A Senior Moment with John Docker: Annoying habits in a hi-tech age

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I am confused about many things these days. And no amount of explanation makes me any the wiser. Take digital technology – and I do wish you would. We have passed the last of the dreaded digi changeover dates (I hope), so where is this exciting new television we were promised?

Hands up those whose picture still breaks up into a shower of pixels, freezes in the middle of a sentence and cracks and crackles at you 19 to the dozen. A veritable forest of fists out there, I’ll be bound.

It’s bad enough our new bedroom TV set flashes at us in the middle of the night but now it has come up with a new and extremely annoying little habit – switching itself on at six o’clock in the morning! At full blast. Fair knocks my bed socks off.

Does anyone else out there suffer similar shortcomings or have I been singled out for special treatment? I doubt it and remain convinced it is all a big con, prematurely launched on an unsuspecting public at our expense. The only consolation is that we no longer have to pay for our TV licence. There are some advantages to old age – but not many!

I am equally confused when see Rutland County Council’s development control and licensing committee have approved a new housing block at HMP Stocken – with associated works and the extension of existing prison car park by 25 spaces.

This is in addition to two new cell blocks recently built to accommodate 214 more prisoners. Is this really a cheaper/better option than rebuilding the damaged parts of Ashwell, which had a new £6m “state of the art” wing in 2008, increasing capacity by 619 inmates?

And my confusion turns to concern when I read the reason for building the new block has been censored online by the Ministry of Justice (Mercury, October 21). Is this a case of national security, bureaucratic bamboozling or simple algebra - MOD + MOJ = MAD?

But I can equate with King’s Cliffe residents and their continuing fight against the decision to dump nuclear waste on their doorstep.

It does seem an extraordinary situation when toxic waste is being transported more than 90 miles from its source for disposal in spite of rejection by Northamptonshire County Council, a 3,000 signature petition and a 98 per cent ‘no’ vote referendum result in 13 surrounding villages.

King’s Cliffe residents are to be congratulated on raising funds to enable them to take the matter into the High Court but should they have to? One really has to wonder if anyone in Whitehall ever listens to public opinion. Or is it simply that our Secretary of State of the Department for Communities and Local Government has got himself into a bit of a pickle on the whole subject? Like a number of other posturing politicians I can think of!