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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Which of these out-of-touch liars and incompetents would you prefer to rip you off? Plus a Eureka moment: would this interest you?

My writing was greatly influenced by 17th and 18th century writers. I don't think English has ever been better written.

In a column I wrote for Marketing in December 1997 I quoted Dryden, "When I survey life, 'tis all a cheat; yet fooled by hope, we favour the deceit".

He was writing in the time of Charles II, when things were much worse than now unless you were running things. But Britain is still run by "them" and they still are a bunch of rogues who live in a different world.

This was hilariously illustrated in Richard Littlejohn's column the other day. If you don't like Littlejohn because you don't like the Daily Mail's politics, you are missing a very funny writer.

In this column he imagined leaders of all parties being quizzed by Jeremy Paxman. None have ever had proper jobs; they all - no matter that the party - went to the same universities, almost all took the same degrees and they are all on the fiddle. O.K., this is not Italy or Nigeria, but they are a depressing crew, liars every one. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/columnist-322/Richard-Littlejohn.html

A clever touch in the column was the sly suggestion that Paxman, like most big media figures, is pretty detached, too.

The other day his column was headed "HOW MUCH to watch Eric Pickles eat his weight in sausages?" with a picture of Porky Pickles' face. This led into: "If I was bunging the Conservatives a quarter of a million quid, I'd expect a great deal more than an intimate bowl of pasta with Sam and Dave".

That's a pretty good way of saying what we all know. These buggers are up for sale - or would be if you could trust them to keep their word.

Now we have the fiasco of the idiot minister Francis Maude who suggests it would be a good idea to have a jerry can of petrol in the garage, creating an entirely predictable panic and a not entirely unpredictable tragic accident.

Your starter for 10: guess who his daddy might have been. Well done! He was a Tory cabinet minister. Now guess who Francis worked for when he worked - if you can call it that. You got it: investment banks.

If you want to know what kind of fiddles he got up to, look him up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Maude. Note the creepy reason why he does no voluntary work: he thinks his political contribution is enough (More than enough for him, it seems: Kindly note his ingenious housing arrangements).

Now ask yourself how good he is at any kind of work. An entire country in panic. A mother seriously injured. Yet he hasn't even been fired when he should probably be prosecuted.

Winston Churchill said democracy was the worst possible form of government except for all the others. One sometimes wonders, one really does.

New e-books being gestated

I don't know about you but my life is bedevilled by so much to do and so little time - plus the fact that I fear my colleagues sometimes suspect - not unreasonably - that I am a bit crazy.

Carol, who works with me, has been looking for a couple of very long memos I knew I had tucked away somewhere, as I want to turn them into e-books.

One is How to be a creative director.

The other is How to do a winning presentation.

The creative director one has yet to be found, but Carol found the presentation one on Friday.

If any of you find either subject interesting, let me know. I think I am quite qualified.

I'm not sure "gestated" is the right word. Resuscitated?

For those of you who were interested, I shall be running seminars at the end of May in Bristol again.

One on Integrated Marketing, and one on Copy, as these were what got most votes when I asked a while ago.

As usual I shall send out a torrent of short videos to give you an idea of the content of each in advance.

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