Online identity assurance programme: Scottish Government ‘show & tell’ (28 March 2018) #identityassurance @digitalscots

This post is my digital record of the Scottish Government’s Online Identity Assurance (OLA) ‘show and tell’. The day was very informative, and provided me the opportunity to catch up with friends in civil society circles. I’m especially interested because online identity is a natural precursor to online voting, another problematic area that greatly interests me.

The post starts with a recap of what was said at the event, then notes my input at the event. Next are my reactions to the event itself, followed by my thoughts on the whole OLA programme. In summary, while I think OLA is very worthwhile, and that the Scottish Government is trying to do it the right way, I have a lot of reservations about how useful it will be for those who most need government support. Continue reading

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A not-so-brief history of Personal Independence Payments

Here is a saga of my sister’s application for Personal Independence Payments. She applied for this state benefit in June 2017, yet 10 months later there is no sign of her receiving it.

My sister’s network includes my ever-wonderful wife. Her help has included direct support of my sister, and of our mother who has very severe issues of her own. My brother and his wife are also very supportive of our sister and mother, especially providing on-the-spot support, while I concentrate on the bureaucracy. They all live fairly close, but my wife and I live over 300 miles from them.

While I feel more about my sister’s case than about any other, she has possibly one of the most fortunate cases. I am deeply concerned for others who do not have such a strong support network.

The major issues we’ve faced are, in rough chronological order: Continue reading

What has Bruce been up to? (again)

Following on from this post – I’ll try to blog each week:

  • Tuesday 13th: being interviewed about my experiences of Edinburgh, and how tourists and residents see different aspects of the city
  • Tuesday 13th to Thursday 15th: on this course, which was ‘enhanced’ by two fire-alarms and freezing our collective bits off in the snow
  • Thursday 15th: completing two funding applications, one of which succeeded. (The other will be decided in about 3 month’s time.)

Continue reading

Kozmik

In a vague tribute to a Janis Joplin album, today could be called I got dem ol’ co-codamol hughies again, mama! In other news, last week I succeeded in copying posts from Just another bipedal sack of DNA and neuroses – because that’s what humans are to this blog.

It’s been interesting – and quite emotional – revisiting the end of a marriage and my career in publishing, various family (mis)fortunes, my time in India and Indonesia, my MSc, the start of my community council work and research career, discovering spinning, and the beginning of my current, very happy marriage. So much of this feels as though it’s permanent, and has been part of me forever – but in reality much is less than 5 years old.

There will be lots of broken links, because some material was hosted on now-dead servers. I’ve tried to resurrect what I can, but if you find any, please let me know.

Family misfortunes: Bruce- or system-error?

Following on from this post

Yesterday’s knock again my state-socialist tendances has been mollified by a pleasant but so far futile interaction with HMRC. My mother and I spoke with with a very pleasant HMRC helpdesk staffer last night (Thursday 7 September). Once my mother had given her permission for me to speak with HMRC about this issue, I tried yet again to register my mother for SA using the access code HMRC had sent her, while describing what I was doing to the HMRC staffer. Yet again this failed. The code had arrived in a letter dated 4 September Continue reading