back to article PM Brown dusts off one interweb per child plan (again)

As he fights for his political life in a speech at the Labour Party conference in Manchester today, Gordon Brown will hope a sprinkle of magical internet pixie dust can help save him. According to newspapers briefed on the speech, Brown will announce yet again that the government will put cash towards ensuring all school …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    That explains it..

    Comrade Brown must be "listening" really hard now... only someone with superhuman hearing could have possibly detected the whispered demands of free internet for poor kids amongst the screams of terror from economists, struggling home owners, over-taxed workers, etc.

    I wondered where the money for this new initiative would come from, but obviously it's been hidden in his mattress since January.

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Play the Game or Lose the Plot.

    "The money has been found...."

    Now that's the sort of magic trick which brings down dodgy governments and financial institutions .... and makes others. And also makes the Magicians Obscenely Wealthy to Boot.

    Let's have a lot more of IT, please, or move out of the way, if you are not so enabled or enabling.

  3. Shonko Kid

    Got his priorities right!

    These kids may not stand much of a chance of having a decent education, a job when they are finally kicked out of the educational system, healthcare, or even a warm house this winter, but at least they can surf the interweb for teh pr0n! Brilliant!! I'll certainly be voting nuLab in the future.

    So shit scared of losing their gravy train next election, they're even starting to think like socialists! Nationalise the utilities?!? What are they thinking?!? How will they make up the shortfall in donations when their friends in the city are out of a cushy number!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Hi Poor People

    you can't afford the rising costs of Gas, Electric, Petrol, Car tax, Council tax, Mortages, food and water.

    But here's some internet to help your kiddies get kidnapped by Peado's and to make it easier to play bingo whilst drinking 3 litre bottles of cheap cider.

    Aren't we great !

  5. Anonymous Coward

    BT and MS didn't have a clue?

    Do they ever?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The death throes of a dying government

    They'll start bangin on about fox hunting any minute now.

    Please let him cling to power for a few more months though. It'll make the inevitable fall even more humiliating.

  7. N


    I know that Brown is well out of touch with reality, or does he need reminding that schools & academic establishments have had internet access for some time now.

    Or is it just another way of dressing up "I want to buy your vote, even though I shafted you with the 10p tax rate" ?

  8. h

    3 Strikes and they will be off.

    Fantastic, give a kid a PC and a net connection for free, then after 6 weeks they get struck off for downloading too much.


  9. Pete Silver badge

    will they get free pr0n memberships, too?

    Oh goody. Give the little darlings free PCs and internet access at home. Will they use ths to "help" with their homework, or will they be used for the things that every other child uses their PCs for?

    If you want to let children use PCs more frequently, they'd be better off having them in schools - maybe they'd actually get some homework done, too.

  10. Steve Wehrle
    Thumb Down

    Coincidence ?

    On the day that Google announce their own version of the iPhone, which for just over £100 seems to be "the quickest way to access the internet", old Mumbles decides that kids should rather have laptops costing £700 each.

    Why not save £600 each, Gordon, and give them a Google-phone instead?

  11. Nick Charlton
    Thumb Down

    IIRC: The government recently put out a report saying...

    The opposite, saying that it was an unessesary priveldge. So, er exude me...

    So, why should I be paying someone else to go online?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just resign John Major v2

    Just resign already, we've seen this with John Major, the Tories didn't have the guts to remove him when the electorate clearly wanted him out, and they got obliterated at the next election and were unelectable for a decade.

    Labour have 18 months to replace Brown and turn it around, and we have all the same excuses.

    "He's crap but perhaps he can improve... right"

    "If we pretend he's good, perhaps we can fool the electorate"... yeh that really works.

    "We'd have to call an immediate election if he was sacked (i.e. try to sack me and I'll call an election)."... do it quick and he can't call an election.

    "We won't be distributing nomination papers (I'll abuse my position to block any election in the party)"... any idea how that looks to the British public? A candidate that tries to block an election by manipulating the nomination process?

    "We need him at a time of financial crisis" ....hope nobody remembers the dithering over Northern Rock that landed us with a hefty bailout.

