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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

When Gods walked the earth

Apparently we British owe £230 billion to credit card companies and banks for loans other than mortgages. Greed on the part of the lenders and the stupidity of punters have created this mess, with the average debt being £5000 per adult.

Now the Government plans to prevent credit card companies from issuing cheques as incentives to open an account and increasing credit limits that have not been asked for.

A rare act of intelligence, which prompted my friend Daz Valladares the media buying magician to send this story by Rudyard Kipling.

In the days when Gods walked the earth, Lord Shiva was strolling along accompanied by his wife Parvati. She spotted a naked beggar, a long time devotee of Lord Shiva.

She was moved by his plight and asked her husband to do something about it. They were near the temple of Ganesh, the elephant headed son of Shiva. He was asked to help the beggar and promised that in three days this poor man would be given 100,000 rupees.

The conversation was overheard by a greedy moneylender who went to the beggar and offered him five rupees for all he could collect in the next three days. The beggar who was lucky to get rice and vegetables to eat thought the offer was excessive. His wife was shrewd and knowing the moneylender would never make a deal that lost him money advised the beggar to reject the offer.

The moneylender, increasingly desperate, upped the offer to 50,000 rupees, which the beggar and his wife accepted.

On the third day, this greedy man went to the temple to spy on the conversations of the Gods. He was intrigued by the nature of the gift to come. Suddenly a crack appeared in the temple floor, trapping the moneylender by the heel.

Lord Shiva asked his son about the proposed gift. Ganesh answered his father:

“Father, one-half of the money has been paid and the debtor for the other half I hold fast by the heel. Surely he whom the Gods hold by the heel must pay to the uttermost.”.

The money was paid at evening, all silver, in great carts and thus Ganesh did his work.

The moral: Never seek to cheat and if an offer seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

Nearly twenty years ago another good Indian friend, Sridhar, gave me a beautiful statue of Ganesh, which I fear may have been lost in the wreckage of my last marriage. Ah well.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Bizarre economic paradoxes

I read in the Saturday New York Times that human beings - to the astonishment of the geniuses in charge - are behaving the way you would expect them to.

They are saving money.

The authorities want them to spend on lots of things they don't need.

But what would you do if you thought you might lose your job next month?

Of course, when you save your money, if you stick it in the banks who fucked us all in the first place you will get fucked again.

Do you fancy being rogered by Piggy Hester and his friends?

Thought not.

Talking about being rogered, I also see the masterly economic skills of the Utterly Useless Lying Toad of Kirkcaldy have managed to deliver the worst set of economic results since 1958.

He has now changed his mind about the pointless identity cards plan (£1 billion pissed away) though some of his sub-twats say they would be useful "for youngsters wanting to buy alcohol". Idiots.

£36 million was spent on "a consultation exercise" into this dead duck. How the hell do you manage that? Consultation into what? Right from the start most people loathed this inane scheme. Ten minutes in any pub would have done the job. Which moron signed the cheques? Who's looking after our money here?

A Conservative shit called Grayling who should be indicted for fraud for fiddling his expenses but is Shadow Home Secretary said this decision is "symbolic of a Government in chaos". God, what a dire display of political cliche.

Lloyds Bank, in trouble because it was pushed by the the Magic Toad into taking over HBOS, is firing either 2100 or 3500 people - figures vary because they can't count.

The mastermind of this strategic coup is the Toad's friend "Sir" Victor Blank - Old Slime Pants. His pension is safe. On June 8th he said the takeover is 'beginning to show results'.

You can say that again, Vicky.

In fact why not say it to each person whose life you've screwed up? Face to face.

Meanwhile the fraudsters are still intent on pushing us further into the European quagmire.

Lest we forget: which is the strongest economy in Europe?

Norway. The only nation not part of the great fuck up.

A good epigraph for Michael J

I see that, just as I feared, mass hysteria rules over Michael Jackson.

The politicians, as usual, sought publicity. Jesse Jackson* whizzed off to get his picture taken, hotly followed by Al Sharpton*, who makes him look the epitome of honesty and moderation. Oily Cameron and Useless Brown sought to exploit it. Idiots compared him with Mozart.

All this excess, to me, diminishes and trivialises his death.

My friend Mike Anderson sent me this, by a poet I had never heard of - Constance Urdang - which I thought put him more in context:

He thought it was Eden - but it was the world.
And so, until it was too late, ignored the lucid glass that sealed the windows hard.
Even forgot to pronounce the "word".

But at the end, when the sky hurled boomerangs at him
And the thunder roared at him with one terrible and final chord -
He knew at last that he had not been spared.
Ran screaming from the mirror - and was mad.

* If you're ever at a loss as to how to make a living, get into the Reverend business - another good example is Ian Paisley, who has a bogus degree from a phoney U.S. University.

My favourite Donald Trump joke

I only know two Donald Trump jokes.

One is a book he "wrote" called The Art of the Deal, which was dreadful. The joke was on me because I have a horrible feeling I bought it.

The other is about his approach to deals.

