ARE YOU unable to get broadband access at home because of your postcode? Well, it turns out that you are in good company.<br /><br />Not even BT chairman Sir Michael Rake is able to access broadband in the usual way from his Hambledon Valley home, and is instead forced to be a guinea pig for the firm’s “experimental technology”. <br /><br />Despite being “the cradle of cricket” and the “rebirth place of English commercial wine production”, the Hampshire idyll is situated too far from a telephone exchange for many of its inhabitants to access fixed-line broadband.<br /><br />But don’t worry. This particular company chairman is so hands on that he is personally test-driving a “broadband enabling technology” that could offer the solution to the residents of Hambledon and other “not-spot” areas.<br /><br />BT said that initial trials have been promising but that a roll-out of the technology would be commercially hard to justify (i.e mere mortals are not likely to get access unless subsidies proposed in Lord Carter’s recent Digital Britain report materialise).<br /><br />So it appears that there are two paths open to those of you who are desperate to get broadband: get on to your local MP or just pop round to Sir Michael’s house and ask to use his.<br /><br /><strong>REWARDS FOR FAILURE</strong><br />There were some pretty predicable “winners” in this year’s ShareCrazy Awards for Lack of Excellence – as voted for by around 1,000 users of the financial web-site – with Sir Fred Goodwin hailed as the worst chief executive of the year and Lloyds TSB/HBOS as the worst merger or acquisition.<br /><br />But one stood out as a real sign of the times. In a very City-focused line-up of individuals, all distinguished for their alleged crimes against capitalism, Prime Minister Gordon Brown beat both Bernie Madoff and Sir Fred Goodwin to the award for Lifetime Achievement for Value Destruction.<br /><br />Brown wasn’t able to pop down to the Master Gunner pub to collect his award but, having beaten a man condemned to die in prison and a social pariah to the title, he probably wasn’t much in the mood for a free pint.<br /><br />Now that he is receiving lifetime achievement awards, perhaps Brown should take a leaf out of Sir Fred’s book and start putting provisions in place for a comfortable retirement?<br /><br /><strong>UNSUNG HEROES</strong><br />Next time you are working late and order a Domino’s pizza, spare a thought for the perils faced by your delivery driver, as highlighted by the firm’s chief executive Chris Moore as he announced its first half results yesterday.<br /><br />“In particular, I would like to thank all our delivery drivers who, during the first six months of 2009, have survived snow, storms and, for two particular drivers in Northern Ireland, terrorist gunfire,” he said. Hats off indeed.<br /><br /><strong>INDIRECT SPEECH</strong><br />Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, a man who has often been criticised for his lack of communication with the City, appears to have even messed up his communications with his communications agency/ies.<br /><br />The latest update on the spat between Ashley and JJB Sports chairman Sir David Jones came out on Sunday, distributed by public relations agency Powerscourt on behalf of Sports Direct. <br /><br />This was unusual, as Sports Direct’s usual agency is Financial Dynamics.<br /><br />Powerscourt informed The Capitalist that it is just looking after this bit of business for Ashley as the two key account handlers at FD are on holiday. <br /><br />It’s surprising, given the impressive size of FD’s resources, that the holiday plans of two individuals should so affect its ability to service its client. Stranger still when the key account handler at FD, Jonathan Brill, was present and correct at his desk yesterday afternoon. <br /><br />As far as Brill is concerned, Powerscourt are working on the spat for Michael Ashley the individual, not Sports Direct the company. Which brings us back to Sunday’s press release from Powerscourt on behalf of... Sports Direct the company.<br /><br />Confused? It would appear that you are not the only one. Perhaps Ashley can take a leaf out of climate change secretary Ed Miliband’s book, who believes in making things crystal clear. Miliband was spotted wandering around the Latitude Festival this weekend sporting a big sticker saying “ED”. It had been intended as name badge for a “meet and greet” side event, but it seems he got rather attached to it. <br /><br />Don’t worry, we could never forget your name, Ned.