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E-envoy's home page has skeleton in closet

Well, it's actually a collection of Grateful Dead songs

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As of yesterday Britain has a full-time Internet ambassador -- Alex Allan -- whose chief claim to fame is that he's a senior civil servant -- currently British High Commissioner to Australia until starting his new post. Yawn. Just what the industry needs: another faceless official. Or maybe not. Allan it turns out is something of self-taught closet geek. Following a lengthy worldwide investigation, The Register has found the e-envoy's own Web site... a homage to the cult band the Grateful Dead. Well, nobody said trendiness was a requirement of the job. The site, a searchable database of Grateful Dead lyrics, helps ask important questions like: "Which Dead songs have references to the sun or the moon?" and "Which song does dressed myself in green come from?" Modesty allows the Web master a few words to describe himself as a "Deadhead" who has "had a succession of busy day jobs." He adds: "I am now British High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Australia, and took up my post in November 1997." We also learn that Blair's famous university rock group, Ugly Rumours, "was named Ugly Rumours after the cover of Mars Hotel" (presumably a Dead album) although the PM himself is not a fan. About as useful as a government e envoy to the e-commerce industry you might think. Except that at least it shows a man who can build a Web site with few CGI scripts chucked in beating your average executive hands down (although the grey design could do with a bit of sprucing up on the colour stakes -- unless of course that's the point). A civil servant who actually knows something about computers... Sir Humphrey, whatever will they think of next? ®

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