Brexit to where?
The attempted Brexit is a prime example of the saying ‘A Camel is a Horse designed by a Committee’. We were sold the promise of a graceful and sleek thoroughbred ready to jump out of the starting gate but what we have instead is a broken-down old camel with nowhere to go.
But our Brexit comedy hasn’t been all bad because we have learned a great deal.
Firstly, we have learned that Westminster is too big. Too many MPs with too many opinions and too much pathological self-interest.
Secondly, that ghastly Westminster mélange of lawyers, councillors, teachers, union men, media people, public school retards, political researchers, hedge fund managers, celebs, graduate socialists and professional nationalists is no longer fit for purpose….and forget that ‘Parliament has to reflect Society’ mantra. If that is indeed the case, we have to bear in mind that the average UK citizen is a knuckle-dragging thicko who cannot calculate percentages and struggles to put together a sentence (in English). Just watch any vox pop on the evening news.
Thirdly, we have learned that leadership is not an option. It is a necessity and parliament does not have it (on any side).
Fourthly, it has once again been confirmed that Analyticals rarely make good leaders. Our Prime Minister is a Geography graduate and ex-Bank of England wonk who finds it impossible to create a consensus. Gordon Brown was the last analytical leader and his decision-making and leadership credentials are equally legendary.
Finally, the most overused phrase in politics is ‘We need to……’ as in ‘We need to show some consensus’ or ‘We need to do something about knife crime.’
What the United Kingdom really needs is a new cheerleader, some joined-up management and an urgent cull in and around London’s SW1A postcode.
It was Cameron wot done it!
There is a very important question which no-one is asking: “Why did David Cameron’s government do nothing about Britain’s Exit from the European Union?”
All that Cameron managed to achieve was several months in a very fetching hard hat/high- viz jacket combo, doom-mongering whilst being ably assisted by his sidekick Chancellor Osborne. Gideon’s job was to spout highly coloured statistics and fictitious numbers which were designed to frighten the country’s lame brains (Britthicks). The gruesome twosome were convinced that we would vote to remain within the European Union rather than seek independence and remove ourselves from beneath the velvet jackboot of Brussels bureaucracy.
In fact ‘remainers’ Dave and Gideon adopted exactly the same tactics as those who were promulgating our exit. They too lied and treated us to even more outrageous comedy statistics….but the Brexiteers had xenophobia on their side, coupled to the electorate’s rabid dislike of the Cameron-Osborne double-act.
The referendum result achieved something that many of us could only dream of. It was the sight of Cameron’s rapidly disappearing flabby backside as he headed for the hills because he could not cope with the bitter taste and shame of defeat. His own hubris had shown him the door.
That and the fact that he knew the game was up because he had not even considered that the British public would vote for Brexit.
Consequently he had failed to prepare for the eventuality of us leaving the EU and….. as the very model of a modern fair weather manager….. he had to go.
The Conservative Party then launched into the process of choosing a new leader – an operation that had been manifestly unsuccessful since 1990 when John Major became the compromise leader – and that was only because Hesteltine had too many enemies and had shown the sort of burning ambition that only ‘new money’ is brazen enough to exhibit.
John Major was a bit ‘flattered’ as an election winner and leader, purely because the Islwyn Prattler, Neil Kinnock was the very scary Labour alternative. That situation lasted until 1997 when Tony Blair arrived to create the new ‘socialist’ Camelot.
Subsequent Conservative leadership elections are far too depressing to describe in any detail but here is the list of who they chose: William Hague, Iain Duncan-Smith, Michael Howard….followed by Cameron in 2005. He is noted for not having been able to win an overall Conservative majority until the 2015 General Election. That majority was 12 – and that was with the terminally gauche Ed Miliband as Labour leader!
Once Cameron saw that the British people had voted to exit the EU, we were treated to a hissy fit and his resignation – with the added bonus of Gideon flouncing off in the direction of the Evening Standard. That created another shambolic leadership election with candidates who were all eminently suited to fight a Parish Council election but this was for the leadership of the once-great Conservative Party!
Enter Theresa May and her advisers.
As they watched the Labour Party begin its once-a-generation process of digesting itself from the inside, followed by the election of a truly hopeless leader, Mrs May was advised by her (former) advisers to announce a snap-election in June 2017.
She managed to negatively optimise (lose) Cameron’s majority of 12 and convert it into a hung parliament…..and she was allowed to get away with it because as usual, there was no obvious successor. (There never is.)
Since then, we have been waiting for another General Election but unfortunately before that can happen, the Conservative Party has to launch the next leadership battle.
All the obvious candidates are in the Lords, dead, sectioned or in prison ….so the likelihood is that the next Conservative leader will once again be a Home Counties lame duck with an imminent sell-by date …….and because the vast majority of MPs are terrified by the prospect of an election, the cycle of incompetence and excuses looks set to continue ad infinitum.
