Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Beards, spare ribs and governance

I was chatting to a guy called Philip at the Palace about my blog a couple of days ago. The Peking Palace that is where I went for an afternoon blow out with my deputy Hector (all you can eat for four quid before 4pm). Philip was sitting on an adjacent table minding his own business and working his way through a huge plate of spare ribs so I decided he looked well up for hearing about my blog. "What's a blog?" he asked. "Do you eat it? Is it on the menu here? If it ain't covered in spicy MSG based gloop, I ain't interested." Hector started chuckling and Philip snarled at him, "what's so funny beardie?"

I should explain at this point that Hector has been growing some ridiculous pseudo Sino style facial furniture that makes him look a bit like an old school Peking emperor. I won't repeat verbatim what Philip said next about Hector's chin chintz but rest assured it wasn't very complimentary about the Chinese, indeed had echoes of some well publicised racist gaffes that his namesake Prince has made over the years. Staff came rushing over to see what the commotion was and it all got a bit heated and confused. As a result Hector has been banned from the restaurant for life for mocking Chinese tradition with his whiskers and I have decided to ban facial hair for BUBB staff (male and female) as a precaution against any further incidents.

However, I have been much cheered by the publication of a new report about umbrella governance, Umbrella Matters, by those eggheads at New Fillcanopy Capital. For years I have been banging on about poor umbrella governance and it now seems that someone agrees with me. It is chaotic and needs sorting out. Umbrella owners must be allowed to receive payment for brolly custodianship or else we risk seeing more images such a these.

But too many people are interested in keeping the status quo, though quite what championing a bunch of aging three chord guitar rock heroes has to do with it I am not sure. These apologists for the current system argue that payment and abandoning the voluntary principle will lead to conflicts of interest and situations whereby the great and the good just take on more and more umbrellas simply to rake in the cash, without being able to dedicate adequate time to owning any of them properly. And I for one do not see a problem with that. The Umbrella Commission must act now.

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