I see Mr. Cameron has told us we have some "heavy lifting" to do to tackle the dreadful deficit.
This reminds me of the old joke about the Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian side-kick, Tonto.
They were surrounded by what the military now call in their dire jargon “hostiles”.
“Sioux ahead of us,” yelped the Lone Ranger. “Apache to the left. Comanche to the right. Seminole at the back of us. What shall we do?”
“What’s all this ‘we’ shit, white man?” came the reply.
The “we” that politicians deploy with such fine abandon means of course us – not them. We will be doing all the lifting, and it will be that much heavier because he has done far, far too little tackling.
After all the huffing and puffing, the deficit is actually scheduled to grow by, I believe, £650 billion in the next four years.
I did say repeatedly last year that Cameron could well be in the Bliar’s league when it comes to tap-dancing round the truth.
That's a pretty good start.
Could even the Flatulent Toad Brown have come up with something which so totally ignores the simple facts - which are that he hasn't started the job. If you're going to sweep away all the people sucking at the public tit, get a big brush and sweep mightily. Don't just push little piles of parasites from one spot to another.
Anyhow, if he fails to screw things up, don’t worry. The Unions are busy planning to make everyone’s life a misery in the spring, just to coincide with the royal wedding.
They are complaining about the cuts. The ones that haven't happened. And they want us to keep coughing up. From what? From an even bigger deficit.
Our world is divided into two types of people. Those who make the money. And those who piss it away. The politicians and the union leaders have one thing in common. They are pissers, not earners.
Happy New Year.
WELCOME TO THE DRAYTON BIRD BLOG - Commonsense about marketing, business and life
If you like, I'll e-mail you each new dollop of drivel when I publish it. Just
Friday, 31 December 2010
I see Mr. Cameron has told us we have some "heavy lifting" to do to tackle the dreadful deficit.
Friday, 24 December 2010
You really have to wonder how some people survive.
I just read the landing page (wrong layout, no human being) of the utterly useless website of an agency run by someone I know who, amazingly, managed to do very well for quite a while.
That, however, was in corporate noddy-land where you can get away with all kinds of silliness.
In the real world his copy is the highroad to failure.
Yet what is sad is he probably laboured over it - or even sadder, paid someone else as clueless as he is.
But never for a second did he ask himself,"Should this be about me - or about what's in it for my clients?"
It has 231 words, 14 of which are “we”, “us” or “our” with exactly one “you” - but of course the obligatory “innovative business solutions”.
What a pool of puke.
People who run this kind of stuff should be required to go and stand in the middle of Trafalgar Square and read it out loud through a loudhailer, because they won’t have much else to do in a hazardous 2011.
I shall be doing my best to steer people away from folly in the months ahead.
Merry Christmas and don’t do you dare do that kind of shit in the New Year.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Jean Cocteau said something very apposite about this around 75 years ago.
He was talking about writing, but I believe it applies to all kinds of art: "You do not write with ideas. You write with words."
It is not enough to have a "concept" - which is just jargon for idea, used to impress the gullible. You must have the craft to make it work.
Take objets trouves.
Finding something in the street or on the beach and then displaying it is not art. It is good (or bad) taste and a piece of luck. Tracey Emin's dirty knickers are not art. They are the detritus of an imaginative slut.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 10:41
Christmas is a good time to think about what we believe in.
It's about 700 years since our lot went charging over to save Jerusalem from the Muslims, but the basic concept hasn't changed much - just the cast of characters.
A crew of loonies of Bangladeshi origin has been arrested for planning to slaughter a lot of people in the name of Allah.
And the lovely Afshan Azad who played Padma Patil (a Hindu-sounding name if ever there was one) in Harry Potter was beaten, called a slag and prostitute and threatened with death by her loving family after she met a young man who was not a Muslim.
She was too frightened to come to Manchester Crown Court for the trial of her father and brother who pretty much got away with it as a result.
