Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Information Commissioner's Rap

Ever wondered what an Information Commissioner does for a living? We asked our "resident commissioner" to rap on the subject...

I'm da commissioner.
The info MC
There's nothing, no info
Don't pass by me

Got my powers
From da powers-that-be
They said my job
Was to "oversee"

"Oversee what?" I asked
"Will you please tell me?"
"Personal data," say they
Of guys like you and me."

"But what do I do
When Rupert M wants our data?"
"Dunno," say they
"Get back to you later?"


Much, much later...
Much much later... 
So much later... 
All da sensitive data.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Stop the presses!

What happened to "characters" previously depicted on these pages?

1) Did the predictions of a mad Libyan oligarch come true?

"These crazy rebels, they will use Libya's oil money to buy drugs from that Satan Obama. These drugs will make the rebels dream insane dreams. The ordinary citizen will think he can eat the desert sands and eat the camels, all the camels in Libya, even the brother sister's camels, and after that he will want to eat the tent in which he live and the tent in which I live too. And soon after that, all the camels in Libya and everywhere, they too will want to eat all the tents. And after that happen, President Osama, he will send his dogs into Libya. And he will have given them guns and hallucinatory drugs as well. Those dogs, they will then want to shoot the camels and eat them. And then the sands, they will swallow up the camels and the tents and the peoples. And all of Libya will disappear into nowhere. I ask you: What kind of hallucinations is that? Not my kind, peoples. Not my kind."

2) What happened to the man brought in to advise on breast-milk ice-cream?

"I have looked long and hard at female breasts. As a rich source of nourishment for developing infants, breasts are invaluable. But I do not believe we should look at breasts - common though they may be - as something to be taken for granted, that is to say, as the basis for food production. Would it not be so much simpler for retailers to produce and market breast-milk flavoured ice cream?"

3) What's up with Lord Prescott?

"Just because I have decided to don the ermine which has always been the very insignia of working class oppressors through the ages, it in  no way, shape or form suggests that I am about to surrender my fight with those who would undermine those values and those  beliefs that I have fought for all of my working life to overcome.

"However I would like to state without uncertainty that those rumours suggesting I am about to follow the path of Comrade Blair and adopt the learnings and the rituals of the Pontiff in Rome and the acceptance of the Latin Mass have no foundation nor  justification here on earth nor anywhere else at this present time."

4) Large Hadron Collider - Despite a stack of money being thrown at this Geneva based "experiment" scientists now indicate the Higgs-Boson particle might not actually exist after all. Here's what we said previously:-

Hadron Collider will be sold to developers

The powers that be have come up with a novel solution: convert the collider into a theme park, which will include a Super-Collider Fun Ride, plus an activity centre that'll show people how to make their own Higgs-Bozo particle.

Fashion designers will launch a range of "Collision" Clothing and toy manufacturers will produce scale models of the particle - which should provide hours of fun for children.

Asked to comment on these developments, a scientist called Ron said: “We might as well put the collider to some use.  And anyway, I was sick of my mates saying: You know what? We’ve been had Ron.”

5) What became of all those esoteric financial products that bankrupted global economies?

"Guys, guys, guys... collateralised debt obligations are so last season.We've an exciting new range of products nowadays. For example: "Collateralised vulture re-purchase funds", "re-collateralised quantitative easing obligations", "de-collateralised sub-prime re-purchase profits-only obligations", "fractionally-collateralised inflationary no-lose take-profit obligations", "quasi-collateralised bonus obligation obligations", and the latest "un-reconstructed massive-bonus re-newal obligations".

So don't say that bankers haven't changed. In fact we've totally re-invented ourselves!"

The original "stories" can be found by using the search engine to the right!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Everybody needs good neighbours

From the archive:-

These days Select Committee hearings focus mainly on policing and the behaviour of the tabloid press (the televised ones do, at least.) But not that long ago it was bankers who were in the spotlight.

On one occasion back in early 2010, the boss of RBS, Stephen Hester, tried to laugh off his exorbitant pay packet. Here's how this blog viewed his performance back then. (How times have changed...):-

MONDAY, 11 JANUARY 2010 - "10 million pound RBS Boss: Even my parents think I'm a greedy bastard."

