Monday, 27 June 2011

Back on the blog

Haven't been blogging for ages. It's not cos I am lazy, it's just I have nothing to say. I know usually that doesn't hinder me but I am still knackered after my 1,456 hour shift at the hospital.

I hope no one looks at MY report on NHS and competition too closely and asks any questions about ooooh I don't know, competition law in Europe, cos I have completely ignored that such was my fervour to say "competition is not a disease" 487 times. "Competition is not a disease, but might be when Brussels has a look at it" doesn't have quite the same ring about it. But as long as I don't mention my oversight in my blog I should get away with it.

We are now into the recruitment process for the new CEO of the Brolly Investment Business. Donald Holding, headhunter supremo, is trawling the highways and byways of the City and Sector to find that special individual who will lead him to even greater commission on the back of me using a personal friend without any awareness as to what conflict of interest may mean.

We said goodbye to Donovan Lewis last night with champagne in a down market pub by Goldman Sachs. I will leave you to pick out the contradictory bones out of that last sentence. I wish him well, he will be hard to replace but with a bit of luck Donald will recruit me so I can, as I have mentioned before, supplement my meagre chair's salary with a decent wedge.

And I have been at BUBB's annual summit where all of the big brollies in the umbrella sector get together so I can Lord it over them (as a rehearsal for the real thing). They have missed me. Even those who haven't. I am back.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dust settles on MY report

I'm not sure the full impact of MY report on the NHS is yet fully understood, let alone its conclusions. Or ever will be (especially by me) as I expect it will just be ignored and left on a shelf, gathering dust while the Government ploughs on regardless .

The press coverage has mainly been that MY report says "it's no to privatisation". Actually no one ever suggested this. It's a crazy idea. No to privatisation? Bollocks to that. Clearly, it's yes to privatisation but under a smokescreen of language about competition. It's all about driving up standards by letting private sector companies compete and come in and drive up their profits while lowering the standards they are supposed to be driving up especially in the areas where there are no profits to be made. Or something like that, it's all very confusing.

Anyway, I myself have decided to cash in on MY report and have managed to get Amazon to make it available for the Kindle. But the cheeky bastards are selling it in the fiction section.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Top 10 Twitter Tips

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a Twitter fan. I tweet, I twitter, I am a twitterer, I am a twat. I find the 140 character format perfect for disseminating my own warped world view. And thankfully my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb hasn't yet found his way onto Twitter so I can carry on regardless without fear of lampoonery and reprisals. Although Hector Rule is often skulking around causing trouble, but I digress.

Yesterday, some terribly important social media event - Nerd Fans of Parapluies (NFP) Social Media (#nfpsm) gathered together some of the biggest zealots for social media, those already hopelessly addicted to it, for a gathering that took preaching to the converted to record levels. But I was happy to add my expertise. Remotely of course. I wouldn't want to actually meet any of these people. Surely the advantage of social media is that you don't have to actually physically get together at an event but can do it all from the comfort of your own home or on the bus. Or while tending your strawberries.

Unsocial media.

Amidst offers of tupperware to store my couscous in from the guru's guru Nick Hoover (@robmydyson) (who may or may not be me) I was asked by Jennie Sparrow (@nickiewren) to compile my list of top 10 Twitter tips to share with delegates. 5 minutes later I had dashed them off. I now reproduce them here for those of you who like to have a twot from time to time. I hope a social media great like Halifax Loch (@howardlake) will find them useful next time he does a presentation.

1) Engage with people even if you suspect they might be a bit weird in real life

2) Be careful how you type hashtags as a mistake could completely change the meaning of something #nfpms

3) Don't start a top 10 list you may struggle to finish

4) Take every opportunity to make The Codfather joke when #fishfilms inevitably rolls by. Again

5) Don't bombard followers with top 10 lists

6) Don't go to tweet ups. These people may seem OK online but in real life...sheeesh

7) Competition is not a disease..oh hang on...that's not a Twitter tip but a mantra from MY report on the NHS

7) Fawn after celebrities then get annoyed if they don't respond to your tweet out of the million they get

8) Heed #coleslaw (named after respected journalist @MrHarryCole) "If you can't say it in 140 don't bother" even if it means cutting tw

9) Mind your fucking language

10) RT as many of the tips in top 10 Twitter tips lists as possible. Or else

11) Learn to count to 140 (and 10)

12) Don't dash off top 10 Twitter tips lists in 5 minutes

PS Social media/geography quiz question. Use Google to give me the names of the 6 Great Lakes.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


I was so excited about going to number 10 that I forgot to give this post a title.

What a drag. You have to leave your phone at the door when you go into No 10. And I really wanted a photo of Cameron et al pretending to listen and care about me banging on about MY report. That's right. MY report. No one else's. Not that it is a vanity project.

I woke early. A fretful night. Nervous. Trying to work out what I'd be saying. And what not to say. But once I was in that Cabinet room I got wind and I was off. No wonder Nick Clegg looked a bit pasty.

I thought Lansley was looking relaxed and good in his skin. Or perhaps it isn't his skin. Perhaps he's had some gratis cosmetic surgery from one of the private firms who stand to gain so much from his ideas. Though surely the only reason he is still in the Cabinet this week despite MY report undermining his own work is that the rubbish is still only collected fortnightly.

As I said to the Prime Minister " competition is not a disease". And if it was you would only be able to have it treated if you can afford to pay.

“The NHS belongs to the people”. These stirring words from the NHS Constitution have been forgotten by some of the loudest voices in the debate about the health service. Including me as I didn't bother speaking to any normal people, choosing instead to cite figures from surveys others had done a while ago, where the results stemmed from what may or may not have been leading questions.

Crucially, the important thing about MY report, as I also said to Dave, is that is MY report. And worth a peerage. At least.

