Those pictures of Bill Gates posing with Tony Blair and John Major (separately, of course) obviously hit a raw nerve in the complex persona that is Oracle's Larry Ellison.
Today Oracle - formerly the database giant, now "the world's second largest software company" - clambers on board the UK political bandwagon with an IT manifesto published jointly with the Computing Services & Software Association (CSSA). (Historical note: the CSSA was the CSA, or Computing Services Association, before it added the extra S to drum up extra members).
Where were we? Oh yes, Oracle's IT manifesto, Ellison's ego and an election year.
Because the manifesto isn't out until lunchtime today, PC Week readers aren't allowed to learn of its contents until next week, unless they are foolish enough to read anything else in the meantime. All we can tell you without fear of contradiction is that it's got 10 points, is backed up with some "comprehensive research" and will "highlight the extent of the gap that now exists between the UK and the rest of the world in the adoption and exploitation of IT".
We are also told the document "is sure to create controversy with its suggestions". We'll have to take their word for it.
So what is the manifesto going to say, do you suppose? We'll hazard a guess that the following words and phrases will appear in one guise or another. (PC Week readers will no doubt have their own favourite cliches er, manifesto agenda items) which they could insert at this point.
Here's our selection: information poor, cabling the classroom, wired society, ministry of technology, R&D not R or D, multimedia kiosks, skills shortage, Internet, information superhighway, seedcorn finance, inward investment, the global village, tiger economies, left behind ...
The manifesto has been sent to the IT spokespeople of the three main political parties (can you name a single one?) who'll no doubt agree with every single point, claim that their party will do something about it and moan how the other two would mess things up if they get in on 1 May or whenever Major plucks up the courage to ask the populace to do the decent thing and use its votes.
Whatever the 10 Oracle/CSSA points are, at least they've done something to put IT on the political agenda. Controversial or not (and we hope it is) hopefully the manifesto will generate some intelligent debate, rational response and articulate thought. Which is what you'd have got in this column if we'd seen the damn thing!
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