding this overblown sporting ad-fest for the next 20-30 years, but in true British sporting venue fashion, it will make Athens look well-planned and ahead of schedule.

It will clog the roads, the tubes, the airports, and the ghetto of North East London that will supposedly be regenerated by the £10bn investment that will fund the event, will in fact revert back to being London’s cesspit (just with newer brickwork) within 12 months of the Olympics leaving our shores.

A disaster for Britain – and another white elephant on the lines of the Millennium Dome waiting to happen.

Only this time, we won’t be able to swallow the cost and forget about it.

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