Why the topline should always be the bottom line.

As long as the people in charge are incompetent crooks, jargobollocks will always be with us

I had a depressing start to the day. Outside it was grey, windy, and threatening to be wet. I drank too much wine last night talking on Skype to an unusually engaging person. I groped about for the TV zapper and turned on BBCNews. Once  again, it was sofa time.

I think morning-news sofas are done to death now. OK guys, we get the message: it’s jolly informal, gender-neutral and family-friendly. But enough with the sofas already. I think the newsreaders of a morning should have bad hair, look bleary-eyed, yawn a lot, and do the news from bed. Each interviewee could then join the bed to create a ménage à trois, and we could have wild accusations in the blogosphere about what was going on under the duvet. Tracy Emin could remake the bed every morning.

Or they should be in the shower, on the loo, cleaning their teeth, struggling to get their socks on – whatever. It’d be far more entertaining than the news. Anything would be more interesting than the two Charlies they had on this morning: a  teacher and a mum, talking about discipline in schools.

The teacher was Central Casting Grade 1 NUTpc. He had, he told the boy-girl item on the sofa, plenty of strategies in his toolbox for dealing with difficult kids, plenty of action pathways and issue-oriented options. Harsh outbursts were inappropruiate: he never used them because they never worked.

Never? Not even once? Not even if the last strategy in the toolbox is a nail-ended club? And if he never used them, how did he know they never worked? Here was yet another ‘teacher’ who had taken a course in Abuse of English.

Mum was the expected exception: specially chosen because she believed that teachers know best, and stating firmly that they must be allowed to get on with their job. “What we have to remember,” she reminded us, “Is that this is the sharp end for teachers: they’re on the bottom line”.

Oh dear. I think I’ll go away to a darkened room and study the front line as delivered by the accountant yesterday. It’s not looking good: ballpoint analysis is, I’m broke.


Half-baked bollocks and lazy denial have taken over so completely now, it’s almost like some of us need a phrase-book to get through it all. According to Guardian jobs this morning, there is an exciting and high profile new world class open cast mining project in Devon. How did they check to back up the claim that it’s world class? If it means ‘better than cast-iron mining project in Antofagasta, Chile’ should we be impressed? Or should we simply vapourise the clown who has not yet grasped what an irritating joke that phrase is in 2012?

Nothing is ever clear any more: but once the sprained English comes into play, you know it’s tits-up. It means nobody knows what to do. Here’s a classic from this morning: “The Chinese economic recovery continues to gain momentum,” says HSBC’s Qu Hongbin. “However, it is still the early stage of recovery, and global economic growth remains fragile.” It’s a yes, or rather a qualified yes, but then again, perhaps a possible no.

This is in fact the hard line on why drivel is almost ubiquitous today: everything is too complex for anyone to understand, and so those ‘in charge’ have to hide their bafflement behind pseudo-scientific, uncertain malapropisms. I think we should draw a line in the hand on it, I really do. A line in the hand is, after all, worth two hands in a bush. No, hang on. I didn’t mean to say that at all.


What’s hugely noiticeable is that, when people move out of the horsesh*t zone, their paucity of thought is immediately on display. ‘Hubristic purchasing – a penchant for overpaying’ the FT concludes today. It couldn’t really be any other way, could it? Bloomberg this morning says a ceasfire between Israel and Hamas would be more likely if arms sales were cut off. I can get behind that, in much the same way as I’m all for keeping the house dry with the use of a roof. Displaying a little more depth, the New York Times opines, ‘The temporary end to bombardment and violence is not enough to ensure peace in the region’. In the sense that nobody but the Jews wants Israel where it is, and the Israelis are unlikely to budge, this too is correct, but staggeringly inane.

So let me try a little clarity as a potential antidote here.

The eurozone is broke, and the euro a failure that should be put to sleep at the earliest opportunity. Debt forgiveness is the cheapest way out of the West’s contemporary fiscal crisis. Too many teachers are uninspiring and dull. We do not need mad investment banking practices, we need to have a safe place for our money, and to borrow sensibly now and then. Globalist mercantilism doesn’t work, and we need a return to the idea of national self-sufficiency accompanied by trade in surplus goods. UK export marketing is, on the whole risible. The British Council is a corrupt waste of space. Radical Islam is a violent, misogynist and ucompromising religion that must not be appeased. The French banking system is going to be blown down, and Francois Hollande is not the man of the hour. Prison doesn’t work, and we should switch to a serious investment in rehabilitation based on self esteem through retraining. Equality based on forced quotas and affirmative action is anti-meritocratic. Bankers who scam SMEs, manipulate Libor, and inflate their supposed assets should go to jail like any other fraudster. Neither Cameron nor Miliband are the leadership material Britain needs. None of the Westminster Parties work for us, they whore to privileged interest groups. Surveillance of the citizen is out of control and needs rolling back. Jeremy Hunt was biased over the Newscorp bid, and should’ve been fired. Selling the NHS to private business will put major health procedures beyond the means of around 80% of Britons. Establishment paedophilia exists and is being swept under the carpet. This nation’s mainstream media pack is a prissy, self-important disgrace.

