Thursday, 5 February 2009

What the hell is wrong with cronyism anyway?

Well, I seem to have put my immaculately brogued size five in it again. And as usual the press tittle-tattle concerns the supposed conflict of interest between my role at BUBB and my completely unrelated position as chair of the government backed funding initiative Umbrellabuilders England (UBE). UBE dishes out loans and investments to umbrella based projects and the suggestion in such ahem learned publications as Brolly Weekly, Rainshield Times, and to a lesser extent, Canopy Finance, is that I will somehow favour the money whims of my members over other deserving projects. As if that is a bad thing!

Last summer one of my members, a particularly fine Burberry umbrella, was suddenly ditched by its owner, reportedly because of its unhappiness to relocate to Australia. Quite right too, a hot climate with sudden bursts of heavy rain is no place for such a classy piece of umbrella engineering. I advocated vocally on behalf of my member, and there was some legal nonsense then it all calmed down.

Last week, a decision was made by UBE, quite independently of myself I should add, that to not use the excellent services of this umbrella and leave it languishing in a dusty attic was criminal so a job was created specially for it as the official rain protector for UBE's chief executive. This involves providing precipitation assistance on the occasions when he has to walk from the car to the entrance of a building in a shower. This has caused a right old furore as apparently we should have advertised the position instead of just handing it straight to the said umbrella but frankly it is the best for the job so there.

All this rubbishing of cronyism is another example of the namby pamby nanny state PC gone mad times we live in I am afraid. What is the point of an Oxford education if you can't help out your old friends when you are in the position of power to do so?

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