Author Topic: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.  (Read 24677 times)

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Offline Chris Watts

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http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9232098.Businessman_talks_about_the_doomed_wi_fi_project_and_bankruptcy/

He paused before adding: “They had their stick in the hole and they wiggled it..."


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Offline Mellon

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 11:20:40 AM »
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9232098.Businessman_talks_about_the_doomed_wi_fi_project_and_bankruptcy/

He paused before adding: “They had their stick in the hole and they wiggled it..."


Deathspank found this to be totally unhero like........"poor me....poor me......scuse gov got a quid i can borrow" Deathspank is normally the hero of the downtrodden and dispenser of justice.....however, sometimes there are just some people that shouldnt be saved.......in a financial manner.

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 11:40:08 AM »
Thanks Chris for starting a new subject off but all I can say is blast and B****r it, flipping technology I cut my post from another thread  to paste it here and it had vanished.  :-\

I can see that the chap has had a hard life growing up and I do have sympathy for the circumstances his family find themselves in at the moment. Reading about his early life  did bring a lump to my throat. The rest of the article to be frank is nothing more than a fig leaf drawn over the wifiasco to hide the blushes of top politicians and associated individuals. 

Quote
His public profile has lately been overshadowed by the spectres of his bankruptcy and his former leadership of Digital City, the wi-fi company in which Swindon Council is a major stakeholder, and which has been mired in political controversy throughout most of its existence.
 
The firm was set up to provide coverage for Swindon and Highworth.

Three years on, only Highworth is covered, debate rages over the council?s £400,000 investment and council leader Rod Bluh says a mystery investor has come forward to get the stalled project moving again.
 
Rikki, who handed over his Digital City stake to the council earlier this year, has long been in the firing line over the wi-fi project, but insists: ?Digital City was a fabulous opportunity.?
 
Pointing out that it was backed not just by him but also by Coun Bluh, the council?s executives and technical partners aQovia, he added: ?You cannot take risk out of life or business. You?re trying to minimise risk.
 
?What people do not appreciate is that I was talking for a long time about the concept, and the executive of the council approached me.
 
?We all looked at the risks and rewards and decided it was worth doing. It was a good idea and it still is.?
 
So what went wrong?

?It went wrong almost from day one. That was because some people didn?t agree with the internal process within the council to making this decision.
 
?Quite frankly the Labour Party decided to capitalise on some of the questioning that was going on around the policies. The rest is history.
 
?I don?t support any political party. I think some things Labour do are fabulous and some things the Conservatives do are fabulous, but once Labour politicised it...?
 
He paused before adding: ?They had their stick in the hole and they wiggled it. Any problem they could find, they exploited it.
 
?Once I was being done to death by politicians, nobody would touch me. People were walking away.?
 
The bankruptcy, he is quick to point out, was nothing to do with Digital City, but stems from an investment he made in 2005.

No one has ever claimed that his personal bankruptcy  was anything to do with the wifi project and it has not been part of the debacle of where is the £400,000 and where has it been spent. I believe this whole article is to put political blame on Labour to save the blushes of the two Tory MPs and the political reputations of the passive Tory councillors that actively watched as  the money vanished.


Offline James

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 01:13:15 PM »
Sticks were stuck in the hole.
That is the nature of holes.

People wiggled the sticks.
That is the nature of people.

The key bit is that there was a hole in the first place...

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Oh Dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh deary me,  and lawks....

Quote from: John Richard 'Rikki' Hunt
“What people do not appreciate is that I was talking for a long time about the concept, and the executive of the council approached me.

Didn't Councillor Roderick Bluh insist that the Wifi 'deal' did not need to go through the usual procurement and tendering processes because he, (Bluh), claimed that Rikki Hunt had approached the Council, and therefore the council was not procuring a service.

If, as Rikki appears to be claiming, the 'executive of the council' approached him, (and not the other way round as claimed by Cllr Bluh), then I suggest procurement procedures may have been deliberately circumvented by 'the executive'* of the council.

In short, if Mr Hunt is telling the truth, it appears that Cllrs Bluh & Edwards decided that they wanted a wifi system for Swindon, and it was they who decided that Mr Hunt would deliver it for them, and they who finessed their way around the 'rules' to enable them to provision a £450,000 loan to a company of which Mr Hunt was CEO.....all without going through the correct procurement processes. 



