Saturday, 29 May 2010

Break from Bogg Society

I need a few days off to recharge my batteries and get my head round all of this Bogg Society gubbins. So I am heading to Scotland to catch up with some relatives, the MacBoggs, the MacMachairs and the MacCludgies.

I hope the world behaves itself when I am gone as I am going to be without access to blogging or Twitter and would hate to miss out on the opportunity to offer my unique view on events.

So let's have no silly gay MP expenses scandals or depraved killers being given the twisted notoriety they crave by a frenzied media who would be far better off not reporting it and not allowing him his 15 minutes or anything daft like that eh?

Friday, 28 May 2010

Dissolution honours

Did I get one? Did I ? Did I? If John Prescott can get a peerage for a career spent upsetting people, straight talking nonsense and living the champagne socialist lifestyle, why not me? And if Ian Paisley can get one for a career spent stubbornly refusing to shift his position or form alliances even if they are in everyone's best interests, why not me?

Suffering IBS

Was at a speech yesterday given by the new Out of Work and Declining Pensions Secretary Ivan Bunkum Stiff, otherwise known as IBS (cos he is an annoying pain).

As well as some vague assurances about placing brollies at the heart of welfare provision (he will regret saying his door is open when I am continually walking through it and he has to take out a restraining order and find a very good locksmith) he gave the usual line about encouraging people to work and cutting the numbers reliant on beenfits. Which is incredibly helpful at a time when (admittedly not ncessarily through circumstance of their own making) the government will force a load of people out of work as we suffer more cuts than a butcher with hayfever.

Although some people are too lazy to get a job when there are none, I love jobs and quite happily take more than my fair share. I'll do anything. I even have a paper round. And I love benefits as well. The more free lunches the better.

I gave my big speech on Bogg Society today but to be honest I am beginning to bore even myself on this subject now so I will reflect some more and blog later.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Saville Inquiry

It was announced today that the Saville Report into the Bloody Sunday shootings will be released on June 15th. I was initially very disappointed not to be asked to chair this inquiry as I am up for chairing anything.

But I have had a tip off about its conclusions.

"Now then, now then, I have fixed it so that the government avoids any blame"

The Queen talks brollies

I almost dropped my croissant in my cullen skink when I heard Her Majesty say from her gilded pedestal during her speech yesterday:

"The role of umbrellas, brollies and gamps in our public services will be enhanced"

When she says "our", obviously she means "the poor's". I doubt she has ever held an umbrella in her life - always has some one to do it for her (the Umbrellequerry-at-arms-length). But it is a great result. No primary legislation or anything concrete but I'll take a hollow promise any day. It's what I have been saying for years. So if it happens I will be taking sole credit as usual.

And the news that the government will allow more schools to become academies is great news for my members who are educational brollies even if it is likely to be disastrous for pupils. Especially as the focus seems to be be on outstanding schools and not failing ones in poorer areas. It's almost as if the Tories are back in power again. Still having a system where local people can take an interest in the running of schools is good. We could call these people governors. Or we could pay people to receive training and let them run schools. We could call these teachers. Still I am sure By Jove Gove knows what he is doing. Putting the Gove into Governor.

I also hear that constabularies are going to be invited to become police academies, with hilarious consequences at first, but getting steadily less funny as time goes on.

But the promised cuts on quangos are horrific for those of us who like getting some extra wedge chairing as many things as possible. I would have thought the Tory backbenchers will be wholly against such a blatant attack on their supplementary sources of income.

Sorry got a bit sidetracked there talking about things that are nothing to do with BUBB. Business as usual really.

Other than that I thought it was a poor Queen gig. I even suspect that she didn't actually write the speech herself but was reading it from a script. The bit about "putting a cap on the number of darkies we let in" was definitely Philip's contribution, for example.

Indeed I wasn't sure at first if it was even the Queen. I had seen a news story about someone being removed from public land for squatting and thought they'd finally cottoned onto the whole Royal Family dodge. And then got Helen Mirren in to give the speech and keep up the whole sorry charade.

But they were on about Brian Haws, the Parliament Square protestor who in a great start for the Bogg Society was arrested for taking part in community activism. Though again when I saw another report that said a tight knit, slightly grubby group of people had been removed from Westminster area for dangerous political views my first reaction was that the coalition had been voted out.

