On a number of occasions I have recently been wittering on about the fact that the government and local authorities assume, inaccurately, that more people have access to the Internet than is really the case. They are now doing it about information concerning Swine Flu. Certainly the information on the Internet is interesting, sensible and to the point, but if one hasn’t got a computer, or is computer illiterate, then it serves no purpose. They haven’t even thought of suggesting that those of us with computers should copy the information and passed it on to our relatives, friends and neighbours who have not the facility. Nor have they suggested an alternative system, whereby they print the information pass it to all the different groups in the areas, such as Scouts, Girl Guides, photographic clubs, etc to distribute through the letterboxes of the area. The members of those organisations will be more than willing to help in this emergency. In a lot of cases people whom I know, who have computers, are singularly inept at obtaining information. I am a case in point, and it can be very frustrating for the individual.
I don’t know how much the government has spent on advertising, getting advice on how to promulgate information, and actually formulating the information, and printing leaflets and buying pills. It must run into millions, and yet the one most vital part of it is that the information should be readily available, accurate and uncomplicated, and this means on paper, not on the television which is ephemeral, not only on the computer, but in the hand. How often does one have to repeat this for it to dawn on those in charge, that it is basic common sense?