That’s a crippling shame because it is today, during probably the most sieismic sideways shift in British History, we need a leader …………….and I don’t mean Boris, Gove or even the power behind the drone – Sarah Vine.
It is an age where Plutocratic Incompetocracy has become the norm and the current abysmal standard of MP suggests that it is here to stay.
Remember Hale and Pace when they were funny? This isn’t about them – but it is about Management, Organisation and Decision Making – with maybe a quick nod to Leadership.
The context? The ramshackle mélange of lawyers, doctors, local government employees, lecturers, teachers, journalists, farmers, political organisers and city types which makes up the UK Parliament.
Some of them even end up running Departments of State with massive resources and budgets which are measured in tens or even hundreds of millions. Many are unsuitable for management and even less suitable for leadership but………. with a system which promotes from within a very limited talent pool, the strangest of people rise to the sort of power which those of us who grew up in a mostly meritocratic and competitive corporate environment can only marvel at.
Four out of our five most recent Chancellors were either Lawyers or History graduates! Our present Prime Minister studied Geography. Our Foreign Secretary is an Oxford Classics graduate (that’s Latin and Greek to you and me) and our Defence Secretary has a degree in Social Sciences!
There are English graduates and Philosophy degrees. There’s a medical doctor and even a media person. There’s a statistical sprinkling of those ubiquitous Politics, Philosophy and Economics graduates but some say that PPE graduates never quite learn enough about any one subject…….ideal MP fodder!!
But you may ask ‘What has a degree got to do with anything?’
On the face of it – nothing at all….but it is Organisation and Management which run departments with Leadership showing the way…..and if there is no leadership and an inability or unwillingness to take decisions, there is a lack of progress with decisions being consigned to investigations, reviews, inquiries and commissions – which in reality are no more than misused government devices which cleverly disguise intransigence and moribund passivity into action.
The only other place I have seen such a disparate band of individuals attempting to act as a team was a motley crew of so-called ‘middle management’ in a very well-known company’s marketing department. There were graduates of every flavour imaginable – but they neither had to lead, manage nor take decisions. The corporate damage that they could inflict was negligible.
The clue as to the unsuitability of many (most) MPs to administer billions of pounds on our behalf is to be found in the type of individual who chose to study a particular subject…..but there’s more…..
So-called ‘Communication Skills’, exemplified by an ability to talk whilst being insulted is certainly not related to any ability to lead or manage and yet, it is the skill which is prized above all others.
Currently, (as always) there is talk of future reform of the House of Lords reform and hopefully that is where any reform will remain….in the future.
Before training its beady eye on the Other Place, the House of Commons would do well to pause and think about its own fitness for purpose.
Q: How many MPs work at the House of Commons?
A: About 10% of them.
Leadership: Charisma or Competence?
In the last few years there has been a growing interest in leadership and leadership theory – in the wake of the appearance of political leaders whose election seems to be something of an anomaly.
For instance, Donald Trump is widely regarded as an incompetent (possibly certifiable) loose cannon and the United Kingdom’s Theresa May as a charmless administrator who has suddenly and by accident, found herself in the top job as British Prime Minister.
What Trump and May do have in common, however, is that they are widely regarded as being a perfect example of the Peter Principle. That is to say, they both appear to have been promoted to way beyond their level of incompetence. Read More
Conservative Party Conference week.
Boris Johnson once again has showed his leadership credentials by being approachable, witty and engaging. He does make the rest of them look a little bit pedestrian. In spite of his shambolic image, you can sense a rod of steel running through both his speech and personality. One to watch for the future. Imagine a TV debate between Boris and Gordon Brown. It will never happen – but what a prospect.
- Boris Johnson and friend
George Osborne’s department lined up like a row of fairground ducks was quite diverting. George Osborne is gradually shaking-off his Tim Nice-but-Dim image.
It’s very brave of David Cameron to allow Ken Clarke a voice – bearing in mind his strong Euro-sceptic stance. The Conservative Euro-sceptics should not attempt to embarrass David Cameron at Conference. They all seem to think that the next election is already won.
Custom dictates that when any Party is in the middle of its Conference, the other Parties keep quiet and do not make any pronouncements. So, Alistair Darling’s crudely populist announcement of cutting the incomes of GPs and other high earners leaves us in no doubt that the Election campaign is now in full swing.
Retirement at 66? Purleeeze George – you can do better than that! Many will still retire at 65 and most of those who have not retired will be out of work – unless there is a local B&Q. The ACTUAL money saved will be negligible and it was hardly worth the leak.
It appears that as far as cutting Public Expenditure, the main Parties are now engaged in what can only be described as a peeing contest.
It was good to see that old duffer Kenneth Brown. So there is life after death!
The Editor of the Sun did not have to buy a single drink in the Conference bar last night. Hardly surprising but the Sun’s move to withdraw support from the Labour Party caused some disappointment among Conservatives. About as much disappointment as finding out that Gary Glitter can’t babysit tonight.
