Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday quote: Pablo Picasso

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."

Friday, 12 September 2014

Friday quote: Albert Einstein

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Nationwide's curious security arrangements

As previously mentioned, you would expect the Nationwide Building Society to take security seriously.

Having pointed this out to them the response was a thorough examination of what they do. The reply was clear: we did nothing wrong. Our processes were followed. We cannot uphold your complaint.

The thing is, it wasn't a complaint. Well there was a complaint about something else and actually I was mistaken.

The point about the security is that there process is wrong and I was giving them a bit of advice. Sending a customer a web link to an amateur looking page is not a good process. I certainly will never log onto it in case fraudsters mimic it. I am sure many other customers feel the same way.

Sadly, it may be time to look for another financial provider.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Scottish independence: key questions

  • If Labour become the biggest party after the next election backed by a lot of Scottish MPs will it be seen as a lame duck administration from day one?
  • What will parliamentary candidates say to voters in Scotland when they know they will be out of a job within their term?
  • Will Scotland become a 'night watchmen' state when UK public sector jobs move to England?
  • Will the SNP survive if it achieves its aims?
  • If Cameron is forced to resign and a new leader is elected will this increase or decrease the Tories chance do winning the election?
  • How will the result impact on Labour?
  • Will Scotland continue its social democratic tradition or return to its earlier free market entrepreneurial spirit? 

Monday, 8 September 2014

American politics: The West Wing vs Veep

Sky Atlantic is currently airing the third season of 'Veep'. If you haven't seen it, the show is the US equivalent of 'The Thick of It'. The brilliantly funny Julia Louis-Dreyfuss plays Selena Meyer, the Veep who aspires to greater things.

Her team are ineffectual and self-obsessed. 

What a contrast with the Frank Capra version of American politics that is portrayed in 'The West Wing'.  President Bartlett has a team focused on developing politics that makes a different: they work hard and their professionalism is unquestionable.

Vice-President Meyer has one priority: her own ambition. 

Both shows are well acted and written. You decide which is more accurate. 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Friday quote: Mark Twain

"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Nationwide's odd security criteria

Overall, the Nationwide's customer service is excellent. Some of the staff have gone out of their way to be helpful but there has been one area where they have fallen down.

Nationwide have vigorous security aimed at protecting customer accounts. There are various steps to log into your account online and when you call.

Surely an organisation that takes security so seriously would never call you and ask for your security information? That would be wrong. And surely, they would never send you a text to ask you to log in to a website that looks like a Nationwide site but isn't the usual site. That would go against everything else they do. After all, if you call and forgot your password they give you two chances and then end the call without any hint at what the password might be.