WELCOME TO THE DRAYTON BIRD BLOG - Commonsense about marketing, business and life

Leave now if easily shocked or politically correct. Otherwise, please leave your comments. Statements such as "brilliant", "hugely perceptive", "what a splendid man" and "can I buy you dinner at the restaurant of your choice" are all greeted with glee.

If you like, I'll e-mail you each new dollop of drivel when I publish it. Just click here to subscribe. If you want to succeed faster, get my 101 helpful marketing ideas, one every 3 days. People love them - maybe because they're free. Go to www.draytonbirdcommonsense.com and register. You also a get a free copy of the best marketing book ever written

Friday, 28 August 2009

What the hell's happening?

Has my computer gone mad?

All of a sudden I've been hit by a torrent of Viagra offers, a never ending stream of requests to watch eccentric maidens doing bizarre things with their family pets, and a rich cornucopia of bargains in the horological department - maybe to time the erections.

And some of this stuff is so unkind. "Life is unjust - that is why some men are well-endowed while others aren’t" says the improbably named Harris Atkins, advising me that "you would never have to travel south if you had a bigger shaft."

I have no idea why this has all come about. What's more, Harris, you unimaginative Neanderthal, many of us like to travel south.

But I am straying from the point, which is that the lady who sits opposite me - to whom Viagra is supremely irrelevant and shafts mere objects of curiosity - has started getting the same stuff. But strangely enough, young Kate our trusty handmaid hasn't.

Why? We're all in the same office, on the same server. Why should Kate be left out of these adventures? Is she below the age of indecency?

Aren't computers odd?

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Seig Heil, you undisciplined worms! Advice for budding Hitlers

I keep getting messages from people inviting me to various seminars. I think some are drafted by retired members of the Gestapo Inhuman Resources Kommando.

One a week ago read:

"Managing Employees from Hell: Discipline That Gets Results"

Discipline Do's and Don'ts
** Why probationary periods don't work - and what does
** Dealing with difficult issues - absenteeism, gossip, disloyalty
** Documenting employee discipline sessions: What you need to know

Specific Examples of What to Say - and When to Say it
** What to say when an employee blames the problem on you
** How to respond to "You're not being fair"
** Words you should never use in a verbal warning

Stopping Bad Behavior - Today!
** Keys to separating "performance" from "attitude"
** Why employees don't respond to discipline - & how to change that
** Following up: When to do it - and how

And the latest read: "E-mail, Facebook,& Blogging: Employee Internet Policies You Need Now"

Is your employee internet use policy out of date? E-mail, Facebook, Blogs & Twitter have become the biggest workplace distraction and also a discipline danger zone for managers. Should you limit employee access to Facebook? When can and should you discipline an employee for off-duty online conduct? Join us for this 60-minute audio conference where you will discover:

** Keys to an drafting effective online & social networking policy
** What employers must do to address employees’ off-duty online conduct?
** Monitoring employee use of the internet: what's legal & what's not
** Implementing effective e-mail policies: What you need to know
** Discipline do's and don'ts for employee online behavior

You know what? I've never had these problems.

I've been hiring people for 44 years now, ever since I got my first job as a creative director. Some didn't work out. There were a couple of alcoholics**, one or two creeps, a few loonies and a very, very few useless sods, but they mostly were pretty good.

I joked with them, drank with them, screamed at them, made friends, inadvertently ended up in bed with a few and helped one or two out every now and then.

One I helped out proceeded to wreck my business - but through stupidity on my part for letting him and on his for getting it wrong.

But they weren't employees from hell. Just ordinary people who if carefully chosen and treated reasonably do their best - and better than you expected. I always thought - and still do - that the biggest element in success is your colleagues. Not your clients. Not your product. Not your customers. Your colleagues.

I am proud that - among other minor successes - at one point the chief executives of JWT and O & M in this country were former colleagues of mine.

If your people are pissing about downloading videos of people doing strange things with random mammals when they should be working, you're not managing them properly.

Either they don't have enough to do - your fault - or you haven't explained that success comes through hard work - and they'll be rewarded for it: also your fault.. Some probably hate you, and you deserve it.

Maybe you made the awful mistake of hiring through a "human resources" department. People are too important to be left to functionaries who think they are "resources".

Or maybe you work for (name any ministry, quango or local government office here).

Work should be fun, not duty.

One day David Ogilvy came into my office and asked me, "What do you actually do, Drayton?" "I'm in charge of entertainment," I replied. "My job is to make sure people come in early, leave late - and enjoy every minute of it."

By the way, there was a big joke here yesterday about a young kid called Gordon Brown passing his Maths exam. Hilarious. Let's face it, that other great twat has proved beyond any doubt that he can't add up to save his life - and we'll be paying for it for decades.

