WORSE IS STILL TO COME
This is our last edition of the year so it would be remiss of us not to pontificate on the highlights of 1998. So we won't bother. Rather, we'll do a quick end-of-year rant about what we'll all be moaning about next year.
This has been the year when our industry has been threatened with more proposed legislation than ever before. And it will get worse next year, here and across the pond. Interfering government is contagious. Every time Bill and Tony shake hands we get another infection of legislation.
This government is committed to the idea of the information superhighway.
It is also dedicated to doing Webcasts which a 10-year-old with a 386, a week's worth of HTML and a stolen phone link would be ashamed of. And its dedication to spreading the word of the digital age raised its head again only a few weeks ago when it declared that it was going to appoint a Digital Envoy to head up its electronic commerce strategy. But Peter Mandelson rather spoiled the announcement by asking the great British public to choose the Envoy for him. Leadership? What's that again?
The fascination of government with computers despite the mistakes it invariably makes was compounded when Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, did his famous live Webcast with socialite David Frost. The quality was so bad that Blair's face looked as though it was melting every time he moved.
As the government is now finding out, the digital age needs more than soundbytes - you have to deliver.
Meanwhile, IT managers and technocrats across the UK enterprise have been preparing to use the annual Christmas holiday polishing up their CVs. Bank mergers in the City of London alone will cost over 3,000 job losses with more to come in the New Year. Following the job losses from this year's rash of super-mergers, there is hardly an IT manager not worried about what the next year will bring.
But let us cheer you up. Next year is not the one to worry about. See you in 1999.
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