On a completely separate subject, the annual yakfest that is the 11th Pride of Britain Awards took place last night. One is never sure why only some kids with cancer attend the show, why only the kids whose parents managed to inform the media of how their brave 2year-old “dialled 999 whilst motherwas having a seizure in the bath” receive bravery awards and why Gordon Brown has to make a “surprise” appearance. We all like proper heroes but nowadays it seems that we have developed a real “need” to worship – as long as it involves lots of celebrities. If Michael Caine is made to feel any more ” ‘umble” I shall throw up. Having said all that, I’ve never managed to watch the show. This year there is a teacher whose Maths lessons contain RAP (one presumes that the “C” is silent). Then there’s the lady who stood between a small child and a Rottweiler. The best one is an ex-heroin addict with 176 convictions who now helps “young people to change their lives”.. As long as Simon Cowell, Tess Daly and Davina are there plus a room-full of tear-wracked luvvies we can rest assured that all’s well. Now where can I buy a Rottweiler? I’ve just noticed something and it is the final piece of jigsaw in a theory that I have been working on for some time. Here goes. I believe that Christopher Biggins is God. Why? because God is everywhere.
Safety campaigners are saying that if the Conservatives axe speed cameras, the accident-rate will increase. Here’s a compromise – and it will be comparatively cheap to implement. How about a sign that says “SPEED CAMERA IN 50 YARDS” on either side of every single speed camera in the country. Not a good idea, I hear you say. Why not? Oh I see. What you really want is speeding motorists that produce a revenue and not necessarily slow motorists who do not.
Sir James Dyson managed to look like a prat when his autocue failed. A Dyson Vacuous.
Liked the announcement today that the Conservatives will begin a process of ridding us of Government forms and red tape. THAT’S the sort of thing we like to hear.
Conservatism SHOULD be the politics of giving everyone in Britain the ability, opportunity and tools to look after themselves and their families – without the smothering State intervention that is the hallmark of Socialism – even when it is wearing the thin veneer of New Labour. That should ALWAYS be, of course, coupled to the State taking care of its weakest citizens. Call it benevolent Conservatism if you like. Simple. THAT is the message that David Cameron and his rejuvenated Parliamentary Party should be promulgating. Needless posturing and name-calling should have no place in the modern Conservative political toolbox. David Cameron should look straight down a camera lens and explain what modern Conservatism is. Unsurprisingly, there are those who have never heard exactly what modern Conservatism represents because their views and opinions are still being distorted and influenced by New Labour spin.
George Osborne is looking very promising.
So why DOES Jordan look as if she’s wearing a gumshield? Is in “hommage” to her cross-dressing new beau and professional thug Alex (Max – you’re running out of crap copy!) or has she been “done”. I think that we all know the answer to that one.
David Cameron has been photographed with a glass of champagne. Big deal! I shall simply repeat a previous report: The biggest consumption of champagne at Conference time is by Labour. That was told to me by a former Chief Barman at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Hypocrites.
Today, all the Socialist rags are laying-into George Osborne who has introduced a bit of realism into our understanding of the economy. One suspects that once the Conservatives are in power and manage to have a good look at the books, they will see that things are far worse than has so far been admitted by ther present incumbents.
We are still living in cloud-cuckoo land as far as the economy is concerned. The FTSE is UP. House prices are UP, Gold is UP, Tesco shares are UP. In fact – everything is UP. Sounds great doesn’t it? So why aren’t we all feeling more positive. The fact is that the FTSE is up because money is being invested on the Stock Exchange as a result of bank savings rates being so derisory plus, much of the money currently being invested is foreign so it could leave us at any time. The money that is being invested by British banks is not all real money. Some of it is the stuff that has been printed by the Bank of England and handed to the banking system. Mr Quantitative Easing strikes again. Gold has been creeping up for months. It is normally viewed as a “hedge” – somewhere to run when equities and commodities are down in price. That is not the case at present. Something that has gradually been creeping into our collective peripheral vision is the slow-collapse of the dollar. There are strong rumours that very soon, oil will no longer be traded in dollars – there is foreign plotting afoot! Once the dollar really does go into freefall, share and commodity prices will tumble very quickly. The British economy has much to fear because the factors that it has traditionally relied-upon to buttress the economy have all but gone. The City of London USED to be the world’s financial centre. That is no longer the case. WE used to MAKE things and export them. Nowadays, that is down to about 17% of the country’s total economic output. Finally, the British economy and Governmemt are “over-borrowed” with little realistic prospect of repaying much of what was borrowed. If George Osborne had been in possession of ALL the facts, I don’t believe that he would have wished to even beigin his speech yesterday. He did very well and reminded us that we need to take a more collective and inclusive approach to heal the economy.