RBS boss Stephen Hester gave evidence to the Treasury select committee yesterday afternoon. This is the "transcript" of that evidence.

John McFall, MP: May I ask, what do your parents think of you, Mr Hester?

Hester: They think I'm a greedy bastard.

(Roars of laughter in the committee room)

McFall: (Wiping tears from his eyes) Very good, Mr Hester. If I may say, that is an excellent joke. And one that I would expect from someone of your great stature. Now moving on, what does your wife think of you?

Hester: She thinks I'm a greedy bastard, but she likes the new kitchen.

(Derision throughout the chamber. Sound of MPs and journalists falling off their chairs)

McFall: You're in the wrong job, Mr Hester. You're a regular comedian, are you not? Were I head of light entertainment at the BBC I would pay you at least twenty million.

Hester: Indeed you would Mr McFall. Indeed you would.

(More laughter and derision.)

McFall: (Fighting to hold back the tears) Too much, too much, Mr Hester... Now, Mr H. What do your children think of you? And please, please take your time. I haven't yet wiped away all of those tears that your last joke caused.

Hester: What do my children think? Well, Tom loved the Porsche. Tallulah adored the new pony and paddock, whilst Ed thinks I'm God after I bought him the recording studio.

(The chamber descends into chaos)

McFall: I have never come across such flair, such elegant wit. I am lucky to be here at this moment in time. Indeed, very lucky. Now, Mr Hester, what do your neighbours make of you?

Hester: My neighbours think I'm a greedy bastard. That's because they are envious. They tell people in our local village that I am a tosser. But they have to be nice to my face. You see, each year my family throws the most lavish summer ball in the county. If neighbours Ron and Val don't show due deference whenever they are in my company then they will find themselves very much uninvited. So, Ron and Val... who are the tossers now, eh? Eh?

(Howls of laughter around the chamber)

McFall: (Trying to compose himself) We are witnessing pure genius. None could ever possibly question your salary, however high it might be, Mr Hester. You are indeed a man who is not simply rich in monetary terms, but also in terms of your character, your spirit and your charming humour. Now, Mr Hester. One final question: What does the taxpayer think of you, do you reckon?

Hester: The taxpayer? Who the hell gives a fuck about them?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

When bankers were (just as) powerful.

On BBC2 this evening satirist Ian Hislop will take a look at philanthropy within the Victorian banking community. He will focus on characters like Peabody, Gurney and Rothschild all of whom "gave something back to society".

But before we get too excited, we should remember there was one thing Victorian bankers were as loathe to "give back" as their modern counterparts. Namely, power.

Here are a couple of relevant quotes (lest we forget) :-

Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild:

“I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.”

Rt. Hon. Reginald McKenna, Midland Bank, England's Secretary of the Exchequer:

"Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people."

Problem is, how do you encourage bankers to give (power) back to society?

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Lyricism of the Technocrat

A technocrat writes:

"You know, just because we are supposedly grey, unelected technocrats, this does not mean that we are thinking, sleeping and dreaming in barren prose all of the time. No! On the contrary. You will be aware that my good friend and fellow Europhile, Herman Von Rompuy has a great love of the Japanese art of Haiku. And we have been seeing many of his great works in such a respect over recent years.

"I too would love to share with you one of my efforts in the art of poetry. It is a clever and challenging variation on the words of that great chap and fellow St. Francis of Assisi. And I hope that you will a-see-see the true poignancy of my work (that sentence was what you British might call a pun - of sorts, anyhow!)

"Where there is discord, may we bring fiscal harmonisation,
Where there is error, may we bring political formalisation,
Where there is doubt, may we bring jargon (of the Euro-specific variety),
And where there is despair, may you lot simply get used to it."

"These are my heartfelt words and I hope you will understand where I am now coming from! Thank you.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

We're no wise-guys!

A newspaper magnate writes:

"I would like to comment on what I deem to be the somewhat inappropriate remarks made by a certain Mr. Watson during the select committee hearing that I had the good fortune to attend this week.