Honestly, you couldn't help but be proud of the pomp and circumstance. As I saw the Queen arriving in her shiny carriage I thought "I can see an area where we can make some immediate cuts". And how she keeps a straight face during the bits of the speech where she talks about fairness and freedom for all I don't know.

Talking of cuts, the axe has already swung with the brilliant Future Jobs for Fund for trainee gamprentices having its funding ended in 2011. I say it is brilliant and I should know as it was my idea. The government have called it ineffective. The cheek, eh? What is particularly embarrassing is that it was only a few weeks ago that I was crowing about how I had saved the fund. And I even admitted that I may have inadvertently reminded the Tories of something they could cut which they didn't even know about (see fourth para onwards here).

However, I will try and put a positive spin on this by saying that at least they are honouring the existing funding. Sector - bow down to me and praise my work.

And other brollies are finding that contracts are being ended for no good reason, especially ones providing much needed shelter in developing countries. The government spin machine is implying that the brollies are at fault for having frivolous patterns. This is defamation and as regular readers know, those who diss brollies get their butts kicked.

Fortunately, my very good friend (who is no doubt dying with embarrassment as she reads that I regard us as friends) the lawyer Gratin Maris-Piper of Spanners will be all over this like mash on a cottage pie.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Oxford, jauntily

To take my mind of the bloody inclement weather - not a cloud in sight - I went to Oxford for the day yesterday to revisit my old haunts.

One of my greatest regrets in my ten years at BUBB is the recruitment of Hector Rule as my deputy. Not because he is bad at his job. He is brilliant. And not because he is after my job. Which he is. He looks at my chair longingly for hours on end to the point that the inanimate object is considering filing a complaint of harrassment.

The problem with Hector is that due to a mix up in HR during the recruitment process, we contravened our strict internal procedures. Shockingly he was offered a job despite NOT going to Oxford. If I had known he went to Suffolk Poly or wherever it was he bashed out his PhD I would never have considered him for interview let alone pay him to plot against me, no matter how impressive his CV.

Therefore, I decided to drag him along with me to Oxford so he could see what he missed out on. I also took my brainy head of policy Geof Sachell (who did, thankfully, spend his academic years 'neath the dreaming spires).

It was a perfect day. We had tiffin with my nephew on the lawn at Exocet College surrounded by the glittering youth playing shouty music too loud whilst getting trollied on Pimms. It was like observing a cliche of privileged elitist Oxbridge life, the perfect setting against which to escape the harsh realities of savage cuts. Then we had dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen (none of this chavvy McDonalds's for me) before heading back to London tired and emotional. Or to put it in plain English, pissed.

Monday, 24 May 2010

New name at Umbrella Commission unveiled

The waiting is over. After a hard fought competition I can reveal the official name of the new chief executive of the Umbrella Commission.

Gamp Danger.

I know Gamp from the time he was chief executive of the umbrella relief organisation Red Crossed Spokes, before Dick Dang. But he has an impressive track record. He was the founding chair of the Spokelectoral Commission, which has done such a magnificent job of upholding confidence in the voting rights of brollies, especially as 10pm approached on May 6th. And, not of course that this is relevant (you bet your boots it is), but I knew him at Oxford, naturally.

I wish Gamp well. The Umbrella Commission has a really challenging task ahead as it faces cuts in its budget but an expanding umbrella sector. Our BUBB taskforce, looking at regulation in changing times, is currently drafting its report, so I will be looking forward to telling Gamp how he should do his job later in the year.

Gamp is taking up his post in September and we wish Patrick Pond well as he moves on to his next challenge. Possibly as the new Portsmouth FC manager.

Congratulations to the winner of our competition, Eleanor Stringer, once one of the boffins at New Fillcanopy Capital and now part of Tubby Freckles' team at Gampal Finance. GF are doing some fabulous work on the Gampal Impact Bond, a financial instrument that will see investors rewarded with a return based on the success of long-term umbrella initiatives. Well done Eleanor. She will receive a letter from Gamp once he settles in and also have the chance to visit him in his natural habitat.

