I finally got tethering working on between my netbook and mobile phone. Tethering is the process where you use your 3G mobile phone as a "modem" for you laptop to surf on the move. It's also something the mobile phone providers hate as they would like to sell you a special dongle and charge you for bits from your laptop rather than bits from your phone. Doubtless to say this piece of artificial marketing annoys the hell out of me, if they are really worried they should just lower the already low caps on the phone based data packages. Of course then people surfing on their phones would notice. I'm not against charging for bandwidth per se, however I draw the line at the telecoms company caring where the packets are from (or what they carry).
There was some black voodoo magic involved which may have involved disabling SELinux and browsing the phone SD card to establish a connection that "pand" so failed to establish on it's own. Also it would probably help if I didn't test this stuff while zooming at 100mph on a train from Cambridge to London. Still get it working once and everything else is just scripting :-)