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.