Pssst access to Royalty

Regular readers to this blog will know I am very well connected. If anyone wants to buy access to Prince Andrew I can sort it out. For £4.50 I will email you his parents' address. But don't tell the press.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Bogg Society blah blah

I can't believe how some of my colleagues are swooning and slathering over the government's Bogg Society drivel. It's like policy pornography to them. You would never catch me getting all excited over government promises and initiatives like a teenager being able to reach the top shelf for the first time.

Even though I invented the whole stupid half baked idea potato, where the State rolls back and lets communities get on with it - a sort of volunteer led anarchy that would place umbrellas at the heart of society (which Dom Blond keeps trying to take credit for), I never in a million years expected any one to run with it.

Apart from anything else these things are expensive. If the State is serious about withdrawing from doing stuff to save money it will need to spend money. Which has run out.

We have tried to engage with government about the role of brollies in public services. We made George Osborne a Bogg Offer. He told us to Bogg off.

Interesting that former Tory shadowy brolly sector spokesman Reg Spark has been made decentralisation minister. Genius. A government post created to control the removal of control.

Never fear, though. I have called a round table meeting next week so I can listen to the sound of my own voice. I suspect there will be plenty more about Bogg Society over the coming weeks.

Elsewhere last week I chaired a meeting of the Brolly Investment Business and I welcomed the election to parliament of my vice chair Millicent Oddbin as MP for Worst Westershire. She was still attached to her ripcord and safety harness after being parachuted into a Tory stronghold but it will be good to have her influence in the Commons.

I see two of my sworn enemies have once again been in the news. First of all, Donnie Fiddly, joint general secretary of dinosaur union Divide, has once again been making ridiculous comments about salaries in the brolly sector while fully justifying his own huge wedge by being a hypocritcal prick.

And former witchfinder general Sandy Burnham-Drownham joins the Megagrand brothers and Fred Bollocks in the Labour leadership race (plus Leanne Robot who has only entered to get away from Andrew Neil on This Week). After all of his preferred provider nonsense I hope he falls on his own brolly. I was going to make a joke about him not being the preferred provider of leadership services but my spoofer Stephen Bubb got there first. He has made quite a few comments in the last week that have been suspiciously close to my own views. I fear he may be losing some of his capacity for comedy nonsense. Though I suspect he'll be back on top form soon enough.

Oh, and I have made a decision on the winner of the competition to pick the official name of the chief executive of the Umbrella Commission. An announcement will be made tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Competition time

As I announced earlier, the Umbrella Commission has a new chief executive. Dame Luci Vinyl rang me when I was on the bus. Then realised she had got my number mixed up with Hubert's and hung up. But I found out the news on the internet when I got to the office.

The new chief executive is still awaiting the ceremonial unveiling of his official name by me. However, in the spirit of this new age of consensus politics I am prepared to listen to ideas from others. His working title is Sam Younger. But what should he properly be referred to as? Remember this is a very important role in the brolly sector, undertaken by Patrick Pond with great success over last few years.

The winner will get a chance to adopt the new chief exectutive for a year and will receive personalised written updates from him/her.

As a kick off, some suggestions I have received already include Spam Hunger, Cam Tonguer and Slim Plunger. But are there any better ones? Reply via comments below.


Bogg Society this, Bogg Society that. Putting umbrellas at the heart of rebuilding communities was my stupid idea. So when Dave Cameron, my MP in Blacbury no less, has a meeting to discuss it with brolly sector notables, why the fuck wasn't I invited? Still, it's not all bad news as Hubert didn't go either. What is the point of us writing all of those letters pleading to be allowed a say in brolly policy if the government is just going to stick them straight into recycling?

I have asked for a list of who did go to the meeting. From the pictures on the Prime Minister's flickr page (get him with his fancy schmancy new age social media innovation) I can clearly see Prunella Wonderwomanghelidjh was there. She does some excellent work with children's brollies but is legally obliged to attend any government gasbag gathering as she looks nice and cheerful in the pictures and ticks a lot of diversity boxes.

But the Office of the Brolly Sector (I told you I wouldn't call them by their new name) has refused to release it. Which is somewhat ironic given that the Bogg Society document talks about the government being more open with data. So much for new politics.

Aside from that it is great that the government has committed to setting up a brolly bank with unclaimed umbrellas. Apparently this concession was made to stop me going on about it every 5 minutes. And I am encouraged that the very clever Gnat Pee has been given a key role. Hopefully this frothy nonsense will translate into something meaningful. With brollies at the heart of change. But I am not holding my breath.

