IT appears that the NHS is getting its act together about IT. The new plan for the "integrated care records service", which is meant to computerise medical records and admin as a replacement for the current system of little cards that never seem to be where they are needed, has been leaked and seems to suggest that instead of letting computer-ignorant Sir Humphrey write the whole specification, they have decided to write a detailed set of objectives and let the techies get on with it. Mind you - I remember posting on a discussion forum in the autumn of 2001 about this. That was the time Palm had said they were sitting on a hangarful of unsold PDAs, I was of the view that the govt. should have bought the lot at a fire sale price and commissioned the proggies to design the system about them and their functions. But just being right ain't enough...Link.
Further corporate thieving in the huge and annoyingly named US mortgage lender Freddie Mac...but any real change would be commie...Link.
Oh yeah - last night. After the England match, spent drinking heavily with some football team mates, on to the local, where an Irishman was holding forth on Tajikistan, of all places, where he had been working for the UN. Mind you he threatened to become the pub SAS bullshitter - every pub has one - by not wanting to say what he'd been doing. (you were building a road, right?) Claims that Dushanbe is a great night out - good local wine and kebabs - as long as you carry a letter from the British Embassy for the omnipresent political police. Tajikistan is, of course, Russia's closest ally in the region and the base of the 201 Motor-Rifle Division, considered the best unit in Russia. From GlobalSecurity.org:
"The Russian military is present in Tajikistan at the request of the Tajikistani Government to support the current regime. Russia's 201st Motorized Rifle Division is part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Collective Peacekeeping Force established in 1993. Russian border forces also dominate the multi-national CIS forces guarding the Tajikistani-Afghan border.
The Russian military presence in Tajikistan predates the civil war, and the 201st Motorized Rifle Division had been deployed in Tajikistan since the Soviet period. The Russian Army's 201stDivision, fresh out of Afghanistan, helped ex-communists return to power in May 1992. The resulting civil war claimed between 20-50,000 lives.
In the absence of a strong policy guidance from Moscow, the 201st Division turned into an independent political force. Although the local Russian military in Tajikistan was ordered to stay neutral in the evolving conflict; informally it took side and transferred weapons to the Popular Front. The pro-Communist Popular Front was struggling against the Coalition government formed in May 1992, which included representatives from the Democratic and Muslim Opposition. Without the help of the 201st Division, Emomali Rakhmonov would never have come to power. Russia reinforced the 201st Motorized Rifle Division as fighting in the Tajik conflict worsened and the division became more involved.
Gradually the Russian military presence increased, and the Russian leadership made a series of commitments to defend Tajikistan's borders. In addition to border guards, some 6,000 troops in Russia's 201st Motorized Rifle Division, together with a small number of Uzbek troops, made up the majority of a CIS peacekeeping force in Tajikistan in 1997.
Russia, which already had 25,000 armed troops in Tajikistan, tentatively agreed in April 1999 to the establishment of a military base which would help increase the stability in Tajikistan. The Russian and Tajik defense ministers signed a treaty on 16 April 1999 which granted Russia's military the right to establish a base on Tajik territory and to quarter troops from the 201st Motorized Rifle Division at that base for the next 10 years. The provided for the construction of more permanent headquarters for the 6,000-7,000 troops of the from the 201st Motorized Rifle Division already deployed there. The bulk of Russia's troops in Tajikistan are stationed near Dushanbe, Qurghanteppa (close to the Uzbek border), and Kulob (near the Afghan border). The new base will most likely be built somewhere between these three cities."
According to our man, "there's a lot of people shot running away on the Afghan border." Due to drinking with the Irish, I have a head like a dirty, rotten, cheesy, obscene foot today.