Yesterday I said that I would probably throw -up if Michael Caine was once-again “umbled” at the Pride of Britiain Awards. Apologies to Michael as it was Joanna Lumley’s turn to be “humbled and overcome”. Please make it stop.
So Boris and Dave are ex-Bullingdon boys and used to piss it up, throw bread rolls about, get toffed-up and pose for silly photos. Go to any Comprehensive School on Prom Night (American import, I’m afraid) and watch scores of youngsters, toffed-up, arriving in ridiculous stretch limos and being encouraged to be extremely silly. So where’s the difference between our Grease wannabees and the Bullingdon Boys. Apparently, it’s only OK to dress like a posh prat and behave outrageously if you’re NOT a posh prat. It seems that those aspirational working classes are being herded by the Labour media back towards a concept which one hoped had been left behind – The Politics of Envy.
There was a great photograph of the Pride of Britain winners outside No 10 Downing Street. Sarah Brown looked very vivacious – so why did Gordon Brown look as if someone had inserted a six-inch ruler between his cheeks? Oh I see. Smile, eh? Wow.
Are we, as a nation, losing our sense of humour? We all remember Boris Johnson insulting Liverpool, Portsmouth and rather bizarrely – Papua New Guinea. He acknowledged all that in the introduction to his speech at Conference this week. Whatever you think of Boris, you have to admit that he carries a very mischievous sense of humour. That reminds me of a pilot who was censured by his bosses for the following Tannoy announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to fly over Liverpool. Would you please ensure that you have placed your hands over your wallets.”
She used to work at Little Ted’s Nursery and is a pervert. Although her husband does have our sympathy, one cannot help but think that at some stage during the marriage, he would have benefited from a visit to Specsavers.
The Conservatives have announced that they will deal with binge-drinking and teenage violence through the medium of taxation. Surprisingly, this is the first Conservative initiative that I disagree with. Remember that some drugs are far more expensive than alcohol, yet, money is still found for them. The alcohol genie is so far out of the bottle that there are no initiatives that will ever change the Brits’ uneasy relationship with alcohol. Social Engineering through taxation does not work. Let’s face it, Brits drink to get drunk – and then they drink some more. A few more pence on booze will make no difference whatsoever. Practical tip: The increased tax will be on cider and strong lager so do what kids do already, buy normal lager and tip cheap vodka into it. Now what?
Could it be true? Avram Grant is returning to Portsmouth as Director of Football? That should cheer the place up. Here is a photo of Avram practicing his Gordon Brown smile.
- Sharon Shoesmith has launched judicial review proceedings against Haringey Council, Ofsted and the Children’s Secretary Ed Balls. She was in charge of Haringey Social Services during the Baby P murder. One of the great British traditions is that if there is a screw-up on your watch then you fall on your sword. Ms SHOESMITH DID HERSELF NO FAVOURS during her few TV appearances when the Baby P affair was at its peak. She seemed aloof, smug, unrepentant and unapologetic. ” I was following orders” is the usual excuse. Hers was “We followed all procedures”. That neither exonerated her, nor did it go down well with the public. Had she cried, begged forgiveness and made some sort of admission, the public would have been a little more sympathetic. As it was, Ed Balls did exactly the right thing in instructing Haringey to sack her without compensation.
Labour bleating noises have been heard again today. General Sir Francis Richard Dannatt, GCB, CBE, MC is our most distinguished soldier and tomorrow (Thursday) he will be officially announced as a Conservative Life Peer who will be advising the Conservatives on defence. General Dannatt was our highest-ranking soldier and Chief of General Staff. He was going to be promoted to Chief of Defence Staff , which means that he would have become head of all of our armed forces – not just the Army. However, Gordon Brown personally blocked the promotion and General Dannatt was instead given the consolation prize of Constable of the Tower of London. Traditionally the Chief of Defence Staff is principal military adviser to the British Government. Gordon Brown was miffed because of General Dannatt’s “repeated calls for better pay and conditions for servicemen”. So General Dannatt’s sins? Speaking his mind, not being a Brown “yes man” and caring about his soldiers’ safety and welfare. Gordon Brown really has no idea whatsoever – probably because he was dealing with a proper leader. It’s patently obvious that Brown does not recognise the species. He should learn that leadership is much more than Benito Mussolini-type posturing with overworked, overtired, adjective-free, moribund speeches.
Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Quite right too. Climate, Democracy, Nuclear Disarmament – in fact, everything that he has touched so far. It looks as if Zimbabwe’s Morgan Chanderai was the runner-up. There is already talk and discussion of whether Barack Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize with only nine months in office. The fact is that the Nobel committee can see that in spite of the fact that Obama’s actual achievements so far are comparatively modest – he is by far the most influential individual on the planet as far as the short and medium term futures of the Earth are concerned. The progress that he has made in the last nine months is nothing short of remarkable.