** Alcoholic: someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do

Journalistic mysteries - and crabs

Some mornings I walk to work. I've never managed to get my time below an hour, but I keep trying.

Other mornings I catch the tube at Sloane Square, and I've never managed to understand what lunatic at News International thinks it's a good idea to have people hawking copies of The Sun there. They've been doing it for months, and I'll kiss Rupert Murdoch's arse if anyone can show it could conceivably pay.

For those of you unfamiliar with British journalism I should explain that The Sun is cunningly crafted for people whose lips move - very slowly - when they read. Independent research reveals that it has a drivel-to-news ratio of 3,073.7 to 1.

Sloane Sqaure is surrounded by some of the very richest parts of the very rich borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There must be a few illiterates in Chelsea, and the ways of the newspaper industry are mysterious but what are they playing at?

To call that bad targeting is the understatement of the decade. Especially when twenty yards away you can get a free copy of Metro, which is shallow stuff, but a rock of intellectual gravitas next to The Sun.

Now on to something of an altogether higher order sent me by my old pal Glenmore, the international boulevardier and intelligence pundit.

A lawyer boarded a plane in New Orleans with a box of frozen crabs and asked a blonde stewardess to take care of them for him.

She took the box and promised to put it in the crew's refrigerator. He advised her that he was holding her personally responsible for them staying frozen, mentioning in a very haughty manner that he was a lawyer, and proceeding to rant about what would happen if she let them thaw out.

Needless to say, she was not best pleased.

Shortly before landing in New York, she addressed the cabin on the intercom: "Would the gentleman who gave me the crabs in New Orleans please raise your hand?"

Not one hand went up ... so she took them home and ate them.

Two lessons here:

1. Lawyers aren't as smart as they think they are.

2. Blondes aren't as dumb as most folks think.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


With acknowledgements to the Daily Mash - and apologies to any West Ham supporters in our office.

SENIOR police officers have been told to explain why they prevented rival gangs of West Ham and Millwall fans from beating from each other to death last night.

As violence flared at Upton Park, zoologists said riot police had no right to interfere with the natural process of evolution.

Experts have called for new guidelines that will allow football supporters to bang each other's skulls with baseball bats until the last retard standing finally clubs himself into oblivion.

Dr Tom Logan, of the Institute for Studies, said: "A full-on riot between West Ham and Millwall fans is a bit like Mother Nature's pruning shears.

"We do not intervene when a pride of lions takes down an antelope, or when rival baboons fight over who gets the biggest nuts.

"So when two sets of London football fans decide to have a fight, we should simply leave them be, while observing the awesome majesty of Darwin's genius."

It is believed the violence flared between the rival supporters after an argument over who would be the first to grow opposable thumbs.

West Ham fan, Wayne Hayes, said: "They was sayin' that one of 'em already 'ad fums and could use tools and evryfin'.

"And I was like, 'you fackin' bastards, my old dad nearly 'ad fums once, you callin' me a cant?'."

But Millwall fan, Nathan Muir, pointed frantically at a piece of wood, insisting: "Ee-ee! Ee-ee-ah-ah-oo-oo! Eeeeee! Eeeeee! Eeeeeeeee!"

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Well, we pay the stupid pricks

In the never-never land of the public sector what do they do with their time? How come current defence projects are over budget by £35 billion and arrive five years later than expected? Why don't they notice little babies are being beaten to death by thugs?

A recent Sunday Times report leads me to suspect they have other things on their minds. Not a few billion here or there; not the suffering caused to babies; but the anguish caused by language.

Instead of doing their jobs - many of which are spurious anyhow - they're sitting in conference rooms discussing language. To stamp out racism and sexism, they are banning phrases like “whiter than white”, “gentleman’s agreement”, “black mark” and “right-hand man”.

The buffoons at the National Gallery think “gentleman’s agreement” might offend women and the phrase “unwritten agreement” or “an agreement based on trust” is better. "Right-hand man” is another. They prefer “second in command”.

“Gender bias” is another sin. The Learning and Skills Council wants staff to “perfect” their brief rather than “master” it. Newcastle University thinks “master bedroom” is problematic. Are we allowed to have mistresses, I wonder?

There is more. The South West Regional Development Agency waffles: “Terms such as ‘black sheep of the family’, ‘black looks’ and ‘black mark’ have no direct link to skin colour but potentially serve to reinforce a negative view of all things black. Equally, certain terms imply a negative image of ‘black’ by reinforcing the positive aspects of white."

“For example, in the context of being above suspicion, the phrase ‘whiter than white’ is often used. Purer than pure or cleaner than clean are alternatives which do not infer that anything other than white should be regarded with suspicion.”

Pray tell me how this is going to help the unemployed in Devon and Cornwall. In fact how is any of this going to help these people we pay do anything useful at all?