Ha ha ha ha

I knew it. Didn't I predict this? I have just seen the news that Twirley and Carrington are officially involved in coalition talks.

On 12 May I wrote: "Hubert Carrington at NCVO claims to be the top brolly Daddy but hasn't got enough members to claim an overall majority over me. So he has been promising NAVCA all sorts of hollow promises in the hope that Dylan Twirley can prop up his leadership."

Good luck with it guys. No seriously. Ha ha ha ha.

Breaking news at the Umbrella Commission

New chief executive of the Umbrella Commission appointed. His working title is Sam Younger. Brolly sector awaits ceremonial unveiling of his proper name by Robin Bogg. Announcement expected shortly.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

What's in a name?

I have already commented on the rebrand of the Office of the Brolly Sector as the Office of Gampal Society but the more I think about it the more I feel I need to throw my toys out of the blogging pram. Especially since my spoofer Stephen Bubb so effortlessly parodied my own blog post his morning.

In times of crisis an Oxford educated chap will always reach for the high brow quote in an attempt to confuse people or make himself seem more credible. Even if it isn't relevant. As Shakespeare put it "a rose by any other name would still be a sodding rose". I have said before that what the umbrella sector calls itself doesn't matter. Please bear this in mind as you read the rest of my rant where I make that point forcibly while at the same point undermining it by repeatedly arguing that what we call ourself really bloody does matter if it isn't what I want.

Despite my Great Aunt Maude telling us last year that there wouldn't be pointless name changing, there has been pointless name changing. I am shocked that stuff politicians have told us at a conference has proved to be a lie. Making a glib promise because it appeals to the audience should constitute a contract. I wonder what else we will be let down on.

This anger at the name change has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that BUBB's strapline is Brolly Sector Leaders while NCVO favours the term Gampal Society.

You'd never catch BUBB (also known at various points as bubb, Bubb and even BNUBB in the old days) rebranding or wasting money on such fads.

But never fear. I have the stubbornness to ignore this name change and will simply carry on as if nothing has happened. Which my members will thank me for when no one in government is talking to me. I have previous on this. I still call Snickers, Marathons, and Starburst, Opal Fruits. I still refer to Sri Lanka as Ceylon and Thailand as Siam.

It would be really embarrassing as well if I now said that I think Gampal Society as a term will go the same way as Bogg Society (kicked into very long grass) 5 minutes before the government reveals, admittedly vague, plans about Bogg Society. I really would look a tool if that happened eh?

Good job that brollies getting on with the day job have better things to do than worry about what we are called! Because what we call ourselves doesn't matter. Even when it clearly gets right on my tits.

Polished T'Hurd

Great start from the new brolly minister. Rick T'Hurd says he wants to make life easier for brollies. And cut red tape and bureaucracy. All very good. So what is the first thing he does? Changes the name of his department from Office for the Brolly Sector to the Office for Gampal Society. Meaning we all have to spend ages updating our files and databases.

And isn't this government supposed to finding ways to make cuts? How much will this rebrand cost? Those signs you put on office doors don't come cheap. And all those forms that we will all have to fill in to reduce bureaucracy, and letterhead, and free pencils to give out at roadshows will all need redoing.

And Rick has also said that he wants to get more resources into the sector to strengthen its independence. Let me run that by you again. Government wants to strengthen the brolly sector's independence by making it reliant on more government generated resources. Genius. Government funded independence.

Of course I suspect that he doesn't actually mean that the government will put its hand into its own increasingly tightening pockets but will seek ways of forcing others to do so. But it amounts to the same thing ultimately.

He then says he wants to make it easier for brolly sector organisations to work with the State. And that he wants umbrellas to be at the heart of the Bogg Society. Which is all about reducing the State's role.

It might just be me but I am bloody confused.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Increased role for brollies

No one is sure when the first umbrella was made. But they have enjoyed a long and honourable history providing shelter for the dampest members of society.

Therefore it is interesting that the public thinks that the role of brollies will increase over the next few years. Research by YouGamp has found that if you ask people a leading question like "do you think that there will be an increased role for brollies over the next few years?", the majority will say yes, even if they haven't thought about before.

