Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hogg Heaven

Seriously, does anyone out there really get Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown? The ‘revelations’ this week that he is a Stalinist with contempt for each and every one of his colleagues have been greeted with a resounding ‘well, yeah, like tell us something we don’t know’. Yet the chorus of parliamentary insiders tumbling over themselves to privately confirm the blindingly obvious, are as one in terror of having their names linked to what is virtually a statement of incontrovertible fact. Everyone in Downy Street is shit-scared of this duck. Is that good?

If as party loyalist Harriet 'The Hen' Harman suggests for Stalinist control freak and general putsch fetishist we should read ‘strong leadership’, what does anyone have to worry about? Strong leadership is great, right? Personally I’m not that big on leadership and if it means working for a total cunt who terrifies you and makes your working life a suicidal misery then I’m fervently opposed to it. Call me old fashioned but my idea of a ‘boss’ is someone who knows more than you do but is still interested in finding out what you have to contribute. You willingly do what they ask because they have bothered to explain to you, or even work with you to ascertain that it is necessary. It’s a working practice I like to call co operation – not seen a lot anymore.

Ideally, your boss is not so eaten up by self-doubt that he couldn’t stomach even a sham of a contest for promotion. Hopefully the likes of Rowan Atkinson alike David Mild’n’bland or gob on a stick John ‘Chopper’ Reid would propel him towards the mirror where he would recite the mantra, ‘Bring it on’ – although doing it like Neil Kinnock would be self-defeating, obviously. Mostly, you’d want your boss, if you were to respect him at all, not to become so obsessed with being liked that he would lavish unwanted tax cuts on a population already drowning in their own excess disposable income and consumed with guilt about the contribution they are making to global warning with their dozen annual 99p Ryanair flights.

Or you could have a boss like Gordon Pell of the Royal Bank of Scotland who recently wrote to employees telling them that they must have their salaries paid into a RBS bank account. ‘Failure to do so’, he threatened, ‘will represent a breach of group policy and I will be obliged to write directly to your line manager asking them to progress this matter according to the group's disciplinary policy.’ Gosh, I’d be really scared. Of course, it’s only going to take five minutes to establish that this is completely unlawful. You just wonder what goes on in the heads of the people who come up with this crap. What possible gain would there be in bullying employees like this, except subjugation by terror? Does anyone truly think there’s a production positive there?

I’ve worked in the public sector. I know that bullying and threatening behaviour is a first, if not only resort for a lot of managers. Hell, I’m a housing association leaseholder for effsake. I am no stranger to the peculiarly adept strain of mental torture that has been perfected by these, the Boss Hoggs of social housing. But why, in gentle Britain - home of the co operative movement, Quaker businesses and tea shops with homemade fudge, have we suddenly gone from luncheon vouchers and Friday afternoons in the Frog and Nightingale to being stood over while we sign away our rights to be protected by the European Working Time Directive? It’s like no one who is designing these thumb screws has ever sat in an office and worked out that unhappy employees will find a way to thumb screw them right back by giving them the least amount of work possible for the twelve excruciating hours they are chained to their Health & Safety Executive approved work station.

Maybe there’s a reason the Government is resolutely refusing to issue a full apology for the role its long ago predecessor played in the slave trade on the two hundredth anniversary of its abolition, despite the certainty that there would only be a positive impact on the nation’s reputation and conscience by doing so. I’m thinking there might be a chance that someone, somewhere is looking at the viability of reintroducing slavery, for the good of the nation you understand…

Cartoon by Steve Bell from The Guardian


Stray said...

bravo Ms Pants. A thoroughly sound rant, and yet you managed to squeeze the c-word in as well.

Ms M sent me over to look, and she was right.


Janejill said...

That is the spirit; I also hate and detest sulkers and Gordon Brown is I think a HUGE one; I can't decide whether to feel sorry for his wife or not - sometimes she looks really oppressed and hopeless; other times she wears one of those nasty "I'm in with the buklly-boys" smirks... or am I being unfair

That's so pants said...

Welcome Stray - would you like to share a saucer of milk?

Hi Janejill - I find her creepy actually. It's like she was bought off eBay when he realised he'd had to have a spouse in case people thought he was gay. She's got that runt of the litter look about her.

Liz said...

Good to see you back on form, Ms Pants. I missed your rants while you were poorly - I hope you're feeling much better now.

That's so pants said...

Hi Liz - Feeling good enough to give that old duck a good whacking anyway.

GoAwayPlease said...

oh great cartoon - thanks

*goes off singing*
" ... the people's flag is deepest red ..."

That's so pants said...

Hi GAP - I love Steve Bell almost as much as I love Leunig.

Stray said...

that would be lovely. Thanks!

I like that your timestamps omit the date ... it keeps us guessing.


That's so pants said...

Timestamps? Date? Whenever I do something clever it's always a mistake. This is no exception.

Janejill said...

Hi Tsp - she reminds me of one of the Beverley Hillbillies.(from a very long time ago)
I want to have time stamps ; I also want a blog roll; can no-one help me? (not Kevin Duran please - he tried and now he's on my front page, though actually there is nothing behind him (does that make sense?) Now I can't remove him.

MrZhisou said...

Enjoyable and intelligent ranting, jolly well done.

Every single management philosophy textbook and leadership plan pretty much says the same thing - treat people as the individuals they are, make use of their talents and engage them in what they are doing.

It's not rocket science, it's quite easy to understand - but hellishly difficult to implemenet because it takes enormous time and effort.

That's the real sickness in almost every business I know or know of - there simply is no decent management. This is not because there are no decent people in management positions, it is largely because they have no training or support to help them understand what to do - and no time to do it anyway.

That's so pants said...

Hi JaneJill - I've emailed you separately able the blogroll. Don't know what to do about getting rid of this Kevin chap.

Amen to that Zhisou - A triumph of Dragon's Den. If they can't find a use for you they insult and terrorise you. If on the other they think you have something valuable to offer, their only instinct is to steal it and claim the credit. Business is run by a cuntocracy of ponces.