It seems dozens of quangos and taxpayer-funded organisations have ordered this lunatic purge. If they have time to do this, then their alleged puposes don't exist and they should be abolished.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has told staff to replace “black day” with “miserable day”. It suggests that some words imply a “hierarchical valuation of skin colour”. It tells employees to be mindful of the term “ethnic minority” because it can imply “something smaller and less important”.

I wonder if it was a fucking Prod that came up with that? If so the bastard should be knee-capped.


As an afterthought, suppose they lived in the real world. The world we live in. The world that pays their wages.

Suppose you had a business that was losing money by the ton.

You ask everyone for suggestions. "We're in the shit. What should we do?"

Then someone says, "How about we stop having a chairman and have a chair?

How quickly would you kick the stupid twat out? Would be as fast or faster than you'd like to get rid of half the people in Parliament?

Monday, 24 August 2009

Yasmin Ahmad

Today I read of the death of a Malaysian filmmaker I had never heard of before.

Her name was Yasmin Ahmad. She made a very short (3 minute) very touching film not long ago, to be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mJ9BBXQ7d8

She was not too popular among the rulers of Malaysia; and the older I get the more I am inclined to think that anyone unpopular with rulers anywhere is probably a good sort.

Her death reminded me of John Donne’s meditation:

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

It is 50 years or more since I first read that. It still moves me – as does the death of Yasmin Ahmad, whom I never knew or even heard of before, and who died at only 51.

No 1, London – and a hard day out in town

Apart from other people’s holiday snaps - or any chief executive’s PowerPoint presentation - few prospects can be gloomier than hearing about someone else’s party.

So only read on if you’d like to plan a perfect day out in London for someone.

Each year my fair companion - who is dark, but there you are - surprises and delights me on my birthday. We were not alone this time, because her sister was spending her last weekend in London with us before going back to Italy to live in sin with her fiancé.

The day started with a champagne breakfast - smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and chocolate birthday cake in our humble hovel. We walked out - and the sun was shining. Perfect.

Off we went on the bus. I had no idea where. We got off at Hyde Park Corner. I thought, "I really must go and see the Duke of Wellington's house one day" - because that's where it is.

And that is exactly what she had planned. The address really is No.1, London - and I strongly recommend it – especially if, like me, you love history. The audio commentary is superb.

After that, I had to work for my day. I spent an hour rowing the pair of them round the Serpentine. That’s not true. They helped. Many people train for years to go round and round in circles. They did it immediately and repeatedly. Brilliant.

Then we went to the Royal Academy, which I’ve always wanted to do. Rather disappointing. The only things worth seeing you had to pay for and the interior has been destroyed. Outside, bits of Lego posing as art.

After that, afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason. To me, much better than the Ritz or Savoy. And then we strolled through the store. When I am rich again I shall always shop there. It made me realise how unutterably vulgar Harrods has become.

Are you feeling a little tired yet? I hope not. Because then we went to Kensington Gardens to see Peter Pan. A very funny Captain Hook, a brilliant sexy Tinker Bell, an excellent crocodile! And the two girls managed to cry twice. I usually cry at everything – but not this time.

What next? A pint of Adnams Broadside at the Anglesey Arms in South Kensington on the walk back home. Then the traditional Italian ending to a great day: pasta aglio e olio.

And two beautifully prepared mementoes for us. With more tears.

Forget the Royal Academy, and you won’t do better in London, believe me.

And I shouldn’t forget to say “thank you” for another brilliant, surprising birthday. I wish I were as thoughtful and clever as you are.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Alcohol-related crime wave

I see the Manchester police have launched a crackdown on alcohol-related violent crime.

Yesterday as a prelude to my birthday my radiant companion and her sister planned to take me on a mini-pub crawl from Holland Park to chez nous in Chelsea. I had even sorted out the best pubs to go to.

Before you conclude that I'm back to the bad old days when friends knew me as Bird The Lurch, I only had a list of 5 places, so I guess you might call it more of a hop than a crawl,

In the end we didn't do it. Instead we went with friends to the Mandarin Kitchen in Queensway; best lobster with noodles in London, then Gelato Mio in Notting Hill Gate; best ice cream in London.

All this has nothing to do with violent crime, except that I decided some sort of crackdown was in order when I went to the Cadogan Arms - a very ordinary pub round the corner from us on the Kings Road - and they asked me for well over £3 for a pint of bitter.

This is actually an incitement to violent crime. The only pubs in London that charge sane prices for beer are those belonging to Samuel Smith of Tadcaster. Yorkshire Best Bitter, £1:90.

This rather old fashioned policy, which is called giving value for money, may be the reason why Sam Smith's pubs tend to be gratifyingly full while others close down every day. The Cadogan Arms has just reopened for the second time in two years. Very pretty pseudo Victorian, but a total rip-off.

