Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Emperor's 2p

2p won't buy Brown a ticket to No 10

I don't get it.

This seemingly hailed, at least initially, 'masterstroke of political theatre', that left all and sundry gasping, was almost immediately seen for what it was and is now confirmed to be a hollow sham just a few days on.

In my line of work you keep in work by promising with professional caution, and then delighting with even better delivery. Dazzling with smoke and mirrors is bad enough when there is no substance, but is a major backfire when it turns out to be a botched attempt to conceal a failing patch-job on already straining band-aids.

This has served to do nothing but dismay, and further hold up today's political process as a piece of theatre dispensed for and only savoured by those players and favoured critics allowed within the venue, and either dismissed or despised by those outside in the real world.

Recycling is all the rage

At least I can do it with my posts, too

I want a year off paying any taxes

I was listening to a BBC Budget follow-up... and the 'performances' I heard, from both sides of the table (we pay the BBC salary bill, too), support your notion.

To be fair, much can be laid at the door of the facile demands of soundbite media, where interviewers get constrained and now savvy politicians can use the ridiculous timeslots to say nothing, not answer or duck and run to best advantage.

Dismissing the talentless robots put forward by the Conservatives and Liberals. I think I could have drummed up more coherent counter-argument from my kids' playground. There was such fertile ground for opposition to shine and show government failings and where they would make a difference. Sadly, rehashing outdated (things can change in minutes and you need to move fast to react) spin-meister training may seem like good micro-management, but doesn't do much beyond making them seem like only being worried about being on-script.

But Mr. Brown....

He was allowed to waffle out facts ... over and over and over again... that neither answered the questions nor excused the positions the country finds itself in.

This... government has had a long time more to do what it said it wished to do. Not only has it either not done it, but in many cases has changed its tune to suit.

In fact the only real achievement, supported by Mr. Brown's own testimony, has been to pour money into black holes, and/or employ legions more people to help gobble this money up to little or no result.

As just one example, to a challenge that most people, including Doctors, find the NHS to be in a dire state despite the multi-billions lavished upon it, we were treated to a time-consuming rumbled drone of figures and excuses about 'modernisation'.

And whoever thought up the nonsense of consuming precious challenge time with 'listener questions' should be shot. One, isolated, cock-up is legitimately and reasonably dismissed as not something he has heard about, but write in and it will be dealt with. When.. in another ten years?

At least Mr. Brown's red to green deep nostril investigations showed a commitment at least to recycling.

That's my 2p worth anyway.

Just what we needed

The world's poshest farm shop

The planet can now breathe easier.

Even though most farm shops hereabouts are usually on the farm, though to be fair they don't provide too many yoga mats. I'd drive to London to get mine but unlike the clientele above, would probably need a C-charge sticker for my 4x4, if I could afford one.

Are JCB's exempt?

The enemy of my enemy

Storm in a TV studio

'We should complain, loudly and aggressively, every time we catch the Corporation being lopsided. Believe me, they really will listen.'

Can't speak for the EU aspect, but I have complained to the BBC several times recently, loudly if politely, every time they have engaged in dire standards of journalism and plain twisting of facts to suit editorial agendas. In one recent episode, they selected just one sentence of three that I sent in as comment, which turned what I said through 180 degrees.

Believe me, when you do fire off a serve they have a vast funded empire of munchkins who will indeed send you placatory emails that they are listening, checking and, eventually, don't see the problem but thanks for writing. To insist on a follow up you can't reply directly, but have to restart the process all over again.

Even the cosy, pointless Newswatch, which gets junior management up at dawn at the weekend to sulkily say 'maybe we need to do better' or 'no, we've checked (probably with the complaints dept. munchkins) and it was all fine' in reply to prime time transgressions, at least tries... a bit. But what they choose to share, or not, is down to internal decision... of the BBC.

Who monitors the complaints department? Like so much spun and hyped in politics and business these days, there is no point in listening if you have no intention of hearing, much less acting.