    It's just like John Major, a man not fit for his job, hanging on to the position for as long as possible, and a party that knows he's crap but doesn't have the guts to sack him before it's too late.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Steady on! That post was actually readable and understandable - or am I on the same substances as you are ;o)

  14. The Mighty Spang

    in related news

    Bottom drops out of second hand computer market as thousands of machines that have been used to access porn and myspace flood the market...

    who is going to make sure they keep hold of the machines and spend the money on broadband?

    and no access to technology? schools and libraries not enough then? when i moved and didnt have broadband for a few weeks i just went to the library every day. its not difficult.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    There is only one reason i can think of why he wants this to happen.

    P H O R M !

    Police state all the way.

    /Coat, coz if i could i would leave this Sinking Ship of a country.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Richard
    Paris Hilton

    "The money has been found...."

    Nothing like a good under-the-sofa-cushions rummage to stump up for the little things, milk, bread, free internet for children whose family can't afford to pay for electricity but at least will be able to blog about their misery now, eggs etc.

  18. Nick
    Paris Hilton


    Didn't they already do this?

    On an unrelated note, PM Gordon Brown also found money in the budget for old rope.

    That icon, because at least the youff in 40yrs will be able to visit pr0napedia and see who Paris Hilton actually was.

  19. P.Nutt
    Paris Hilton


    So you think kids are going to use this free broadband to educate themselves after school, Dream on so why the hell are the tax payers expected to pay for some chav to download porn, movies and music?

    Paris as we all know which video the kids will be lookin for 1st.

  20. Tim


    While the City is being lambasted, castigated, chastised and generally bitch-slapped for profligacy and imprudent lending; while tens of thousands are losing their jobs as a result; while rubbish piles up on the streets and councils refuse to collect refuse; while mortgage holders plunge into negative equity; while the entrails warn of an economic crisis to make the Winter of Discontent look like a brisk breeze, Gordon Brown wants to spend £300,000,000 of tomorrow's money on bloody Internet access for miserable CHILDREN?

    I am purple with rage. Only the certain knowledge that I will die waiting for the ambulance is keeping my heart from attacking.

  21. David Taylor

    Give them a break...

    You can't expect the government to come up with brand new policies at a time when the economy is melting down.

    There's far too much panicking about losing their jobs to be done.

  22. Secretgeek

    The balancing act

    I believe (I can fly?) that it's fairly well established that children with regular access to computers do better than kids that don't. If that's true then really all we need to do (and I'm saying this like it's easy) is work out how much less the 'brighter' kids cost to society than the others on average and put that against the cost of the programme.

    You have a negative value, the programme is a goer, a positive and it's 'sorry kiddies, you're just going to have to rely on your mum's boyfriend to hand over the proceeeds of his latest burglary before he sells it for smack.'

    It's a tough old world and someone's got to take the long view.

    Mine's the one that stone's bounce off.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    While families are still in fuel poverty and are going hungry, this is pretty much a disgusting waste of money.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    And also dont forget

    Living in central dss land (London) I think they should do the deal with News Int, as every dole scrounger in london has already got the full sky package paid for by us hard working people, they sit n drink their booze (again, state provided) while their ferral offspring sell drugs on the street corners from their flash bimmers and golf's

    Oh, how i wish I didnt listen at school

  25. andy gibson

    Rewarding the poor

    When I was at school I was taught that if I studied hard, went to college and university and got qualifications, I'd be able to afford luxuries like computers.

    Now it seems you can be a burger flipper on minimum wage and get these things given to you by the state (along with cheaper fuel bills & house insulation).

  26. Luther Blissett

    Ballad of a thin man

    Void of course.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Unsure I approve of the public kitty going towards personal broadband Internet access in folks homes. Hardly a necessity for life is it. Give access in schools, yes, and in libraries. Kids can learn how to use it there. But why are the public funding personal access for individuals? How about someone funding beer access for me while they're at it.

  28. Dan Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Self financing, surely

    Think of the new potential advertising market! Phorm will be pleased.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Nero fiddled whilst Rome burnt

    That is all...

  30. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Another means tested benefit

    So all those who have paid their own hard earned cash to buy their own internet connection will now lose out to those who spent the money on beer.

    Just in case there are any mentally retarded government ministers reading this, I'll spell it out. All non-universal benefits are at the expense of those who don't need them. Whilst this might include a few city bankers, it also includes vast numbers of ordinary Joes who try to pay their own way in life. Therefore, means testing is EVIL except in cases like disability where frankly I don't want to qualify and I'm decent enough to support help for those who do.