Even Sam Smith's are not a crime-free area. Their prices for wine - and theirs is not very good - are as extortionate as most other pubs'.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Yet another parliamentary jape

As all connoisseurs of bureaucratic filth know, the greatest source of public sector masturbation, corporate horseshit and all-round fuckwittery is the jobs section of The Guardian.

Here dedicated reader and marketing maven Rezbi found the following announcement, clearly drafted by somebody who either likes practical jokes or has no sense of irony.

Head of User Experience

* Posted: 20 Aug 2009
* Reference: ADV340228GU11
* Location: Greater London - Central London
* Industry:
o Government - Central government
o IT & telecoms - Internet
* Contract: Permanent
* Hours: Full Time
* Salary: £33,354 – £41,570 per annum

Apply using the following method: Apply

Head of User Experience: This position is for a fixed term period of 12 months with a possibility of extension and/or permanency

Salary: £33,354 – £41,570 per annum

Department: Information Services

The UK Parliament is one of the world's most famous and important institutions. We are working on a significant redevelopment of our website and intranet, expanding on the features and the services of both. This will enable us better to engage our existing users and reach out to new ones, giving people instant access to easily navigable information and engaging them with Parliament's work.

The Head of User Experience will lead on the assurance of standards across all parliamentary online channels to deliver high quality products. They will ensure all new content and services comply with best practice and lead on evaluation and analysis of all content and services.

The Head of User Experience will have a track record of delivering usable and accessible online services that meet the needs of the end user. They will know how to evaluate and measure the benefits of online communications and engagement and to continually enhance and improve the user experience.

The successful candidate will be part of a creative and dynamic team, committed to improving Parliament's online presence. Working with other web specialists in the Web Centre, the successful candidate will also engage with a varied and diverse range of stakeholders right across Parliament.

Essential skills/experience required:

• web expertise especially website management and online engagement

• communicating and influencing

• delivering results

• strategic thinking and planning

• customer focus

• leadership, managing and developing staff


• annual leave starting at 28 days pro rata (increasing to 40 with continuous service)

• choice of defined benefits pension scheme or defined contributions scheme

• interest-free season ticket loan

• child care voucher scheme

• discounted membership of the in-house gym

To access an information pack and application form, please click on the Apply button below

To request a application pack in the post, please write to:

Campaign Management

Hays Public Services

3rd Floor, 1 Southampton Street

London WC2R 0LR.

Or Email: Houseofcommons@hays.com

What kind of person will this carefully aimed message attract?

Somebody a) obsessed with engagement b) too ignorant to know what parliament is - maybe a recent school-leaver with an A grade pass c) too stupid to know that to apply for a job you apply d) who thinks a lousy salary is a fair exchange for lots of holidays and e) imagines a better website will miraculously make parliament look anything other than a giant confidence trick at our expense.

The question is, who among us can possibly possess all those rare qualities and be able to lead, manage and develop staff - rather like growing brussels sprouts, no doubt.

A tricky challenge. Don't all apply at once.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A bit of cultural enlightenment for you

My friend Andy Owen, speaker, copywriter extraordinaire and good pal sent me this:

"The budget should be balanced and the Treasury should be refilled.

Public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled.

The assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.

People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

Cicero - 55 BC

Shame (and hypocrisy) all round

This morning in the Metro free paper there was a headline about a "Teacher's Shame" with a picture of an attractive blonde.

"Hello, hello," I said to myself. "Some lucky young chap has had his dreams come true". As we all know, every normal male teenager's dream is to be taught the ropes by an attractive, slightly older woman. As we all also know, the papers, whose smutty hyprocisy knows no bounds, pretend to be shocked.

But this story was different, for the lucky teenager was a girl.

Well, what can I say? As any porn baron will tell you, the one thing that gets men going is two girls together.

Enough of such reflections. On another page a Tory is expressing sadness at the news that a million young people are out of work. "Worrying" is the word he uses. Another piece of two-faced crap . The Tories are thrilled to bits that the Toad is screwing up so comprehensively.

Incidentally, in the Daily Express yesterday it was revealed that if the Bliar-Brown lying machine hadn't fiddled the figures we would know there are actually 6 million people in this country doing nothing ...

I almost feel nostalgic for Mrs. T.

But not quite.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A load of you-know-what goes round the S for Sugar bend

Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins says the apprenticeship scheme fronted by Lord Sugar has wasted millions of pounds and left thousands of young people out of work.

The programme has cost £2.85m, but of the 18,000 vacancies it has advertised, just 1,185 have been filled. That's an average cost of £2,405 per apprentice**

Mullins, who is a real plumber and was an apprentice at 15 recognises shit when he smells it.

