Friday, 7 September 2012

Open letter to new Umbrella Commission chair, Billy Shortshrift


I don't mean it personally, Billy. But I find it's always best to try and impose yourself on new regulators, set your stall out, show no weakness. In case they try and regulate against you.

Now Billy, I am sure you are very capable and nice and things but be a good boy and keep your right wing opinions and thoughts to yourself and just get on with regulating.

Unless it is in an area where it suits me for you not to regulate. In those instances, stop regulating. Turning a blind eye to trustee payments would be a cracking start. And any comments in my blog that could be construed as political campaigning.

Don't worry, I will constantly remind you of what you should be doing in my blog whether you like it or not.

Good luck Billy. You're gonna need it pal.


Sir Robin Bogg
(Ex Oxford, naturally, like you wink wink)


Thanks for those who offered suggestions for Billy's Boggname.

My old mucker Lester Twomore, head honcho at the Brolly Lottery Fund (which should be renamed the Bogg Lottery Fund in my honour - like the lottery any impact and positive effect I have on good causes is purely incidental to the fact that really what I am about is a load of balls) offered Will.I.Am Deffoangry and I was myself toying with Will.I.Am YoFoShizzleX. (one for the hip happening musically clued up kool kidzs, like Lester).

And on a similar theme an anonymous person thought Wilhelm Abidingly-Querulous (ABQ to his Eton and Oxford chums) would be a good one.

But the glory almost goes to Don Peck (@commoncapital on Twitter) who inspired the Shortshrift moniker with his idea of Grill Shortcrust.

Monday, 3 September 2012

New chair at Umbrella Commission

It seems that the Umbrella Commission is about to appoint a new chair to succeed Dame Luci Vinyl. The lucky chap who my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb would call William Shawcross [INSERT BOGG NAME - SUGGESTIONS WELCOME - NO PRIZES, JUST GLORY] was educated at Eton, and more importantly, Oxford, naturally. What could possibly go wrong in having someone with such a background at the helm?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Keeping me in my old age

It's a commonplace to observe that umbrella ownership is often highly unrepresentative. Too many men. Too white (the owners that is not the brollies. They're usually black). And often too old. And quite right too. The age issue is an interesting one. Clearly older people are better as they have more gamp owning experience. But there are very few young people involved in gamp governance.

Recently I came across an organisation, "Young Canopy Crusties" and it's (you'd think with my Oxford, naturally, education I would know my apostrophe from my elbow) dynamic founder Felix Swift. This young whippersnapper is suggesting that more young people need to be involved in umbrella governance. Is he mad? Sure, if we get to pay people for brolly board membership then the young will expect less leaving more loot for the rest of us but surely what we need is even older gamp governors and canopy crusties. How else am I going to carry on living in the style to which I am accustomed when BUBB finally get rid of me? (Next year if you're wondering).

The same thing applies to old brollies. Just because you're bit broken, smell musty and leak everywhere it doesn't mean you're on the scrapheap. As I am living proof of.

Speaking of which, it was good to see umbrellas feature prominently in the opening ceremony at the Paralympics. Even if your spokes are broken you can still perform at a decent level and the brolly bits were all down to my role as chair of the ROBOG organising committee.

I am now spending a  few days in Devon bothering my family, and specifically mentioning the relatives who went to Oxford, naturally. This part of Devon miraculously remains a hidden gem despite me mentioning in my blog every year. Or perhaps because I do.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Outrageous appointment by Umbrella Commission - and the Boggympics

I am shocked and outraged that the Umbrella Commission has appointed some Dead Wood as interim chair to replace Dame Luci Vinyl until a permanent appointment is made. If they wanted someone who could pretend to fill in on a part time basis (while being paid a nice little retainer authorised by the Umbrella Commission - these cushy non-exec roles won't pay themselves you know, not unless I have anything to do with it) then surely I should have been the prime candidate.

Other than that, BUBB is fully caught up in the fervour of the Boggympics. There has been plenty of rain so far and a chance to show the British brolly wielding public at its best. And I have set myself up as ROBOG so I can take over the organisation of the games. For a start I shall be filling those empty seats with patriotic umbrellas to add a splash of colour. Go Team BOGGB!!!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Employment issues

It's not often I write on HR stuff - my employment policy is well known. Recruit from Oxford, naturally, let them do all the donkey work and clear up the mess I leave behind, which I can then take credit and knighthoods for.

The umbrella sector is lucky to be able to attract highly talented and committed gamps thanks to headhunters such as DONALD HOLDING. Politicians sometimes forget we employ large numbers of staff. The Brolly Sector Research Centre estimates 1.1 million! And this could grow even more if I get my way and all trustees are paid.

(I note that Sir Hubert is causing a stink about the paid trustee thing claiming that BUBB was the only sector voice shouting for it. Tough titty Hubert old fruit. If you can't get enough high profile trusteeships to make it worth your while supporting this proposal that is your look out.)

I doubt many umbrellas have given much thought to how they will be employed during the Olympics but if it pisses down like it has happily been all summer they could well need proper advice. And it is worrying that there will be a shortage of umbrellas used to provide security from wet weather at the games despite there being many available to take on this role. It is disgraceful that the Army will be used to provide precipitation cover and the controversial siting of massive umbrellas on top of Council blocks was also badly thought through. 

It is also a concern that a number of athletes have been lost on transport en route from Heathrow to Stratford and have ended up at the TfL Lost Property Office on Baker St like so many brollies do every day.

But umbrellas caught up in the whole circus can get advice thanks to an invaluable corporate partner BUBB has used to develop HR sagacity as a free service. So it is only right that I should give Trellis Shittam a free plug in my blog though they have begged me not to for fear of negative publicity by association.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Hotchpotch review of canopies!

Well done to Lord Hotchpotch who has published his scattergun review of the Canopies Act. On the whole a very sensible set of recommendations and proposals as they agree with stuff what I have been championing - indeed Hotchpotch nicked all of the stuff on the history of umbrellas from my own lectures (which I actually made up but there you go).

I am delighted about the suggestion that people can be paid to look after large umbrellas without needing permission from the Umbrella Commission. Not large sums of course. After all if you look after lots of umbrellas even small payments will soon rack up. I for one will be seeking to make a tidy packet as a professional trustee of brollies.

Also good to see gubbins to encourage more social investment which I have always been keen to promote to my members for reasons that are completely unconnected to my other entirely distinct role as chair of Brolly Investment Business.

And it is quite right that Umbrella Commission regulation should be made more flexible. After all by sometimes criticising them for doing too much regulating and sometimes saying they aren't regulating enough depending on what the issue is and how it affects me I have shown I can be flexible in how I view Umbrella Commission regulation. 

I have been very quiet recently on the blogging front as I have been working behind the scenes to try and ensure the plans to reform the House of Lords make provision for me securing a peerage. But to no avail.

Still at least that bastard Rob Diamante has been kicked out of Barclays. Though it would be incredibly amusing if I were to say without a shred of irony in my blog (as my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb did) that it is important not to think that "if only we get rid of some at the top we will be able to move on".