  31. Tim

    @john major 2

    For all his faults he did actually step down and force a leadership election at the height of the depth of his unpopularity (ahem). The problem was that his party were crazy enough to vote him back in, thus allowing Blair's '97 landslide and the 11 years of socialist hell we've had to endure ever since.

  32. Secretgeek

    And when I first read the headline...

    ... I thought it said 'PM Brown dusts one off'...

    Some kind of euphemism surely?

    Mines the dirty one.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    andy gibson

    "When I was at school I was taught that if I studied hard, went to college and university and got qualifications, I'd be able to afford luxuries like computers."

    me to, only they lied.

  34. W

    Bread & Circuses.

    I agree with AC@12:28, AC@13:17, and Ken Hagan.

    I'd just like to re-iterate the library point, though. As I understand it, every single person in this country has access to a library every single library has internet access. Anyone under approx. 25 will have used internet enabled computers at school. Over 25 and scared of computers? Live with it. Or do one of the copious amounts of free courses. Hint: you're probably able to sign up for one at your local library. Not everything in life can be bought of the shelf at Tesco or Dixons.

    And if this scheme is being means tested, should any of the following groups be automatically disqualified...

    ...anyone with a Sky package with anything more than the Freeview channels?

    ...anyone more than a 14" portable telly?

    ...anyone who smokes?

    ...anyone who drinks alcohol?

    ...anyone who has spent more than £10 on a pair of jeans?

    ...anyone who buys Heinz beans instead of supermarket own brand?

    ...anyone who drinks coffee or tea instead of water?

    ...anyone with a TV license?

    Where do we draw the line? Well personally, I'd be tempted to exclude all of the above groups of people. Personally, I've chosen to spend money on a combination of some of the above, and to abstain from others. And as a result, I've ended up being able to buy a desktop PC and laptop because of my CHOICES when it comes to non-essential purchases. Where's my free big telly cos I've spunked my dosh on a laptop?

    The point is this: 99.9% of the country has access to a phone line. An internet ready PC need not cost more than £99.99 at most. A new EEE "laptop" can be had for 150 notes. i.e. less than the cost of a year's TV licence. Thusly, any adult who falls into any of the above category but does not have access to the internet is in that position through choice.

    The internet is not an essential utility. Highly desirable to many, maybe, but essential? No. Not like heat and light.

    Final word to andy gibson:

    "When I was at school I was taught that if I studied hard, went to college and university and got qualifications, I'd be able to afford luxuries like computers.

    Now it seems you can be a burger flipper on minimum wage and get these things given to you by the state (along with cheaper fuel bills & house insulation)."

  35. W

    @ Tim

    "...11 years of socialist hell..."

    I'm not a signed up socialist by any means, but you're completely blinkered if you think that NuLabour have anything to do with Socialism. In the same way that folk bandy around phrases like "wooly liberal" - to the point of them becoming a hollow and meaningless slur that simply trades on ignorant prejudices.

    Anyways, for those who are struggling to afford a 'puter - here's an oldie (but a goodie):

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Socialist hell?

    I'm really sorry but I'm struggling to see any difference in having a labour government over a conservative one.

    I bought my first house back in the day and I was single, working and it was tough. I couldnt afford to do anything but pay the bills. I had employment, no kids and no partner, no disability, nothing that would get me free money.

    In came Labour. What changed? NOTHING

    Every government talks the talk, walks the walk, meanwhile the cycle of economies, house prices, etc carry on turning regardless of who is in charge. And for the second time in my lifetime the UK has been hit with recession and again there will be hard times for us all. The fact is that my original statement above still applies right now. I am currently single, have a house, have a job and am without child. I get no government grants and I also still struggle to pay the bills as I always have.

    Regardless of who is in power, those with lesser morals and workshy attittudes still get free cash, the councils still support single parent housing instead of trying to teach them a lesson on their stupidity....seriously is it really that hard to not have a kid if you can't afford it?? Those of us who work hard and have a moral compass continue to get screwed and pay for all the slacker, poor initiatives and terrible government ideas on how to improve life.