“Sugar is nothing more than window dressing for the failing policies of a failing Government,” says Mullins

Ah, but the Toad's favourite barrow boy long ago left the real world and inhabits the Simon Cowell-Michael Jackson-Gordon Ramsay-EastEnders land which for most of the country long since replaced reality.

This is the land where ...

Nobody can spell ...

Nobody can add, subtract or multiply ...

You get certificates for catching the bus ...

Every year more and more school leavers get A grades in their exams - but can't get university places ...

Because the country is run by liars and cheats ... opposed by more liars and cheats.

** Cost comparison: I paid £19 on Gumtree to find over 80 people wanting a job with me - of whom at least 20 were admirably well qualified. About 95p each. Of course, unlike the government I was spending my money, not yours.

Monday, 17 August 2009

I think we can all relate to this, whatever our gender

A father walks into a restaurant with his young son. He gives the young boy 3 pound coins to play with to keep him occupied.

Suddenly, the boy starts choking, going blue in the face. The father realizes the boy has swallowed the coins and starts slapping him on the back.

The boy coughs up 2 of the coins, but keeps choking. Looking at his son, the father is panicking, shouting for help.

A well dressed, attractive, and serious looking woman in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down, neatly folds the newspaper and places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurriedly, across the restaurant.

Reaching the boy, the woman carefully drops his pants; takes hold of the boy's' testicles and starts to squeeze and twist, gently at first and then ever so firmly.. After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the last coin, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand.

Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the pound coin to the father and walks back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word.

As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor? "

'No,' the woman replied. 'I'm with the Inland Revenue.'

Thank you, Ian Dewar

Pinned down perfectly - the alternative being what?

This from The Sunday Times

ANALYSE this: Gordon Brown has been studied by a psychological profiler who says his flawed personality, as someone who “lives totally in his head”, will cost Labour the next election.

To make matters worse for the prime minister, the profiler’s report appears in a book penned by one of his oldest friends.

Brown is described as a “disgruntled dour Scot” who believes he is the only one with the answer to Britain’s economic problems.

Anne Ellis, who has worked for the Ministry of Defence and the National Health Service, puts Brown on the couch in the most unflattering terms for a book by Henry McLeish, a Brown ally and former Scottish government leader.

McLeish’s decision to give Ellis a chapter in his book is likely to upset the prime minister, a friend for more than 25 years.

Ellis writes: “He is often accused of not listening and it appears this way. He does listen; however, the only person whose opinion he really values is his own.” She says most of the electorate see him as “uncaring”.

The current alternative to Brown is Cameron, who it emerges in the Independent - shock, horror! - has been funded in his campaigning by people with lots of money.

Big deal. For over 100 years Labour has been funded by the Trades Unions.

What we have now is a choice between a man whose only principles are his own, and a man with none at all outside the latest poll results.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you

One of my colleagues remarked today that I was being provided a lot of material for this record of the random follies of mankind.

But few greater gifts have been given lately than the news of the schoolboy who, out of the blue, received a certificate from an elaborate bureaucratic joke called AQA, which is one of the giant scams created to give our money to those in society who might otherwise be doing something vaguely useful.

The certificate was for using public transport, and showed that young Bobby McHale had demonstrated the ability to:

1. walk to the local bus stop
2. stand or sit at the bus stop and wait for the arrival of a public bus
3. enter the bus in a calm and safe manner
4. be directed to a downstairs seat by a member of staff
5. sit on the bus and observe through the windows
6. wait until the bus has stopped, stand on request and exit the bus
7. Not stab, kick, maim or otherwise mutilate anyone of an unconventional sexual or religious persuasion on the bus

Sorry, I got a little carried away on point seven; but this surreal tale demonstrates the tidal wave of costly hogwash which threatens to drown us all if we're not careful.

It was all part of the Bury and Rochdale Active Generation Scheme in which £20,000 was invested over two weeks. You can be damn sure that the same sort of money has been pissed away on a myriad such fatuous schemes this year, demonstrating that the only thing most governments can do is spend other people's money.

AQA (who have a lovely logo, by the way) reports to Ofqual, a creation of Ed Bollocks ...

"Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum."

And who do all these bloodsuckers end up feeding off? The Alan Duncans, the Gordon Browns, the John Bercows, not forgetting lesser fleas like "Youth Support Services Director Barbara Lewis up in darkest Bury and Rochdale who had the gall to defend the scheme that gave a perfectly able and talented young man his insultingly pointless certificate?

They feed off us, my friends, they feed off us.

Next week: Department of Indecision announces new strategic arse-wiping Campaign. "The only way to beat Swine Flu," vows Brown in dramatic twitter

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Ministry of Sloth, Incompetence and Waste has just issued a new report

Yes, you're right, I made it up after reading that there's a Ministry for Business Innovation and Skills.