A girl sees him in an elevator. She is thrilled to bits.

"Aren't you Donald Trump?"


"You're my hero. Can I give you a blow-job?"

What's in it for me?"

Like Sugar, Trump is no business genius. From 1992 to 2007 (when it finally emerged from bankruptcy) Trump Entertainment lost $430 million.

He is, however, very smart. Many of the property ventures with his name on them have just that - his name, and no actual participation.

As one financial commentator pointed out:

The Trump name does not come with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee; in other words, a high-profile brand name will in no way trump poor execution in development and non-delivery on contract agreements.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

What the BBC does for us all

Did you see how little the top people get paid at the BBC? They should all go on strike until they get as much money as Piggy Hester.

Only £800,000 a year for running the thing? What a scandal! Piggy is on £1.2 million basic.

Would he have the talent to bring on an inspired cultural landmark like The Apprentice?

In case you have been fortunate enough never to watch it, this programme is a copy of the American original, which features an almost laughably obnoxious man with a ludicrous hairdo called Donald Trump.

Here it features someone almost as unpleasant, but much funnier: Sir Alan Sugar, and a collection of people who want to win a job in Sugar's business "empire ". Their main quality seems to be overweening self-belief based on a startling absence of business knowledge.

Sugar, an ex-market trader who cannot speak decent English, got into selling cheap computers at the right time and was once richer than Bill Gates.

Not being nearly as smart as Bill Gates he did little with his opportunity and is now in property. That, I suspect, is why the show's contestants stay in an ugly building which someone has been trying to flog - unsuccessfully, despite lowering the price by a million or two - for quite a while now.

Tax payers have to pay licence fees to watch this bilge. According to the corporate drivel on their website, the BBC is supposed to:

■Sustain citizenship and civil society
■Promote education and learning
■Stimulate creativity and cultural excellence
■Represent the UK, its nations, regions and communities
■Bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK
■Deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services

The Apprentice does none of these things. I do not think we should be paying for it. If I want to watch tripe, there is plenty elsewhere. It takes no talent to import bad ideas. The people who run the BBC should go and work for Piggy as cashiers.

BBC is not the only public service we are afflicted by. There is also Channel 4. They run Big Brother, which makes The Apprentice look like the work of Euripides.

Both these organisations spend fortunes on the one thing you hope to escape when you switch over from "commercial" TV - commercials. Only they don't call them commercials. They call some "Station Idents". These are to tell morons which channel they're watching. The others are commercials - to entice people to watch programmes that are coming up.

Some are as bad as The Apprentice. None are as bad as Big Brother.

Incidentally, Sugar is "Enterprise Czar" (what that means nobody knows) to the great Blathering Toad of Whitehall, who cannot tell the difference between TV ratings and the real world or between real enterprise and being in the right place at the right time.

He himself has certainly been in the wrong place for all of us for the last 12 years. In advanced countries only the Japanese Stock Market has done worse than ours since he started spunking away our savings.

Friday, 26 June 2009

A Serbian Joke

One of my favourite clients is a Serb, but I have never been there.

However, my host this week in Romania and Bulgaria has, and told me something that appealed to me.

It seems the Serbs are a highly carnivorous race, even by Balkan standards. One Serb is alleged to have said, "Until I taste lion, I shall remain convinced that the king of the animals is the pig."

Talking of pigs, Churchill, who was fond of them, said, "Dogs look up to you; cats look down on you; but pigs look at you face to face, as an equal."

Strange use of language

In 1968 my partner's girlfriend brought me back a present from the US.

It was the very first Jackson 5 album - and of course the extraordinary thing about it was little Michael.

A sad, sad, tormented life gone. I thought his remark about his father really got to the heart of him. "He was a brilliant manager. But I wanted a Dad."

I only hope we're not going to see the sort of lachrymose bilge that poured out when poor Princess Diana died.

On the other hand, it would be preferable to the twitter from Lily Allen: "Michael Jackson dead? You're fucking kidding!" How very appropriate and typical.

On the use of language, John Walters sent me something interesting.

A survey by Office Angels reveals that two-thirds of office staff use unnecessary jargon to confuse opponents and seem superior. But 40% of those surveyed found it irritating and distracting, and 10% thought it made the most frequent users sound pretentious and untrustworthy.

The most common and least understood phrases are:

Low-hanging fruit, e-tailing, talk off-line, blue-sky idea, win-win situation, think outside the box, holistic approach, level playing field, sanity check, put to bed, whole nine yards, helicopter view, gap analysis, touch base, rain check, sing from the same hymn sheet, finger in the air, get in bed with, big picture, benchmark, ball park, ticks in all the right boxes, strategic fit, bread and butter.

But when it comes to sheer mindless incomprehensibility, how about this, sent me by Howard? He was trying to find out what a particular person's background was.

The reply said the person is ”an experienced professional with particular expertise in starting and growing businesses in highly technical, business critical, business to business environments combining product and service content.”

Howard commented that "Apart from “fuck off” I’m not entirely sure how to respond."

