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August 2015


Where Have All the Dements Gone?

Those who are smug about data security have this week had their assertions torn asunder once again. The Ashley Madison hack – Dr No rather liked Henry Tudor’s tweet ‘Cromwell was my Ashley Madison. He got hacked too’ – reminds us that data said to be impregnable is in fact all too pregnable, if in the circs that’s the word Dr No is looking for. High profile hack after high profile hack tells us there is no such thing as secure data, just data yet to be hacked. Those signing up blithely to care.data may want to wonder whether the day will yet come when they will sheepishly tweet ‘care.data was my Ashley Madison. I got hacked too.’

Dragons’ Den: The Commissioners

2017: Mid term and the Tories have got fed up with pesky doctor led clinical commissioning groups. The government fires all medical commissioners and appoints its own chosen panel members, often high profile individuals with no understanding of the health service. Westminster’s own clinical commissioning group, known locally as the Dragons’ Den, has a panel consisting of Alan Yentob, Lord Sugar, John Humphrys, Jo Brand and, in a nod to glamour, Siobhan Sharpe, who replaces Stilton, fired because all he ever said was ‘absolutely’. The top of Yentob’s head glows, as if there was a halo inside trying to get out, Sugar has blacked himself up and looks like the last king of a minor African state, Humph sits crumpled like a sack of potatoes with a particularly large King Edward with two eyes in it sticking out of the top, and while the other panel members have stacks of tenners on the tables to their sides, Brand has a stack of Black Forest gateaux. Sharpe is taking a selfie.

Not Entirely Appropriate

Supposed once by David ‘Hug a Hoodie’ Cameron to be the embodiment of big society in a way that say dear Joanna Lumley never could be, Camila Batmanthingy exploded last week as her charity Kids Company imploded. Boy, was it a big explosion, as if Demis Roussos, once described by Clive James as another larger than life Phenomenon having an immense reserve of inner warmth, had exploded. Appearing with a succession of ever more luminous ever larger tablecloths wound round her head and wrapped round her body, she railed and ranted against the media rumour-mongers who, she said, had caused Kids Company to come crashing down, in the space, she would have us believe, of a few days, if not hours. Other accounts have it that, like Icarus before her, Camila flew too high, and the steady heat of scrutiny melted the wax of her charity. The collapse was as complete as it was sudden.