You Switch – you lose – eventually.

YOU-SWITCH TV ad’s April 16.

Phil Glenister, (chosen doubtless for his forthright/no-nonsense/pseudo-tough/everyman image) tells us he’s fed up with the public complaining about their energy prices.

All the UK public need to do is log-in, add a few details, switch and . . . (pause whilst he whisks a fistful of £20 notes out of his shirt pocket) SAVE.

Singularly failing to inform us that power in the UK is TWICE as expensive as the European average, or that you-switch are being PAID by the suppliers to list their services.

Who the hell really SHOULD have to switch, and deal, and switch, and deal – to get a reasonable price for Gas or Electric?

(I mentioned a deeper thought on this October of last year )

So it’s our fault is it?  Our fault we’ve neo-liberalised ourselves into believing this sort of thing is good idea.  That you can be encouraged to keep jumping around between Banks, Telecoms, Energy-suppliers, Insurance companies – in the name of some assumed benefit, not at all linked to true value or loyalty.  Such a fickle, non-enduring, PLASTIC way to live.

And remember, plastic is choking the oceans.


Branding, blanding

Here is a snippet from Alex Proud’s piece in The Telegraph UK newspaper.

The entire piece is <<here>> it’s a long piece (1767 words) but give it a go, if you’ve a mind to.

“However, brands are addictive, so as time went on, I spent more and more time thinking about the brand and less and less time thinking about photographers and art. People would ask, “How are things going?” and I’d say, “Great. The brand got some really good exposure this week. In Dazed, which is right where our values are.” I’m still not sure what I meant by our values. But I guarantee you conversations like this are taking place in a thousand architect-designed offices around the country right now. And the people involved will be talking in that weird super-serious tone which is only ever used by those whose jobs are totally unserious. It’s a tone you never hear doctors or structural engineers use.”

Nearing the mainstream

aldi et al - tune into the mainstream, and become weaker for it
aldi et al – tune into the mainstream, and become weaker for it

Such a shame.  It wasn’t long ago I really enjoyed being an Aldi or Lidl shopper.  I felt on the verge of great discoveries.  Truly kicking aside the fake-friendly, bargain-lying, pack-your-bags-for-you-sir? Utter crap that I felt constituted the UK supermarket scene.

Fast forward to 2016 and you can hardly tell them apart.  And with that the prices, once about half or a third of comparable goods in Sainsburys, or Tescos – are now edging-up as market share gains, and habits are re-set.

Witness their Social media pages, their TV adverts, music style borrowed from the established players, chatty-batty commenting, so obviously tuned to the mainstream – not a German mis-quote, or misunderstanding of a slogan in site, sight, site, either will do in this case – and all the worse for it.

It was good while it lasted.

Corruption speeds-up (or the reporting of?)

I don’t suppose it should come as a surprise.  With such riches sprinkled – neh! Ladled upon the undeserving, for running around; for kicking a ball and then being photographed with their mouths wide open whilst they shout about it (ever noticed that?)

Sportspeople are approaching the status of Singers and Comedians (themselves made truly hideously rich for, well, singing and comedianing), and now the corruption thoughts lead to the business tie-ins.

Nike this time as French prosecutors launch a fresh inquiry into the awarding of the 2021 World Athletics Championships to Nike’s hometown of Eugene – can you just IMAGINE the flood of ASPIRATIONAL TV IMAGES Nike would flood us with, on the lead-up to these events?

One of the largest truckloads of evil cynicism ever to grace a screen.


Similarly FIFA’s mess –

fifa corruption
Click for full story


Similarly cycling –

click for full story
click for full story

a long byte



Long day – about 12 hours today (it’s open evening here at College) – and I always find that by the time I get home (8.15pmish) I’m still buzzing – so getting to sleep is difficult.

Trouble is, the team are still in red-alert mode as we’re in the middle of an ‘observation window’ – where any session you teach on might be visited by a clipboarded person who checks if you’re brilliant, or crap.  Every teaching session needs informing by a raft of paperwork: the annual plan, a profile list of various learning difficulties, timetables, registers . . . 2-folders worth.

I am currently sat in a classroom where IT students cannot save work, because there is some system problem.  The same problem as yesterday, a different problem to last week, which was similar to the problem the week before – itself a re-run of the ‘glitch’ experienced the week before that.

Is anyone counting?

These items occurring just after the set-up weeks (Sept – into end October) where you’re requesting capacity uplifts (why?) to have printers attached to PCs that need them (why?) to have Moodle available to an entire Course (why?) – a score of IT glitches, or misconfigurations that a lecturer – moving from room to room during the course of a timetable tries to sort out, and just about manages by the end of October.  I’ve just counted – I have sent 39 emails to MITS since the beginning of this academic year – all dealt with brilliantly, I have to say.

The lecturers put a really brave face on it, but – let’s be honest, we’ve all become a little scared of saying anything.

Meanwhile (and this week alone – my god it’s only Tuesday) – we are here: Capacities shrink, or Drives disappear altogether, files appear and disappear, files become read-only, entire software suites magically ‘not there’ after some upgrade, or some alteration.

Today (18/11/15) an excellent 2nd year A-Level student was within a centimetre of losing a year’s work – where the PC was steadily corrupting her memory-stick, I had enough time to help her – in-between pressing a keyboard stroke, and then waiting for the character to appear on-screen, a few seconds later.