Recording calls to BT complaints
If it were not so painful it would be funny: BT’s “High Level Complaints’’ just tried to insist that complaining about follow-up emails after they belatedly fitted a phone and broadband would have to be a separate complaint.
They did this to try to ensure I could not take my original complaints to the ombudsman. They have retracted. But you can see what they were up to and it is despicable. BT’s CEO Ian Livingston, who was at the heart of this complaint, is to quit and become UK trade and industry minister. Uh oh! Continue reading
Wellbeloved’s sausage and bacon
After 31 and half years of being a vegetarian, this month, I started eating meat and fish again. It wasn’t a rushed decision. It was something I had been considering for years. And no one thing triggered it. There were lots of reasons.
The first reason for eating meat was that I no longer believed my original premise for becoming vegetarian – that it was morally wrong to kill animals. I had not believed that for many years. But the status quo was that I was a vegetarian and I needed to be convinced to proactively change. Continue reading
Whose points were they?
A Leveson inquiry into the Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce speeding points case would recommend statutory regulation of all married couples.
The call would be backed by academics who were no longer married or who no longer drove (or both) and a celebrity campaign group called Driven Off. And the Leveson report would state Pryce’s name was Price (with an i) changed to sound posh – because an un-verified Wikipedia page said so. Continue reading
Tweet to Aggers and reply
Proper journalists such as me are supposed to hate citizen journalists. In fact, we’re supposed to call them “witness contributors” or something else suitably PC, according to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Well I don’t. I like citizen journalists. I like a lot of user-generated content.
I like the fact that communities get involved, tell us stuff, send in reports and photos and now take video and audio and comment. It adds loads and takes away nothing. I too am a citizen journalist – last week for BBC Radio’s cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and for Test Match Special. Continue reading
I stopped commissioning stories for AOL Money this week – Wednesday to be precise. I started commissioning the predecessor site Daily Finance in December 2009. Recently I worked on the design and build of the new site and the integration of DF and its sister title Walletpop into AOL Money.
It has been a labour of love. The old DF CMS tells me “You have written 312,078 words on 522 posts.” I’ve written a fair few thousands words for AOL Money too and I have commissioned millions more. I’ve known it was coming to and end, looked forward to it even, but I’m feeling a bit sad too. Continue reading
H2's sink with no taps
The sinks in the H2 Bike Club in Soho are a triumph of design over functionality: the classic design error. In all walks of life designers so often get it wrong because they fail to consider the practical as well as the aesthetic. Bad editorial design similarly adds hours to production time.
The sink has no taps. Instead a temperamental sensor eventually picks up the motion of your waving hands and lets out a short, timed stream of tepid water that is not hot enough for a good shave and horribly warm if you need to clean your teeth. What was so wrong with hot and cold taps? Continue reading
Geroge Monbiot, hosted on The Guardian
Guardian ecology columnist George Monbiot has listed his earnings and savings and said all journalists should do the same. I am not sure if he is just showing off about how much he earns – more than £60,000 from the Guardian – but he cannot be serious.
Journalists should feel no more compunction to reveal their earnings and savings than anyone else. And it would be a mountain of work for the many of us who are freelance and such scrambled data would prove meaningless. I’ll have a go at explaining why. Continue reading
Whealie's zebra at Abbey Road
Commuting into central London for work creates contempt. I hate pedestrians, I hate cyclists, I hate motorcyclists, bus drivers, lorry drivers, taxis and white van man. I hate packed commuter trains, ticket inspectors, Oyster machines that don’t work and I hate Transport for London (TfL).
To really hate all these would cause me to explode. So I have realised that we all need to rub along a bit better. Pedestrians walk in the road, cyclists cross pavements, bikers block cycling lanes, car drivers target bikers, lorry drivers cannot see (or don’t care about) other road users. Get used to it. Continue reading
Reporting Saturday’s TUC March for the Alternative and UKUncut’s protests against tax dodgers proved the limits of technology. There may be power in a union but if there’re no power points to plug in laptops and mobiles, nobody will know about it.
Broadband access too is key. We posted our first report and video from Starbucks in Villiers Street, near the Embankment. Trying to upload video in Hyde Park via a Vodafone dongle proved fruitless so, with Starbucks on Piccaddilly smashed up, we had to march for the alternative. Café Nero had broadband but no power sockets. I filed with 4% Macbook battery life left. Continue reading
Yesterday I recorded Treasury press officer, Andrea Geoghegan, refusing to give me information she had to hand revealing exactly how much worse off the Treasury thinks the Budget will make families. I published it on Audioboo and wrote about it on Daily Finance. It has caused a stink.
Does the press officer deserve it? Should I have named her? Did I give her a fair chance? I’ll tell you how I behaved writing my “Treasury tries to kill Budget cost story” then you decide. Continue reading