Thursday, March 29, 2007

Instead of Television

TV Licensing called today to remind me that if I didn’t pay my outstanding license fee before the weekend, then I would no longer be legally allowed to watch tele-visual gems, like tonight’s BBC “F***Off I’m a Hairy Woman.”

Worried by the prospect of missing this, a two hour East Enders omnibus and constant reminders that the real Britain exists within the cultural perimeter of Shepherds Bush, I gave in and paid-up. Either that or the TV detector van would be waiting for me to switch on whatever ghastly rubbish the corporation chooses to serve-up on Saturday morning.

I’m writing this now because there’s nothing worth watching and on the news, it’s all about the plight of a young woman sailor, who further to her first confession that she strayed into Iranian waters, she’s now, in a second letter, calling for a complete withdrawal from Iraq. What next I wonder? I vaguely recall something about giving comfort to the enemy and “Name rank and serial number,” and Col Bob Stewart on Sky News, is equally perplexed that we’ve forgotten everyone else in the party and are happily allowing the Iranians to leverage the lone woman among the captured group.

Based on this, how many people out there now think it’s sensible for women to serve on the front line? As Colonel Stewart pointed out, equal opportunity doesn’t stop once the enemy gets his hands on you and in this case all we have available is the weak threat of an ASBO against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who seem to be treating the matter as a huge joke at our national expense. What defies belief is that government has some naïve faith in Tehran playing by international law.

But this is the Middle-east and our rules don’t apply. Day is night and white is black and a border is where you say it is one minute and somewhere else the next and “No” you can’t have your ball back or even your sailors until whichever political group feels that it’s achieved a small victory over its rivals in another ministry.

It’s depressingly similar to the lecture on governance I gave in the region two weeks ago. Government projects grind to a halt because ministers and ministries won’t cooperate and are deeply suspicious of anything that might give a small advantage to the chap running the other department.

In Jordan two years ago, the Prime Minister instructed all the different government departments to write down their processes, so the team that I was with could identify the first six to start re-engineering. Only around 40 departments out of two hundred responded and only a handful of these were intelligible. The reason, most departments had never written down their processes and anyway, they would be damned if they were going to share the information with anyone else. So the Prime Minister was ignored. I’m sure Iran is little different, although I have a standing invitation to visit from the telecoms Minister.

Staying with the subject of international differences, I think back to Tuesday night, at a drinks party, full of different nationalities, mostly senior police officers from 30 countries having fun, even the Mounties this year, with the Russians being the most affable. Perhaps the UN would achieve rather more in the world if business was carried-out in the bar. You can rely on the Russians and Ukrainians to brink their own supply of vodka too!


Eastcliff Richard said...

You don't have to pay the licence fee to watch ECR TV!

Coming soon - My Pit Bull Was A ****ing Alien!

tony flaig bignews said...

Its a tragedy Simon, that you are so cynical , one television feast at the moment is "the apprentice" with Alan Sugar BBC1. Its both educational funny gripping and addictive. This is followed by a half-hour postmortem "you're fired" BBC2 were the loser is forced to endure a half hour chat on why they failed. Brilliant and all for less than the price of a daily paper.

I hate reality shows but this is just outstanding. Unlike the James Bond Cost £11 2 hours of action and glamour with not much else.

have a look

DrMoores said...

Alan Sugar, an overated personality. I poached his Amstrad Managing Director away from him to start one of the first Internet Service Providers from the UK. The funny thing then was that Alan then came back after a while and almost bought the business but changed his mind at the last moment. A good decision in the long term as there was very little money in the ISP business, only volume.

The last thing I need to watch is Sugar playing God, as if working for him was the best a person can do. I couldn't think of anything worse!

Anonymous said...

Lord Palmerston must be spinning in his grave. How low we have fallen. To have some middle eastern despots kidnap our troops and parade them before the world is a national scandal yet it is barely mentioned in the press. This is not something we should waste diplomacy on, we should do as Newt Gingrich suggests. Send a covert team into Iran and destroy their sole gasoline refinery. Then enforce a blockade of gasoline tankers. How long would they hold out with no petrol?

Sadly we no longer have politicians with any spine. All we have is craven cowards that only understand spin and appeasement. This situation is just the beginning and failure to act in a decisive manner will embolden them. In the long term I believe a war is coming with Iran. When they have nuclear capability they will use it. If we choose to back down now it will make matters far worse in the future.

tony flaig bignews said...

Re Alan Sugar
Well with all due respect (hav'nt used that phrase for some time(Sales peoples phrase meaning your wrong))Simon.

I find that despite his success, he retains a gritty down to earth approach and not likely to be sidetracked with Bull.

Given that your future colleagues in the local conservative party, seem to think that they are buccaneering entrepreneurs, rather than custodians of public finance and government you may well benefit from watching this guy.

Clearly you are more successful in your own way than I will ever be but until this time last year I'd heard of Alan Sugar and forgive me it was Moore a case of Dr Who.

Still you are more famous than me, and if I were a resident of Westgate I would throw caution to the wind and vote for you, since I occasionally agree with you.

Pity your not standing for the Liberal Democrats.

DrMoores said...

I really wouldn't expect you to have heard of me Tony but thank you for your note of support.

Mr Sugar's series represents all that's wrong with the cult of celebrity. After all, think of the last Amstrad success.. come on, try harder!! Exactly, being an entrepreneur is good but giving cult status to Alan Sugar, shows hosw desparate we are for succesful business role models in this country. It's the private sector equivalent of, well, Ken Livingstone!

Anonymous said...

Ed, your veiws on Alan Sugar wouldn't be influenced by the fact that he donates money to the Labour Party by any chance. I mean if he financed the tories would you be of the same opinion in public.

tony flaig bignews said...

Edison perfected one light bulb, but went on with various projects.

Where I think Alan Sugar differs from being a celeb cult figure is that he looks as if he understands business more so than say Branson whose principal skill seems to be wearing woolly jumpers and have more than his fair share of teeth and luck.

I honestly cannot think of any recent runaway success product wise but the brand still exists, but I certainly remember Amstrad as a pioneer in computing not due any technical abilities but because it gave me what I wanted a simple no fuss word processor PCW8256 before most had heard of microsoft.

What happened to all the others firms of that era Sinclair, Apricot, Dragon, Acorn

Sugar put some of his money into property wise thing to do after making a heap in a volatile market

Any how forget all this my original point in this thread was that the appretice series on BBC was first class television, bury the hatchet watch and enjoy.

DrMoores said...

To be honest, it never occurred to me that Alan Sugar had a Labour Party connection but even then, it makes no difference to my opinion.

I regard him as a poor role model and a bully in an expensive suit. An opinion I have heard expressed in the past by people I have known to have worked for him.

If his adversorial style of business was any good, it would be followed elsewhere. Better to start with Mark McCormack's "What they don't teach you at Harvard Business School" for a more succesful career in business

Mind you, I should thank him for the first cheap Amstrad PCs, I had loads of the things!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Nick Hewer is the brains behind Sugar, just as Will Whitehorn is the brains behind Branson. I thought everyone knew that.

Maybe that's what I should do. Find a brash, ballsey sort of bloke to front up my media empire, while I lurk in the background counting the sponds!

Oh, I forgot. That's what I do already.