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28 February 2016

Ukip's Only MP Insults British Engineers, Gets Owned on Twitter over Computing

What is it with Ukip and Technology?

We know we joke sometimes about the Party being stuck in the past - but such a lack of knowledge and appreciation of the European and specifically British contribution to Computing is unacceptable.

We've had an amusing few days with Ukip MEP David Coburn wanting to leave the EU because he is unable to operate a modern toaster.

So now we now have Ukip MP (the only one) Douglas Carswell on Twitter, simultaneously;
It began when Carswell posted this:

We're not entirely sure why listing some successful American companies is at all a comment on the EU.

More pertinently, by omission, he denigrates and insults the companies and engineers he has chosen to overlook, British and European based.

You know, those people who, er, invented the entire infrastructure that the companies he mentions actually profits from, the infrastructure without which we'd never have heard of Google Facebook, et al.

  • The Telephone - 1876, invented USA but by a Scottish immigrant, Alexander Graham Bell, with most critical early work done in Scotland.
  • The Computer - 1822, The Difference Engine' theorised by Charles Babbage but never actually built until 2002. British.Or .. 1943, Colossus, created by Tommy Flowers. British.
    Or .. 1943, Bombe, created by Alan Turing. British.
  • The Mobile Phone - 1973, invented by Motorola US but popularised in 1981 by the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden by Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson.
  • The Smart Phone - 1996/2000 - Created in USA by Palm, Inc, based on and inspired by the 1980's British Psion devices.
  • Li-On Batteries - 1979, developed at Oxford University by a German scientist with his Japanese colleague.
  • Linux (Android) : 1991 - The Operating System that runs Banks, Secure Transactions, Nuclear Power Stations, Airlines, Air Traffic Control, the Pentagon, entire Governments, 93% of the Internet and yes, probably your TV, Microwave and Car. Oh, and as Android, it's the biggest OS in the world. Oh, and Apple is based on it. Created by Linus Torvald of Finland.
  • The Actual Entire WWW - 1989 - Invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee as a 'hyper' document format for sharing research information at Cern, Conseil EuropĂ©en pour la Recherche NuclĂ©aire - the world-famous Scientific Project created and co-funded by 21 nations, mainly European, and part-funded by the EU.
Secondly, perhaps just as pertinently, Carswell revels in the success of some of the worlds (certainly the UK's) biggest Tax Dodgers; Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, Oh, and Twitter. Every company he mentioned, actually.

Thirdly, he omits to mention the contribution that Immigration played in the creation of those companies :
  • Google - Co-founded by Sergey Brin, a Russian born immigrant.
  • Apple - Co-founded by Steve Jobs, son of a Syrian immigrant. 
  • Facebook - Co-founded by Eduardo Saverin, a Brazilian immigrant.
  • Amazon - Founded by Jeff Bezos, son of Mexican immigrants, brought up by his Cuban step-father.
Ok. Carswell is specifically talking about a narrow sector, here. He could, of course, talk about the European success stories in Engineering, Commerce, Culture, or any other sector. But he won't. On the other hand, we will.

Where is America's Porsche, Ferarri, Lamborghini, Ducati ?

Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Savile Row ?

Saint Emilion, Krug, Courvoisier, Glenfiddich ?

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