An ugly title to the post, yes, but these are ugly times we slowly sink into. First let’s get the cookie business sorted:
Via Chuckles, El Reg:
The Directive was designed to enhance citizens’ privacy by, among other things, letting them know that web publishers record information about them and their use of web sites with cookies. Once so informed, consumers were held to be in a position to understand the deadly threat posed to their wellbeing and liberty by any form of data collection. The Directive was signed into law in 2011, but the UK held off implementing it until May 2012, when the ICO waved a big stick and pointed it at fine print indicating colossal fines for non-compliance.
As we felt all along, it would have to come back to “implied consent” and that is in fact the policy at both OoL and at my own site. To reiterate:
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) indicates that new cookie compliance rules came into force on 26th May, 2012. It indicates that “Implied consent is a valid form of consent and therefore Orphans of Liberty would like readers/users to understand that using this site might result in cookies being used.
What a monumental and utterly pointless waste of time and resources to have to go through that.
Of course, “monumental and utterly pointless waste of time” could also be applied to the mail I’m periodically getting now, threatening all sorts of draconian things if I don’t complete this 50 page booklet by the end of the week or else the council says council tax is going up or the utilities have been ripping me off for 30% over and above what I’ve been using and I have to go through hoops to get them to acknowledge it – that sort of thing.
Same for so many of us but even for those in good work, with the mortgage under control, there are still issues. For example, in Bootle, they have to carry their rubbish bins a mile now in a cost-cutting exercise by councils. I do think all of that sort of thing is deliberate and the blame can be laid at the feet of the horrible little Common Purpose people in mayors’ offices up and down the land, “advising”. “Squeeze the buggers,” seems the motto, “and make them groan.”
Then we come to blogging – many bloggers are falling away. Two years ago, there were hundreds of fully functioning UK political blogs but now, one by one, they fall silent, only spluttering back into print when a particularly outrageous outrage is perpetrated, not unlike last evening’s Westminster abomination, then they fall silent again.
The reason is not entirely the deep malaise, the deep feeling of depression across the country, though it’s a major factor. Part of it is so little time now dealing with all these niggling little things which are taking up too much time plus so little money.
In one firm in town here, the other day, the water bottles for staff were withdrawn in a cost-cutting exercise, lunch break was reduced from an hour to 40 minutes – that sort of thing. One person is doing two people’s jobs and you can see it in all their eyes.
They try to be cheery but the eyes are glazed and the lips a thin line. They make attempts at bonhomie and say things like, “Mustn’t grumble.”
We can’t immediately escape all the little problems they create for us but we can devise a strategic Plan A and Plan B, with our imagination the only limiting factor. First off is to get off the grid as far as is humanly possible.