It's a Government IT scheme. Of course it will work.

I do think it is somewhat important that kids get internet access at home, so I'm all supportive of the government plan to give computers to children. But as a self confessed computer nerd, I have to express concern at the validity of the scheme.

Firstly, the quality of the computers is certainly going to be a paramount issue. The government has £300m in the scheme, and is going to be put towards 150,000 kids, so at a broad estimate that's £4000 per household (if you assume that there are 2 children per household). Let's subtract the cost of a year's free internet access - about £200 at a minimum. Tech support will be no more, so that's £400 at least. So where the devil is the other £3600 going? Is it into the computer? Don't be daft. We're not looking to give each child an individually made gaming machine (The computer or laptop you're reading this on will probably cost £1000 at the most, and that's for a brand new top of the range one!) or laptop. So is it going on the software? Unlikely. The truth is that most of that £300m will be frittered away on forms, council meetings (those biscuits are very expensive) consultations, use of terrorist legislation to spy on your bins to make sure you're not tax dodging. That sort of thing. So it's quite likely that your household won't get £4000 - it'll be about £1000 at most. IT is not an exactly glowing part of this government.

Secondly, the scale. 75,000 is quite a few computers! (If a laptop is 3CM high, and we piled them all up, we'd be being forced to fly planes around the resultant 2.2km high tower.) And we're letting the bloated, inefficient local governments - with the afformentioned expensive biscuit tastes - sort all this out. Considering that even when this government outsources its IT schemes to Libertaria failure ensures (I still haven't got my EMA. I'm having to eat my own socks to survive.) I have little confidence in the local authorities.

Thirdly, something personal. On the Isle of Man - that's not that far away - they've made a completely free operating system (Called Ubuntu) which comes packaged with lots of free software (Like OpenOffice, which is like Microsoft Office except not £79.99). But the government will no doubt spend £150 per computer fitting them out with plenty of software that is entirely unneccesary.

In summation, this scheme is going to fail. And it is going to fail badly.

Next week, I discuss why I'm always right about these things, including the banking crisis (which is code for me saying "Alright, I was wrong. The markets haven't collapsed."). :-)

- Huw