People who feel that strongly about the joys of paradise should be sent to their spiritual homes, in this case I guess Bangladesh and Pakistan. Sudan sounds like fun, though - they have a permanent policy of slaughtering Christians, flogging women who wear trousers and so on.
Or maybe we could have a reciprocal arrangement whereby those who believe can experience the joys of Sharia - perhaps with Saudi Arabia, which is where most of the money to finance terror comes from.
Instead of being bound over the keep the peace in the silly old English way they could experience the bliss of something appropriately medieval that respects their beliefs.
Stoning to death? Public beheading? A hand or two amputated? A few hundred lashes in front of Manchester Town Hall? No doubt some of the preachers living here who egg these people on know the appropriate treatment.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 02:49
Saturday, 18 December 2010
I wouldn't say I hate Christmas, but I do hate the way it has turned into a giant retail romp.
Talking of which, my beloved, who (unlike me) loves buying presents, found a lovely winter coat for her sister at the Banana Republic and paid extra for it to be delivered quickly to our office by DHL before she whizzes off to Puglia.
Being alarmingly well-organised (excellent worrier) she monitored the progress of the coat, which in the event did not arrive. A phone call to DHL resulted in a 23 minute wait and a lot of lies. The coat had gone back to Banana Republic because it was "undeliverable".
This was bollocks. We have deliveries from DHL almost every day. We have even become quite matey with the guy who brings them.
So she rang Banana Republic in the U.S.
What a contrast! The girl at the other end thought up a solution: express delivery to Bari in Puglia. No charge. An extra 15% discount for the inconvenience (the coat was discounted already).
Superb. Only slightly marred by a question at the end: "Is Italy in Europe?"
The girl deserves a raise in salary plus free geography lessons.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 11:00
Monday, 13 December 2010
Here's a message I got from a reader, Victor Lamont, two days ago. At the end I will comment.
"Dear Mr Bird, I have just returned from Cancun. It is the second climate conference I have attended. I went (contributing to my expenses) – I did have a contribution from my congregation here in Chiangmai. I did not stay in a Hotel – like very many participants I was housed in a Mexican family who offered their kindness and hospitality.
I never got drunk and throughout the event I never saw anybody drunk. All told I learnt a great deal from fellow participants and I hope contributed some useful ideas. This really is the main role of such a conference. I work on the border of Burma and Thailand. I work with the United Nations Drug Abatement programme. We have been able to dramatically reduce the production of opium.
I realise this is a small project and you would have something sarcastic to write about it. But, the project has contributed to less high grade heroin arriving in the UK. None of my colleagues are lazy, wasteful or attend pointless jamborees. I work with many who have rejected high salaries to try and make a small contribution to our world. Before coming to Thailand I worked in Africa for 15 years – I was responsible for job creation.
I also attended a number of World Trade Jamborees – there are now very few tariffs on the products coming out of East/Central Africa – when I first arrived the WTC there where very many. Almost anything is now allowed into the EU – the major issue is between developing countries who stifle each other’s merchandise. Africa, South America are amongst the worst countries in this respect.
But enough from me, I am about to go to our project HQ it takes me five hours by bus. We don’t have expensive transport. Mr Bird your message has disappointed me. Having read you for some years I would have expected better. Now I fear you imagine most of your material and stories. Our world is so broken, it really is not intelligent to add to it without very positive alternatives."
What do I have to say in response to that?
I think there are many, many people like Victor trying hard to do good. There are also a great many people who are not in the least like Victor - and there are goodness knows how many reports about them - who live pretty high on the hog working for NGOs.
And having been more than once to Chiang Mai and further up to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle where many of the drugs originate, besides spending a lot of time on the streets of over 60 of the world's great cities, I have formed other strong beliefs.
No matter what Victor or others like him do, as long as people in rich countries want to do drugs, they will be available. Stopping them will about as easy as ending drinking alcohol or prostitution. And since we are talking g about Cancun I see the number of murders attributed to the drugs trade in Mexico alone has just topped 30,000.