    Get me in power. Death penatly back, unskilled immigrants (and their families) deported, removal of stupid Americanised lawsuits, halting of stupid Government initiatives and pointless promotions, attempt to clawback a skilled trade workforce and production capability, with a tax on outsourcing to foreign locations, etc etc.

    I couldnt care less who comes into power because for me, the average Joe, nothing will change, my taxes will go up, others less worthy will get free cash, I will constantly question the reasoning why i continue to allow myself to be put through this daily grind called life. Keep an eye on the Exit International website I'm fairly certain it will become very popular for those who don't want to face 50years of work day in and out and then get shafted as soon as they retire because it was all stolen in taxes.

  37. Tim


    At least I will be able to got to cash converters and buy a brand new cheap computer.

  38. John

    If poor folk...

    can't afford the 'leccy, then how are kids supposed to learn the art of cut and paste? As I've said before elsewhere, the OLPC project was dumped because there's no profit (either for manufacturers or ISP's) in it. Unless the plan is to get Monolith PLC to give 'em old tech (ignoring the fact that IT budgets are being cut). Anyway, surely if they were downloading stuff the ISP would throttle their connection so folk who can afford BB and the 'leccy would get a (slightly) better service, but restricting the poor kiddywinks to a download speed of 2Kb/minute, making it unworkable, which is what will happen. Ho hum.

  39. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Boom Boom Bombe, now that the System is Bust?

    ""The money has been found...."

    Now that's the sort of magic trick which brings down dodgy governments and financial institutions .... and makes others. And also makes the Magicians Obscenely Wealthy to Boot.

    Let's have a lot more of IT, please, or move out of the way, if you are not so enabled or enabling." ... "Steady on! That post was actually readable and understandable - or am I on the same substances as you are ;o)" .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 23rd September 2008 11:12 GMT


    Do you know how the money is found/invented? Oh dear, I appear to have given the answer away.

    Ps....... Just as a point of interest, did anyone else think the Americanisation of the Labour Party Conference for Gordon today, all rather tacky/naff? We all know that it is a media show but why baubles and beads tat rather than hall marked gold and silver. Still waiting for the Big Bang Announcement though that Governance is Going with Virtual Leaderships, Intelligence Led. .... which has one asking who is not up to Speed on dDevelopments and thus delaying AIDefinitive Universal Lead.

    Flames away.....

  40. David Hagan

    Do away with schools

    And then he can do away with school, saving... millions.

  41. Chris G

    @ amanfromMars

    I did actually watch some of the Americanised conference today and found it interesting as to how the instructions are passed to the audience for when to make a standing ovation. Or is it just that they would stand and applaud even if all Brown did was fart?

    And as far as virtualised leadership is concerned; it is virtually non existent.

    P.S. I understand more and more of your posts, is it me , or is it you?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goodbye ..

    Mister Brown, close the door on the way would you?

  43. Chris G

    A worthy successor to William Wallace?

    Gordon Brown = Brae Fart!

  44. VulcanV5

    Gawd's sake, why all the moaning?

    I'll bet there are some here who in vilifying Gordon Brown see it as a way of ensuring the return of the Conservatives to government.

    But why?

    New Labour has long embraced Tory values and Mr Brown, more so than most (not least the recent decision to let the markets dictate who dies and who lives if there's a long cold winter.)

    As to the reason why it's taken so long for this computer initiative to be finalised, there have been some contractual problems re Brown's career after he has finished leading Labour into a bigger massacre than Custer ever managed.

    All, however, is now resolved, as he has now been able to assure his new employer that he can indeed add a great deal of value to its business.

    Hence, umpteen £millionsworth of computers purchased with taxpayers' money.

    Hence, Mr Brown's appointment as CEO of eBay UK.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free broadband

    Just so long as the little dears accept Phorm into their lives.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Well it sound like brown is at it again. and this is another lift out from the KRudd labor party campaign in Australia well it worked for him but still no delivery on the computers it etc etc And we also see he is using the same KRudd "Working Families' he would not know one if he fell over them but just leave him there and there wont be any working families they will all be on the dole.

    what do I think of prime minister KRudd from Australia and Prime minister Brown from uk

    KRudd and brown they have a lot in common. Say anything to get in to power perhaps their names should have given us a clue. one is the other no matter how you look at it.

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