He then, with what sounds suspiciously like cynicism, said to me: "You really must start an awareness campaign. I’m sure the government will have a suitably pointless grant available."

Incidentally, dear readers, on the matter of pointless expenditure I just came back from Bulgaria to read that The Toad is spending £4 for every £3 raised in taxes. The man is an idiot and should be locked up.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Pardon me while I throw up ...

... with enthusiasm ... all over the people who think it reasonable for Mr. Stephen "Piggy" Hester to get paid £9.6 million for sorting out the Royal Bank of Scotland for a year or two.



Has he ever run anything long enough to find out if he's any good at sorting out disasters?


Pray tell me, Oh Great and Good of the Land, is it really impossible to get anyone competent to do the job, which is not nuclear physics, for a reasonable salary?

I'm sorry. I don't believe you. There is not one sane person in Britain who believes you. There is not one sane person in Britain who does not believe that this sort of rubbish has gone on for too long.

There is not one sane person in Britain who is not angry about this giant organised piss-take, which we see taking place everywhere we look - parliament, industry everywhere - at our expense.

I really must calm down.

Monday, 22 June 2009

For those who doubt it ...

Just after my last exchange with Richard Young who is a real journo and checks his sources unlike me!!

I found in The Evening Standard a list of Harvard MBAs who have made their contributions to our economic health.

1. Jeff Skilling (Enron)
2. Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson (General Motors)
3. Andy Hornby (HBOS)
4. Stan O'Neal (Merryll Lynch)

I bet there are a lot more overpaid wankers out there.

I'm off to entertain with voice and gesture in Romania and Bulgaria now, where (I hope) the disease of Executive Education has yet to run riot.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

If you're the bosses, you're the problem, you loathsome turds

I've never needed a recession to find myself in trouble: I've always managed to cock up things on my own. Like my first two businesses, and damn nearly my present one.

I've always concluded that if it was my business it was my fault, but I am sadly behind the times.

In 2007/8 the directors of Remploy fired 2,500 of their disabled workers - then, as a thank you, paid themselves £1.7 million in bonuses. What creeps. How low can you sink? If they heeded to fire people it means they were doing a shit job. They should have fired themselves.

I will not bore you with superfluous remarks about the Toad and the rest of the rabble who are about to get a pay rise as a reward for dishonouring the Mother of Parliaments, let alone reptilian bankers like the obscene Goodwin. Again: all worthy of unemployment, not pensions.

In a happier - well, funnier - vein, let us turn to the fact that MySpace is cutting 30% of jobs. It is being overtaken by another non-profit-making organisation - Facebook. The reason given in the usual corporate gabble by the MySpace boss, who sports the rather quaint name of Owen Van Natta (a friend of Dita Von Teese, perhaps?) is:

"Our staff levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and team-oriented company."

"Nimble"? "Team oriented"? You're not competing in the Olympics, Owen dear, and these strange uses of language hinder your ability to get anything done. Take all this crap about teams. Good ideas tend to come from individuals. Your boss Ruthless Rupe is not what you might call a team player.

If I were Owen, by the way, I'd be seriously worried about my immediate boss, Jon Miller, whose last job was running AOL.

We all know what a total shipwreck that has been, so Jon must be quite a neat operator. How did he get another job? Does that sort of thing sometimes mystify you?

Let me explain.

The chief reason, which you must have given thought to, is that to succeed you must be good at something. But people who get to run large organisations tend to be good at just that - not at running them. So that explains the last 40 years at General Motors, the last 60 odd years of Great Britain and will almost certainly explain the next 60 years of Europe

Just to give you an idea how it works in business, here is Drayton Bird's General Theory of Corporate Employment, which explains a lot about why the world is the way it is.

This starts with the fact that the person doing the employing often knows little about the job to be filled.

Take an example in two fields I know something about. The HR guy looking for a marketing director knows little or nothing about marketing. Nor does the CEO who will have the ultimate decision. He is an accountant.

To be fair, most of the people in marketing know very little about it either, but that's another subject

Anyhow, most employers don't look for someone who hasn't done the job before but looks like they could and is dying to prove themselves. They don't know enough to recognise such a beast and prefer to play it safe.

So they look for someone who has done the job before. It doesn't occur to them that such a person is often looking round because they're not very good.

That's why marketing directors have an average shelf-life of little over a year.

Essentially, it's just like politics. Those who climb the corporate ladder are better at bullshitting than doing. That is why MBAs are so valuable. Valuable to those who have them, not to those who employ them.

The figures show that the more MBAs a firm employs the lower the profits. Interesting, eh?

Friday, 19 June 2009

Free drinks, no admission fee ... and you really COULD win that £2,500 masterpiece

I was so busy fulminating about general roguery this morning that I forgot to remind you that:

1. You don't have to pay to get in to see Mark Eurich performing live tonight and tomorrow (some people asked if there was an admission fee).

2. You get free drinks ... but don't make a pig of yourself. That's my speciality.

3. You have a REAL chance of winning the painting (which really was priced at £2,500 in a London gallery) as there won't be thousands or even hundreds there. Us cultured folk are few, but infinitely superior.