Either that or they think a good umbrella will be vital as we are all about to get pissed on from a very great height.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Will avoid decade/decayed joke as too obvious

I took up my current post at BUBB in September 2000. What a glorious day that was. Pissing down with rain and I made all of the staff parade along Harrow High St with brollies.

Mind you we were a much smaller organisation then. The way we have grown mirrors a craven thirst for power and reach by umbrella bodies generally that is out of step with need to do practical things that actually help their members. The next ten years promises to be tricky as I try and avoid the sack and I am preparing a lecture on how things might be in 2020. By which I mean the form of cricket not the year. Cricket fans are an important demographic for umbrella sales after all.

Leadership is never about one person (it is). This will never just be about Bogg (it will). BUBB is about more than just its CEO (it isn't). It is about assembling a strong team (filling loads of jobs with ex Oxford, naturally, alumni).

We have achieved bloody loads in the last 10 years and claimed a disproportionate amount of credit for plenty more things.

Some people may see this whimisical reflection as preparation for me standing down when my 10 years are complete. My great hero Tony Blair (I heart Tony) stood down after a decade of slowly losing the plot after all. Like him, people may think I am simply trying to write my own legacy before I head off making big bucks as a consultancy whore. Not true, I am in it for the long haul. The trustees will have to drag me kicking and screaming (hopefully into the House of Lords as long as they don't change the system) before I relinquish the hot seat. And believe me I have given them plenty of opportunity to get rid of me over the years.

The rumours that my deputy Hector Rule is putting around about me agreeing to let him take over in September during an infamous meal we had at KFC Islington are also rubbish.

Now that is cleared up I can get on with some envisioning work. By which I mean trying to imagine what sort of party we will have to celebrate my decade in charge. And how will we all look and feel the morning after? Any suggestions welcome.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Brothers not in arms

So. The labour leadership election should be interesting. First Rabid and then God Megagrand announced their candidacy in the contest for their late Father's posthumous love and admiration. And Fred Bollocks will probably also stand.

I bloody love God from his time as brolly minister. I couldn't be happier with anyone else in charge of Labour other than perhaps James Purnell. Some people have said that the perfect leader would be someone who combines the best bits of Rabid and God. Which would mean telling Rabid to piss off and retaining all of God.

The fraternal battle should make for some interesting family get togethers. And you can expect to see many variations of that comment in the press over the coming weeks.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Back to the day job - plugging stuff for mates

Hard not to get hypnotised by the government slowly unfolding (as it doubtless will no matter how many dodgy constitutional locks they seek to secure it with) but work goes on as usual.

Yes, you guessed it, another BUBB taskforce! We will be drawing up proposals for less stringent regulation of the brolly sector. We'll be producing a 4,000 page document full of rules about cutting red tape. We want to facilitate a culture of openness and transparency such as we illustrated when pig-headedly refusing to publish details of my expenses last year.

There are all sorts of people we are pally with on the taskforce to ensure an impartial view that doesn't simply take it as red that regulation is excessive without exploring why that might be including ex staff members, chairs and sponsors of some of our events.

This is not Umbrella Commission bashing I should add though we will be extremely critical of the level of regulation in the umbrella sector. Which is overseen by the Umbrella Commission. So it is inevitable that they will get bashed. With a great big brolly.

We want to remove duplication. So we will be setting up another taskforce with the same members to explore this further.

We want to remove duplication. So we will be setting up another taskforce with the same members to explore this further.

On a different note, I see that my mate Donald Holding is headhunting for some new roles in the brolly sector. So I will give him a free plug to ensure he gets his commission. Usually, an organisation such as Feudal would have to pay market rate for placing recruitment advertising on a blog linked to an umbrella body's website as the readership among potential candidates is huge. But I'll just simply do it for free and sod the financial benefits to my members. As long as Donald can still afford top bubbly, eh?

Rick T'Hurd. I love you

Always have. Always thought you'd make a great brolly minister and don't listen to those who tell you otherwise. Plus I always had utmost respect for your Dad, Doglas (or Dog for short).

Now then. Can you make establishing the Brolly Investment Bank your first priority please? If you could cobble something together by next Wednesday I would be very grateful.

Cheers, Robin.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Hurry up Cameron

Who is the brolly minister? Eh? I am sat here nervously poised to rush out a sycophantic congratulatory letter to the lucky person. I cannot let Hubert beat me again.