Monday, 18 June 2012


My spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb is teasing me, saying he thinks he spotted me at the Canopy Awards  last week following information he received from a certain Matthew Thompson or Mark Luke and John Supergrass to give him his correct name - CEO of something to do with umbrella recyclin). But I am not convinced Bubb was even there. Sure, there was someone who looked like him who was bothering my Great Aunt Maud while the Great Man was trying to quietly eat his dinner and secretly fill his jerry can with left overs but they weren't wearing a white dinner jacket so can't have been the real thing. Perhaps my spoofer has a spoof spoofer

I might well have been on table 50 as Sir Stephen suggests but that could mean I am Nick Hancock or Steve Punt. Or Dylan Twirley.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mutton dressed as spam

Walt Mutton-Dressed-As-Spam looked a bit surprised. Horrified even. He had just spotted me sitting at the back of the room in a seminar for students at Hertford College, Oxford, naturally, where he is principal. He somehow managed to land this cushy academic role when despite his prowess as an economic guru he managed to almost bankrupt the Shirk Foundation through the size of his CEO's salary. The state we're in, indeed. He was hosting a session on the Olympics with Vanessa Doublechin MP (who can be credited with bringing them to the UK whatever Boris tries to claim. Or Seb Coe. Or any of the people who actually did help bring the sodding huge waste of money corporate circus to this country. Honestly what with that and the Jubilee, to save time and money they should just have set fire to the Queen and carted her round the country instead of the torch).

I was up in Oxford, naturally, for a few days staying with my nephew Alex who is doing his PhD As I told Alex I knew Vanessa before she was even born! Never really off duty I get an email from the office to see if I want to respond to a loony report from the ineptly named "Institute of Gamponomic Affairs". About sock puppets. This individually and corporate funded sock puppet brolly organisation are whinging about state funded sock puppet brollies (though brollies make terrible sock puppets, and sock puppets make even worse umbrellas).

Apparently state funded sock puppets were used to further Labour priorities and should be stopped, which is no way the conclusion of a right leaning sock puppet seeking to further its own political priorities from beneath the canopy of supposed independence. They make the assumption that because they receive no government money they are automatically impartial and of course it is wholly correct to say that the cash of wealthy individuals or corporates has NEVER influenced anything EVER so they must be unbiased.

I decide can't be arsed to respond to something so silly as it only encourages them, a philosophy I am pleased my own opponents don't always adhere to.

I met up with the new Cabinet Secretary on Friday evening. As I said to Jammy Strawman as he ushered me into his office quickly in case anyone noticed he is my 54th Cabinet Secretary. I only hope he wasn't accidentally given briefing notes about my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb by mistake. An urbane, smart and likeable person I am not. But Jammy is and holds an important position of influence. I have always found it good to develop strong relations with the top of the civil service by brown-nosing shamelessly about them being urbane, smart and likeable in my blog even if they are not.

And tonight, will it be the night when I finally win the outstanding leadership award at the Canopy Awards at the Gampsvenor Hotel in London? I have a spontaneous 4 hour speech prepared just in case. Though no doubt the organisers and judges will wriggle out of honouring me by saying I can just share the award Sir Hubert won a while back when I move into his box room later this year. If you do see me tonight please say hello and remember the code word - "peerage".

Monday, 11 June 2012

Abandoned in the pub by Cameron

Well, how embarrassing. As you may know, David Cameron is my local MP in Blacbury. I often see him out and about - riding someone else's horse in Lidl, for example - and am never shy of giving him some advice on running the country. Some of which, unfortunately, he has heeded.

A couple of months ago I bumped into him on Sunday lunchtime at the pub. I sat down with him and his family, uninvited, and started haranguing him about the brolly tax nonsense. After a couple of hours of this I ducked off to the toilet for 15 minutes. When I got back to the table he had done a runner! Just left me there. Heartless.

It could have been worse. His daughter Nancy had been badgering him to buy her a Hannah Montana umbrella and he left her in the pub as well when she went for a wee. He now claims he had just forgotten her as he was "too chillaxed" but I know the truth. It's just lucky for her he hadn't taken her to Amnesty International where she may have become falsely imprisoned in their toilets like I did once.

As you might expect the press are making a right fuss about it, ignoring his treatment of me and focusing on the 8 year old. Mind you, it is Nancy I feel sorry for in all of this. Poor girl. They came back for her. Another embarrassing u-turn from Cameron.

The Tory faithful and Etonian elite will be disgusted with Cameron. Where was the au pair? Though it does at least provide evidence of a government move away from being a nanny state. And the pub has now launched a "government approved toilet creche".

I bet Cameron regrets asking Derek Gherkins to defend him earlier. “Not only are these families destroying their own life chances, they are destroying the life chances of these children.” And what troubled families really need is Derek "I never let my pasties go cold" Gherkins giving them advice. Though I do hope Cameron won't be too embarrassed to go to the new parenting classes the government is proposing.

In all seriousness, the media are trivialising a minor story here. What everyone really needs to know is whether Cameron had a pasty for his lunch (he did. Well, I say pasty. More beef wellington). If only there was a way the government could leak an amusing non-story to deflect attention from what Osborne may say at Leveson later today.

In all seriousness (and I mean it this time) if only there was as much fuss about the children Cameron's actions will really affect. And perhaps he should admit to being distraught at leaving George Osborne unattended in a pub for 15 minutes a couple of months ago to write his Budget.

My old mate Tony Blair would never have let his family become involved in a "child/booze" related embarrassment and I will finish with a piece of advice for Cameron. If he wants someone to take care of his daughter I can recommend headhunter guru DONALD HOLDING. Not because he is a childcare expert but because I haven't plugged him shamelessly in the blog for a while.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Back from Boggnor

Back from a break in Boggnor Regis, whose name is derived as everyone knows from the Olde English for King Robin of Bogg. Despite trying to keep a low profile I was caught up in the celebrations. Bunting everywhere and flags. Not for the Queen but for the government u turn on the Brolly Tax which I singlehandedly engineered. Yes, I can give credit to everyone else as much as I like but we all know that it was me what really won it. George Osborne just couldn't face the prospect of another letter from me to the Times.

But I seek no thanks. Success is its own reward. And I was spotted by the policy paparazzi wonk Craig Trevor as these pictures illustrate.

I did over indulge a little bit but can you find a Doctor at 3 in the morning? No. Bloody doctors with their curing people on their own terms nonsense.

But for now, as I discussed with Brolly Minister Rick T'Hurd we need to move on to the important business and issues facing the umbrella sector. Such as keeping my profile high by finding something else for me to bleat on about all over the media. These peerages won't bestow themselves. As I know, having already tried that method.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Brolly Tax Relief U-Turn


Details to follow

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Brolly Sector Whine

Yes, that's whine not wine! Not even I would do a blog post about quaffing fine wines to cheer everyone up even though they have all been a bit gloomy of late what with losing their jobs and the recession and the government's peerless governing! I suspect my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb will make some joke confusing whine with wine to try and mock me and draw me into a response but I am not falling for that.

