Back in my dim, distant and plooky youth, I started my travail for truth against the ‘sultans of spin’ as a cub reporter at my local newspaper, amid conditions which could be best described as Dickensian.

The building was Georgian, of red sandstone, and the presses were in the basement but not embedded deep enough to prevent the place vibrating on print nights.

My desk, in the space loosely described as a newsroom, was an old kitchen table atop which sat an ancient Olivetti typewriter which took two men to lift and three times that number to clean and maintain.

But it was the kind of place where that happened without demur, and Brylcreemed engineers in immaculate blue overalls would come and do the needful.

On my first summer there, I went on holiday to London and visited Winston Churchill’s cabinet war rooms in Whitehall, where I was staggered to see an identical typewriter to mine in the ops room where D-Day had been executed.

At my first local radio station, we recorded interviews on quarter inch reel-to-reel tape which we then edited with chinagraph pencils and razor blades. It was a whole lot of fun but very laborious.

In truth, I didn’t encounter what was then quaintly described as new technology until I moved to Switzerland to work in World Service radio and I now know the system I used to be nothing grander than a middle of the road word processor.

Then I went to work in television, when the big bang finally happened, and I began to use an advanced system which seamlessly mated words and video and broadcast their hybrid on the air.

But what frustrated me was the frequent wail from the newsdesk, “the metadata won’t support that workflow”. In other words, the IT won’t let us do it. To which I would retort, sotto voce, “well, use different IT then”.

In an age when the briefest online search for a widget results in inundation with adverts exhorting you to buy different sized widgets, different coloured widgets or merely (because let’s face it you can’t have enough widgets) another widget, why didn’t a human being notice that the instant a new IT system was introduced, hundreds of Post Office fraud cases emerged after years of there being a handful?

Organisational psychologists exhort us to work smarter using new technology, which in some fields is of course fantastic. But if you spend more time reading the group WhatsApp chat than working, or concerning yourself with the process rather than the product, then it’s ludicrous.

When the tail wags the dog it’s bad enough. But when the tail provides the bark, and worse, the bite, then Orwell’s dystopian nightmare is truly here.