Friday, 5 June 2009

Friday 05/06/09

Eton flu victim is a swine. See here for details.

Yesterday’s trip to Christchurch was for a job interview with another part of the business. Three people interviewed me, including the obligatory representative from HR who contributes bugger all and feels compelled to ask the standard and totally irrelevant HR question in order to justify being there; tell me about your failures and what you learned from them. I mean, what is the relevance of that question? Do they think people are going to actually volunteer a catalogue of failures? It’s a question straight from the Janet & John book of HR interviewing from the 1960s. No – people are recruited not on any objective criteria, but on how well their bosses think they will get along with them, whether their work will make their boss look good and whether they will pose a threat to their boss’s position at some stage in the future.

Not sure what’s going on in the Labour party with all these calls for Gordon Brown to resign. Can anyone please tell me what he’s meant to have done wrong? Any flak should be directed at MPs and cabinet ministers who have been feathering their own nests, rather than a PM whose has policies that seem to be working and on which the leader of the opposition is singularly unwilling to engage him in political debate. Some MPs really do make the whole bunch of them look like an arrogant, despicable and self-serving bunch of prostitute mercenaries of the lowest order. I wonder if that’s because the majority is indeed an arrogant, despicable and self-serving bunch of prostitute mercenaries of the lowest order.

After 13 odd years of the same government being in power, people do tend to get fed up and want a change. Inexplicable, but a fact of life, and once a party starts to slide then there’s no hope. No party has ever miraculously come back from a steep slide. MPs don’t seem to recognise this and feel that abandoning a sinking ship and rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is going to result in a dramatic turnaround. It just won’t happen. You could put the Queen herself at the head of Labour and still the hoi polloi won’t vote for it. They want change – even if that change means bringing in a smarmy twerp bereft of a single policy as PM. Such is the way of a capricious and ignorant electorate which is more impressed by suits and hairstyles than policy.

Politics these days has nothing to do with principles. Parties no longer espouse a principle and persuade the electorate that their view is a good one. Rather they initiate focus groups and mini-polls to see what the electorate want and shape policy accordingly, doing anything whatsoever to get into power. If that’s the case (which it is, as evidenced by the lack of any clear blue water between any of the parties), then party politics need not exist – we merely need a civil service that continually polls the country on policy and puts it into place.


  1. Those poor Eton boys. They must be devasted that their College has been shut down. What to do? Sit in the Orangery all day smoking a joint. The only thing that I see wrong with Gordon Brown is his singular lack of a personality. Since when did politics EVER have anything to do with principles? You'll love this. My son told me that when his teacher asked the class what the name of the Prime Minister of Britain was, one of the boys said 'Alex Ferguson'.

  2. Eton ? What a mess! (ask Hay if you don't get it).

    Don't quite agree with you on civil servants running the country - more like the stinking rich and big businesses. We get the government we deserve. You get Gordon Brown, France gets Nicolas Sarkozy! And the socialist party in France can't even agree with itself, so that's leaving the door wide open for the Front National. Hmm, politics, don't you just love 'em?

    As for HR people, I agree totally - and I am one. I've found that putting people at their ease in an interview gives you a much better feeling of who they are - they tend to let things slip that they wouldn't if they were on their best behaviour. Very revealing.

  3. Belle: The Germans had a leader with a personality in the 30s, as did Russia.

    Kapgaf: Yes, I understand the Eton Mess reference.

    I can see nothing wrong with Gordon Brown, other than his lack of personality. He's doing the job, and quite well. Cameroon, on the other hand, has spades of personality but bugger all else. Certainly not any policies.

    Not sure why the HR guy was there at all, except to ensure due process.

  4. I know of no German leader with personality, except perhaps the current one (although that might be because she is a woman) and the only Russian I can think of with personality was Gorbachev, (although that might have been more to do with the Vodka)Obviously, you and I differ greatly on our definition of 'personality, because I find Cameron completely vacuous as well. I must have missed out on his 'spades' of personality.

  5. Belle: Herr Schickelgruber held Germany together through force of personality, backed up with some blackshirts. Mr Jughashvili did the same, but eventually turned to using secret police. It cannot be denied that these men had huge personality - albeit a somewhat nasty one. Hitler mesmerised people with his oratory.

    Cameron is entertaining in conversation and does have personality. It's policy he's bereft of and his vacuosity lies in his inability to produce a strategy that anyone can believe in. He's agreed with virtually everything Brown has done and then has the temerity to suggest Brown should go. It beggars belief.

  6. Still can't get my head around Herr Schickelgruber having a personality, but I suspect you must be right, so on that point I will acquiesce. You should run for office. I would vote for you.