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Government Privacy The Internet United Kingdom Technology

Every British Citizen To Have a Personal Webpage 313

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is about to announce that within a year everyone in Great Britain will be given a personalized webpage for accessing Government services as part of a plan to save billions of pounds by putting all public services online. The move could see the closure of job centers and physical offices dealing with tax, vehicle licensing, passports and housing benefits within 10 years as services are offered through a single digital gateway. [This] 'saves time for people and it saves money for the Government — the processing of a piece of paper and mailing it back costs many times more than it costs to process something electronically,' says Tim Berners-Lee, an advisor to the Prime Minister. However, the proposals are coming under fire from union leaders who complain that thousands of public sector workers would be made jobless and pointed to the Government's poor record of handling personal data. 'Cutting public services is not only bad for the public who use services but also the economy as we are pushing people who provide valuable services on the dole,' says one union leader."
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Every British Citizen To Have a Personal Webpage

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  • by EEBaum ( 520514 ) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @07:05PM (#31553098) Homepage
    Bet that'll be fun when the system goes down for whatever reason. It's enough of a fustercluck when ONE major government system goes on the fritz... here, they'd all go down together!
  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @07:17PM (#31553226)

    Actually yes. They already are. If you are on low income you can apply for a grant to buy both a laptop AND internet connection.

  • by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Saturday March 20, 2010 @07:30PM (#31553306)
    So, how does this fit in with the plans to disconnect the families of people who are accused of copyright infringement? I guess media companies are going to be able to get anyone they don't like prosecuted for tax evasion too?
  • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Saturday March 20, 2010 @11:22PM (#31554820) Journal

    There are only so many burgers that need to be flipped, floors that need to be mopped, etc.

    Not true. Put another way, if this really becomes an issue, think about the army of servants that a wealthy family might've had in the late 19th century. The challenge is creating a demand for that, but frankly, I would much rather have more tax dollars with which to hire, say, a housekeeper, than have my tax dollars go to a paper pusher, given the choice.

    Put someone into a job that's beyond their capacity they'll do it poorly, be miserable while doing it, and make everyone everyone miserable in the process.

    Do that in school, instead. Not beyond their capacity, either -- one of the largest factors in the success of a given student body is the teacher involved.

    A casual acquaintance from high school has been working for the last 25 years cleaning up roadkill for the county, and he's as happy as a pig in slop doing what most people here would consider a shit job. He'd consider any job that involved more math than tallying up how many critters he scraped off the pavement to be the "shit job".

    Doesn't have to be math, and there are very few people who could only ever be qualified for that sort of work. For example, you haven't said anything about your friend's intelligence -- it could well be that he's simply unmotivated and uneducated. It could be that he hasn't found his passion.

    Or it could be that, if we ever invent a machine to clean roadkill instead, he should bite the bullet and find what to him might be a "shit job", but which hasn't (yet) been replaced by machines.

  • by beguyld ( 732494 ) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @12:42AM (#31555144)

    While I tend to agree that some people are seemingly incapable of creative thought, I also have had the "opportunity" to have some brain-dead jobs early in my life, and those jobs caused my brain to wither. I swear I lost 30 IQ points by being in brain-dead jobs.

    I've talked to other people who have experienced the same thing. The brain is like a muscle, use it or it wastes away and gets flabby. But start exercising it again, even if "forced labor" and it gets back and in shape and become stronger and more efficient.

    Putting people in jobs supposedly above them might cause them to complain for a while, but they might well start using their minds more. And that is good for everyone, as then they are better able to make intelligent decisions at the polls.

  • Re:Maybe it's mutual (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 21, 2010 @10:07AM (#31557288)

    Getting in involves getting past your (in)famous immigration. I will get asked questions, may have my property confiscated and may even get jailed for hitting some drone on the fist with my face.

    I'll have to agree with you on this point. We want to punch them in the face too. The airport security is much better and less snotty in any European airport I've ever traveled to.

    After that everything you have to say after that is a giant crock of shit.

      According to the media, everyone carries - law abiding, police, bankers and other criminals.

    Yes this partially true. First off the media are idiots. Journalism shouldn't even be considered a real degree, all the ones I met while in college were morons. The engineering school would beat them in there own catagory every year on the anual evaluation exams. Pretty sad really.

    In States that I've lived in that had VERY EASY licensing to get a concealed weapons permit, the crime rate was lower than in England and any other State that did not (California). In South Dakota it cost at the time $10 (about £7) and took two weeks for your paperwork to get back. In the 4 years I lived in Rapid city there wasn't a single firearm releated murder. We had a drug addict robbing stores with a roofing hammer and a homeless guy strangling other homeless guys, but that was about it. At any given time in town I'd guess that maybe 5% had a firearm on their person and another 25-30% in there car, double those number if you were out in the woods. The reality is that carrying a gun is a huge pain in the ass. It's heavy, it gets in the way when you sit down, and its one more thing to keep track of. If you lose it then you are out a bunch of money and then have to deal with the police if you don't want to get in trouble if something bad happens with it.

    The media hypes everything and are not a valid source of anything. Being from England you should know that since you don't have a single source of news that is not a tabloid. I do miss the Page 3 Girls though.) When I moved to the UK I thought there was going to be a punk kid on every corner ready to stick me with a knife, the way people and the news went on about it. Turns out it wasn't every corner, but every fourth one or so. You guys have a stupid amount of petty and non-firearm related crime over there that we just don't have in the states.

    The one thing that the media doesn't like to tell you about firearm deaths in the US, is that more than half of them are just simply suicides. No dramatic showdowns between desperate criminals and the police (99% criminals are complete pussies once the guns come out), no drive by shootings, just someone at the end of their rope. Slightly more than half of the remainder are murders and the rest are the police or private citizens doing their duty. A small percentage are accidents.

    I once went in uniform. Got to the base and was issued an M16. Next time, I want an M1 Abrams!
    I call bullshit on this one. No one is just "issued" a rifle over here. You go to the armory and are issued one for training or duty and then you turn it in once it's over. Yes that may mean you have it for a while, but you don't just walk around with it all the time unless you are security forces. The only reason they'd ever give a Brit a weapon would be for joint training, so that means either going to the range, or out for manuvers in the field, which also meant you weren't issued any live ammo.

    Normally, you need to at least pretend or carry a chair leg or something. Your police are described as a little more trigger happy.

    This is a crock of shit too. Another image hyped up by the media. If you want to see what the police deal with on a regular basis, watch the tv show "Cops". Most if it is just dumb kids stealing a car, trash (pick a color) domestic calls, druggies, and boring paperwork.

    The police don't fool around when they are threatened which is why the media gets their panties in a twist all the time. If you pull a gun on a cop you might at the most get a single verbal warning and then you are going to be killed. Natural selection at its finest, absolutely nothing wrong with a justified killing.

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