Having lived with a former drug addict I tend to agree with what she told me in 1964: that criminalising them (which took place in the U.K. shortly after that) brings in criminals, as was the case with Prohibition in the U.S. The only results I recall from that little experiment were to further strengthen the Mafia and make Joseph Kennedy enough money to buy a few critical votes in Chicago for his son.
As far as I am aware Cancun event was about combatting climate change. I never believed that Al Gore whizzing around on a private jet did much to help. I wonder whether thousands of people - well-intentioned or otherwise - flying to exchange ideas in the Blackpool of Mexico will help much. Besides being a colossal waste of precious energy is it really the best way to get things done? Now that the internet is with us wouldn't doing it all online be cheaper and more sensible? You can exchange ideas quite easily that way; I do it all the time with thousands of people I have never met
In short, I tend to agree with the observations today in The Guardian - to say the least of it hardly a right-wing rag - headed, "The arrogance of Cancun".
These read in part "The high level talks at Cancun were our last chance (to protect the planet) and they failed" and pointed out that these get-togethers have been going on at colossal expense for 18 years.
So far they have achieved little more than pious statements by politicians looking for photo-ops - and they are an insult to you and your kind, Victor.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 13:23
Sunday, 12 December 2010
The Tate Modern is decades behind the times, dithering weakly as they skirt the shores of true modernity. It is time they dived in.
My dismay is provoked by learning that the top prize - The Turner - at the Tate's latest annual exercise in the ludicrous is some sounds played in an empty room by Susan Philipsz. (Lurv the "z", Sue. So creative.)
Sure enough an idiot critic called Tomkins said "It does not take much stretching of the imagination to see in the upside-down urinal's gently flowing curves the veiled head of a classic Renaissance Madonna or a seated Buddha".
The original urinal has been lost - what a tragedy - but a number of replicas have been "created." A couple of years back two Chinese artists entered into the spirit of the concept by trying to piss all over one of them on the entirely reasonable grounds that it constituted "an invitation."
I'm sorry, but the room with sounds bespeaks a lamentable lack of imagination. Last week, 40 musicians with fuck all to do went to a London studio and did not play their instruments in a performance of John Cage’s famous silent composition, "4’33’’" - which he came up with in 1952. (How sad that "troubled" - i.e. witless - Babyshambles "star" Pete Doherty didn't turn up.)
It is high time The Tate Modern got minimal, emptied their galley and had a show of nothing. You can be sure some pretentious twat would acclaim it as a great exhibition. I would be happy to be paid a few grand to "curate" it. My brilliant new career beckons.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 14:33
Saturday, 11 December 2010
What they say versus what happens:
Posted by Drayton Bird at 13:40
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Could the people at Talk-Talk, BT, Sky, Ofcom and so on find their own arseholes without a flashlight? Or what happens if you're not Lord Sugar
If you go here you can see how hard it is to get the Telewankers to act even if you're famous. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-23904769-the-day-lord-sugar-wanted-to-say-youre-fired-to-bt-call-centre-staff.do.
The mighty Sugar got things fixed in a day - but he only had to deal with one set of buffoons. Carol who works with me has been fucked around by a whole flotilla of them - so far, with more to come. Here's her story.
"I contacted TalkTalk on Tuesday 23rd November to report my phone out of order. I told them I could not receive incoming calls but could still make calls. My landline was not showing my correct phone number.
Later that day I received a text from TT to say that “initial testing has been inconclusive. We are now carrying out further testing. We will keep you informed.”
And a further text, “Our initial investigation discovered a fault on your line and we will confirm this status within 1 hour.” And another text, “Following further investigation on your fault. Please reply FIXED or NOT FIXED, to which my reply was ‘not fixed’.