Funny to see a number of attacks on me in the press and wider social media recently prior to MY report being published. I was gravely insulted by one that referred to me as a "health expert". I am no such thing. Why would a health expert be asked to write MY report on the NHS and competition?

I have also been accused of supposing to speak on behalf of the whole umbrella sector on the role of brollies in the health reforms. What nonsense. I haven't spoken on behalf of any of it. Just on behalf of myself. With MY report.

I was also compared to Simon Cowell in the Observer, who made some ridiculous claims questioning my various conflicts of interest. I have no conflicts of interest to declare other than that if I did declare all of my conflicts of interest there would be a conflict with my own interests. If the Simon Cowell thing was supposed to be a jibe they got it badly wrong.Simon Cowell has been responsible for foisting a huge amount of pain on the public through poor quality products. I'll happily live with that.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Thanks for nothing Canopy Awards judges

There I was trying to bask in the glow of completing my NHS report and having finished my last shift at the hospital (846 hours, 14,012 bed pans) when once again the judges of the Canopy Awards ruined my good mood.

Yes, I have inexplicably been overlooked for the outstanding leadership prize again. Instead it went to Sir Rob Old, a worthy enough winner to be sure for his work sending red British brollies overseas, but hardly a leader in the same way as me (but then, no one is). He wasn’t even asked to provide impartial feedback to the government on the NHS, for example.

I guess being controversial (a loose cannon gobshite) means I tend to be regarded as a dangerous choice for such prestige. But I've always been proud BUBB is seen as an " edgy" dynamic body that is not afraid to be out in front in a leadership role whilst others sit it out trying to work out which way the wind is blowing. BUBB likes to make the wind blow (I blame all that couscous), even if that sometimes means destroying poor, small umbrellas at the expense of big ones. A good strong noisy wind is what gets me noticed. These Knighthoods don’t bestow themselves. I am like a hurricane, breezily tearing about the place, blowing hard and leaving a wake of destruction for others to clean up (along with the debris of over-laboured metaphors involving wind).

Still I was cheered to see the Archbishop of Gamperbury (a fellow Blacbury resident. He buys his chicken drumsticks, lamb's hearts and bacon mis-shapes at the same butchers that provided the liver and tripe for Cameron’s recent barbecue with Obama) slag off the Coalition. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him attacking the fact that the government has no mandate to make some of the changes it is planning (aided my me on the NHS ones) even if his mandate to speak out comes from a mythical God.

Also amused to see that someone else has been taken in by my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb with this post. It's amazing how many people are fooled by this very clever and amusing lampoon of my own colourful existence. Of course if there really was a person like Sir Stephen it would be beyond a joke as we all know so I guess the fact that he is almost believable should actually be a concern.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Can't think of a witty title so won't bother

Sorry for the radio silence. While in the Balkans with Pepe Ohdearie I got lost after too much local schnapps and dancing to Agadoo (a regular occurrence when out with Pepe) and ended up in Slovenia. One thing I will say abut the Slovenians is that they know the importance of a good strong umbrella, especially in the mountains where it can be pleasingly damp. And as a little competition (no prizes) can anyone spot the very jazzy brolly in this pic?

I did take the time to ask the Slovenian people what they thought of the NHS. Obviously, I didn't bother listening properly to the responses in case they didn't fit in with my own conclusions but I do recall someone saying perhaps I should talk to patients and not just accept the results of some 2009 research as the basis for extensive consultation with the people who actually matter. But I just ignored that as well. Dave would be proud.

When I got back to the UK I was in trouble from matron who thought I had only nipped off for a coffee break. So I have had to do a mammoth 546 hour shift, while trying to tidy up my report for Dave. It is very nearly finished and even though it is not for me to say that it is brilliant, it is brilliant. Especially the last paragraph. I cannot reveal what I say yet but if I was going to reveal it, it would look exactly like this:

"Competition is fucking ace because Dave says so and what really matters is £££££££££££££££££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$£££££££££££££££££££££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$£££££££££££££££££££££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ PS Where's my peerage?"

Some of my crayon drawings of hospital beds are sublime. And anyone who says the whole exercise is sham to give the impression of independent consultation on the future of the NHS will no doubt be eating humble pie, especially since Dave has already said he accepts all of our recommendations even though he hasn't even seen them. Other than when he originally wrote/approved them of course.

So I will be back at BUBB shortly, just as well as Hector Rule has been giving it the big I am and mouthing off at conferences and generally causing trouble.

In other news I am delighted to report that in a true victory for Bogg Society, The Robin Bogg Memorial Toilet outside Blacbury library has been saved. They have found a few volunteers to wipe the arses of the rich and are saving money on paper by utilising all of the books in the library that are just taking up space.

However, I am sad to say that my chief executive at the Brolly Investment Business Donovan Lewis has escaped from the locked room I was keeping him in. He was a true inspiration and managed to implement much of the empire building into the business of lending umbrellas that I was keen on. He will be hard to replace so I may apply for the role myself. If nothing else the extra cash will help to supplement my meagre pay as chair. That's what I call progressive governance. I expect the trustees at BUBB will be only to pleased to continue paying me to spend less time doing my proper job as ultimately it makes BUBB more effective.

The only other big unresolved issue is what I should say in my acceptance speech if, sorry, when I win the outstanding leadership award at the Canopy Awards tomorrow night.

And should I wear the white dinner jacket with the collection of red wine stains or the one with the embarrassing chocolate souffle mark on the tail. If I don't win this year it will be a travesty. Anyone who can still continue to get away with what I have for so long is truly an outstanding leader and inspiration to all. See you at the Gampsvenor Hotel, folks. If you're going do feel free to say hello using the code word "drizzleproof".