It appears that today is probably the last posting day for Christmas. If you want to send cards abroad, you’re too late. Christmas parcels should have been posted by March 31st. Why didn’t Crozier stick to football. This is yet another case of a Business Model triumphing over the Customer. Perhaps Royal Mail should be renamed Royal Lemming.
Friday October 2nd 2009
- Ethiopia has suddenly become the focus for all anthropologists. An ancient skeleton was found in 1992 and it has taken 17 years for the research team to rebuild it. Why all the excitement? The skeleton belongs to an in-between species of humanoid about 4.4 million years old. It has been designated Ardipithecus Ramidus. It is not “the missing link” but by extrapolation, it appears that it is probably about 9 million years since the division between apes and humans. So where was John Prescott this week?
- The East of England Minister Barbara Follett is to stand-down from Parliament. She is (was) Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism. Her reasons for leaving? Yes, it’s the old chestnut: “For family reasons – to spend more time with my family”. Heard her name before? She’s the MP who claimed £500 to repair a Chinese rug ( don’t we all?) and she also claimed £25,000 “for security reasons”. She has since repaid all of the money. So how could she afford to sign such a large cheque? Her husband is millionaire pulp fiction writer, Ken Follett. Barbara and Ken epitomise the “champagne socialist” and are chums of Tony and Cherie Blair.
- Jobs for the boys. Former Northern Rock boss, Adam Applegarth is now an advisor to Apollo Management. They are an American Equity firm. Adam is advising them on the purchase of bad loans, including parts of Northern Rock bank, the former Building Society he brought to its knees. Perhaps a touch ironic but perfectly legal. He will earn about 200,000 per year which is a lot more than the thousands of people who lost their jobs at Northern Rock. It’s all very worrying.
- Today, Ireland will vote in favour of the Treaty of Lisbon. It’s their second attempt. The Irish economy is currently in such an appalling state that they appear to have little choice. However, if they do not support the Treaty, then it’s curtains for the Treaty.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that the British economy will grow by 0.9% next year. That’s about four times the current politicians’ prediction. House prices have returned to their pre-crunch 2008 levels, the FTSE 100 index is UP. As one of the few people who predicted nationalisation of the banks, I am still not sure whether to put the Bolly on ice just yet.
- Vanessa George, Colin Blanchard and Angela Allen. They are the three baby-abusing perverts who are spread all over the newspapers today. Angela Allen is the one from Little Ted’s Day Nursery in Plymouth. She photographed herself sexually abusing babies as young as 12 months. Whichever prison they end up in, they are guaranteed some very close attention from other inmates. The burglars, drug dealers, fraudsters etc look almost honourable professionals next to these degenerates. I do hope that the other prisoners are not too gentle with them.
Thursday October 1st 2009
A survey has just been published of the world’s top Broadband Countries – taking into account speed etc. The United Kingdom is languishing in 25th place. The top country? South Korea. Is this another indicator of the rise of the East and the slow eclipse of the West?.
The Daily Mirror has adjusted its reportage of the Tories today – presumably in response to the Sun’s decision to back the Tories. It’s going to be a right mess leading up to the election. The gloves are off
BAE systems is about to be prosecuted for dishing out hundreds of millions in bribes. You may recall that when Tony Blair was in charge , there was a bit of a bribery scandal involving Saudi Arabia, but as they say – all charges were dropped. There is one thing that both our Government and Judicial System would do well to remember and that is that greasing the cogs of commerce through the medium of bribery is normal in many countries – especially hot ones. Many years ago, I sold a yacht for a $1million to an Arab Prince and we shook hands on the deal and arranged to complete the paperwork the following day. That night , my phone rang. It was the Prince’s “Private secretary and advisor”. This is what he said: “Although the Prince is a very rich man, alas he is not a generous man. You will also understand that he always seeks my counsel and almost always heeds my advice. I have yet to advise him as to whether he should complete this purchase – but I am sure that we can come to some sort of arrangement.” I was outraged! I told him that I did not make a practice of dishing out bribes and that I would report our conversation to the Prince. I never saw the Prince again. Some time later I realised that the Prince had probably been sitting next to his Secretary when he had made the call and it was probably his way of getting a few thousand off the price. I also recall another yacht-owning Middle Eastern client. Whenever we presented him with an invoice, I would ask the staff to make sure that it was itemised and added-up wrongly, but in his favour. Usually by either £50 or £100. Before handing over a wad of cash, he would add-up the bill himself, realise that it was incorrect , say ” Yes, that appears to be in order” and pay. He was happy and I was happy but more importantly, honour had been satisfied, he had won a little victory and he always came back to us because he enjoyed our little game. We should NOT always be so po-faced about the way that other nationals do business. It may not be pretty but it works.