That is why I am going for a heavier touch today as I report on my whine tasting last night. But don't think this was a nasty capitalist thing in the City. I would still have gone if it was, but it wasn't. Oh no; it was the Whine Society which is an uncooperative owned by its members (of whom I am one) and has been running since 1874! It sources the finest whines, whinges, bleats, rants, complaints, protestations and grizzles from around the world and lets people taste them to see how they sound in their own mouths.  

We did have a selection of organic whines! In fact overall there were 50 to choose from and I need to report I did not taste all! From time to time I like to make helpful suggestions on what the stressed CEO should do to relax so let me give you my whine tip. 

Bloody bankers are to blame for everything. A beautiful whine.

I was with Head Hunter Honcho Donald Holding. I wasn't really but I haven't mentioned that I haven't mentioned him in the blog for 3 weeks or so now and he's getting twitchy,

Anyway this week I am studying the papers and listening to the news with strange intent for on Friday I appear on the Panel for Any Questions on Radio 4, which is fast becoming my third home. I admit I am somewhat nervous. Please don't ask a question on football or the outbreak of World War One or who vandalised the Blue Peter garden or who sang "Take me Out" or I might be reduced to a pathetic "who is Ferdinand?" The other question I dread is "what the fuck are you doing on Any Questions?" but I can wing that by using the same tactics I have used when asked a similar question by my trustees for the last ten years.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Hanging's too good for him

Now I am not one to over react to comments I disagree with (isn't that right Dylan Twirley) but I think Lord Gromit should be executed. Not for what he has said about dodgy umbrellas and some gamps being more worthy than others but because it would leave a vacancy in the upper chamber. Which is being reformed by my mate Dave especially, so I hear, to allow me a chance to get my robes in return for writing what he wanted in MY report on the NHS.

Gromit made the comments at a Q&A session marking two years of the Coalition and was standing in as a last minute replacement for Rick T'Hurd, the brolly minister who was at the hospital supporting his wife who had just taken out membership to the official party of opposition. Sorry. She had gone into labour*.

What isn't yet known is if Rick will name his new child after myself or Hubert, but I must have more chance due to the unisex nature of my moniker.

By the way, do you like the new look for my blog? I know my good friend and regular commenter Sir Bumble of Heep will be particularly taken with it and will even have his own theories as to the thinking behind it (see comment on my previous post).

* No one has EVER made that joke before. Ever

Monday, 14 May 2012

Silver BUBBilee

Oooh, hark at me, I have been all over the papers like a bad metaphorical cliche after my lecture on forgotten umbrellas in Britain. Although we have had some blissful wet weather recently there are still many umbrellas that are not realising their full potential as government cuts continue to bite.

Still, I don't let that get in the way of BUBB's 25th anniversary celebrations where I laud our great membership (even though they can be a pain in the arse sometimes what with wanting to be properly represented and stuff) in the week where it has been revealed that our membership is declining. And we have had to make 3 staff redundant. But never mind eh? I am still here. Though I wonder if my trustees were dropping a hint when quizzing me about exit interviews earlier...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Benazir Bhoggo

Shocking pictorial evidence of my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb's closeness and influence on former Pakistan leader Benazir Bhoggo can be seen here. Warning: contains disturbing images of fashion crimes.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Umbrella Commission

How dare an independent regulator not act outside of its remit and not display independence on the tax relief row. When I say independence I mean speak out on the side I support.

We need a properly independent body that isn't afraid to do what I do and say bollocks to truth and speak bollocks to power. Unless it's about the support of the umbrella sector for the NHS reforms of course.

I know I am in serious danger of completely misunderstanding the job of a regulator, who I haven't been afraid of pillorying in the past for doing too much regulating when they looked at some of my own possible breaches of regulation, but we need a body who can regulate and stand up to government while not regulating if that suits me better. We also need them to make the tea, wash the dishes, dust the shelves and solve world hunger, all on reduced funding.

Such independence could be achieved when appointing a successor to Dame Luci Vinyl as chair in the summer by using an independent appointments committee - which by astonishing coincidence is exactly the type of body I have recently become an assessor for. But even I haven't got the chutzpah to go further and suggest that such a committee could then use the services of a headhunter to secure the right candidate. A headhunter such as, oooh I don't know, off the top of my head, DONALD HOLDING.

If I was being really cynical and reading between the lines I might even be accused of putting myself forward for the job. Or at least helping to create a situation where I may be headhunted by someone tasked by an independent appointments committee. Quite independently of course.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Caption competition

Any suggestions for this picture of my great Aunt Maud, Lester Twomore, head of the Brolly Lottery Fund and the other umbrella sector knight, Sir Hubert Carrington of NCVO?

"My jerry can is THIS full"


"Sir Robin ate this much couscous"

Answers on a postcard, in comments below, by email to or on Twitter @robinbogg

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I should have defended NHS Bill support claims

There's an interesting story quoting me on Gampal Society Media's website:

The independence of Sir Robin Bogg has been called into question by Sir Robin Bogg who says he should have piped up against David Cameron's claims of BUBB support for the NHS Bill last month.

“You could argue claims of BUBB (and therefore implicitly the umbrella sector) support for the NHS Bill was a direct government endorsement of BUBB and umbrella sector support for the NHS Bill. Especially given my role in the listening exercise. I would have expected me to say something,” said Bogg.

While he praised the rest of the sector for uniting to question Cameron, he said he had failed to defend the umbrella sector when he needed to.

“One area of disappointment was me. I had expected me to be a little more robust in defending the sector when accusations were being made about supporting the NHS Bill. It shouldn’t have been left to others to point this out. I should have been doing that.”

When faced with Cameron's claims that BUBB and the umbrella sector supported the NHS Bill, I should have held the government to account, said Sir Robin.

“It does pose a question about how independent my role as chair of the competition part of the listening exercise was if I am not prepared to stand up and speak my mind robustly.”

Sir Robin Bogg declined to respond to the comments but he said that if he had he would probably have denied he was being hypocritical and self-serving.

Bloody press, eh? Making me look silly by quoting what I told them to get myself some publicity.

However, I will have no such qualms about criticising the Umbrella Commission for not responding to Cameron's dodgy umbrella comments. It should have defended umbrellas. And if it doesn't defend itself from my attack on them for not defending umbrellas against attacks I will attack them for not defending themselves. And so on until we all disappear in a recursive vortex.

Be careful how you type cuts

Cuts. Loads of them. All in the government. Especially that runt Danny Kendallexander (one for Grange Hill fans there). He's a right little cut.

Such is the unravelling of the government's commitment to boost the giving of umbrellas that they have had to cancel the giving summit. Well, not cancel entirely, but it has been scaled right back and no one is going now. Certainly not me as the drinks reception has been canned.

That'll learn them.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Wet and windy

I see my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb is goading me by blogging about wet and windy weather, which I happen to love as long as it isn't too windy. Or wet.

Wet and windy. Sums up beautifully the mood in the umbrella sector as we survey the wreck of the "Bogg Society" idea. Wet means that more shelter is needed than ever, but efforts to provide it are being hampered by the strong winds of incompetent government threatening to destroy many hard working brollies.