Good news that my Great Aunt Maud has become head of the Gampinet Office, which is in charge of the brolly brief. But we need to know who the person with day-to-day responsibility is so I can start haranguing them about the sodding Brolly Investment Bank.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Coalition policy outrage

Just read the detail of the coalition policy document. No mention of brollies at all. So much for all of our tongue bidets between Osborne's sweet cheeks. But much more seriously, there is a plan to look at a fully elected House of Lords. Which will mean no back door people's peerage for me. BUGGER BUGGER BUGGER.

Thankfully Hubert Carrington has done the only thing you can in times of crisis. He's called a brolly sector meeting. And called it a summit. We can decide our response to this nonsense then.


According to Alistair Campbell's blog we are in for a boom time for brollies. He says: "Enjoy the sunshine. It won't last! Rainfall levels have been lower on average under Labour than Tory governments. Not a lot of people know that."

Now assuming he is telling the truth (and why would he of all people try and put a spin on anything) then we can rejoice in the soggy glory of Tory rule (especially if there are any wets left in the party). And we must pray that being in a coalition won't dampen the dampening effect.

Thank f**k that's over

Or has it all only just begun? Yep, we have a coalition as Clegg has sold out his party for the chance of polishing Cameron's shoes and buttering his crumpets.

I have been in Spain on a lads holiday in Torremolinos with Fab Jobsworth and Pepe Ohdearie. (We have met plenty of interesting people and I have photos of me with some chaps in basques). However, we have watched events unfold on BBC News 24's excellent rolling coverage which they have had on in the English pub here.

The way rolling news works is that it tries to second guess news and calls it news while waiting for the news it is trying to second guess.The main enjoyment was watching the ups and downs of Nick Robinson's mood. It's a good job he isn't the main political correspondent for an organisation that is supposed to be impartial.

He almost burst into tears when Brown resigned as Labour leader in an attempt to boost a Lab Lib Dem coalition and he kept banging on about "unelected PMs" with all the authority of someone who doesn't understand the system. I certainly never voted for Nick Robinson telling me what to think. He was so not in control of the facts that he claimed he had a full head of hair at one point.

In his defence he said: "It's not fair. I had only practiced what to say about Cameron winning not a hung parliament." To make things worse Dimbwit couldn't go to the toilet without seeking Nick's opinion. But all was well when things came to a climax and I bet he had a quiet moment with himself when Cameron was confirmed as leader.

Cameron's speech on the steps of No. 10 was interesting. Basically, he gushed 5 days worth of pent up rhetorical bollocks but made no mention at all of brollies.

I don't like coalition politics as it makes it harder to schmooze properly. We have been considering it in the umbrella sector. Hubert Carrington at NCVO claims to be the top brolly Daddy but hasn't got enough members to claim an overall majority over me. So he has been promising NAVCA all sorts of hollow promises in the hope that Dylan Twirley can prop up his leadership. We did have our own talks with NAVCA ourselves but they broke down because I don't like Dylan Twirley after he rubbished my plans to run prisons.

Things are going to be tough for the brolly sector as we try and work out which party we need to butter up but the government's top priority has to be sorting out my pet projects - the Bogg Society Bank and making sure Umbrellabuilders' brollies aren't diverted elsewhere. This is far more important than emergency budgets and electoral reform and stuff that everyone is bothered about.

I suspect next week I will be busy. Whinging.

Of course we still await the announcement of a brolly minister. It will probably be some unknown Lib Dem stooge. I was hoping for Eliza Maynotbetrusted but she has been made Staying At Home While Hubbie Goes to Work Secretary and Minister of Tokenism. But I am pleased it is nearly all over. It gives me the chance to get all whimsical about my approaching 10th anniversary at BUBB. More on this later.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Forgot to piss of my parents by publicly revealing how they voted. BNP (Brolly Needed Party), naturally.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


?????????????????????????? Crikey. What now eh? One thing is clear - we will have a new Umbrella minister after Veronica Squif lost her seat though her Tory oppo Rick T'Hurd increased his majority. But until Cameron can hoodwink Clegg into supporting him we are in limbo. These power sharing arrangements never work. Hubert and I tried it once. Disaster.