* I understand the 'executive of the council' to be the Council Leader and his cabinet - or in this case, (as we know Cllr Bluh has already admitted that only he and Cllr Edwards knew about this 'deal'), just two cabinet members, Cllr Rod Bluh and Cllr Mark Edwards. 


It will interesting to see whether Mr Hunt will be asked to retract or modify that statement, or will stick to his guns because he's telling the truth...

...and if he's telling the truth he will make a liar of Roderick Bluh et al.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 02:45:19 PM »
I believe this whole article is to put political blame on Labour to save the blushes of the two Tory MPs and the political reputations of the passive Tory councillors that actively watched as  the money vanished.

I've said repeatedly that Cllrs Bluh & Co have been seeking to shunt the blame for their failures onto other people.  It is in their very nature to claim credit for things they haven't done, and shunt blame for their failures onto other people.  It's par for the course.

If the Bluhligans had chosen to heed warning from day 1, had they chosen to behave with decency and honour, had chosen to tell the truth instead of lie, had they chosen to be transparent instead of obfuscate, they would never have become the subject of national ridicule.

The public record is clear and no amount of weaseling by Bluh & Co will change the facts.  Perhaps it's time we presented a chronological essay on the WiFi'asco ? 

My conscience is clear :)

Offline Guessingstick

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 02:46:41 PM »
Am I missing something or were the means test rules on free school meals different in Liverpool to where I grew up.

“When I was at junior school I used to get free meals. The system of the day was that it was two shillings and sixpence for dinner money.
“On dinner money day the teacher would call you out and you would have to pay your dinner money. I used to hate that day because every week I had to say, ‘free meals, miss’ in front of everybody.
“I only did that for six or seven weeks and then I’d say ‘Going home miss’, and sit outside at lunchtime and not have anything. It was better than baring your soul.”

Originally from Kirkby in Liverpool, he was the fourth of eight children. His father worked for car parts firm AC Delco, and his mother was a factory worker at Kraft.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 02:53:24 PM »
I get your point, perhap's it was being the 4 th of 8 that made the difference.

The growing up story doesn't move me much, loads more kids were in that position then than are today.  Many of them did well despite it.  He tell his how in his younger years he took risks - some stupid ones - he could have killed himself, giving his parents that much worry is nothing to brag about. 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 03:18:08 PM »
From the Adver article about Rikki:

Quote
“Digital City”…… “which has been mired in political controversy throughout most of its existence.”

The Wi-Fi project has not been “mired in political controversy”. Originally questions were asked, by a broad cross section of people, about the unusual circumstances surrounding the setting up of this company.

Later, the apparent fact that not one penny of the 2nd payment of £250,000 appears to have gone towards anything to do with Wi-Fi is what baffles most people. There is nothing political about that and Cllr Perkins only needs to get a bank statement from Digital City’s bankers and show it to us so we can see where the money went.

It would only take Gary an hour of his time to get the statement, scan it and put it on this web-site. I’m sure that once we were all enlightened, things would quieten down. Gary? Over to you!
What's it all about?

Offline Mart

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 03:30:10 PM »
I had free lunches for a while, blue tokens we had. Didn't eat them obviously, exchanged them for lunch. On that basis can I have £450k please to invest in, um, erm, revolutionary paving for the town centre. Reversible slabs, turn them over when they get grubby. Only it's a sure fire money spinner so keep it under your hat.

Labour?

I have alluded a couple of times to my disappointment in Labour's failure to shoot this feckin great fish in this teeny weeny barrel, have I misremembered, is history being re-written before me very eyes? If Labour stuck the boot in they did it very discretely.

I thought it was more about the idea being a sack of poo, yet said sack of poo being sufficiently burnished to attract the magpie acquisitiveness of a select few from Cabinet, very feckin few in fact. Therewas a brief burst of directorial hokey cokey where the poor silly sod couldn't work out whether or not his left leg was in or out, then we had a director who, he claims, did the sweet sum of sweet feck all and continues to do so. It's a toss up whether he does less than he claims to know. Then we had multiple hissy fits and rule bending which allowed yet more cash to be heaved at the sack of poo.