The row over gamp relief and rich umbrella owners rumbles on. We are told there will be consultation. Woopty fucking do. When the Budget was announced it was stated that the proposals would be subject to consultation. So what are we now offered? The same. Consultation. Despite the compelling evidence that the damage has been done and the rich are already cutting back on the shelter they offer the poor. And consultation is all very well. But have they announced a launch party? Have they bollocks. Amateur.

I've been to one of these famed consultations before. I stormed out over umbrella gift aid a couple of years ago as I didn't get my own way and the lunch was rubbish. It became clear the main purpose of the exercise was window dressing and being seen to listen when in reality it was a done deal. The government always packs these things with people they know agree with them. So I would not be surprised when they set up this new consultation to see Milly Coinfee and Mervyn Naredowell, both supporters of the government's position, on the invite list.

This sort of thing would never happen with the NHS consultation, for example, where I, a vocal supporter of competition was appointed chair of the panel on competition in a listening exercise that was all for show and had no effect upon the pre-determined priorities of the government when the Bill was published. Completely different.

But to be clear; if HMT think they can drown opposition in a sultry summer shower then they can think again. They have roused the wrath of a strong and influential sector. We will overturn this nonsense, I am sure of it, and you can also be sure that if we do I will be at the forefront of claiming the credit.

In other news, I hear that there are suggestions the House of Lords should relocate to Manchester. This is excellent. No one loves a bit of regional tokenism more than me and I would be more than happy to pop up North a couple of times a year and show my face for the sake of appearances. It's what some of the Lords do in London, after all.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Unmasking my spoofer part 5

The latest in an occasional series where I try and find the identity of my dogged spoofer, Stephen Bubb.

I an well known for developing things that might not be needed, dealing with shit and trying to produce water to boost sales of umbrellas while mixing with the great and the good. Therefore it is no surprise to hear of a Stephen Bubb in the Virgin Islands (see here) who wants to build 14 buildings, a sewage treatment facility and reverse osmosis water production to serve elite customers. At a place called Water Island

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pointless gates website now live

See here for all of your pointless gate requirements

Peerless in Wigan

Still in a right old state of righteous indignation over the PM and Number 10's dodgy umbrella comments. How dare he so casually and ignorantly misrepresent an entire group of hardworking umbrellas. Knighthood or no knighthood it is my job to speak truth to power or truth to bollocks or bollocks to power or something.

Just like I did when Cameron wrongly claimed BUBB support for the NHS Bill in the House of Commons. I was really vocal then as well, appearing all over the media denouncing his comments and seeking a correction.

Wasn't I?

Maybe not.

I have been writing loads of letters, including to Dame Luci Vinyl at the Umbrella Commission demanding to know why if there are all these dodgy brollies the regulator isn't regulating. Funny really because in the past I have been all too happy to denounce them when they do regulate (see here). Still, inconsistency shouldn't get in the way of getting my knickers into a Derek Gherkins industrial sized twist.

People are still talking about my appearance on Newsnight. Peerless they are calling it. Which is probably what I will end up as after laying into the government so forcibly.

In fact the only peer I will be getting anywhere near is the one in Wigan. Which is an Orwell reference you not Oxford, naturally, educated muppets he said condescendingly.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pointless gates

I spotted a gate today. It was totally pointless.

Now, I am not one to use metaphors to bring meaning to things like some sort of metaphor user bringing meaning to things.

But if I was...

A pointless gate could either be:

Something that promises exclusive access and influence but ultimately just stands there looking hopeless and hapless.


Something that promises security and support but ultimately just stands there looking hopeless and hapless.

So, send me your pictures of pointless gates and I will publish them on the blog. If I get enough I may even devote a whole new blog to it (subject to the launch of a Commission (chaired by me) to explore the possibility of launching a consultation, or listening exercise as I believe they are now called, on doing so). or via Twitter to @robinbogg using #pointlessgates tag

Chips. Spat everywhere

Did you see me on Newsnight? I was so angry about the slurs from government that the cap on gamp relief for rich umbrella owners was imposed because there was evidence of brolly abuse that I ate the biggest pile of chips I could manage and spat them out all over the camera.

This is outrageous from the government. Usually the approach of trying to justify bad policy based on gut instinct through dodgy evidence is one I applaud but not in this case. By using woolly vague accusations they have slurred the good work of all umbrellas. I would even go so far as to say what they are doing will seriously damage society. Disgraceful. Everyone knows that is the job of the NHS bill which I implicitly supported.

They even had the nerve to say that some brollies are being used abroad as if this is a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with taxpayer money being diverted abroad. I myself can often be found diverted abroad, funded by others.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easing into retirement?

Back from Tunisia in time for the Boat Race but the least said about that the better (see previous post). And I think I have found something to do should BUBB ever finally get rid of me. I have been thinking about retirement a lot lately and BUBB is launching a scheme to provide people with shelter from rain in their own age.

But I need to think beyond umbrellas. Everyone knows that the Utopia for self important troughers, freeloaders and junketeers is Europe. That is where the real gravy is. I like gravy and have been eying up how much gravy I can get if I land a role of gravy taster in Brussels. But there is a risk that there soon may not be enough gravy. Some countries such as Greece have been leaking gravy. And the Germans want to control the supply of gravy. Perhaps gravy does not offer the promised richness of flavour it once did.

So I am refocusing on cous. So good they named it twice.

A trip to Tunisia has convinced me that it could be where my future lies (assuming Cameron doesn't manage to ride out the endless tawdry scandals long enough to give me my peerage). Especially if the EU continues to expand and the North African countries are encouraged to join.

I spent a pleasant week at an all inclusive hotel, with couscous on tap. And I am convinced it is how I want to ease into retirement. It is amazing how people behave when everything is free, with as much food and drink as you could desire. It actually makes them ruder and expect even more.

I wish I could turn this into a metaphor for the British political system. Or society. Or my own career but I can't.

What was pleasant was how many people seemed to know who I was. In the streets strangers kept approaching saying "don't you remember me? I am a waiter at your hotel. I have no money as I have lost my wallet. Can you lend me some and I will pay you back later". Very careless these waiters as it seemed to happen a lot and cost me a fortune, especially as I was never able to find them back at the hotel to get my money back. If I was cynical I would suspect a scam.

So to save time and hassle I just gave all of the waiters at my hotel that I did see some money in advance to help them out in case they lost their wallet. I'm not stupid.

And here are some holiday snaps as I know everyone likes looking at them. They even have a drink named after me in Tunisia!

Boat race

It probably wasn't a good idea to offer my nephew some encouragement during the Boat Race by attempting to swim alongside his boat. Especially as I did it during the main race and not the reserve one he was actually competing in (despite my best efforts to try and pretend it was the proper one in blog posts). But at least I had the presence of mind to give the Police a false name when they arrested me, the most ridiculous one that came into my head.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Off on another foreign jaunt, but self-funded this time

I am off for a few days in Tunisia. This isn't because my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb is going there on some free jolly as I am sure he is currently too busy puffing up his feathers and threatening George Osborne with the charity sector equivalent of the Markov treatment if he doesn't change the tax allowance cock-up. No, I am going on my own initiative. I reckon there must be a non-exec role up for grabs on some sort of couscous advisory or promotion board so I am off to do some research.

