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Saturday, June 13, 2009

What a waste of talent

Martha Lane Fox is an incredible lady. When I taught at LBS I sat through a session of her talking to a group of senior partners from PWC when she explained how she went about setting up and running Lastminute.com. She was amazing.

After her company was floated she left and was at the point of entering upon what would have been an amazingly successful role as a major UK businessperson. Tragedy struck and she suffered a horrible car accident that has taken her out of the public eye for a few years.

I was so sad to hear that she appears to become the latest secondee to our failing Government in the role of “Digital Champion”. This is another one of those fruitless exercises to give the impression of Government action that is all spin and no substance.

I was recently sitting having a coffee, in one of the places that provides the people to come up with these daft ideas, when I overheard conversation where they were talking about “Rebooting Britain”. God save us!

The idea is to ‘empower’ the digital “have nots” – a large number of them being in the older age group. This is such a waste of her talent.

Not that the cause of getting more people (of any age) online is not a good one but because it is being done for all of the wrong reasons and is destined to failure. It will disappear into obscurity like all of the Government ‘initiatives’. There is also the fact that this Government is in disarray and will not be around for much longer.

Miss Lane-Fox, you are an ultra smart lady, why get involved? A senior female minister has recently resigned from the UK Government saying she was only chosen to be “window dressing”. She was dead right. Surely you can see what is happening?

If the stories are true then the first person that she should contact is Emma Solomon who runs the Silver Surfers events and who knows more about the reality of getting older people online than anybody else I know. Martha, there is still time to change your mind. Dick Stroud

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