4. Another date has been fixed for the following Saturday.

5. It's in a lovely spot only an hour from London.

6. You could shake the hand that shook the hand of the world's most expensive footballer.

7. The only risk is that you might end up shaking mine, too, as I'll be there tomorrow

The paintings on show cost between approximately £450 and £5000.

It's all happening near the village of Mayfield - about 8 miles south of Tunbridge Wells at:

Hen On The Gate Barn, Mayfield Road (A267), Five Ashes, E. Sussex TN20 6HL. If you'd like to know how you get there see the map. It really is a lovely part of the country.

View Larger Map

The exhibition is also open on Sunday 21 June between 11 and 6pm.

If you can't make it, Kay will be keeping the exhibition up for a further week for private viewings by appointment. If this suits you better please contact her:

Kay Jones on 01892 852394, or 07868 306315 or email kay@theoneweekartshow.com

By the way, the masterpiece really is worth £2500 - it was priced at that in the previous gallery. Honest...swear on Michaelangelo's grave...

Texas billionaire arrested: strange similarities

Your heart goes out to crooks, it really does.

"Sir" Allen Stanford has been arrested accused of orchestrating a $9.2 billion Ponzi fraud in which new investors' money has been stolen to pay profits to existing clients.

The poor bugger had to fly commercial airlines after the federal government confiscated his six private jets.

"They make you take your shoes off and everything," he said. "It's terrible."

Stanford denies the fraud and threatened to punch an interviewer when he was questioned about reported links to alleged money laundering for a Mexican drug cartel, charges he vehemently denied.

He and his wife owe back taxes, penalties and interest of at least $226.5 million, the IRS said in court documents filed in Dallas, Texas, last March.

He should get a job in our parliament - or even better the European Parliament, which is the perfect crook's bolt-hole as I shall explain.

Before turning to that, I see the Bloated One continues to behave in the usual shifty way. After his attempt to conceal the truth about the Iraq War, the facts about MPs' peculations have been published ... with all the details blacked out.

What a twat. As Truman said of Nixon, "That man speaks out of both sides of his mouth at once. Both sides lies."

Brown has operated a giant Ponzi scheme. New taxes and new borrowings are used to pay for all the useless schemes he's set up over the last twelve years, whilst piously prating on about prudence. I remain baffled by the way all the media and "opinion-forming" experts thought he was good at his job. Maybe they just can't can't count.

My partner complains when I moan about British politicians, using the "Berlusconi is worse" theory - a variation on the old "Hitler was worse" theory. Adolf could reasonably have used the Stalin is worse theory. Mao could have said that Pol Pot was worse.

Sorry, but the worse does not excuse the bad.

I'm off to do some seminars and so forth in Romania and Bulgaria next week. In those countries, criminals facing murder charges get themselves elected to the European Parliament because no MEP can be prosecuted for anything.

That is one of many reasons why I hate the political and economic side of the European Community. The whole thing is a licence for rogues. Another is that (although allegedly intelligent politicians like Mandy-Pandy fail to have noticed it) the countries that stayed out - Switzerland and Norway - are doing considerably better than the ones that went in.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

No shit, Sherlock

I'll explain what that pic is doing there in a minute.

But first, the crap they write in the papers never ceases to delight and amaze.

The Times, which under Ruthless Rupe has probably done more to debase the standards of what was once serious journalism than any other British newspaper is always good for a giggle

"Northern Ireland has 'culture of intolerance'" says a headline in The Times online.

Well, who'd have thought it? They've been enthusiastically shooting, kneecapping, and blowing each other up ever since Elizabethan times. At least one of their Ministers is either a murderer or an enthusiastic accessory to murder - and silly old me thought they were a peace-loving folk.

Incidentally, the Irish restaurateur Peter Langan with whom I used to drink in the '70's once told me the solution to the Ulster problem was to saw the whole province off the rest of Ireland, tow it out into the North Sea and turn it upside down. I thought this was a Langan original, but the other day I learned that it originated with the poet Tennyson,

Back to the papers, though.

The fashion articles are always good for a hoot. This morning in the Sunday Times online with the picture I just showed, and a dateline that reads for some reason "September 9th" there's a fun piece about thigh-length boots. It's a grand melange of hogwash and hypocrisy.

"Tamara Mellon of Jimmy Choo believes that in today’s shoe climate, thigh boots make sense. “It was the right time for a fantastic over-the-knee boot. Ours is called Heaven. I think that says it all. They make women feel strong, confident and sexy. They also elongate the legs,” she says.

Indeed, thigh boots are flattering. They create a seamless, streamlined silhouette. They also make shorter skirts wearable for women who have great legs but not great knees (otherwise known as the Demi Moore syndrome), are a good cover-up for the tights-phobic, and add a sexy, modern edge to simple clothes. Mellon suggests wearing them over tight trousers: “They should be the focal point.”

Did you know there was a shoe climate, readers?