True leadership is about writing blog posts entitled leadership which display sod all leadership but plenty of self-serving whinging

I hate all of these breakfast meetings. I am all for stuffing myself with croissants (heated, the posh man's pasty) but wish they could do them at a sensible time. Like 4pm.

Yesterday I was listening to Fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffion Vague talking about recruitment issues and how to get hold of talent. Which coming from someone who married who she did is a bit rich. She was ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffucking ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffantastic as she seems to recognise the potential money to be creamed off from cushy non-exec roles in the corporate world once they realise what umbrella management gurus such as myself have to offer.

Mind you, we need to get our own governance arrangements in order first. We need to be able to pay trustees. Paid trustees is not a disease any more than competition in the NHS is. In fact, offering cash would create competition and drive up standards and in no way would lead to a US-style system where only the richer umbrellas could afford to be looked after while the poorer ones would be left abandoned on buses or on wasteland, unable to find the money to fix their broken spokes.. Hell, why not go the whole hog and privatise the core voluntary principle underpinning umbrella sector activity.

It is a disgrace that the Umbrella Commission make it so hard to change governance arrangements for umbrellas what with their insistence on regulating and insistence on brollies complying with centuries-old umbrella sector law and ethos. I firmly believe it should be a piece of pissing it down with rain to pay people to be umbrella trustees, in the mistaken belief that this will somehow encourage better brolly governance and not a cabal of the same old people coining in second, third, fourth and fifth incomes. And I don't care if my continued pushing of the paid trustee unmarked envelope flies in the face of evidence and such shit and the wishes of most of my members. Because that is what I do.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Panic blogging

The government has denied causing panic blogging by urging bloggers to stockpile contingency blog posts on panic buying.

In other news: The government is to privatise the provision of panic and has announced a minimum price on panic buying.

And government denials of fuelling panic buying on fuel fuel increased panic buying of fuel. But is possible to run a car on the fuel that is fuelling the panic buying of fuel?

The message from George Osborne and My Great Aunt Maud is very clear - PANIC BUY THE ECONOMY OUT OF RECESSION - STOCK UP ON STAMPS, PASTIES, FUEL AND PANIC...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cameron's private dinners

I hope Dave doesn't publish any lists of who has had a cosy nosh up with him at Number 10 as it could be embarrassing for me. If I don't appear on those lists after all I have given him it will do untold damage to my ego. Surely my assumed support for NHS reform on behalf of the whole umbrella sector is worth a generous amount of couscous and a couple of pot noodles.

Anyway it looks like he will publish them - for the right price of course - so I'd better hope my name has somehow found its way on there.

The whole thing is a bit of a storm in a teacup if you ask me. What's the world coming to if influence and access can't be bought by money and privilege ? It's the very foundation of the system I learnt at Oxford, naturally.

Though I bet my protege Tony Blair is outraged by Cameron. Sat there frothing, imagining how much money he could have made doing similar.

It was certainly tactically shrewd of Cameron to announce dementia funding yesterday in the hope that people would forget the whole row.

One question does remain though. What was the minimum price of alcohol served at Cameron's dinners?

I bet Cameron is glad he never made an oft quoted statement about the scandal of lobbying to come back and bite his waxy arse. And as he faces pressure over the way he does his job he should perhaps consider joining a Union. You know, those evil organisations that openly and transparently fund the Labour party on behalf of millions of workers but to whom secret donations to secure influence with the Prime Minister are confusingly compared to by such apologists for the twisted status quo as my Great Aunt Maud.

Where will it end? Next we'll have political parties offering influence on all key policy areas in return for votes at an election.

Anyway, Cameron is only the second most powerful man in the country. Access to Simon Cowell over a private dinner can be secured for the price of a brick.

Being discreet

As regular readers know I never mention the head hunting guru DONALD HOLDING in my blog and I would certainly NEVER let slip that I had seen him lunching with one of my members lest it should raise suspicions that said member was looking to change their job as that would be indiscreet and embarrassing.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Anyone seen my toys?

I threw them out of my pram over the cap on the tax allowance of donated brollies and gamp aid.

Talking of boycotts makes me feel young and vital again. I will stand up to the government and presume to speak on behalf of the whole sector about things that may damage all umbrellas.

Except when it comes to the NHS, obviously.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Shovelling shit

Spent some time skulking around alongside the canal near what will be my new home from September. I was shovelling shit and hurling it at Sir Hubert's window. I don't know how but quite a lot of it seemed to end up in George Osborne's red case judging by the disgraceful way umbrellas were treated in the Budget yesterday. I am all for capping brolly reliefs for the filthy rich (unless it affects me) but whichever dozy wassock forgot to factor in the knock on effect to gamp aid and umbrella donations needs his knackers mangling.

On the plus side it seems that instead of being shoved into the box room when I move in with Sir Hubert, he is developing a luxury penthouse for me.

(Copyright: 2012 Lester Twomore)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Keep Sunday special

Sundays are sacred. I love nothing better on Sundays than lazing around in my y-fronts in Blacbury, reading the papers or nipping out for a huge roast dinner with Barkles. It is a day of rest and reflection and no one should have to work.

Indeed when I become Archbishop of Canterbury on a part-time non-exec basis I will be campaigning against anyone working on a Sunday, least of all church people.

Obviously, some folk will still have to graft on Sunday. Newspaper shop owners, roast dinner chefs, landlords of course. And Doctors in case I overindulge. Why should they get a day off? All those extra budget projections they will soon have to do won't calculate itself.

But no one else.

Even umbrellas. Even though recent scientific research indicates that statistically it is just as likely to rain on a Sunday as any other day.

Which is why the government's plans to extend Sunday trading hours during the Olympics are a concern. Clearly the best way to combat the rising tide of militant secularism the Tories complain about is to change the Sunday trading laws in favour of business when it suits them. Cameron talks a good "we are a Christian country" game but that can be ignored during the Olympics because business matters more. The one true religion.

I must confess it was a nice touch by the government to announce plans to steamroller Sunday trading laws on a Sunday, not least because it meant the Keep Sunday Special zealots had to do loads of work condemning the plans, which must have been a real conundrum for them.

Actually, I can see the point of the Tory argument. It would be dreadful if people turned up to the Olympics and couldn't buy stuff early on a Sunday evening. What sort of message would that send to the rest of the World? It would say we are a lazy vaguely Christian country which has forgotten the true meaning of the Olympics (generating cash) in favour of some woolly notions of faith. We need to send a very strong message to other religions that we are a Christian country and anyone who wants to live here has to plan their shopping better except when a major sporting festival is on. And any Muslim extremists planning on blowing Lord Coe up need to be aware that expensive security will be just as rigorous on Sunday as any other day.

Writing letters to the Times

I was delighted last week when someone wrote something stupid in the Times. This gave me the perfect opportunity to indulge in one of my favourite activities - writing a letter to the Times.

