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8:27pm on Wednesday, 10th August, 2005:

New Technology


The Fire Brigade Union is one of those old-fashioned, 70s-style organisations that hasn't yet realised its days are gone. Whenever changes are proposed, they leap to the defence of the current system and will cite the safety of the public as their reason for doing so.

On the radio today, I heard an interview with a spokeswoman from the FBU as she patiently tried to explain why creating 9 regional fire control centres would be worse for the public than keeping with the 46 we have at present, dilligently omitting to mention that even in the busiest of these, London, the controllers only have to answer the phone to a 999 call once every 30 minutes (it's once every 150 minutes for the Isle of Wight control centre). It's not as if these people were going to lose their jobs anyway, they were going to be reassigned elsewhere (but I guess that still means "jobs will be lost"...).

Anyway, in the course of this interview there was the following exchange.

Interviewer: Don't you think that new technology could mean fewer people can do the same work as before, and more efficiently?
Spokeswoman: (indignantly) We've had new technology for 20 years!

Ah, those 5¼ inch floppies...

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).