But if Cameron is serious about being open to the possibility of paying lip service to the idea of having an enquiry for establishing a commission to appoint a taskforce to explore electoral reform, than I can help him. This sort of thing has got BUBB written all over it. Even if it's got sod all to do with brollies. Especially if it's got sod all to do with brollies. So Dave, let me chair this and let the launches begin.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


In the excitement of the election I realise that the flamboyant Pepe Ohdearie, director of EuCLUTS (the European Committee of Leadership in Umbrella Technology and Sophistication), has just visted Transnistria and I failed to make any cross dressing jokes. Let alone patronise my readers by assuming they wouldn't know where it was. Sorry!


Voting. I bloody love voting me. I always get up early to vote so I have time to register a few more votes later. The bloke next door never gets out the house so I always pretend to be him and our incumbent MP is so out of touch I doubt he'll either remember or bother so a quick change of clothes and a wig should see me OK there.

This is the first election in which I have not actively been out campaigning but if you lead an umbrella organisation you can't risk upsetting the Umbrella Commission with their strict guidelines on not favouring one party over another. They probably have their spies everywhere checking I am not going round carrying a placard saying "Vote for the Bogg Society. Even though it is a pile of shite masquerading as a serious blueprint for effective change". The very idea that a regulator should do its job and enforce the law seems very big brother to me but there you go.

On my way to the polling station I wonder whether tactical voting includes staying in the polling booth for 15 hours to prevent others using it? If so you could marshal a few friends, get there at 7am sharp and ensure a small but sufficient majority for your chosen candidate.

Not that Sky have rigged but I was surprised when the man behind the desk said he'd mark my paper for me and offered me deal on a HD box. And then I faced further confusion as the media had led me to believe I was choosing between Clegg, Brown and Cameron but when I looked at the ballot paper none of them were listed.

I wasn't happy about the quality of my local polling station. I may have to move to get into a better school next time. And it was sad to see so many kids playing truant today of all days. A sure sign that Britain is indeed broken. Indeed when I walked past one local school there were strange looking blokes hanging around but no kids. Very odd.

Amidst the excitement of voting though the Farage plane crash puts thing in perspective. We could all put our party differences aside and say "why wasn't it Griffin?" And I was amused to see the news that Brown was so confused by the tactical voting issue that he voted Lib Dem by mistake.

Having exercised both Barkles and my right to vote I headed to the office before a busy lunchtime. It has often been said I am out to lunch and I actually managed three today. Firstly with my coke dealer at yet another lavish restaurant, talking about how Umbrella Investment Business can help solve umbrella problems for the poorest in society while living the good life. We didn't come up with any good ideas, however, in fact we are going to just gloss over inequity. And as fudges go, that's to die for.

Then I had a blinding curry with a secretary with a perm (I can't say who - she's married) and then met up with Dom Blond, the self-appointed wizard of repackaging vague ideas as radical policy (and taking credit for my Bogg Society ideas (see link)). Appropriately we went to a restaurant that promised an exciting and eclectic new mix of dishes but was simply some pretty badly cooked old ones reheated.

I actually had a fourth lunch with my chair and Pathfinder Slobs (chair of umbrella volunteering organisation Brollunteering England) but the food was rubbish (as Homer Simpson once said, you don't win friends with salad) so no need to go into any more detail. Back in the office now and dreading what we may face tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Pre-election round up

The media frenzy around the election has reached fever pitch with breaking news constantly reminding us whenever Brown has picked his nose or Cameron has topped his tan up. It is hard to keep up and I wish that BUBB had had the foresight to launch a commission to appoint a taskforce to consider the possibility of writing a special report on how umbrella CEOs could keep up with events after they had happened. Despite there still being no mention of the umbrella sector by any of the parties.

Below is a highlights package of some of the more interesting incidents.

Much was made of Cameron pulling an all-nighter on the campaign trail. The last time a Tory leader felt they could cheat sleep everything went tickety-boo so I am fine with that.

BREAKING stories on this included:

Cameron stays up all night and watches entire second season of the Wire on DVD

Cameron planning an all-nighter camped outside number 10 tomorrow night. Will try and sneak in when GB collects his milk

Cameron admits speed should be legalised. "This stuff really works"

Although after Cameron repeatedly cancelled interviews on various radio and TV channels (except Sky, naturally) "in case he was asked difficult questions and was expected to be accountable" the Queen considered postponing her promised interview with him on Friday, and maybe cancelling it indefinitely.

