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Stupidity is no defence and being tongue-tied

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It turns out there is an unpleasant twist to my regular warnings about phishing - giving your account details to your bank over the internet - the bank, that is, which turns out not to be your bank or anyone else's. The real banks are, apparently, starting to look at each individual case of fraud and may not pay out to the stupider scam-ees.

Trouble is that bright, creative and intelligent people can also be stupid so don't imagine yourselves immune from reneging money men. Banks, that is.

It always pays to look around a bit before putting the boot in - something I signally failed to do on the topic of Scottish e-planning. I have since discovered that we have something similar already in force in England and Wales. Look it up at www.

planningportal. gov. uk. The Planning Portal, it is called. You won't be surprised to learn that it takes simply ages to open - though you don't get an automatic refusal if it looks like taking more than three minutes. Here online you can carry out everything to do with planning though probably not arrange exotic holidays and lap dancing. The other proviso is that by no means every local authority has signed up. Not many of the London boroughs seems to be online although Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith are. So if you live in our part of London you can use the facility to type out your planning application and then print it out. And post it to the local planners as before. The consolation is that at a click of a button you can view the site in Welsh. Actually you can't. All it does is change the text in some of the side boxes. You have to wait until you move on to another page to get the full Monty. Why Islingtonians or Camdenians or even Londoners in the western boroughs might need the assistance of this native but foreign tongue beats me. It beat the site too because it gave up after only a few translations.sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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