Friday, July 14, 2006

Are they really technophobes?

I just spotted that the BBC is running a shock revelation story that Tony Blair has his own email account. As the article says, Blair has been at the head of a government that has seen him take part in web chats and spend millions on promoting e-government, and yet, allegedly, he's a technophobe. The BBC then cites Alastair Campbell's article for AOL's /discuss campaign in which he said Downing Street was a "pen and paper" place and he used to get people to type his emails for him from hand written notes. Finally they close with a quote from Prescott's now infamous interview on Today last week where he said, "I think it's called the internet, isn't it, or blogs or something, I've only just got used to letters, John, I haven't got into all this new technology." Basically, the BBC's main thrust is that the entire government hasn't got a clue about IT, at least that is "the line".

This idea that the no one in the highest offices in Government has a clue when it comes to a keyboard and monitor is just nonsense. For a start Alastair Campbell certainly knows how to write an email and the claim that he had other people write them for him is bollocks. He famously wrote an email from his Blackberry that was meant for the Transport and General Workers Union but he sent it to Newsnight instead. Yes, he has fat fingers, but technophobe he is not. As for John Prescott, he had his own blog during the 2005 election. Of course, it sorts the Government's needs right now to push the line that they're all technoweenies. I imagine Blair is hoping that Inpsector Knacker will not start forensic analysis on the disk platter on that PC he never uses.

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