Yeah, I can see how it was only politics what done it in, no offense, but presently Labour only wish they could be that effective.

You could sell tickets to wiggle that stick in that hole I reckon.
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 04:01:08 PM »
Quote
It will interesting to see whether Mr Hunt will be asked to retract or modify that statement, or will stick to his guns because he's telling the truth...

Ah Geoff - great minds think alike - herewith copy of an email sent to the CE of SBC this morning

Quote
Dear Gavin

I am even more confused that ever with regard to the truth behind the origins of the Wi-Fi saga.

In today’s Swindon Advertiser, Mr Rikki Hunt is quoted as saying with regard to the initial approach to set up a Wi-Fi system 

“What people do not appreciate is that I was talking for a long time about the concept, and the executive of the council approached me

This appears to be in direct conflict with a statement made by the Leader of The Council on Swindon 105.5 Radio made on the 28 April 2011 and at other times, in which he states that Mr Hunt approached SBC with a proposal rather than Mr Hunts’ claim that the SBC executive approached him.

I believe in the interests of open and transparent government the Council should make a statement either acknowledging that Coun Bluh’s recollection is wrong or to repudiate the statement from Mr Hunt.

The public of Swindon will not accept that both positions can be right no matter how great legal minds might like to suggest the phrases used by both men could ‘open to interpretation.

I look forward to a response at your earliest

 


Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 04:01:57 PM »
[pedant mode]

Erm....call me pedantic, but:

Mr Hunt was born in 1953. Presumably he was in the education system by 1958/59 and, by his own admission, was expelled from school when he was 15 years old in 1968?  I mention this because, in Barrie Hudsons article Mr Hunt said:

Quote from: Rikki Hunt
“When I was at junior school I used to get free meals. The system of the day was that it was two shillings and sixpence for dinner money"

It's only a minor point, but in 1968 the price of a school meal was One Shilling and six pence.

In 1969 the price was increased to One shilling and 9 pence, but by this time Mr Hunt was no longer in the education system.

In 1971 decimalisation happened and I remember the price of my school meals was 12 pence, (although I purchased 10 Number 6 and a box of blue cross safety matches with my 12p).

I'm not sure where Mr Hunt 'remembers' school meals costing 2 Shillings and Six pence - I don't think they ever did.

[/pedant mode]

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 04:04:37 PM »
Quote
It will interesting to see whether Mr Hunt will be asked to retract or modify that statement, or will stick to his guns because he's telling the truth...

Ah Geoff - great minds think alike - herewith copy of an email sent to the CE of SBC this morning

Quote
Dear Gavin

I am even more confused that ever with regard to the truth behind the origins of the Wi-Fi saga.

In today’s Swindon Advertiser, Mr Rikki Hunt is quoted as saying with regard to the initial approach to set up a Wi-Fi system 

“What people do not appreciate is that I was talking for a long time about the concept, and the executive of the council approached me

This appears to be in direct conflict with a statement made by the Leader of The Council on Swindon 105.5 Radio made on the 28 April 2011 and at other times, in which he states that Mr Hunt approached SBC with a proposal rather than Mr Hunts’ claim that the SBC executive approached him.

I believe in the interests of open and transparent government the Council should make a statement either acknowledging that Coun Bluh’s recollection is wrong or to repudiate the statement from Mr Hunt.

The public of Swindon will not accept that both positions can be right no matter how great legal minds might like to suggest the phrases used by both men could ‘open to interpretation.

I look forward to a response at your earliest

Spot on Des :)

I expect Euclid Street's greatest legal mind, (or the best of what's left), is busily re-interpreting those mutually contradictory statements as we speak.

 

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 04:11:18 PM »
Quite depressing an article really as it has shown that Rikki has been using weasel words for a very long time.  Maybe that partially explains why he has managed to land himself in the situation he is now.

Also I'm surprised he got free meals with both parents working, was this normal?  Or is it just more weaseling?

Offline Weebleman

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2011, 04:14:06 PM »

Snip

You could sell tickets to wiggle that stick in that hole I reckon.

