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Monday, 1 February 2010

Who is this buffoon?

Here’s a bit of fun for you. A couple of years ago a large financial organisation which shall be nameless asked me to go and do a talk, which I agreed to do for a modest sum.

Then they said they had a theme for their event: Harry Potter. A good idea because they were holding it in a fairly eerie castle. Would I dress up?

Any chance to make a fool of myself is more than welcome, so I agreed, which is why you see Dumbledore Bird here. Here's the speech I delivered in a doomy voice from a balcony to the assembled throng.

I must warn you that tomorrow, the Ministry of Magic will be visiting Hogwarts to seek out signs of evil.

Evil is a pronounced, tangible thing any wizard or witch can choose to embrace.

Certain words and pictures are endowed with magical qualities and power – for good or evil.

It is up to a wizard or witch’s free will to discern how to use this power.

That is why, in a few minutes, I shall personally be conducting a special class on defence against the black arts

You will be subjected to tests and experiments. Some will be painful and embarrassing. Others will make you question what you have been doing.

They will enable you to learn how best to fight the many enemies we all confront.

How to avoid wandering into The Mists of Obscurity. Getting lost in The Desert of Vagueness. Sinking in The Swamp of Waffle.

Remember, even the most potent wizarding evil is not as strong as the power of knowledge.

Those who lack it struggle helplessly … falling far too often into the deathly clutches of Voldemort.

Everything I shall tell you is grounded in truth, not fancy.

Watch and listen carefully. See how to choose between right and wrong. Mark what I say.

And take notes! Failure leads to marketing death.

All good stuff, and quite a few people wrote to say they enjoyed it - though whether it made any differrence, I have no idea. The thing is, these talks are no good unless people do something as a result.

That is a very interesting subject I shall return to - with some advice from one of the best people I know on this subject.

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