Anyhow, as all normal men know, forget that stuff about being tights-phobic: the great thing about these boots is they make you want to fuck women who wear them. And while I'm on about things that mywtfwwwt, I thank the good Lord that three times in my lifetime there's been a rage for stiletto heels.

They have brought me infinite pleasure mingled nowadays with a fair dose of nostalgia, but never before have they been so high, and combined so delightfully with short skirts.

Do I hear you ask if I'm a dirty old man? Abso-bloody-lutely.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Three Gold Stars for unabashed hypocrisy, Darling

It seems that on Wednesday, our Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the usual soulless string of cliches, will castigate the guilty.

"Bank boardrooms have to be the first line of defence against future failures and they should not use the excuse of complex financial products to shield them from blame. Their focus must be long-term wealth creation, not short-term profits.""

He will drone on: "I strongly believe that the process of learning lessons has to start in the Boardroom."

This from a crook who flipped his house four times to make short term profits.

The report - in the Daily Telegraph says, "Many Labour MPs believe Mr Darling has proved an understated, steadying hand during the financial and banking crisis."

Very droll. But not as droll as the fact that the former speaker and well-known mumbler Martin is to get tributes in the House of Commons. For what? working valiantly to prevent the exepnses scandal from being exposed? Getting a fat pension when he should be down at the JobCentre?

No lessons have been learned in the House of Commons.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Department of Parliamentary Bollocks and Misrepresentation: Interim Report

How utterly, boringly, bloody predictable.

Within days of promising to mend his ways the Toadasaurus announces an enquiry into the shameful Iraq disaster.

This, in keeping with the great Bliar's promise of "Open Government", the usual tripe about "transparency" and Brown's congenital fear of the truth will be held in secret.

No blame will be apportioned.

So what is the point, exactly? Seemingly just another way to piss away a few more millions (these enquiries all cost millions) to hide the truth from us.

An enquiry should enquire not conceal. Crimes should be punished, not condoned. Those who loved those who died deserve the truth. What a shoddy, disgusting, lothsaome, sordid piece of chicanery.

Today's other silly: the Scottish Parliament is to be allowed to raise tax and do impportant things like control air-gun legislation and drink-driving laws. Again, a waste of public money. We will never know how much it's cost to come out with this pointless conclusion.

Incidentally, in exchange would it be too much to ask that Scottish tax payers get exactly the same benefits as the rest of us, rather than a great deal more? The report goes some way towards that - but not far enough.

At the same time all their canting liars, thieves and drunks - e.g. G. Brown, A. Darling, M. Martin - should be rigorously confined to Scotland like plague germs and not allowed out to roam around Westminster disgracing the name of democracy.

I have always thought the Act of Union was a good thing. I believe pro rata Britain has gained far, far more from Scottish genius than the other way round. If a few of the exported rogues had read that great Scot Adam Smith and acted on his advice we wouldn't be in the dreadful fix we're in now.

But if Scotland is to be independent, so should England.

And please, please, give the Scots the privilege of bailing out their own banks.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Mal's career ambition - and more emetic management drivel

My Ocker pal Malcolm Auld, the toast of Manly, just sent me his reaction to my aside about catastrophe calculations:

Regarding where they get the £100 million figure, in my next life I'm going to come back as a "Disaster Estimator" - The expert who can immediately give the media the number of people who die in an earthquake, flood, tsunami, etc, or how much money is lost to a strike or scam - always within a few hours of the event occurring.

There has to be a living in it.

Shortly afterwards I got another message from the people who want to give me the low-down on Excelling as a New Supervisor: Essential Skills for Your Rising Stars.

It tells me about Becoming a Team Leader Famous for Strong Results. I will get the Keys to inspiring your employees to "go the extra mile" and Feedback that increases performance and accountability

I can just hear the gossip in the canteen. "That's Drayton Bird the famous team leader over there by the coffee-making machine. He gets people to go the extra mile, with lots of feedback."

The writer of this emetic garbage says I'm now pleased to send for your review the Conference Agenda which profiles this comprehensive program.

Why so pleased? Are you the Queen? What do you mean "profile" - it's not a film star, you witless, illiterate twat. It's just a ponced-up phone call.

This frightful tripe is everywhere, like congealed vomit on Soho pavements in the early morning. An awful sign of linguistic degeneracy and the end of what little civilisation we have left.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Uncle Dray's Slimeball of the Year Award

32 years ago one of my old lovers, Mad Ange, had a brilliant idea which she should have acted on, but didn't.

(I think I wrote about her and her loopy antics when I started this epic of inconsequence - only my suede coats stoipped her killing me).

She and her partner in business, Sharon, were running one of the first telemarketing businesses. One day as a joke she suggested starting a service called Dial-a-Wank. But she did nothing about it, silly girl.

Look at how much money is made now from getting people to piss away money voting on premium lines. When I think of the millions she missed, it's such a shame. Despite her violent ways she was extremely funny and deserving.

I am wondering if we should enter the reality show arena. Give an Award or two. Induce mass hysteria with fainting fans. Can you see me as a sort of geriatric Simon Cowell, flexing my floppy pecs?