Some crazed bint was waffling on about umbrellas and asking what benefit they actually provided for our health. This is completely insulting to the brilliant work brollies do in protecting the dampest in society and preventing rain related illnesses and conditions. She seemed to think that gamps should be doing more campaigning work but was probably one of the same people who in the past would have complained about too much umbrella money being spent on advocacy rather than core sheltering work.

You can't win with these people. Unless of course you get to have a letter published in the Times. Which is great for self publicity. Result!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Another new job opportunity?

I see there is a vacancy for the role of Archbishop of Canterbury.

I reckon I could do it, if not full-time then certainly on a part-time non-exec basis (assuming the remuneration was adequate). After all, rain is a God-given miracle that fuels the umbrella industry. I adore the ritual associated with the Anglican religion, love a posh church and I reckon the opportunity to make glib pronouncements based on woolly concepts of faith and limited evidence would be plentiful. That is what I have built my career on.

Plus I have a long history of presuming to speak on behalf of other people and impose my own beliefs on my members. I have even played God myself on more than one occasion. I believe my blog to be a sacred text equal in importance to the Scriptures.

The benefits would be huge. Imagine the canapes you get on the God squad circuit! The opportunity for foreign jaunts on flimsy pretexts! And access to communion wine! And it would mean an automatic place in the House of Lords.

Donald Holding? Get your arse moving and sort it out. If you really are the genius headhunter I claim you to be then sort this one for me. If you do, I will ensure your name is plugged generously in the next edition of the Bible.

Fuelling the Bisto-powered locomotive

Get in - I have nabbed another part time non-exec role (paid, naturally). I am to be a public appointments assessor assessing the appointments of assessors made by commissioners of public appointment assessments to assess appointments to commissions assessing public appointments etc etc. A very nice little recursive earner.

For the hard work he put into unearthing this fantastic opportunity I am indebted to the little mentioned and unheralded headhunter extraordinaire Donald Holding of whichever firm he is at these days. He has moved so many times I forget - he keeps headhunting himself into new roles to keep those commission payments rolling in. I say hard work, he saw it advertised in a newspaper and alerted me to the fact. That's what you pay for with Donald - his ability to read stuff in publicly accessible places. Genius.

I don't think I could be more excited if a family member was selected to row for Oxford, naturally, in the Boat Race (or at least the reserve team version). Rowing at Oxford, naturally, is a long and proud tradition in our family. I myself rowed with Tony Blair and Benezir Bhutto about a number of key issues when they were my proteges at Oxford, naturally, in the 1970s.

Nothing sums up Oxbridge's anachronistic elitist ethos more than the Boat Race so if my nephew were to be involved I would be right chuffed.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Me. In my skimpy swimmers

An interesting day out parading around in my speedos, talking to some swimwear guru about how we can work together across the beachwear and brolly industries to utilise the skills of the aquatic sector to adopt more damp-proof approaches in our own. He is a trustee of Spokes Direct, a charity which donates unwanted brollies to the dampest in society and whose CEO is a long standing member of BUBB - Stephen Buggles.

A great lunch - dunno what we talked about but it was plentiful and he paid.

I'd started the day meeting with BUBB members who are part of our professional associations special interest group. One of our BUBB treasures is the network of some 15 SIGs covering the interests and passions of our members' spheres of work.
They rightly reminded me that we must always fight the corner of the professionals as well as those of our service delivery brolly organisations. Which was awkward as BUBB has a large membership in professional bodies like some of the ones representing health professionals who are against the NHS reforms that BUBB has been represented as endorsing by that weasel Cameron. Therefore worth a bit of cosying up and honeyed words to keep them onside. These jollies and canape fuelled commission launches won't be funded out of members subscriptions by themselves you know.

Have I spoken out yet about Cameron's lies in the House of Commons? Have I bollocks. Usually I would have torn a strip off him in an impassioned blog post at the very least but for some reason I have remained silent on this one.

And the evening was a dinner with old friend Ian Scorn MP who was one of those ministers under my protege Tony Blair who got the value of and fought for the brolly sector. He also wrote the infamous note to the incoming Tories when he left the Treasury saying that all the umbrellas were broken. He's a bugger to go out to dinner with mind. I nipped to the jacks at one point and came back to find he'd
scoffed all my food and just left a letter explaining there was no couscous left.

I then realised I had done 2 versions of the same joke in the preceding paragraph before completing the hat-trick by finding a piece of paper covered in Scorn's handwriting saying there were no new punchlines left.

And now I'm off to Hell. Or as most people call it, Cambridge, unnaturally!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A trip to the doctors

Been feeling a little peaky. All this competition is getting to me. And possible food poisoning at NCVO's annual dinner last night no doubt - NCVO staff probably spat in my couscous. Therefore, I went to the Doctors today. I usually try and avoid the places, other than as the basis for half-arsed research into MY report on the health service that Cameron has been able to use as justification for claiming the support of the entire brolly sector for his reforms on the back of.

It was quite revealing. I took the opportunity to undertake some consultation while I was there with patients and staff. Which is more than I bothered doing when I wrote MY report.

I say consultation, I mean more overhearing things that were said.

As well as learning via the receptionist that all PCT staff earn more than Doctors (evidence enough for me) and that Mrs Gubbins needed 3 enemas that still didn't shift the problem I also found out from a magazine in the waiting room that the Titanic sank AND that jokes about the age of magazines in Doctor's waiting rooms are as old as the Titanic.

The most interesting revelation was from an old dear sitting waiting to be seen. Phlegmatically she remarked to the woman next to her that "patients is a virtue". I was shocked. The level of grammar from people not educated at Oxford, naturally, in this country is appalling. "Don't you mean patients are a virtue"? I said. She looked at me like I was mad.

And of course grammar aside, she is wrong. Patients are not a virtue, they're a bloody nuisance. They are the single biggest burden on the NHS and if we could get rid of them then all this talk of privatisation and competition would be academic. Downgrading some illnesses, conditions and diseases to baseless whinges, especially the ones that aren't profitable to treat would be a start

Anyway I went into see the doctor who examined me. She looked at me gravely. "Tell me the worse, Doctor, is it competition?"

"Yes", she said. "And quite a bad dose of it"

"Oh well", I said. "Could be worse. It's not as if competition is a disease".

"Oh but it is", she said. "And quite a serious one".

"It isn't", I screamed. "And if it was it wouldn't be financially viable to cure it."

She kicked me out still protesting.

"Wait til you're privatised you witch", I shouted as I disappeared, airborne, out into the car park.

After all, I don't see why privatisation is such an issue. Not that the reforms are about privatisation But if they were it's not as if the privatisation of other largely state controlled national concerns such as gas, electricity, water and the rail network has led to anything other than increased efficiency and cheaper prices. And greater competition.

Which is not a disease whatever Doctors tell you. And even if it was it definitely won't be fatal for the NHS. Cos MY report says so,

Monday, 5 March 2012

A leak

It's been a right arse-ache of a weekend. Some important stuff has been leaked and I have been fighting off the press, torn between a desire to get my name in the papers again and not putting my foot in it.

