How to do online services, the governmental way

April 30th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

This is un-fucking-believable.

From the Department of Work & Pension: Services and Benefits Online…

What do I need?

This page explains:

  • what software you need to use this service
  • how to print your transaction
  • how the service uses cookies.

If you use Jaws or Supernova screen readers, we apologise for any problems you may experience. You may wish to claim in another way.

That’s not a good start. People with some disabilities may only be able to use screen readers. Screw them, eh?

Operating systems and browsers
The service does not work properly with Macs or other Unix-based systems even though you may be able to input information.

Oh. Windows only then. Well, they are the majority of computers out there, but still, Windows only? What were they thinking of?

You are likely to have problems if you use Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9 and 10, Windows Vista or a smartphone. Clearing temporary internet files may help but you may wish to claim in another way.

What? This just gets worse and worse. Be advised, You can’t use the last four incarnations of IE and Vista and smartphones will let you down here too. I’d better try a different browser, Chrome or Firefox then.


There is also a high risk that if you use browsers not listed below, including Chrome, Safari or Firefox, the service will not display all the questions you need to answer. This is likely to prevent you from successfully completing or submitting the form. You may wish to claim in another way.

So along with IE7, 8, 9 & 10, I can’t use the other three major browsers on my non-Mac, non-Unix, non-Vista computer. Claiming another way is beginning to look rather attractive. What the hell can I use?

What the service was designed to work with
The service was designed to work with the following operating systems and browsers. Many of these are no longer available.

Microsoft Windows 98:

  • Internet Explorer versions 5.0.1, 5.5 and 6.0
  • Netscape 7.2
  • Microsoft Windows ME

  • Internet Explorer version 5.5 and 6.0
  • Netscape 7.2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000

  • Internet Explorer version 5.0.1, 5.5 and 6.0
  • Netscape 7.2
  • Firefox 1.0.3
  • Mozilla 1.7.7
  • Microsoft Windows XP

  • Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Netscape 7.2
  • Firefox1.0.3
  • Mozilla 1.7.7

Microsoft stopped supporting the latest of that list of operating systems, XP, FIVE years ago! How the can a government develop an online system that is only usable on an operating system that old? Never mind the latest browser being IE6!

And they even bloody tell you that you are unlikely to have a fucking machine you can use this service with!

it’s almost as if they do don’t want you to claim.

Beyond words. Speechless. Completely.

(via @geeoharee


April 15th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Margret Thatcher was a important leader. She won three general elections and completely changed the political, industrial, financial and, some may say the social, landscape of the country. She also had a big influence within international affairs too. Whether all that was for the good or otherwise depends entirely on what colour tint the spectacles you’re currently wearing have – rose or shit.

Because of this, I don’t really begrudge her a big flashy funeral. For the right or wrong reasons, she was important. For some reason though, this little nugget from The Speaker, John Bercow, has irked me. It’s trivial, doesn’t cost anything but is a step too far… for some unfathomable reason.

The Speaker told MPs: “I have received a number of representations, direct and indirect, formal and informal, concerning how the house and parliament as an institution might best mark this occasion. I have considered all of these, but concluded that the most appropriate means of indicating our sentiments would be for the chimes of Big Ben and for the chimes of the Great Clock to be silent for the duration of the funeral proceedings.

“I have therefore made the necessary arrangements to achieve this. I believe that there can be a profound dignity and deep respect expressed in and through silence and I’m sure that the house will agree.”

I think the house is showing profound enough dignity and respect by spending fuck-loads of cash on a ceremonial funeral, one step down from the state funeral the Queen will get, in a time when people with bugger all are being told they’re on their own because the state has no cash.

Which brings me on to this little turd of a man, Francis Maude…

Maude told Radio 4’s Any Questions programme on Friday that reports that the funeral will cost £10m had mistakenly included the costs of police and soldiers who would be working anyway. “There are costs which are people doing their ordinary jobs which are costs which are being borne in any event. We have not hired more soldiers, we haven’t hired more police. There is no one who has been hired who would not be doing their ordinary jobs which they would not be doing in any event. We are not hiring more police.”

Maude wouldn’t let on how much the funeral is costing as he didn’t know. Apparently nobody knew, which is unusual as there would’ve been at least a rough plan, and so cost, prepared before Mrs Thatchers death. y’know, just in case.

To say that the soldiers and police costs shouldn’t be included in the final figure is ridiculous. It is weasly words to try and not admit the full cost. And it’s a pretty shitty attempt to minimise the shock if I can spot it.

Of course there won’t be anymore police or military hired for the event. You can’t draft in and train coppers and soldiers to a proper standard to be able to call them coppers and soldiers in about a week, like you could for private security firms.

In the statement above is Maude saying that all the coppers that will be policing the route the coffin will take will only be policed by coppers that would be on duty that day anyway? OK, cancel a few copper’s leave and there may be enough police to do the job, but there’ll be sod all police anywhere else in London. Is Maude saying that there will be no overtime paid? And if they are policing Thatchers’ funeral they are not doing their ‘ordinary’ job, which is a cost. The cost of policing of this funeral is not going to be covered in the bill for an ordinary days policing. That’s just fantasy.

As usual, it’s not the event itself that’s starting to piss me off, it’s all the shit that people come out with.

Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

April 10th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Margaret Thatcher is dead. Some people are sad, some are happy. Very happy. I don’t particularly like Thatcher, I think the best thing she did was keep Neil Kinnock out of No10. What I also don’t like are the celebrations that have sprung up. I understand some people are going to more affected by her policies than I am. This, though, is a real old woman that has died. Any harm she could’ve done was either done a long time ago or started a long time ago. Dancing and cheering and generally partying about the death of an old woman strikes me as vindictive and nasty, everything Thatchers’ opponents see themselves as not being. The celebration of the death of a leader could be understood if they died whilst in power, justified by the celebration of the end of their reign or tyranny, but not after they left office over twenty years previous. Some might argue that Thatcher still had influence. In those passing twenty years, but she didn’t. Her ideas did. You can’t blame her for that, especially when thirteen of those twenty odd years were under Labour prime ministers, the very people that should’ve stamped out her ideology. Blame the people in power that succeeded her for letting her have a legacy, never mind such a long lasting one. An old woman dies. People party in the streets. Welcome to Broken Britain.

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