That is beyond ludicrous. Could you even in your most demented dreams imagine a bunch of politicians and civil servants achieving anything - anything at all - beyond waste?

But, credit where credit's due: this lot certainly have rare skill in that direction. They've just pissed away £16 million - £16 million - on a report that the three scamps who paid themselves £40 million while running MG Rover into the ground were not guilty of fraud. I wonder how much that works out per page?

Pardon my scepticism about the conclusions, though. These hogs at the trough bought the firm for £10 then ran up debts of £1.6 billion. Were they perchance at any time trading whilst insolvent?

My two other laughs yesterday were:

1. The Great Toad lecturing the shits who run Burma for locking up Aung Ssu Kyi again.

I can just see their reaction. "Isn't he the fool that's taken 12 years to get one fifth of all the kids in his country unemployed? What can he possibly teach us, the sad bastard? Just about everyone here isn't just unemployed - they're starving. He's not trying hard enough".

2. Alan "fill my wallet" Duncan - one of smarmy Dave's crooked sidekicks - saying that nobody with any ability would go into parliament if they all had to be honest.

Er, hello, Noddy: which talented people did the current arrangements produce? The minute anyone - like Frank Field - showed any sign of talent or honesty out they went.

How did Dave the PR Prince react?Is he firing him. Not a chance. "Alan made a bad mistake and he has acknowledged that, he has apologised and withdrawn the remarks."

This brings me to the enterprising lads who robbed the jewellers in Bond Street. If they apologise should they just be forgiven? No need to give back the jewellery, though. Why should they? The lads in parliament haven't been forced to, after all.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Could I interest you in Mr. Jenkins' cock?

Did that get your attention?

I spent far too many years trying to interest people in mine, and it cost me millions, so I can't really recommend this particular approach.

However, I do suggest you go and have a look at some highly droll extracts from a little work that features a rich variety of rustic oddities, including Mr. Jenkins' pride and joy, at http://www.growyourowncows.com.

Grow your own cows? Yes; that's what it's called - and I think anyone who thinks up a title like that deserves worldwide encouragement. See what you think and let the author know.

Right now she - the author - works for Transport for London which used to be called London Transport.

This is a change in name which, in its own tiny way, shows what's wrong with the world today. How do the addition of the word "for" and the transposing of "London" and "Transport" benefit anyone except the prat - probably a branding consultant - who thought it up?

Oh, and by the way, the author is not a relative, nor am I on her payroll: I just think her stuff is very funny.

Dickheads at the helm, friends

I strongly believe that in many ways marketing is done a lot worse than it was 20 years ago.

O.K., I'm a miserable old sod who thinks things were always better way back when.

But I have two reasons for my belief

Firstly, British schools are turning out illiterates - and not only that, new methods actively discourage study: everything is now based on multiple choice - rather like idiots' TV quiz programmes.

Secondly, there has been a massive explosion of spurious jargon chiefly designed to part fools from their money - which it does very well.

For example, two clients I know are doing what they call re-branding. Neither realises that the brand exists in the mind of the customer, not in their marketing department. They fondly imagine a new slogan or a redesigned website or brochure are all you need.

Epitomising the kind of nonsense that goes on is a message I got today from a very experienced and competent direct marketer. It was all too depressingly familiar.

Since 2006 we have worked for a small charity producing its mail order catalogue, undertaking warm and cold mailings and providing advice (usually free and based on common sense practice).

We were appointed by the Marketing Director, who I have known for many years, and who knows that I know more about dm than he does; we like and trust one another and have respect for each other's skills. So far, so good.

This year he appointed a part time Marketing Manager as he is committed to building a local fundraising programme north of the border. Young MM comes from the world of fmcg marketing and has embarked upon, in her three day a week job, a ‘review’ of agencies – not that they have any, just us and a freelancer who puts the newsletter together.

We were summoned to do a ‘chemistry’ meeting, whatever that may be – it turned out to be a chat and lunch, and we are now invited to their offices again (about 140 mile round trip) to receive the brief.

“Great,” I said, “looking forward to working with you”. “Oh, no,” comes the reply from young MM, “you are just through the first round when I saw EIGHT agencies, and now you have to pitch against three others for the project”.

The budget, I learn today is £15,000…with a promise of more next year if this test is successful. Needless to say, I have withdrawn and hope that the other three do too. I also hope that young MM soon joins the ranks of the unemployed because she is wasting the charity's money where she is."

Just think: the money wasted on paying for this young punk and her self-aggrandizing pitching bollocks is preventing good work being done. Every day people in desperate need are being robbed by witless, conceited people like her.

Where do they dig these shit-for-brains kids up from? Who hires them? Who promotes them? Who doesn't know what they're doing?

