Monday, 12 September 2016


This is the first time I’ve been able to really get back to PC work, using a lot of assistive technology – a posh way for saying screenreader and Viavoice.

The eye? It’s not good. I have a plastic cornea bandage in the worst eye, and over the last couple of weeks things have finally stabilised enough for me to get sleep. By the time I wrote my last post I was on under an hour a night’s sleep, so not feeling happy with the world or me.

I’ve had to go private, as the NHS sat on things since June, I was warned it would be months at the same time I was told the dressing had to be changed by medical staff every three weeks… and I finally got my NHS referral after I’d already had the private consultation which was on the last day the dressing could be changed. It costs but seriously: running up credit bills against losing my sight? I think any one would make the same choice.

My computing time is limited and will be for the next four months. If I am lucky, treatment will not need surgery and they can fix the other eye the same way. If not, then really I don’t want to think about it.

The prototype is completely stalled. I did look for Venture Capital to fund a coder to finish the job. Oh boy. I got little response when I submitted it myself, having a chat that seemed promising only to be asked if they could talk to “the real coder” and didn’t believe me when I’d told them I had built it. I did have one ask to view the algorhythm for the AI component, and then back out when I asked them to sign an NDA first (guess what they would have done if they’d seen it – and you get no points for “hire their own coder and cut me out of my own project”). Having heard some of them had women issues I even submitted it under another name: “Les”. Good ol’ Les. Well ‘Les’ certainly got a lot more callbacks, apparently from people who didn’t realise Leslie was also a woman’s name. On the other hand, at least it makes it easy to spot the people I never want to work with.  So, anyone interested in a full flexible, scalable, ad system that can take sites of any size and doesn’t require intrusive person details, let me know. 

And finally David Cameron just quit. As an MP.

This blog has now moved to, where the original article can be found.  Updates - was published on September 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Life and everything

Well, I have SQLite working and the prototype is now running entirely off it. Billing and credit allocation is built and ready to be wired in. There’s zero validation of course, but then its still in alpha for the database and I want to be able to update things quickly. My computing time is strictly limited due to an eye injury. There’s an extremely good hospital looking into it, but it is going to take the next three months before they know if surgery is needed. Meanwhile I get very little sleep. And Suicide Squd is out. The problem is that I don’t want to take time away from the Labour leadership election to see it. With British politics in its current state, I suspect the Joker’s bodycount will have nothing on the bloodbath May just inflicted on the Cabinet.

This blog has now moved to, where the original article can be found.  Life and everything - was published on July 22, 2016 at 6:55 am.

Monday, 11 July 2016

PM without mandate?

So Leadsom has apparently left the leadership race. It is somewhat unexpected after she fought so hard for Brexit and then to be the alternate candidate to May. However the person who should be really worried is Theresa May, as Leadsom quitting takes away May’ mandate to govern.

This was why May originally rejected the idea of a coronation. Now, no matter what she does, there will be doubts over her position and the party’s suitability to govern since it couldn’t even run a leadership election.

A Prime Minister gains their mandate in two ways:
1) From their party by victory in a leadership contest
2) From the people by victory in a General Election

May has said she will not call the second, and now has no chance of the first as she is running unopposed.

There has already been one PM in living memory in this position: his name was Gordon Brown. He didn’t see out a full term.

It is not enough for democracy to be done, it must be seen to be done. A vote with only one candidate is no vote at all, and we’ve already seen it causes voter revolts at the ballot box. On my own behalf, if we end up with a second coronated PM, whichever party I vote for in 2020 it will not be the one responsible.

This blog has now moved to, where the original article can be found.  PM without mandate? - was published on July 11, 2016 at 12:30 pm.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Chilcot - oh boy...

Chilcot is damning, not for the report itself, but for what the sources it contains reveals. The emails in particular stand out. Cameron seems to be trying to whitewash it, saying MPs must take responsibility and that Chilcot is not accusing Blair of misleading the house. I suspect that despite the contents of Chilcot’s report on Blair, Westminster may try to close ranks to protect him from consequences. That would be a mistake, with faith in government currently so shaken.

First because it is not enough for justice to be done, it must be seen to be done.

And second because the only way to make Chilcot’s request that “Care must be taken” impact on future government is to make the consequences of being the person that breaches it severe enough that no future government would ever consider it.

The mood of the country is for change. Trying to revert to coverups and whitewashes will produce a backlash. What is imperative now is that there is a fair and equitable response, whether by impeachment (Galloway) or the House (Corbyn) or the Hague (the families of the victims), and that what happens after that is justice and not vengeance.

Vengeance eventually makes people regret and think “I’ll never do that again”
Justice should always remain, now and always, “He will never do that again.”

I find myself curious though: of the 244 labour supporters who voted in favour of the war, how many still sit in the house. Could it be 172? Details here.

The Mirror has a check your MP vote here:

This blog has now moved to, where the original article can be found.  Chilcot - oh boy... - was published on July 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Reading between the Lines

It begins to seem as though “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” needs to add a fourth category: the mass media.

The one thing that has really come out of this current political mess (apart from popcorn entertainment) is just how carefully you have to read articles in the mainstream media. It is not just reading between the lines, it is having to track down multiple sources and read between the lines on all of them to get something approaching the truth.

The labour issues were obvious and rather unsubtle. First it was with “Trade Unions not supporting Corbin” – oh wait, they are (Union News). “500 labour councillors sign letter opposing Corbyn” – followed by several of them demanding to know why their names were on it (Buzzfeed). “The membership not supporting him” – oh wait, 60,000 new members signed up this week to support him (Independant). “Corbyn is unelectable” – except for every by-election and the mayor of London…(Guardian)

The level of bias is fascinating. The Conservative reporting isn’t much better, but at least it is a little less obvious. Regarding Leadsom:

“…She alienated officials by continually complaining about poor drafting." The National
Note, the sentence says the problem was her complaining about poor drafting. It doesn’t say that there wasn’t poor drafting. Now, I don’t know about you but, as a Project Manager, I complain about poor drafting. It slows the entire thing down and you have to start the project again or do it yourself.

Also, note this comes from a Treasury Official and if you know how well Leadsom didn’t get on with Osborne (Independent), that may imply bias. Likewise when the Senior Cabinet was virtually all Remain, it is not a surprise to find one slating a Leave candidate for PM – particularly when it is the leading Leave candidate and main threat to their choice.

Then there’s the issue of whether you can read the article at all. Four days ago an article critical of Teresa May appeared in the Telegraph online, and then vanished. It was still linked to from Google, but 404’s. It then vanished from the wayback machine but fortunately it is still in the googlecache. For the curious, Google “Theresa May self-promoter” and hit the cached version by using the green downward pointing triangle – or just visit one of the many sites mentioning this. What we don’t know is who pulled it: claims of pressure from May’s team are unproven and yet they are appearing everywhere with no hard evidence. The Press Gazette has details.(

What I’d give for an honest unbiased news site. Instead I am left trawling five or six sources to get as much truth as possible instead of the narrative they want to sell me. It is a total waste of time, but completely necessary to remain informed.

This blog has now moved to, where the original article can be found.  Reading between the Lines - was published on July 5, 2016 at 9:58 am.