[LINK] U.K. e-politician's maiden speech
Thu, 18 Jan 2001 18:48:43 +1100
On Thu, 18 Jan 2001, stephen loosley wrote:
> Hi there,
> The good lord makes some interesting observations .
Was the E-Lord from the Silly Party? There's a more persuasive analysis of
challenges and outcomes in the final report of the US Web-Based Education
Commission - http://www.ed.gov/offices/AC/WBEC/FinalReport
Paul Strassmann's latest book on how IT's used by GE and its peers -
http://www.strassmann.com/iep/info-productivity.html - might also encourage
caution before His Lordship lets fly with the e-mantra
And here, courtesy of my dog, is an excerpt from T-Lord Roy Thomson's
maiden speech to the House of Lords. Same mantra, different brand of
LONDON, December 1963 - - My Lords: I am a Television Entrepreneur. It is
a license to print money. In my career I have started three businesses and
have built up each one to become a market leader both at home and overseas.
I am lucky to have worked in the Television industry almost since its
commercial inception. Today it is the largest industry in the world, and
it is still growing at a double-digit rate.
As a measure of the scope of the Television's influence I would like to say
a little about how it has changed two types of organizations at opposite
ends of the spectrum - - big business and small school.
In the United States, A&PT, the largest supermarket company in the world,
is budgeting that in 1964 it will increase its sales by 15% through the
Television. In their case, that will mean a profit somewhere in the
region of £1 million. They will do this by the hard-nosed use of
Television - - the process of using the Television to improve sales by
persuading housewives to buy goods and services. Another company,
PigglyWiggly, last year increased its profits by $30 using the same
Yet another American company, Montgomery Ward, has steadily increased
sales through the sheer efficiency of Television. It advertises its
shops across the country and has reached the ultimate efficiency where
people buy what they see on the little box. Amazing.
Business to consumer Television technology has made this all possible.
This, my Lords, is true productivity.
In absolute contrast, and to me the most exciting of all, are the
developments that are taking place in education.
My Lords, I declare an interest in that I have recently been made a trustee
of an organization called The eTelevision Foundation. Its task is to
promote the usage of Television in schools. Our objective is that there
should be one Television for every classroom in every school. And we are
delighted that the Chancellor recently announced a £5 million grant to aid
A couple of months ago I visited the Bowbridge Junior School in Newark in
Nottinghamshire and what I saw made me tingle with excitement. Yes, I
tingled! This school is in a socially deprived area, but is fortunate to
have a charismatic headmaster Mr. David Nixon. He is totally convinced
that Television in the classroom is a vital tool to help his children
Here I saw a school where Televisions are part of the teaching process. I
saw enthusiastic teachers and keen children. I sat next to a lively
9-year-old who was totally at home with her Television . Mr. Nixon told
me that despite the fact that these children use the Televisions every
night not one has been lost or stolen. The most thrilling aspect of all,
is that the parents, who have seen their own children using these machines
at home, are now attending evening classes at the school, so that they too
can become part of the Television Revolution.
If this can be done at one junior school in one part of England, it can
surely be replicated throughout the country. If we can succeed in ensuring
that all of our children complete their education being totally at home
with this essential technology. Then imagine what would result.
Young people totally equipped with the skills to make their immediate
contribution to the knowledge based twenty-first century. That, my Lords,
is a prize worth fighting for.
Finally, my Lords, I pose a question. What is it that links the biggest
grocery company in the world and a small junior school in Newark? I will
It's vision and leadership. The vision to see how the Television and
Information Technology can help do the job better. And the leadership to
make it happen - - when all around are full of doubt.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Lord Thomson is an old friend of the Conservative Party,
owner of The Times, some North Sea oil and an ITV franchise. His expertise
and vision in the field is quickly gaining him the reputation as "The
T-Lord" and "an animated cash register"