The dangerous divide widens

I see that so many police have fiddled their expenses that instead of being punished they're all to be let off with a caution.

Whereas so many politicians fiddled their expenses that most didn't get a caution at all: many remain at the top of the two main parties; the new speaker Bercow is as egregious a crook as the drunk he replaced.

What next? Too many knifings? How about a caution? Rape? Tut, tut, let's slap your wrist. Murder? Let's just say you lost your temper.

This is the way civilisation goes to hell: those who govern lose the consent of the governed.

They have, in this country, long lost our respect.

I rather liked this piece of poetic justice

What's also funny is that judging by the blurry picture she looks like a bit of a woofer anyhow

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Thoughts on the idiot's goldfish bowl

To me every day when I meet someone or learn something new and interesting is a wonderful day.

I don't count on TV much in that respect. Maybe it's the churlishness of old age.

However, yesterday having laboured over my current nightmares for few hours, I looked to see what the fool's lantern had to offer. Not a lot. Hundreds of channels almost entirely choked with garbage.

Then, quite by chance, I ended up watching a programme about Ireland. I'm a great fan of the country. I once went there for a weekend and spent two weeks, and I love the stories about the old Brehons.

Anyhow, the programme was wonderful.

I learned about Ogham, the ancient Irish form of writing. I discovered how places I visited, like Waterford and Wexford, got their names (from old Norse). I saw a fantastic railway line designed by Brunel that runs along perilous seaside cliffs, an 800 year old lighthouse first built by a Norman warrior, and the recreation of an 1849 experiment on a beach that led to the science of seismology - for which we have to thank a Dubliner called Mallet.

Glorious stuff - all on the Open University channel. There were probably only about 17 of us watching it because The Apprentice was on at the same time, but I know who got most value.

My only worry is that I learned a while ago that the Open University has a marketing department of 40. The devil usually find work for idle hands to do, so I hope we're not going to be afflicted by a plague of "station idents".

On a totally different subject, I keep wondering why every time Microsoft brings out a new version of something it's more complicated and far worse than it was before. Maybe they operate in the same way as the great Toad's lunatic tax system.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Just so we can get all this religious stuff out of the way ...

... because the last time it was discussed on this blog it became very boring and unpleasant.

I believe beautiful creations belong to and should be cherished by all mankind.

I believe destroying sacred monuments wherever they are, to whatever religion, is wrong.

I have no more time for Israeli zealots than for Sikh zealots, Muslim zealots, Hindu zealots, white supremacists, Jehovah's witnesses or anybody who is sure they are right

I believe in tolerance.

If what the Taliban did was right because it was "their" country, the logic is simple and inescapable.

When Hitler's Nazis ruled Germany it was "their" country. So homosexuals, gypsies, communists, democrats, Jews, the mentally disabled and anybody who didn't toe the party line were slaughtered in their millions.

When Lenin and Stalin's communists ruled Russia it was "their" country. They outdid Hitler by many millions. When Mao's communists ruled China it was "their" country. They outdid Stalin by countless millions. To this day Buddhists in Tibet and Muslims and Christians all over China are discriminated against.

Following the same twisted logic if a religiously intolerant Evangelical Christian party ever got into power here it would be "their" country.

They would have every right - if temporary possession of power confers that right - to go round blowing up Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu Temples, Jewish Synagogues and Muslim Mosques.

No doubt if the National Front got into power eventually people whose skin is not quite right would be deported - because it would be "their" country.

The last time this kind of thing happened was under Cromwell. It was relatively minor compared to what I have just been talkimng about. But the results have been with us ever since, in mutilated statues and beautiful stained windows lost forever in churches all over the country.

Let those who like 17th century rules live in places where they apply.

And I believe the following rules introduced by the Taliban when they were in power and being reintroduced in those areas they now control were and are wicked and intolerant and discriminate against a group far more important than any religious, ethnic or political group.

Many of them are called our mothers. Our sisters. Our wives. Our daughters.

1. No women allowed to work outside the home, including female teachers, engineers and most professionals.

2. No women's activity outside the home unless accompanied by a close male relative.

3. Women not allowed to deal with male shopkeepers.

4. Women not to be treated by male doctors.

5. Women not to study at schools, universities or other educational establishments.

6. Girls' schools closed down

7. Whipping, beating and abuse of Women not clothed in accordance with Taliban rules

8. Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.

9. Public stoning of women accused (but not necessarily proven) of having sex outside marriage.

10. Ban on cosmetics. Many women with painted nails had fingers cut off.

11. Women forbidden to talk or touch males who are not close relations

12. Ban on women laughing loudly. (No stranger should hear a woman's voice).

13. Ban on women wearing high heels, which would make a sound while walking.

14. Ban on women riding in a taxi unless accompanied by a close male relative.

15. Ban on women on radio, television or at any public gatherings.

16. Ban on women's pictures in newspapers and books, or hung on the walls of houses and shops.

And, 100% vintage Adolf Hitler, non-Muslim minorities required to wear a badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their dress to be differentiated from the Muslim population.

