So it looks like the smoking ban has reduced the number of people smoking, well with the exception of the increase in social smoking.
So to compensate for the failure of the first ban and it’s unintended side effects (the increase in social smoking) we should introduce a second ban because that will surely fix the problem of smoking.
There is something about this photo that cant quite put my finger on, it will come to me.
The prime minister in a statement in the Number 10 website has said:
Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media.
Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.
And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.
So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.
This proposal is an interesting one and one that I would not support, social media may have been used by idiots bent on destruction but it was also used by the police and emergency services to keep people up to date and that flow of information helped many people to feel safer even though in the locations where they lived there was no rioting, when there is information people feel informed and reassured that something is going on, even the rioters where feeding people information by saying the police had arrived time to move on.
Social media and it’s use did not cause the riots and the millions of people who did not abuse this medium should stand up and say that it is not right to stop people communicating when others are breaking the law.
It is nice to see that the Prime Ministers stand is supported by the wonderfully free China, while I am sure there are many things that can be learned from the last few days the suppression of communication is not the lesson to learn.
Take a look at issues not how people discuss them.
Way back in January 2009 a database went on-line called ContactPoint giving access to 400,000 people to information about every child in the UK they included name, address, date of birth, GP and school.
No parent was able to have their child’s information removed from the database regardless of the lack of any wrong doing on their part, working on the if you have nothing to hide you don’t mind being on the database only if you are an evil person would you object principle.
Well today the database get’s switched off, now while this is a good story there arte some intresting numbers coming out of the reports on the BBC today they include:
- A cost of £235 million
- Of the 330,000 user that they system should have had only 15,000 where rolled out.
- The annual running costs were going to be £41 million.
Not the most successful database project I have come across.
This is a fantastic little rant titled: David Mellor’s airport rage click and enjoy.
From the 8th February 2010 young people in London will be able to have an ID card at the cost of £30.00.
This is from the BBC website:
The cards, costing £30, could be used in place of a passport by 16 to 24-year-olds while travelling in Europe.
Young people still need to carry their passports for travel but the cards could be used as proof of age in areas such as retail outlets.
I cant quite figure out what it is for, not a replacement for your passport if you still need to carry your passport but it can act as a proof of your age? If that is all it can do is there much point.
On 24th November 2009 ID cards where rolled out in Manchester & the North West at a cost of £30.00, Manchester has a population of 2.5 million and I can not find a definition of the North West to find out the numbers but according to the same BBC report only 2700 have taken up ID cards, so going on the Manchester population that is 0.108% of the population hardly a resounding success.
Lets cut out losses on this project and not only save a pile of cash but keep our identity to our selves.
It looks like the DNA story is still running with different police forces services having different policies.
From The Conservatives website – Returning innocent people’s DNA.
From the BBC website – Innocent people face DNA database ‘shambles’.
I guess the quote of the day on this subject comes from the BBC and is:
“The average removal rate is only 22%, with six forces not removing any…. last year the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the DNA records of people who had not been charged or convicted cannot be held indefinitely.”
I guess everyone is under the rule of the courts with the exception of the police.
Well I say that but
After the news a couple of weeks ago that the government where starting the ID card system as it would help young people get pissed ( honest ) it looks like 527 people have taken up the idea out of a population of 2.5 million (see).
One of the ID cards costs £30 to have so the government has collected £15,810 from the people who wanted the cards.
There are a few figures for the total cost of the ID system, £5bn and the London School of Economics has £10 – 20bn ( see ), now while I hope the government has not spent £5bn yet, lets hope that they are able to recover the costs for the system from the people who want it but somehow at £30 a pop I cant see that.
It looks like the Human Genetics Commission has been told that it is the “norm” to arrest people just to get their DNA on file just in case it becomes helpful in the future.
This comes not so much as a surprise but more a confirmation, quite why the government & police don’t come out and tell every one that considering everyone is guilty on something that appears on the statute books, we are all going to have a DNA sample on file so when you commit a crime that is worthy of prosecution it will save them the bother of doing the investigation as you will just ping up on the system.
For more information visit the BBC.
Last week sometime I had the radio on and the subject of enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks was being discussed, and they had the story of a woman who was suspended from a job after failing an enhanced CRB check, her standard CRB had come back all clear. She asked to see the results of the enhanced CRB so she could question it but was told that if her employer let her see it they they would be breaking the law so they could not show her. It turns out that there is no way she can see the information on this enhanced CRB check, she can not see it, appeal it or question it even though it got her suspended from her job after getting the all clear from the standard CRB check.
Today we read on the BBC website that the errors in the standard CRB check have doubled over the past year but unlike the enhanced CRB if you fail a standard CRB check you are able to see the results and question / appeal them to clear your name and I am sure that all of the criminals that have been passed as clear would question why their criminal records where not disclosed to their potential employers….
So with the standard CRB (the one you are able to see) being so questionable I wonder how many enhanced CRB checks are wrong, I am sure the government would say that a unique number that identifies everyone would sort out the problem, perhaps an ID card number would help but if I was looking to work children etc and was presented with a CRB I would think twice, not that I have anyting to hide but I would not like to be one of the unlucky ones who’s lives are turned upside down by a floored system.
What I find stunning that the error rate in the standard CRB system is 0.04%, ( this error rate would be the ones that have come back as false and someone has appealed, I somehow can not see a criminal who has passed the CRB when they should not have questioning the results ) is seen as OK but the people concerned.
Just imagine if everyone was on a state sponsored database and 0.04% of all requests each day to verify someones identity where wrong, lets say that 250,000 people on this database where heading on their holidays 0.04% ( 2.5 people ) if the 2.5 people where travelling in a party of 4 (Mum, Dad and 2 kids) then 2.5 families on that day could miss their flights somewhere between 8 – 12 people missed thair holidays and then 2 – 3 people looking to battle the system to prove who they are, you may think you have nothing to hide and a missed holiday is not the end of the world but do you want to leave the government in charge of such error prone systems that could not only impact your holiday but stop you from working just because 0.04% is an OK error rate.