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Finally got to talk to Chris at which point FTP problems more or less instantly resolved. More or less.

C: I just need to Proxy into your machine.
Jeremy reads out her asset number, Chris tries to find her machine, fails.
J: I get the impression my machine lives in a strange place. It normally needs a couple of tries before people find it.
C: Yeah, it does.
Chris finds Jeremy's machine. Little burble sound.
J: Oh, oh my mouse is set to right click.
C: Right.
C: Where's your start button?
J: Bottom left. Is my screen bigger than yours?
C: Looks like it.
Chris checks out problem on Jeremy's machine. Puts Jeremy briefly on hold while he has a stern word with the server. Fixes problem. Comes back. Does something.
J: Oh, that looks healthier.
C: It does. Just check it on your program?
J: You need to click on reconnect.
C: This one?
J: Next one along.
All is fixed! Joy fills the world. Now I can update my news pages. I thank Chris and put down the phone. Little burble. Bye Chris!

Life is so much easier when I can talk to the people who can fix things.