Is it really the end of the Labour Party Conference? Thank You, God. Harriett Harman is not too chuffed about the Sun’s decision to support the Tories. She said: “Let’s face it, the nearest their political analysis gets to women’s rights is Page 3’s news in briefs.” It’s only a matter of time before Harriet gets the call from Hugh Hefner.
At the Labour Conference yesterday, the jurassic Tony Woodley, leader of UNITE, was cheered when he tore up a copy of the Sun. One presumes that he had looked at the pictures first. He said: “I suggest the rest of the country should do exactly the same thing”. Labour should persuade more progressives such as Tony Woodley to give voice to their views – that way they’re absolutely GUARANTEED to lose not only the next election but several after that. During Tony Blair’s tenure these Brylcreemed 50s throwbacks used to be kept in a darkened room or padded box until after Conference. A dignified silence without even a platform-mention of the Sun would have been far more powerful.
Financial Analysts seem to be confusing the state of the FTSE 100 with the British Economy. The fact is that many of the billions invested in the Stock Exchange consists of foreign money. That’s where many of the profits are going – abroad. Instead of flying to Monaco to play the tables at the Casino, many foreigner “investors” are winning lots in the Casino that is the London Stock Exchange.
The FTSE 100 has experienced its biggest quarterly rise in 25 years. Once again, this is being hailed as some sort of success. It simply means that lots of bets have been placed. The punters will be taking their profits soon. Then the Government can once again blame the bankers. Let’s hope that they don’t break the bank again.
Politicians are always saying that it is the Pension Funds and Insurance Companies own most of the assets traded on the Stock Exchange. In fact, between them, they only own about 25%
Today the national minimum wage rises by 7p an hour to £5.80 and for 18 to 21-year-olds, the minimum wage increases by 6p to £4.83 per hour. This is also the day when the government legislation on “tips” has changed. From today it illegal for bars, restaurants and hotels to use tips or service charges to make up a minimum salary. That is all very well but in the grand scheme of things, it is a comparatively trivial matter and possibly not a terribly cost-efficient move by the Government. Especially as the Government has already conceded that the changes governing tips will lead to an estimated £60m in extra costs to ensure the legislation is implemented properly. The new code will also lead to higher National Insurance payments. This is an inflationarymove because bars , restaurants etc will simply “up” their prices to maintain their margins. The British Hospitality Association (BHA) estimates the new rules could lead to an additional £130m in costs and up to 5,000 job losses. There are those of course who feel that a tip should be a customer’s expression of appreciation for good service and should not be used by an employer to bring wages up to the minimum. Mind you, both the Federation of Small Businesses and UNITE are both in favour of the changes. The only people who will be really affected are the tippers and the tipees. The customer tippers will experience increased prices and the waiter tippees may suffer up to an estimated 5000 job losses. There is a saying: ” If it ain’t broken – don’t fix it.” Needless to say, one of the few groups who will not be affected is Politicians. You may have heard that when they eat out or stay in hotels – it tends to be on expenses.
Monday September 7th 2009-Friday September 18th 2009
Friday September 18th 2009
- There has been some concern that Romell Broom may have suffered mental anguish when two Ohio State officials failed to find a vein in order to deliver a fatal injection. According to Broom’s lawyer, Broom had suffered both “mental and physical injuries” and apparently became distressed and appeared to cry. Broom was convicted of raping and then killing a 14 year-old girl.
- We’re too fat, we drink too much alcohol, we’re unfit, we ingest female hormones in our meat and weedkillers from our vegetables and we’re too stressed. Paradoxically, our life expectancy is increasing.
Alistair Darling is engaged in a series of meetings in order to decide where spending cuts can be made. If you’re expecting decisions within the next few months – stop being so silly. Although professional pundits do now have the opportunity to make pointless predictions.
Andy Burnham is suggesting yet more NHS changes. The God of Change strikes again! This month’s idea is that we will all be able to choose our GP. I would like one that’s qualified, understands human anatomy and is sober.
Baroness Scotland should know that in a Court of Law, ignorance is no defence. Mind you, the Baroness is the Attorney General. Hopefully, hiring someone called Loloahi Tapui(clue!) with out-of-date papers was just an oversight and as such, does not generate a witch-hunt. Oh yes – there’s an enquiry. There’s always a feckin’ enquiry.
Suddenly, Jordan doesn’t want to talk about “the rape”. It seems that her PR people are running out of interesting stories. The only remaining possbilities are either ” I was abused as a child” or “I was abducted by aliens”.
Bit of a “to-do” about unofficial sperm donors. Apparently, ladies can contact a sperm donor on-line, arrange a meeting and either be handed a container-full of the stuff or on occasion have it delivered direct through the medium of sex. Hence the phrase : “”Bottled or draught?” Sounds like an excellent service as well as an interesting career move, although it could mess-up the old CV, especially if the CV is printed on a sheet of Kleenex. Just realised that if this type of work is a career, the phrase “hand job” begins to make sense.
