Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/15/mlf_bbc/
MLF: Web magic will brighten 'horrible council estates'
Un-trepreneur feels Reg blowback
Celebrity Un-trepreneur Martha Lane Fox, the Government's "digital inclusion" quangocrat, was faced with the Reg on BBC TV this week.
Not any of your grubby hacks in person - we didn't sully the fragrant atmosphere - but we didn't need to; a few choice nuggets from this piece were presented to her via interviewer Jonathan Charles on BBC News 24's Hard Talk. MLF's job is to evangelise the Interwebs for people who live on what she calls "horrible council estates".
Specifically, Charles asked MLF - and quoting us - if she thought lack of internet access meant you weren't a citizen. Citizenship is a pretty hard fought Enlightenment value - blood has been spilled for it. Wasn't this a "strong use of language"?
"Yes, absolutely," said MLF. "I believe that very passionately."
"You can live without the internet, but it's changing quickly."
MLF explained that she was indeed, as the interviewer suggested, "a cheerleader".
"A cheerleader is pretty valuable in all of this. A cheerleader and a co-ordinator. Our office is a hub"
Charles threw another of our points at her. Weren't the people who rejected the internet as it currently is, making a perfectly rational choice?
"Absolutely," she said. Then went on to list all the great things about the internet - such as making free phone calls. We were invited to draw the inference that they were acting pretty damn irrationally.
The interviewer pressed on - the 42 per cent who didn't have broadband (on those "horrible council estates"), didn't want it.
"There's nothing wrong with that," she said - again making clear it was terrible. They simply needed to be shown the wonders of the internet.
"Maybe people are frightened? Maybe they haven't seen anything that inspires or motivates them? That's fair enough."
And what might these wonders be?
"Some of the magic I found in the web", she explained, included: "the fact that I can any book from anywhere in the world, the fact that I can search for any piece of music made anytime, or communicate with a friend I haven't seen for ages who lives miles away."
Alas that answers the question for remaining offline quite elegantly - any book from anywhere in the world isn't available. Or any piece of music made anytime. And to communicate with a friend "who lives miles away" - you only need a mobile phone, which is cheaper than broadband, and their phone number. Which you won't find on the internet.
Finally here's a line that confirms that posh quangocrats truly live on another planet. Not just a different planet to people on "horrible council estates" - but the rest of us.
There's no stopping it, explained the MLF.
"It took 10 [years] for television to reach 50 million people - it took Facebook a year to reach 50 million people".
You can already see the flaw in that logic.
Make the lady a Life Peer. ®