Standing in the way of control

7 Dec

I’m starting to take an almost unhealthy interest in local politics. I think I need to find new drinking buddies because last night, in my own free time, I found myself in the audience of the town council’s monthly meeting.

I swear we only went because there was free wine on offer. OK, there’s no such thing as free wine – the agenda had 12 sections and the drinks were after that. I promised myself that I would keep a low profile and simply bide my time.

That was until the issue of broadband cropped up. It was mentioned – very casually and only in passing – as one microscopic part of a long discussion about a 15 year strategy for the town and surrounding area.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that in the rest of the world popular opinion is that communities need a good internet connection just as much as they need running water, electricity and zebra crossings.

There’s no denying that the net is pretty huge these days, and that’s not only because of kittens doing cute things on YouTube. There’s also the less adorable stuff like tax returns, medical advice and global news. Oh, and Facebook.

So, I decided to ask why it did not feature more prominently in these future-proofing proposals.

The answer came back in the form of ill-informed guesses, rumours and half truths – and unfortunately for the planning manager broadband is something I happen to know rather a lot about.

I may prove to be a victim of my own success however – in putting some of the more unfounded rumours to rest (no, there will not be a “ripping up” of broadband connections, no, the government is not going to pay you to get connected) the mayor piped up and asked whether a paper on the matter might be helpful.

I felt the eyes of the entire council upon me. The formidable motto “in fear and in honour” sombrely engraved on the wall above a rather jaunty little bust of a swan suddenly seemed more than a little bit terrifying.

Surely, I thought, I am not yet the type of person who writes papers for local councils? I’m a party loving city girl – or at least I was once.

If I am to become a council groupie I will have to start reading very different newspapers and wear a lot more tweed. But on the other hand if this opportunity passes by then I’ll never hear the end of it from Long-Suffering Husband who currently has to spend 16 hours uploading artwork to clients at a rate of about one pixel per minute (it’s certainly not measurable in megabits per second).

Maybe I’ll just bung them a load of links and let them do the legwork. If I can get a good enough connection to send them through, that is. In the meantime I’d better seek out a waxed jacket… or at the very least a gilet with lots of pockets.

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3 Responses to “Standing in the way of control”

  1. almost witty December 8, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Or you could sell yourself as a broadband consultant to all the local councils and rake in the moo-lah.

  2. zskdorset December 8, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    hmmm… not my style!

  3. Frau Dietz December 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Love it. Probably lucky the wine came after the meeting…

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