What d'you think, readers?

We could start with the vulture Crow who was so pleased that his not entirely successful strike cost London an alleged £100 million (where do they get these figures from?) that he proudly announced that he's going to do it all over again.

There's the Toadacrat, who said he would mend his ways last week - then instantly carried on lying as usual. He can't help it. Or Alastair Darling who despite being one of the biggest crooks in parliament still runs all our finances.

It would be a close race.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Your chance to win a painting (worth £2,500) - and see the artist in action.

More years ago than I care to think I employed two beautiful young people who - as beautiful young people do - got married.

Then as beautiful young people increasingly don't, they stayed married. One, Chris Jones, is a partner of mine. His wife, Kay through a series of accidents has become an occasional purveyor of art to the gentry.

She's having an exhibition of Mark Eurich's work on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June between 6 and 10pm.

Who is Mark Eurich? He is most unusual. To see one reason why, just watch this video.

As you will see, he paints Jimi Hendrix's portrait in the time it takes the great man to play “Voodoo Chile” Most of his paintings are actually large modern abstract expressionist paintings - "scintillating canvases depicting spectacular vortices of colour and energy" - as the publicity puts it (there's a 4 page spread about him in this month "Art of England").

He has already been very successful in London and provincial galleries, partly through doing what you can see on the video and because he also supports several charitable causes.

He is Principal Artist for Gibson Guitars, The Professional Football Association and official Art Director for The Jimi Hendrix Foundation - a charity specializing in community outreach programmes. So there will be some exhilarating portraits of various rock stars to contrast with the abstracts.

As you might have guessed the show will not just be static. On Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June between 6 and 10pm he will be painting live. (Remember all those old clips of Jackson Pollock sloshing paint all over the place? This is much tidier.)

The prices are considerably lower than London Galleries charge for his work - and on top of that he is going to give away one painting valued at £2500 to one lucky visitor. Yes, marketing hounds, you guessed it, didn't you? It's to get publicity and encourage people to come and see his work (the painting here is absolutely impressive when you actually see it - it's called Midnight Solitude and it is HUGE!).

The paintings on show will all be for sale, for between approximately £450 and £5000.

It's all happening near the village of Mayfield - about 8 miles south of Tunbridge Wells at:

Hen On The Gate Barn, Mayfield Road (A267), Five Ashes, E. Sussex TN20 6HL. If you'd like to know how you get there see the map. It's a lovely part of the country by the way.

View Larger Map

The exhibition will remain open on Sunday 21 June between 11 and 6pm.

If you can't make it, Kay will be keeping the exhibition up for a further week for private viewings by appointment. If this suits you better please contact her:

Kay Jones on 01892 852394, or 07868 306315 or email kay@theoneweekartshow.com

I hope to see you there (and good luck in winning the painting)

Signs of the times - today's jokes

This morning there's no underground here in London.

The union is on strike. The strike was almost called off, then reinstated because the wretch in charge, Bob "The Vulture" Crow, wanted two people reinstated. One is accused of stealing. The other opened the doors on a train on the wrong side (could have killed a few people).

So now we know what Mr. Crow believes in: dishonesty and dangerous incompetence. You can see from his face the kind of person he is. The sort of thug who gets thrown out of pubs late at night for starting fights.

This almost inevitably brings me to Der Toader. In my paper I read "Brown prepares reform agenda." (The other day I forgot to mention that word, which fits into the same category as policy and initiative and means vague promises made in pompous manager-drivel.)

Here's a sensible agenda:

1. Get rid of Brown. 2. Remove Brown. 3. Throw Brown out. 4. Expel Brown. 5. Put Brown on the streets without a pension forced to make an honest living etc., etc.

On the subject of pompous manager-drivel, here's part of an e-mail I just got:

For those concerned about boosting productivity and morale through improved supervisory skills, you are invited to join us for our leading 60-minute audio conference:

"Excelling as a New Supervisor: Essential Skills for Rising Stars"

Ungrammatical. Dreary. Fatuous. And you know what? People will buy it. Now ask yourself why so many businesses are in a mess.

As Dr. Johnson once said: "The cows in the fields are content, for they know no better."

Tomorrow I shall write about something entirely different and more pleasant. Art. So if you're interested, keep an eye open

Sunday, 7 June 2009

He is not alone in the weird parallel universe that is politics

Did you read El Gordo Grande's reaction after being told by his colleagues and the country to fuck off, take his richly unmerited pension** and leave us all alone?

"But you have to stick with policies and make sure they come through. We keep on with the task in hand and we are not diverted from it."

He then "pledged to set out policies on health, education and policing in the coming weeks."

Have you noticed how in the strange tongue called journalese, politicians don't speak. They "pledge."

You might think a pledge in this context is just a lie. Don't be such a cynic. The word has two meanings:

1) Say something meaningless or irrelevant
2) Promise something that either cannot or will not be fulfilled and wouldn't make any difference if it were.

Thus, Gordon, it is both irrelevant and meaningless to produce any policies in those areas.