I am not talking about a report that BUBB did for the Cabinet Office a year ago about the effect of cuts on the brolly sector, that government chose to ignore. I will openly admit to leaking that. End of.

I am talking about the surprising news that my nemesis and future landlord Sir Hubert has only gone and got himself snared by a fair maiden. Leading brolly sector legal eagle temptress Vagabond McCartney has persuaded Hubert to forsake the bachelor life.

I can see no good coming of this. For a start, it's certainly going to disrupt our already fragile domestic arrangements when I do move into his box room later this year (though we're not merging, even if him and Vagabond are) if his bird is forever clogging up the bathroom. And she is one of those bleeding heart, liberal do-gooder lawyers with a heart, wanting to genuinely change the world rather than using social inequality simply as a crutch to further their own career and exploiting it for themselves. And she uses logic and facts and all that other hocus pocus that Sir Hubert sometimes dabbles in. It is going to make working with him even harder. Never mind McCartney, she's more like a Yoko Ono.

And there are so many other unanswered questions.

What present do I get them?
As it is going to be a Quaker wedding, does that mean there won't be any champers, always assuming that I get an invite in the first place?

I expect that Sr Hubert will use his Sector's in a Right Old State address at today's NCVO annual conference (which I am still banned from but will sneak into disguised as a couscous delivery man) to clarify these burning issues.

In the meantime, given the competition between Sir Hubert and I, it leaves me with no alternative but to get wed myself. So I am pleased to announce that I have agreed to settle down with my one true love. Myself.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Pimped out by Cameron

I wish someone had warned me that by seeming to be too close to Cameron and his disastrous NHS reforms I risked tacitly endorsing them on behalf of the whole brolly sector. Especially since the horse riding bastard used BUBB as an example of being one of the few organisations backing his bill in the Commons this week.

Despite the fact that BUBB has not taken a stance one way or another, the amount of profile I have had supporting the competition element I championed in MY report means that by association Cameron has been able to pimp me out as speaking on behalf of all brollies in support of his nonsense.

I expect that some of my members, especially those against the bill, will be furious with this.

So what should I do?

Write a stiff letter to the Times? Have a rant about Cameron's disingenuous mendacity and lies in a vitriolic blog post? Or do sweet fuck all, keep quiet and hope it goes away until the peerage arrives?

How regional tokenism works

I have been on another foreign trip this week, to a place far more remote and extreme than my usual jollies, and this one was actually properly work related as well. I have been Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooop North.

As you may know, BUBB has an Office of Regional Tokenism in Leeds or some such hellhole, to give the impression of true national inclusivity rather than the usual London-centric (and Oxford, naturally) focus of such things.

I feel obliged to mention members in the blog sometimes lest people forget what BUBB is actually supposed to be about. I also like to, in terms that are in no way praise by numbers or patronising, big (or Bogg) up their work. This trip to the wilds of Northernland therefore gives me the chance to gushingly extol the virtues of the "wonderful" work of some of my "amazingly talented" Northern members. Some of their brolly initiatives are are fantastic, all the more so considering that they are Northern and poor and wotnot, and operating in some of the dampest conditions known to man.

Northerners are reet canny like, proper gradely, the gear, and ruddy marvellous.

That should cover it.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Canopy Finance Group

There are rumours circulating that I was seen pushing in the queue to get into the Canopy Finance Group's (nice rebrand, guys) silver jubilee reception yesterday. The very idea that I would do whatever it takes to gain access to the House of Lords is entirely without foundation. And when I say without I do of course mean with.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

So much competition it is literally beginning to hurt

This whole health service bill has been wonderful. Never mind the fierce arguments raging on the battleground of ideology, the impassioned debates about an incredibly emotive and vital issue that goes to the very core of our society. That's all mere trifle to the main pudding here.

It has right boosted my profile.

I am being mentioned in places I would never previously have had exposure in. In what can be painted as a struggle between the left and the right I have somehow managed to unite both sides of the political spectrum.

Competition in the NHS? It's a great thing and never better illustrated than by the race from all sides to ridicule me in print.

After Crispin Shitts' nonsense in the Fail the other day, now the Morning Star has come out and called me an "ever eager privatiser" and one of Cameron's "NHS vandals".

This is brilliant. While as a brollinger bolshevik the Morning Star is a little bit too pint of bitter for me it illustrates just how far my fame is spreading. In fact if I get pulled any further in different directions I may need to see a doctor.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

I must finally be doing something right if I have been slagged off by the Daily Mail

Did you see it? Everyone's favourite right wing complete arse of a columnist who isn't Richard Littlejohn. Or Melanie Phillips. Or Jan Moir. Or Jeremy Clarkson. Or any of the countless others, Crispin Shitts, has written about me in the Daily Fail.

"Among those attending David Cameron’s health ‘summit’ in Downing Street this week was the richly comic figure of Sir Robin Bogg, a ‘Brolly Sector’ schmoozer who has wormed his way into Whitehall and writes a Pooterish blog which almost defies satire.

‘Bogglet’, as he is known, loves to make politicians feel comfortable in the presence of esteemed beings such as his good self. What a shiny button he is! And the ultimate gampagne socialist. One of his recent blogs is positively poetic about the beneficial blessings of premier cru gampagne."

Firstly I have never been known as Bogglet. Then he says "schmoozer" and "wormed his way in" and "gampagne socialist" as if they are bad things. I am proud to be known for such things, it is what I do.

And my blog defies satire does it? He should try reading my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb's (see here for his brilliant parody of Shitts' shite, just after his toss about George Carey).

The ultimate irony of course is that someone with a track record of outrageous, self serving writing as Shitts should take me to task for the same. If he's not careful I shall do what I always do when something angers me - write a sternly worded epistle to the Times. And if he really riles me I shall invoke the wisdom of a Russian to tenuously back up my arguments. Either Catherine the Great or Trotsky. Or maybe whoever ordered Markov's killing.

As ever my enemies would do well to remember Markov (click here). You don't hear much of Dylan Twirley these days do you, eh?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Fur lined umbrellas

I have a message for Edward Martins, chief executive of Julia's Hospice. He made some quip in Brolly Weekly about me and fur lined umbrellas or brolly bikinis (brollinis) or something. If he wants saucy pictures of me, he only has to ask. Though I am saving my fur lined bikini for a special occasion - such as my investiture at the House of Lords. My sequinned ermine 2 piece is to die for. In the meantime, how about these?

Health worries

I almost regret offering to write MY report on competition in the NHS for Dave. The amount of abuse and hassle it has caused is definitely bad for my health. As I keep saying, competition is not a dirty word. Arsetwattingcockwittedegotism is. But not competition. Competition should be encouraged in the NHS. Unless that principle is extended to rational debate in which case opponents of what I say should be silenced or slagged off. Take note Shirley Williams.

Fortunately the plus side of being invited to Number 10 yesterday to schmooooooooze far outweighs the negative reaction I have had from people, including BUBB members who are questioning my integrity by assuming to speak on behalf of all umbrellas in this debate, even those who disagree with the NHS reforms because of the adverse reaction it will have on their beneficiaries.