How would the management at Student Loans UK feel if they were told that because of administrative incompetence, their September salaries will be paid at the end of October. They would probably be quite upset. Next question: How do young kids with the incredible stress associated with leaving home feel-when they’re told by Student Loans UK that their University grants will be paid “about” four weeks late? Why is the beginning of the academic year ALWAYS a surprise? For the record and to help Student Loans UK: The next academic year will be starting in October 2010. Hopefully, that’s enough notice.
Scientists at Newcastle University have produced human sperm in the laboratory. Didn’t know that there was a shortage. Just take a chipping hammer to any Confessional carpet.
Gordon Brown said today “Cooperation between nations at the G20 summit will be crucial to ensure global economic recovery” That is probably the twentieth version of the same sentence . It is a truism and it’s boring. Here’s another sentence which I hope Gordon finds as interesting as his own deep thoughts: ” The sun is in the sky”
Here is a quote from this evening’s No 10 bulletin: “The Prime Minister is launching a brand new podcast series this week talking directly to you about the big issues of the day. The podcasts, which will be available on our iTunes channel andonYouTube, will be recorded at Downing Street or around the world when the Prime Minister is travelling.” Wow! That Gordon Brown is so “street” -using that Interwebthingytoconnectwith the YouTube dudes. Way to go, MC Gordo! Soon, he’ll be buying a pair of those really cool Levi Strauss blue denim casual trousers with the turn-ups, copper rivets and the little red label. Sound! Should go well with the black brogues.
Remember what I told you about the American dollar going into freefall. Soon. Read More
Clever but Dull
” I see no shits”
There have been rumours again that as soon as a General Election is announced (probably May 2010) David Cameron will be challenging Gordon Brown to a Presidential-style live TV debate. That does not seem like a great move. WWF it ain’t but Gordon “the Undertaker” Brown has nothing to lose and “Pretty Boy” Cameron has nothing to prove. The best that the Conservatives can hope for is that New Labour keeps Brown in place as Leader and Prime Minister. The two falls and submission will come naturally – with no choreography.
Gordon Brown has that permanent “my piles are playing me up again” look which, coupled to the Louis Vuittonesque bags under his eyes makes him a Conservative PR man’s wet dream. Read More
There is much talk about Gordon Brown’s failure as a leader – or more accurately, his widely perceived failure.
Let’s look at other leader-failures and see what they had in common.
Napoleon in Russia, Haig and the British General Staff in WW1, Hitler in Stalingrad in WW2, Margaret Thatcher in early 90s. There are many more but this is what they all shared:
- They were unable or unwilling to adapt to new circumstances.
- They stubbornly and inflexibly ignored evidence and advice.
- They confused their own opinion with fact.
That attitude always impairs problem-solving abilities and constrains leaders from seeing and evaluating alternative courses of action. The stress of conflict amplifies the problem.
What they all suffered from is persistence of habit, fixed belief systems , “set-in-concrete” attitudes plus negatively arrogant mental predispositions. All of these affect and hinder effective judgement.
Those traits are a function of character, therefore the character and personality of a leader DO matter. That is further compounded by the fact that personal characteristics change when one is under stress.
Eventually we can all become frozen by the paralysing grip of fear of failure. It is at that point that rational decision-making abilities disappear.
Unfortunately, in spite of all the right noises, Gordon Brown has probably arrived at the final stage – just before the lever is pulled. It seems that Gordon Brown now believes that he is going to fail.
Fear of failure is fuelled by the fear of rejection – in Brown’s case it is rejection by the electorate and by his peers.
Spygun is not a supporter of Brown but cannot help but feel for him as those expense-account** monkeys that call themselves Labour politicians begin to reject him.
Brown has not yet failed and as long as he does not allow himself to be consumed or paralysed by the fear of failure, the storm will pass and he will see the New Labour rainbow again. It used to be so bright.
If he has a dream, it is still within his reach. If he has a REAL desire to succeed, he should not let the fear of failure prevent it. However, if his dream was only the self-serving two dimensional ambition of a cool job title – he should leave now.
Whenever there is uncertainty or change, there is an explosion of political activity and paranoia – that is quite normal. Recently, there has been an extraordinarily swift emergence of politicians jostling for position. They are not worried about “The Party” – their very real fears are for their own futures.
In addition, there have been numerous manifestations of dissent both in the media and on the streets.
Gordon Brown, as Vince Cable observed so eloquently, has been transformed from loooking like a strong leader to being perceived as a dithering figure of fun.
John Major suffered similar problems until he took action and called an election. Our perception of him changed in one day!
Brown has to play the same hand as Major did. The other underlying problem is that under UK rules, we allow for an unelected succession. That has to be stopped.
Blair’s mischievous timing of the handover compounded Brown’s problems. Blair was fully aware of what was heading for the fan when he handed Brown the keys to Number 10. The electorate used to trust Blair but by the time he left office, he knew that his love affair with the electorate was coming to an end because much of the trust had been dissipated.
