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.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Justifying leadership

A fascinating documentary on King George V on Tuesday. No one would claim George as a great intellect. He was a terrible father heading up a dysfunctional family of benefit scroungers and more interested in shooting books than reading animals. He was, however, an incredibly good leader. Why?

Because despite his obvious flaws he stuck around for ages and no one was able to get rid of him, whether they wanted to or not. Longevity in the face of performance is the key to successful leadership.

His leadership style was based on a sound common sense approach (I can't believe I am writing this shite. Leadership style? He sat in a Palace while others ran the country) and a gut instinct for handling difficult situations such as what to have for dinner. These are, in fact, key leadership attributes. I've often been struck by how important a role instinct plays in making decisions as a CEO. Or to put it another way, blind faith in one's own abilities at the exclusion of what others say if it suits ones own agenda best.

I can point to a number of occasions when the logic or advice I received pointed to a particular decision but I knew it wasn't quite right. Even when it was. Now this is not to suggest you ignore all advice or press ahead regardless but it is to suggest you must be bold , pig headed, brash, pompous, self-righteous and trust your own judgement. Then bluff, blag and bluster when it all goes wrong or let others clear up the mess

Bearing in mind what I have said it would be somewhat ironic if I now commented that I was off to see someone at the Local Government Association and tell them exactly what to do. But you know me, riddled with contradiction. I don't know how I do it, must be pure instinct that I am right. I should be the Pope. In fact if that peerage doesn't come through soon I may try out for the Vatican.

Looking ahead in 2012

The umbrella sector faces a great many challenges this year. But rest assured that I will be at the forefront of fighting the corner of brollies everywhere as I press ahead with my efforts to gain a peerage. Sir Hubert and I will be united in our desire to win the race to wear ermine first though those that say we will merge into a single peer, Lord Boggrington of Kings Cross, are way off the mark. We intend to share our robes of state but not stitch them together.

And amidst all the gloom of cuts etc we can at least look forward to nice bright shiny distractions such as the Olympics and the Diamond jubilee to make us forget all the shit. A damp early June and August will see a great boost for UK umbrellas as the eyes of the world will be on us. And more importantly it is BUBB's 25th anniversary, so what better excuse for a year of champagne fuelled trough outs and self congratulatory rhetoric? Our backs won't pat themselves you know.

Happy New Year