Martin Kirby Column; Technological Breakdown, Snow Joke and A Fun Party
TECHNOLOGY BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT?
You may not see an immediate connection between the Gloucester branch of a photographic store and the Duke of Edinburgh, but give me enough time and you'll see what I'm getting at.
Every leap in technology comes at a price and sadly, that price is very often someone's job. In Jessops' case, staff have lost their jobs because they were experts in their own field. By that I mean experts in 'real' cameras. But because the latest generation of mobile phones have such high-resolution cameras, youngsters can take pictures of each other getting legless in a club and post them on Facebook or Twitter within seconds.
Even enthusiasts still wishing to buy a camera are shopping online (technology again), so the traditional 'camera shop' is finding it harder to compete.
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Kodak – a name that means photography to most of us – had to give up the ghost on producing photographic film years ago.
Now HMV music stores too, are in trouble, mostly down to our new friend, technology.
Downloading the latest singles and albums is much cheaper than buying a CD and you don't have to bother going into town to do it. So technology scores again.
Now this isn't just an old man's moan. You may be surprised to learn that I love gadgets and do my best to keep up with the changes they bring. But I never forget that we used to manage quite well without them.
As for The Duke of Opening Your Mouth and Putting Your Foot In It, HRH once said; "technology doesn't put people out of work. If it did, the country would be full of unemployed grooms and stable-boys". Sorry, but on that occasion he was talking out of his royal backside.
Today's new technology is tomorrow's old hat. The future is changing faster than most us can imagine, which inevitably means many of us will be left behind.
ALL WHITE ON THE NIGHT
You had to laugh, or at least, I did, at the desperate measures taken by TV reporters over the last few days to find enough snow to serve as a background while they performed their 'end is nigh' inserts to the news bulletins.
Of course we've got something that actually looks like a snowfall today and it's a bit of a nuisance. But we are hardly suffering the 'arctic conditions' we were warned about and it's nothing like as bad as I went to school in during 1962/3. By the way – when I say 'went to school' I mean just that. Schools didn't close due to the weather back then. We just kept our coats on in the classroom and got on with it.
The snow started on Boxing Day 1962 and the temperature didn't get above freezing until March 1963. Blizzards caused snowdrifts up to six metres deep, telephone lines were brought down and temperatures fell so low the sea froze over. We have to be prepared, but we're a long way from snowed-in at the moment.
A BIG NOISE IN LOCAL POLITICS
I suppose it's knowing their party will be practically extinct after the next general election that has spurred Gloucester Lib Dems to take drastic action in order to look as if they actually matter.
Because Gloucester City Council's accounts for last year haven't been signed off, the Lib Dems are calling for a vote of no confidence in the administration, which is run by the Conservatives. Lib Dem leader Jeremy Hilton said the city council is facing a "financial tsunami that is all the making of Paul James and his Tory cabinet". I'm surprised he didn't carry on and blame Margaret Thatcher as well.
It reminds me of 'Dish and Dishonesty', an episode in Blackadder III where an election is taking place and one of the candidates is; 'Ivor Biggun, from the Standing At The Back And Looking Stupid Party'. The way current polls are going; Lib Dem candidates will get fewer votes than Ivor.