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The Cabinet Office has been heartily slapping itself on the back for not only meeting targets for e-government but surpassing them. Now, 40 per cent of all government services are online - set to rise to 75 per cent by next year. And the Office for National Statistics says that one in five adults with Internet access use it to get access to government services and information.

Of course, as we all remember, the government said it would have 25 per cent of services ready for the Net by 2002 - so you can see how well it's done. "Real progress is being made," said a minister. And of course the government is throwing even more money at the projects that will make us the envy of the world.

You know when a general election is coming up when this sort of guff is distributed by the government and regurgitated by the press. We don't believe a word of it. Sure, they've found some way to justify the stats, but 40 per cent of government services? Nonsense.

Interesting to see what the government calls "government services". One in five adults use the Internet for government info? Bollocks they do. This is all just worthless figures and, although inevitable, demonstrates that the Internet is becoming a political issue.

We can assure you that Labour will use the Internet in its election campaign to "get the youth vote". And they will see right through it. Whether this nonsense today is greater or less than yesterday's nonsense about the NHS all being fully wired by 2005, is a matter for debate.

Also, how come is it that the government keeps meeting targets and the press reports them as if it ever knew what the "targets" were in the first place? The only time you hear about targets is when they've magically been met or surpassed. We'd like to hear the next set of targets now, if you would.

In about five years, we'll be told the entire UK is fully wired up and then scratch our heads when we're unable to get anything done online. More of the same, more of the same. ®

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