Tactical voting has been a big issue. Surely all voting is tactical, but if you are going to vote tactically make sure it is more Mourinho than Keegan. Labour MPs in marginal seats have called for tactical voting. "Please vote for us - we need this job" . Ultimately I reckon that if you want to keep the Tories out by voting tactically, the tactic should be don't vote Tory. If everyone in UK sticks to that we'll be OK.

Other top stories included:

Brown seen consulting a lawyer with expertise in "squatter's rights"

Following the 20/20 World Cup farce, in event of hung parliament election to be settled by Duckworth Lewis method (which supporters of PR would say is already happening)

Obama mulls over plan to drop DC from Washington if Tories get in

Brown says he'll only give up keys of No.10 if Cameron and Clegg throw theirs into the ashtray as well

LATEST: Apathy poll: 30% or so of electorate who can't be bothered to vote get ready for 5 more years of moaning about the government

Cameron: "Read my lips cos your children won't be able to read anything else once I have slashed education budget"

Jim Callaghan's estate issues writ against Manish Sood for slander. Maggie Thatcher issues counterwrit.

I must say I am looking forward to results night now. But wait. No. I don't have Sky HD. How will I be able to see clearly who has won the election? Though I suspect that if I did watch it in HD, that would probably stand for high dudgeon. And if results aren't favouring the Tories will Sky just ignore them, proclaim Cameron as PM and hope no one cottons on?

Monday, 3 May 2010

Boring UK based work stuff

Been a functional few days doing work stuff. BUBB had a board meeting where our trustees are supposed to hold me to account but as there aren't nearly enough hours in the day to discuss all of my misadventures this very rarely happens. Instead I just pointed them to the rave reviews from my sell-out (in more ways than one) Big Arse tour, waffled about commaticising democroissanting (something I made up on the spot) and they soon lose the will to live let alone reprimand me for repeatedly straying a) outside of BUBB's objectives on some of my more madcap policy crusades b) outside of the UK on some of my more madcap foreign jaunt crusades.

I have a great lunch with Slick Ned, chair of the DirecTORY of Gampal Change You Can't Believe In. We go to some swanky restaurant in Westminster, a favoured haunt of Westminster types. Good for networking and I chat to a well known MP and a spad on the way in. Even though I am not quite sure what a spad is. I have googled it but am pretty confident I didn't enter into conversation with a French biplane. Probably some sort of slang for special adviser. Or a misspelled potato. Which amounts to the same thing.

We talk about cuts (of prime steak) and tough times ahead (if not cooked properly). As usual I see nothing hypocritical about debating the harsh reality many of the poorer umbrella owners in society will face over the coming months while stuffing myself silly with expensive food.

I also single-handedly save the Future Jobs Fund for trainee gamprentices, which I can impartially say is a brilliant idea as I invented it in the first place. Of course when I say save, I mean "sought clarification from the main parties that they wouldn't scrap it even though none of them had said they would" which isn't quite the same thing. The vague assurances the Tories gave that they weren't planning to change funding in this area were enough for me as we all know that what a politician says before an election, especially one as honourable as Eliza Maynotbetrusted, is gospel.

They probably weren't planning on axing it as they didn't know it existed in the first place. They do now so I may have inadvertently given them an idea of how to make some further cuts.

Next week I will be saving the planet by getting all the big global companies to promise they will try and recycle a bit more for the next six months if it doesn't inconvenience them too much.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


I am not sure any of us were thinking of how our policy proposals and arse licking would play out in the event of a wrung parliament (one where all of the MPs try to dry there suits out in the chamber after getting caught in a shower without a brolly). A bit like not practicing penalties before the World Cup.

A parliament where no one party has overall control is the last thing anyone wants, especially the parties themselves who have been trying to scare us into thinking coalition politics doesn't work.

Apart from anything else we would have to employ at least three times as many people as now to ensure we schmoozed all of the people holding the power cards. And Oxford, naturally, only has so many graduates every year from which we can recruit. Especially as most of them are looking for proper jobs.

Anyway all of the brains at BUBB towers are sitting in a darkened room, locked away, thinking of how we should play this. And I will let them out when they come up with the solution.