The next day I called the technical support team again and I was told that it appeared there was an ‘unsolicited cease order’ on my line as someone at my address had requested to be moved to another provider.
I replied that I had made no such request. I asked if it was possible that the first floor flat, who have the same address, had, as new tenants had recently moved in, and I was told it was unlikely as they would have a different line.
I called again on Thursday 25th November and was told the problem was a crossed line which could take up to 5 days to resolve and if I had not heard anything by Monday 29th, I should call again.
Then I received a further text saying a problem could not be found etc. I called yet again on the Monday. They were still investigating the problem - and again on Tuesday 30th I was told by a second line technical support person that my line had been disconnected as someone at my address had requested to move to another provider.
I contacted BT who told me it would probably be TT or Sky who had done this.
As I was, or had been, with TT, Sky appeared to be the culprits, so I contacted Sky who confirmed that this 0203 number was theirs.
I spent most of Tuesday phoning TT customer services and sales department without being able to speak to anyone in authority (ALL of their managers were in a meeting) trying to explain that Sky had taken over my line without my consent (I had been "slammed") only to be told more than once that I am a NEW CUSTOMER and would have to pay a reconnection charge of £79.99.
I contacted Sky again who confirmed that they had wrongly transferred my line but they could not connect me back up and TT were the only ones who could. These calls went on and I could get nowhere apart from Sky saying if I invoice them for the costs involved in getting a line back they would look at it.
On Friday 3rd December I spoke to Ofcom who advised me to log complaints against both TT and Sky and get connected with another provider.
I rang BT and told them the situation. They first said they would place the order for a line connection but when they ran a check on my property they told me that the line at this address was owned by Sky and they could do nothing for me.
I contacted TT again who told me I had been slammed and agreed to waive the reconnection charge but it would be 6 – 10 days for the line to be connected.
Later that day I received a text from TT saying “we are working hard to get you set up”. At 6.30pm a further text was sent announcing that “an engineer needs to visit your home to activate your TalkTalk phone and broadband service on 29.12.2010 between 08.00 – 13.00.<
I complained to TalkTalk yet again about the length of time involved in getting my line back and that they were treating me like a new customer only to be told that there was nothing they could do to bring the date forward.
They did agree to pay £20 for an O2 dongle (but I had to pay a further £15 for the credit which they didn’t mention).
This was a complete non starter. O2 were contacted about the lack of a connection and advised me that this was due to adverse weather conditions and engineers were working on the problem.
I have now bought a dongle from TMobile for £40 (all in) and this is providing an excellent connection – funny that because the weather is pretty much the same.
By the time I get connected again, I will have been without a line for almost 6 weeks and when I do get connected it will be with a completely different phone number as Sky threw mine away when they stole the line - deliberately or otherwise."
Posted by Drayton Bird at 15:57
Sunday, 5 December 2010
The carpets in our flat which were there when we arrived are beginning to look as tired as I feel after a night on the booze, so the great search has begun.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."
All the half-wits who write corporate tripe should be dragged out of bed at 3 a. m. every morning and have that boomed out to them over powerful megaphones.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 11:06
Friday, 3 December 2010
Do you, like me, prefer it to what I saw in the Saatchi Gallery last year - a pile of old clothes masquerading as art?
WHERE: The West Eleven Gallery in Notting Hill - 5 Blenheim Crescent London W11 2EE
WHEN: from 7th to 11th December.
Private View: 5 - 9PM Tuesday 7 December
Further viewing at 10am to 6pm, 7 - 11 December with a late night opening on Thursday 9 December till 9pm
And just in case any nasty suspicions crept into your mind, no, I have no interest in this, financial or otherwise. I just like his work. And somehow countryside scenes are so right at this time of the year.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 15:16
Thursday, 2 December 2010
I don't know if familiarity breeds contempt, but when it comes to writing I find it breeds inertia. It's that same old, same old feeling.
Posted by Drayton Bird at 07:43