"Mr. Watson insinuated on a number of occasions that the behaviour of myself and Papa over recent years might well be compared (although not confined) to the various actions of our good friend and confidante Don Vito, whom, incidentally I have rarely met, and then only in circumstances where it was appropriate to discuss a recent baseball game or the declining state of European finances.

"Whilst it is commonplace for successful senior executives such as myself to "hang out" with wise-guys from time to time, this should in no way be taken to infer that Papa or I in any way condone the actions of such guys, which invariably, I am told, include the pursuit, surveillance and "taking out" of enemies and the planting of horses heads in bed-clothing in order to generate a sense of menace thereof.

"I can state quite categorically that, to the best of my knowledge, the organisation that Papa and I currently run is in most instances thoroughly "clean". Where certain indiscretions, like those indicated, but as yet unproven by the select committee, have indeed occurred this will have been simply on the basis of expediency. And those executives who have engaged in said indiscretions will have, for the most part, been dealt with in the appropriate manner (which, for the sake of confidentiality, I am not at liberty to divulge.)

"I hope that this sets the record straight. I trust that it is also clear from the tone of my statement herein that I do in no way display the style nor the nuances of a Capo (di tutti Capi or otherwise), but rather those of a Harvard man who has succesfully gone on to run a global media concern. As for Mr. Watson, I am unable in this instance to say how exactly we will respond to the allegations that he made this week. This is due to the fact that my organisation's code of honour expressly forbids me from doing so.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Euro if you want to

Poetry corner...

Euro, Euro, Euro your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile
Don't forget to reach some kind of negotiated settlement

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Dinosaur extinction linked to global b/s

Did a 10KM wide asteroid really end it for dinosaurs? Or could they actually have been wiped out by something closer to home?

This is a claim made by research scientists at UCBS who are suggesting greenhouse gases emanating from unfeasibly large faeces could have made life on Earth unsustainable.

The research focuses upon the enormous amount of methane released into the atmosphere each time Diplodocus or awesome T-Rex parked their breakfast.

What we do know is this:

- In a single year the average Guernsey cow releases 80 to 120 KG of methane into the atmosphere.

- A lone Diplodocus could have released 4.5 times that amount in a single week - and that's in a good week.

Earlier this year scientists at the University of Utrecht indicated a possible volcanic killer: a burst of methane gas triggered by volcanic greenhouse gases.

But could the real killer have been poor potty training?

(More on this BS from UCBS as it breaks...)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Global University

Coursework: The Long Term Benefits of Globalisation - Part 3a, Section 2.
Our very own Professor Gspot offers the following criteria for global economic harmony:

"Once the multiple and diverse economies of the global community have become fully and soundly integrated, the leaders of those individual economies will naturally find themselves not only committed to the spread of global enterprise and endeavour and the pursuit of wider wealth generation, but also the furtherance of a unified taxation strategy that ensures that the bailout junkies and the bounty hunting bankers - who dream of running off to Asia or Switzerland once the going gets tough - find they no longer have anywhere to hide. Unless, of course the terms of globalisation, as defined by Western leaders over the past decade, did not, or had not, taken this very taxation issue - along with all of the entrepreneurial running and the hiding - into account. In which case, what we globalisationists would find ourselves concluding is as follows: Your money is our money. And our money is our money."

Thursday, 3 November 2011

How To Spend It - A "Political Capital" special.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has scrapped his referendum on the European bailout. We decided to run our own poll - in conjunction with Political Capital's How Not To Spend It magazine - to uncover what's really at stake for the Greek peeps. To a thoroughly unrepresentative sample of putative Greek citizens we put the following question:-

When you dwell upon your illustrious past what kind of Greeks do you find yourself identifying with?

a) The 300 Spartans at Thermopylae?

b) The treacherous Greeks who'd sooner side with the rich, obscenely generous and fashionable King Xerxes of Persia?

c) The 300 Spartans at, er... Brussels?

The results are not yet in. They might never be. In.

But watch this space.

Et tu, Berlusconi.