The meeting yesterday was called by David Cameron and was about marmite. Only people who love marmite were invited. Their views were then taken as evidence that everyone loves marmite.

As Cameron said afterwards "there are a few myths we need to bust about the NHS. Such as the one about us saying we'd preserve it."

Still it could be worse. Pity the health of the poor sods who attended an evening with Sir Robin Bogg in Kent at the weekend, back in the village I was born in. Yes, that's not a typo - I am Kent through and through, so much so that people often shout Kent at me as I walk down the street. While meeting up with relatives I was able to display my amazing capacity for hypocrisy by accepting champagne from one of the bankers I routinely lay into on my blog. Probably paid for by the bonuses I decry. Gampagne socialism once again.

Perhaps I should give up talking about health service issues for Lent for the good of my health. What I won't be giving up is all of the cosy lunches I keep being invited to. Or my traditional sanctimonious blog post about what I am giving up for Lent followed by some guff about heading to a church on Ash Wednesday to get my forehead smudged. I haven't written it yet but rest assured I will. Or if you can't wait then just look back at the last 458 years on my blog as it won't change much I expect.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Youthful promise

BUBB has launched its excellent (cos we say it is, so there) report into the growing problem of a generation of young umbrellas being unemployed and cast onto the spoke-heap. The Commission behind this report was chaired by Rabid Megagrand MP, an apt choice. No one knows better than him the pain and damage that can result from not being rewarded with a job that fulfils your dreams and youthful promise.

NOTE: No young unemployed people were harmed, or even employed in the production of this report.

Fancy having to listen to what people actually want

It was a huge mistake to listen to the today programme from my balcony in Cyprus. Huge mistake for everyone else that is as it has given me an excuse to once again get right narked off and angry and sweary and preachy with the bastard bankers.

There was a debate between Lotte Shight of the British Banking Apologists and Milly Coinfee, Guardian columnist and author of "How to make a packet by writing loads of articles about inequality of wealth" and "Where would I be if I didn't have the poor to patronisingly defend?"

It always annoys me when someone in her position takes the moral high ground on excessive pay and a fair society. And the banking woman has got a nerve as well, defending huge bonuses and exorbitant remuneration.

In fact all of these bankers have got a bloody cheek complaining about a witch-hunt and I urge everyone to get together and hound them about their whining.

We need a proper debate on the pay of those leading organisations. I suggest to bankers that the best way to keep people onside is takw a smaller basic salary and supplement it with bonuses such as overseas "work" trips. While continuing to sponsor canape launches and conferences for umbrella organisations as well of course you lovely, lovely bankers who are not bastards at all in those circumstances, obviously.

Much better this than simply branding the outraged public a "mob". This mob is the taxpayer who bailed them out, whether they wanted to or not. They'd do well to listen to them. Why, otherwise it would be like me ploughing a lone furrow and blithely ignoring the needs of my members. I wouldn't last 5 minutes would I?? Let alone 11 years and counting. Would I? Eh? Hello? Anyone listening or have I disappeared into a vacuum of my own ironic pontificating?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Hiding in Cyprus

On holiday in Cyprus. I tried to find an obscure semi-umbrella related conference to hang this trip around but was unable to. Luckily Pepe Ohdearie has tried to set up some meetings for me while I am here, doubtless with funky techno-grime-dubstep-rave-trance-electro-squawk-jazz-disco-funk-hippety-hoppety-shouty-nonsense-bloody-raaaaaaaaaah-not-proper-music-like-Elgar club owners, that I can pretend are work related. And I will be looking at my Blackberry all of the time to catch up with the news, track emails and see what my spoofer is saying about me. Probably some predictable guff about me taking YET another foreign trip, as if it is something I should care about.

I did manage to secure stay in the magnificently flooded city of Venice over the weekend for the EuCLUTS (European Committee of Leadership in Umbrella Technology and Sophistication) board meeting. EuCLUTS is a fantastic organisation that has boosted my travel CV loads AND has made a valuable contribution to propping up the Eurozone on the back of my members' money.

Still, I deserve a break as I have been very busy recently. Some of it proper work related as well.

But I am keeping a low profile as I am fearful that if they're going to strip away Knighthoods from people who have been proved not to have actually deserved them then I may be next.

I do feel sorry for Fred Goodwin though. What will the multi-millionaire ex-banker with massive pension do with himself now that he has been separated from an anachronistic, meaningless symbol of privilege?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Only joking, I have nothing to be sorry about.

I did of course mean Surrey. I accepted an invitation to give some local authority types on Surrey County Council the benefit of my experience on how they should engage with the umbrella sector even though the meeting was outside the county of Surrey. Indeed because it was outside Surrey. Kingston, Jamaica is one of the few places left on my bucket (or Bogget) list of destinations for a gratis overseas beano. Therefore I said "yes, I'd love to come and chat to you" before you could say "West Indian freebie". Imagine my disgust when I realised it was in Kingston-upon-Thames.

I have mentioned before that any Councils who don't do what I want when engaging with gamps will be named and shamed on my blog AND I will get my old friend, communities secretary Derek Gherkins to come down on them like a tonne of bricks. Or in his case, a left leg.

Though I did my best to talk down to them they inevitably raised the old chestnut about the brolly sector needing to get its act together and how we shouldn't naturally assume we are good simply because we are the umbrella sector. Heaven forbid. Recognising this is one of the many things that we are so much better at than any other sector.

We sometimes lose good friends and allies by bad behaviour. When I say we I mean I. And it's no good pretending that what we always do is brilliant even though I act as if everything I do is.

After that it was off to the House of Lords for a reception (25 years of some journal or other...honestly, these organisations that use an arbitrary amount of time in existence such as a quarter of century as the basis for spurious anniversary blow outs, eh?) simply to set up a knowing witty aside to my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb along the lines of "if I spend any more time in there they'll assume the peerage has finally been bestowed" as if I am in on the whole joke rather than it's unwilling butt.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Support the Lords!

Thankfully the House of Lords has kicked out some of the more distasteful elements of the government's welfare reforms, even if they did so using terms like "If we are going to rob the poor to pay the rich, then we enter into a different form of morality," which from an institution that still contains some people who are only there because their ancestors did exactly that in the past is a bit rich.

The Lords deserve our support. Not least because there is bugger all use me working so hard to get a peerage if it isn't going to mean much in a few years.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Clearing out?

I was going to blog about having a right good New Year clear out but when having a right good New Year clear out (it's when I do all my best thinking) I remembered this blog post from two years ago about having a right good clear out so it would be easier for me if you just read that.

Sometimes I can't bear to throw papers away so I redistribute to grateful office staff to wipe their arses on when they have their own good clear out. But the amount of shit in my office from my free jollies around the world is growing to ridiculous levels. I am constipated by memorabilia and I can reveal that the real reason for me moving into Sir Hubert's box room later this year is that I plan to stash some of my artifacts in his loft and shed without him noticing.

Oh, and anyone want to see a photo of me looking all twee and 1970s, full of youthful promise, exuberance, ready to change the world and battle the establishment rather than becoming part of it?

Thought not.