Sell them at a tenner each Mart and you might get the missing £400k back by Friday  :clap:

I'm sorry, but the reasons for Rikki prattling on about a poor childhood is totally lost on me, it proves nothing and it explains even less!
I doubt that many people had a more impoverished upbringing than I went through in the 50's/early 60s. In our small village school the question of free school lunches was managed very simply, everyone paid by handing over an envelope when the register was called on a Monday. The fact that probably 85% of the envelopes were empty was not a problem.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2011, 04:22:53 PM »
"I'm not sure where Mr Hunt 'remembers' school meals costing 2 Shillings and Six pence - I don't think they ever did"


Maybe they didn't, but maybe that's what he was charging his mum for them.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2011, 04:33:17 PM »
Muggins shows once again how shrewd she is!!!

Quote
"I'm not sure where Mr Hunt 'remembers' school meals costing 2 Shillings and Six pence - I don't think they ever did"


Maybe they didn't, but maybe that's what he was charging his mum for them.

Another cup of tea over the keyboard!!!
What's it all about?

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2011, 04:41:46 PM »
Quote
It went wrong - almost from day one. That was because some people didn't agree with the internal process within the Council to making this decision

This complete and utter 'tosh' is repeated like a mantra by Rikki Hunt and Coun Perkins in the vain hope that if they repeat 'the lie' frequently enough it will become the truth.

The Wi-Fi project was signed off on 20 October 2009 and a press statement was released on 17 November 2009, Highworth was launched to great fanfare on 16 December 2009.

My first correspondence wth Coun Bluh on the matter was 20 November 2009 and it first came to a Council committee on the 14 December 2009 by which time Highworth was only 48 hours away from being launched as 90% complete.

Just how does this equate with the claim "it went wrong almost from day one" other than Mr Hunt fails to mention his own well documented explanations for why things went wrong. Mr Hunt said the roll out in Highworth was delayed for two main reasons. The first "We wanted to ensure as complete coverage as possible but found black spots where the signal was not consistent enough and we did not have the right street furniture to mount aerials" his second reason was "Delays have occurred  as a result of having to obtain planning consent to install two repeaters"

The 'street furniture' referred to translates into lamp posts - but I asked Mr Hunt if he was confident about fixing repeaters to lamp posts, bearing in mind the Norwich experience, he dismissed my concerns.

As for the second reason for a delay - that is an outright and shameful untruth. There was no planning consent applied for, which meant there was no delay due to DC awaiting planning consent.

The real reason 'it went wrong' can be found in the lack of action undertaken by Mr Hunt.  His failure to engage a sales force, a marketing manager, a brand manager or even to develop a marketing campaign (and we are not talking about pushing a few leaflets through a few doors in Highworth)

In truth Digital City's demise is proof that in the end hype never beats substance, as for Mr Hunt - he said on 22 April 2010 "I've been in business too long to ruin my credibility with something like this" - the something being a failed Wi-Fi project.

I think we can leave it to others to judge just how much damage has been done to his erstwhile commercial reputation.

Offline boothill

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2011, 05:20:22 PM »
"I'm not sure where Mr Hunt 'remembers' school meals costing 2 Shillings and Six pence - I don't think they ever did"


Maybe they didn't, but maybe that's what he was charging his mum for them.

My school dinners cost my parents 5/= a week and that was still the amount charged when I left school in 1966, so God only knows where RHUNT gets his 2/6 from !!
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Offline Mart

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Re: Labour accused of putting a stick in Rikki's WiFi hole and wiggling it.
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2011, 06:52:12 PM »
Maybe they didn't, but maybe that's what he was charging his mum for them.

Class.

In 1971 decimalisation happened and I remember the price of my school meals was 12 pence, (although I purchased 10 Number 6 and a box of blue cross safety matches with my 12p).

Ah, we used to relocate lemonade bottles from the cricket club to the village shop for the deposit. Then whip next door to the newsagents. You could get 10 Number 10, or Sovereign, I remember Sovereign at 37p for 20. Like smoking a chemical spill. No6 was for posh folk (bloody champagne socialists) and we remember with some awe the day No6 Kingsize arrived in the village.

Anyway, it's clear there's some significant misremembering going on, this is going to end the same way it started, hope it goes 'proper' national, be lovely to see some of the key players getting a proper stick wiggling. Speaking of which, found the tool for the job.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.