In a democracy, trust is central to leadership because (unlike in an authoritarian regime), followers are people who choose to follow a leader. They are not forced.
Brown is learning that followers cannot and will not transfer their trust from one leader to another simply because the former leader used to live at the same address.
Leaders build trust by their words and actions. Wrong words and wrong actions will tear trust down. Fast.
The electorate gives its trust to a politician and in doing so, it accepts some risk of loss of control. When trust begins to wane, the electorate begins to take some of the control back – as exemplified by the latest by-election results.
The growth of an electorate’s trust in a leader is achieved by an incremental process – it is not an instant or even fast process. It grows. Successive positive experiences accumulate until the roots of full trust are achieved. Occasionally , those roots are so deep as to be immovable.
For instance, we trust the Royal Family because over the years they have given us so many positive experiences – to such an extent that even the occasional scandal or negative experience has no effect on the overall depth of our trust. We allow them to practice their own special brand of flaccid leadership because we trust them.
Nelson Mandela has given us nothing but positive experiences. We trust and believe him.
Gordon Brown is being advised by media consultants, presentation gurus, young speechwriters etc. Their focus in on him and the way he behaves. “Smile more , Gordon.” ” Look more casual, Gordon.”
Hence the crimped-gob grin and crap linen Man-at-Millets holiday jacket.
What he (and they) should be concentrating on is teaching and coaching Brown to give the electorate some positive experiences and they should be teaching him how to deliver positive words that are believable.
The other skill that a good leader has is the ability to conduct a good, ruthless exit interview. Only Milliband is 100% safe. Why?
As President Johnson once said: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in”.
In a few weeks time Brown will have the opportunity to show us what he’s made of.
(See the post of 12th May)
** I use the phrase “expense account monkeys” advisedly. A few years ago I was told by the head barman at the Grand Hotel in Brighton that more bottles of Champagne are drunk at Labour Party conferences than at all the other conferences put together.
Gordon the Barbarian?
Why is Gordon Brown so unpopular? I am sure that he is a very nice bloke. THAT is where the problem lies. He is what we call (using the Tracom Social Styles model) an Analytical with a slight touch of Amiable. Predominately though, he is an Analytical.
Let me show you the behavioural traits of each type:
Analytical: He is driven by numbers – the accountant, the nerd, the engineer. At University, he will study a subject with lots of facts and figures. Stuff that can be analysed and reanalysed. He is driven by facts and not emotions. The analytical needs proof and the “numbers” have to make sense. The Analytical is not a risk-taker – only if it is a sure-thing. He suffers from what is known as “analysis paralysis” and will not make decisions on 90% of the facts. He needs all the facts. He does not release his stress very often but when he does or when you cross cross him, you are in deep trouble. He will bury you. When he insults you – it will be personal! If you want to be loved by an analytical – give him the facts – the bottom line. Even so, he will say “No” a lot. He will procrastinate and use the fact that he still does not have all the information as an excuse. He is only liked by other analyticals. He prefers a road map to a compass when going from A to B. In spite of that, he may not always get there because the map is not detailed enough.
He will not say : ” I really feel for all of you who are struggling with their mortgage and household bills. I will do everything to ease your pain.” (Clinton, Blair) . (Clinton would probably add: “Your pain is my pain”.)
The analytical will say: ” I will do my utmost to ensure that the economy comes back on track as soon as possible.”
The Analytical can be considerate and is self-controlled but very moralistic – with an over-developed sense of right and wrong. He is a prude who always comes across as a bit stiff and starchy. He prefers the missionary position and a cup of tea. His dress sense is very “straight” and conservative. No Levis.
Amiable: Very much related to the Analytical. This is the submissive church-going type who is kind in his personal life. He makes a good Staff Officer but needs a Driver-type to show him the way and to make the decisions. He is an idealist who wants a better world. He cannot lead.
Politics is all about “perception” not fact. Once a politician is perceived as a certain type, it will stick. There is no going back.
As a “herd” we want and need to be led – preferably from the fiscal swamplands into the sunshine of the Plains of Plenty. When Gordon Brown first took over from Tony Blair we wanted him to be strong and statesman-like. Remember how he came across during his early skirmishes with the farm and flooding crises? He looked good but only because we were willing and wanting him to be good.
Then we had all that nonsense with the snap Election which didn’t happen. That was ( in Vince Cable’s words) his first Mr Bean moment. The beginning of the end.
The ugly spectre of self-interest is asserting itself in Westminster. MPs are slowly realising that in 2010 many will lose their seats. Those with small parliamentary majorities may have to get a proper job!
They need a scapegoat. Their evil thoughts, like fledgling vultures are already clattering against the Westminster windows . Soon they will take to the skies. There will be blood.
Gordon was nearly the man who never was. In reality, he is the man who never should have been.