And if anyone comes out with any shit that what they say Hitler did was just a fiction, let me just say that I knew people who were in those camps.

Nostalgia runs riot ...

In reply to my cri de coeur yesterday my old friend Malcolm Auld, the toast of Manly, NSW, made me laugh with a message simply headed: "RE: aahh, sex in a wardrobe...those were the days ..."

Absolutely typical. Mal always was easily excited. It ws sex with a wardrobe, you fool.

But he made me think. I replied:

"Weren't they just!

I did it in lifts, railway and hotel toilets ... anywhere someone would say yes.

What the hell happened to our lives?"

Sad, really, isn't it. And it reminded me that I started this blog with the intention of writing a sort of autobiography. So much for planning.

Talking of which, because I'm an idiot I agreed to write a 200 page holiday brochure for someone which I have to finish in a week or so. This was exceptionally stupid even by my standards, as I had the law book to write at the same time - which is now done.

Yesterday I was writing about Australia, and it suddenly occurred to me that I first met Mal almost exactly 25 years ago on a memorable cruise round Sydney Harbour.

It was my first speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand. The DMA had arranged it in my honour (i. e. as an excuse for a party). There were two big boats. The first was full, but there were only seven or eight of us on the second because we had to wait for my then wife, who was totally incapable of being on time for anything.

There were limitless prawns and plonk in the great Aussie tradition and we did our best.

Now that was what I call a cruise.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Would you want to make friends with a bloody wardrobe?

I got a message two days ago saying "Smart Storage Widnes added you as a friend on Facebook..."

This typifies the kind of drivel the social sites have given rise to. What kind of lunatic thinks I want to be friends with a chest of drawers or a packing case, or whatever the hell smart storage is?

When we become friends, what do I say? "Hi, Smart"? "Wassup, Storage, baby"? Then I introduce you to girls with sad faces at parties. "Hey, darling, you look desperate. Fancy getting it on with a wardrobe?"

"From Widnes? What d'you take me for? A dining table?"

"No? Ah well. Young people today have no imagination."

If you want to flog your fucking boxes, go somewhere else. The same applies to your mad friend's disinfectant, by the way.


The Great Swine Flu Panic of 09

I just got a message about a product that as they used to say in the commercials "kills all known germs" - which appeared on Dragons' Den.

I hardly ever watch Dragons' Den to be honest for two reasons, though it's nowhere near as moronic as Sugarbaby and The Apprentice.

Half the people who have ideas remind me of the constant, wearisome procession of clients I've had over the years who were convinced they had the greatest thing since sliced bread on no available evidence except blind conceit. That is one.

Also there's a dreadful carping bottle blonde I've never seen invest in anything. She looks to me like the token woman stuck in there for reasons of political correctness, in which case you'd think they might have found someone reasonably pleasant. To be honest I wonder if she's ever really made any big money, but there you are. That is two.

But back to swine flu. The message I got said "PROVEN TO KILL SWINE FLU.

Along with MRSA, C-DIF, E-COLI, Salmonella, Listeria, Avian Flu, Athletes foot and all kinds of other infections"

I have already said I hope half the members of the House of Commons get it, starting with Bloato and "Dave" the PR man and all round phony, but see little evidence that any of the buggers would die as a result. No self-respecting disease your go anywhere near them: they are inherently more malign than any flu could be.

But this great panic epitomises the kind of thing we get regularly. Remember the time all the world's computers were going to crash? Even the current economic slump is grossly overdone. If your output went down by 5% would it be the end of the world?

It all stems from the biggest problem in the world: crass ignorance.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Afghanistan: how utterly, boringly, tragically predictable

This is the American philosopher George Santayana, who observed that those who ignore the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.

The disgusting Bliar and the absurd Bush, both ignorant of history despite having had very expensive educations, landed us by lying and subterfuge in military disasters.

Since the days of Alexander the Great who passed through but had the sense not to stop - and perhaps longer - the foolish have sent men to Afghanistan and lived, whilst other, finer men died, to regret it.

Now I see drugs are being smuggled into our military bases there.

What a surprise. Armies from countries where drug-taking is common right throughout society go to a country where providing the raw material for drugs is the only way farmers can make money.

These armies are fighting an unwinnable war in one of the most unpleasant climates on earth. What do they do in their spare time? Play chess? Discuss Jacobean tragedy? No; they are the beneficiaries of the great British and American educational systems, where - at the behest of the idiots in charge - history is no longer taught.

Vietnam all over again, but without girls.