You and the Bliar between you have had 12 years to do something about these areas of catastrophe, shovelled billions into them, and either made little difference, no difference at all or worsened things considerably. (See: knife crime, drunkenness, teenage pregnancy, falsifying exam results, elderly dying in hospital corridors, troops sent to die because of inadequate equipment etc., etc.)

The only thing you have shown any skill at all in is "massaging the figures" or, as we simple folk call it, lying.

Furthermore there is no ground for believing anything you "pledge" will achieve anything as you are lodged so irretrievably and so far up your own rectal passage to consider that you may have made a few ghastly mistakes and should correct them.

One big problem is that word "policies."

All politicians confuse announcing a policy with something happening.

It is not.

In my speeches and seminars I often quote the Duke of Wellington. He was asked towards the end of his life to what he owed his victories. He replied, "Attention to detail."

Politicians prefer pledges to attention to detail. This calls for worthy citizens to ask questions like, "how exactly are you going to do that?" And if the answer is, "new initiatives" or (even worse) "innovative new initiatives" kick the guilty party sharply in the wanking zone.

Incidentally, I see that the favourite in the race to succeed The Mighty Bloat is Mr. Alan Johnson.

You can just picture the job interview, can't you?

"So, you're going to run the country, Alan - sort things out, right?

You have lovely grey hair and a fine set of teeth. Now tell me about your background and qualifications."

Mumbled response.

"You left school at 15, worked at Tesco stacking shelves, then became a postman?

"Then you were a communist trades union official before getting into politics

"You've had seven government jobs since 1997. Seven?

"You voted for the Iraq War and opposed investigation into the lies that led to it. But you are a man of principle - you criticised a breast cancer patient for trying to buy a cancer drug the NHS had denied her.


"Can you point a single thing you have done that achieved anything worthwhile?

"Thought not

Next, please"

Queue of shifty applicants, most under investigation for fraud, shuffles forward.

** Please don't think I have a down on Brown. Like everyone else over 60 I shall always remember how "prudently" he stole half my pension and destroyed the value of what was left. Watching him squirm is one of my greatest pleasures. He should be on the Embankment in a cardboard box.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Yee-ha! A bank with a sense of humour


My friend George Machun, pillar of San Francisco State University sent it to me - and it's a a real bank.

Check it out. I've seen many banks try to seem human - and nearly all have failed - some, like Barclays, miserably.

But this is excellent. I hope they do well.

Make sure you click on the horse's head.

So why IS McToad so useless? A guide for the nonplussed

This morning I read this from the late Adolf Hitler, patron saint of the BNP.

"The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence".

The Lost Sporran is not an evil man, like Hitler. His perpetual and constant weapon has been regularly falsifying the evidence. His big weakness is that he cannot distinguish - nor can most of our politicians - between what matters and what doesn't. And of course he is quite mad.

Last night, at a time when even the dogs in the streets realise he's a complete tosser, he said "If I didn't think I was the right man for the job, I wouldn't be here."

This is not an argument, you great spavined oaf.

I've had hundreds of people apply to me for jobs over the years. They all said they were the right people for the job. Why should that interest me? I wanted to know what hardly any of them explained: why they were the right people for the job.

Destroying the British economy when you're supposed to be its custodian does not make you the right man for the job.

Falsely claiming you're prudent when you're pissing money away by the billion does not make you the right man for the job.

Helping the Bliar get us into a pointless war does not make you the right man for his job.

Withholding money for equipment that would save soldiers' lives does not make you the right man for the job.

Making it a better deal for people to draw unemployment pay than work does not make you the right man for the job.

Imagining that making the grossly overrated Alan Sugar as "enterprise tsar" will achieve anything is just pathetic - and doesn't make you the right man for the job.

What is wrong with this government and the last, and will probably be wrong with the next is politicians' total inability to understand what ordinary people care about, or distinguish between hot air and action - leading to a criminal misdirection of resources.

For instance, if anyone wonders why more people are voting for the BNP, consider this. Gordon Brown has been responsible for employing many hundreds of thousands of public servants. This was an act of low cunning - people who depend on the government for their jobs tend to vote labour.

These poor souls are constantly under attack after disasters like the torture and slaughter of the two students we have been reading about, or the unspeakably appalling case of baby P.

Why do they fail? Not through bad intentions.

It is because instead of being told to be helpful - what servants are for - they spend far too much time filling in forms, trying to meet "targets" and following the asinine prescriptions of the politically correct. This is true of them all. Teachers. Police. Social workers. Even the fire brigade.

Take this "target" nonsense. The other day I heard about a seminar on How to recruit and retain a diverse workforce in the Fire and Rescue Services. This was described as "vitally important", because "women, black and minority ethnic groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are all vastly underrepresented in the service".

Here's your starter for one. Which is more important? Putting out fires? Saving lives? Or having a posse of drag queens waving their limp little hoses around the neighbourhood?

And what do you think the average man in Sheffield thinks about that sort of thing? Could it be he thinks his money is being pissed down the drain, and he'd be better off voting for Nazi-Lite?

But don't blame the Toad alone. He has an excellent supporting cast. I couldn't help laughing at all the parliamentary crooks who, caught with their hands in the till, came out with that glorious one-liner "I made an honest mistake."

Quite so. You got caught.

Funniest quote of the week, by the way: Tony Wright M.P. speaking from Planet Loon called Brown "a towering figure who has brought the world through the worst financial crisis for 60 years".

What other miracles does he do, Tony? Fart through his ears?

Oh, and by the way, you great looby, for the rest of us there is still a financial crisis. Your man did a lot to put us in it and most of the things he's done to get us out (see Lloyds Bank etc.) haven't helped that much.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

How come all these marketing chancers thrive?

As I said, I'm writing a book - and now, it turns out, doing some Masterclasses - on marketing for the legal profession.

Thank you to everyone who offered help. I hope you all got my replies, which brings me to today's howl of outrage.

A lot of people in marketing would like to think that theirs, too, is a profession. But so many are such criminally useless twats that it's hard to see it happening.

Take a man called Henry Cazalet who keeps on e-mailing me about SMS marketing. His e-mails are actually pretty good. So much so I have replied three times, because I'm interested.

Yes, friends. I'm a real live prospect - or was.

Has he replied? Not a bloody chance. He hasn't even answered two messages asking why he doesn't reply. And it's not as if he's using one of those spew-it-out-and-hope-it-lands machines.

How does he survive? I'll tell you. Because when you've got something people are really interested in, you don't need decent marketing. Just look at the shit run by computer and mobile telephone firms.***

But others, who have nothing to offer except personal prejudice, will not do as well. A typical example is a person I've been dealing with who, untroubled by false modesty, cheerfully rewrites my copy and rearranges layouts done by the best art director in this country, based on nothing more substantial than opinion.

It reminds me of Sergio Zyman's response when his boss at Coca Cola said he didn't like his proposed ads (some of which are still running after 16 years). "Roberto, if you personally buy every bottle of Coke sold all over the world for the next year, we'll run the ads you like. Otherwise ..."

After half a century studying and trying to get it right, I think I have a vague idea of what I'm doing - I have maybe a 2% flop rate. And my art director with whom I've worked on and off for 30 years is better than me, because he can write copy but I can't draw.

But there we are: this is not a profession like the law where people follow precedent; it's a trade infested with amateurs.

*** But nothing compares with those crass Aviva TV ads. The direst moment must be the factory worker who says "I am not a target market". You can just see someone from Wigan saying that, right?

The semi-literate fuckwits who come out with that garbage don't realise is that out there is a real world full of real people who have better things to do than talk shit about proactive this, strategic that and say "concept" when they mean some tiny idea a fucking hamster could have thought up.

Mind you, they'd do well in parliament.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


London is afflicted with a plague of free papers - one in the morning, two in the evening. This has slaughtered the Evening Standard, which has always been a pretty good read.

Its prospects were so disastrous that the owners gave it away to a crazy Russian, who then pissed away a small fortune on some of the worst newspaper advertising I can recall. That's a shame, because the revamped paper is pretty good - but not good enough to survive in my view.

Having said that, they do print some rum stuff. Tearing myself away from an article about what a total shit Martin Amis is - takes after his father - I read that Thieving Bloato is going to get rid of his even more crooked henchman Darling and replace him with Ed Ballsup, another crook.

But my eyes stood out like chapel hat-pegs when I saw some maniac leader writer in The Standard describe this smarmy wretch as "capable" minister."

What have you been smoking, duckie? The only three things this smug twat has shown himself good at are: 1) Advising the Toad on "economic strategy" to such fine effect that the two of them managed to fuck up the entire economy for decades to come 2) fucking up all the school examinations at astounding expense and then saying it was nothing to with him 3) Stealing lots of dosh with his fragrant spouse Yvette - the only sign of ability I can see.

A smoked haddock would probably do a better job as Chancellor than him. Lock him up with the others.

Best joke of the day from slime-bag Vaz and not-as-good-as-a-wank Jacqui

I read this morning a funny piece about a crook called Keith Vaz.

("Crook" is a euphemism often used here when we mean "Member of Parliament").

Anyhow, the reptile Vaz, who ripped us all off for over £75,500 for a flat in Westminster although his home is a £1.15 million house 12 miles from Parliament, was shooting his mouth off about knife crime - probably in the hope people might forget his own crime.

This made a pleasant change, though, because Vaz's normal racket is race relations. But in this case he was deploring the way the courts don't send kids who get caught with knives to jail. "Jacqui" Smith the porky wag posing as a Home Secretary responded - as you would expect - with a lie, saying that "through tougher sentencing we are carrying out a clear message".

This was as though the vapid trollop didn't hear what Vaz said, but then it's an old pol's trick to answer a different question to the one asked or simply ignore it.

That being said, first I wondered why all these useless shits speak in cliches - poverty of language indicates poverty of ideas. Then I thought, "Good thinking, Porky! Can I visit you in jail? Will being there for a few weeks 'carry out a message'?"