There now. That’s better.


39 thoughts on “Why the topline should always be the bottom line.

  1. “Globalist mercantilism doesn’t work ”
    A deconstruction of that phrase John, is that it doesn’t work for ordinary people. It works fine for the rich gits as does removing frontiers and free passage of plebs from place to place. The dippy socialists in Brussel-am-Rhine can’t see that they are doing the work of the above mentioned by steamrollering over employment law, personal protections and all the other things that make it good to live in a first world country. Instead we get swamped with folk hell bent on nicking the ‘golden’ paving stones in Londonistan.

    “Prison doesn’t work”

    Well there you are. Prison doesn’t work because it is not a deterrent. Because socialist policy means that it is not the fault of the twat with his hand in the till, it is of course the fault of the poor sod who left him in charge of it. So off to a cushy prison where they get 3 squares a day and a bed to sleep on along with sky sports and drugs on tap. As opposed to work gangs clearing ditches on Dartmoor or sweeping rubbish up in Birmingham, sowing mail bags -who cares if no one uses them here, make it an export- all this soft approach crap is just that. If you didn’t want to go back to prison because it was a bloody awful place you probably wouldn’t re-offend. I’m all for a bit of help when they come out though having learnt a one-off lesson.

    They go back again the sentence is automatically doubled as a minimum regardless of the crime. Go back a third time and its automatic life with parole possible after 20 years. Deterrence has to be credible.


  2. Severity of punishment is no deterrent – likelihood of capture is, except in the case of genuine psychopaths, who don’t give a sh*t either way.

    This is why there are still murders in Texas.


  3. Since it appears to be inherent that Power Corrupts the moment it has any sniff of being able to subjugate anybody else, many of us are probably much too Old (and Wise) to ever consider forming a New Political Party in the UK.

    Pity in a way…..because If one ever came along with a manifesto based on the concepts in your lengthy last paragraph, JW, it would most certainly get my vote.


  4. In your opinion Matt and in some cases you will be correct. In some cases you will be wrong. That isn’t my opinion it is my experience.

    The sooner we all accept that we are all different in some way and therefore what works to inspire good behaviour in some, will not work with others, the sooner we can stop trotting out these platitudes like ‘prison doesn’t work’.


  5. ‘Prison doesn’t work, and Bankers who scam SMEs, manipulate Libor, and inflate their supposed assets should go to jail like any other fraudster.
    Need to re-think that one JW!
    Unless of course there is a difference between jail and prison I am not aware of!


  6. Interesting as the extract from your exhibit A was, it does not provide corroboration for the sweeping nature of your statement as below;

    “Severity of punishment is no deterrent – likelihood of capture is, except in the case of genuine psychopaths, who don’t give a sh*t either way.”

    nor does it contradict my response.


  7. Hoping the foul weather won’t prevent a healthy crop of mail bags. If released prisoners could make use of what they’ve learned to produce £5K handbags, it would surely spare well-healed ladies from being mugged.


  8. It is amazing. We have a deep ocean of language, teeming with words, phrases, sounds and gestures that we can fish to communicate and feed our souls. But we are constantly being herded to the shallows, where we are easily caught or drowned. Well, stuff their bollocks, I’m heading out to sea.


  9. Tahitian swede….intrigued me enough to Google it. Which resulted in information about flights from Stockholm and the really helpful how to say f*ck you in Tahitian (Titoi! …if you`re interested)
    Eureka! at last…its a sort of posh lettuce which you can serve with the other weeds from the garden to impress your friends.
    It struck a chord actually because the women here on Crete forage for and cook such things…after the goats and sheep have given them a wide berth.
    Some of them are surprisingly tasty…while others are best described as `good for you`….well they would say that wouldn`t they!
    I`ll stick to an authentic Greek salad…which never has lettuce. Lovely!


  10. @Matt
    To say prison does not work is incorrect. For probably 90% of the population it does. Most people avoid criminal behaviour because they want to avoid prison. Not completely of course, because most normal people are generally, socially pretty good, but the threat keeps them in line when required. It would ‘tip the balance’ against crime, if the opportunity arose.

    John himself in his piece recognises this fact by saying in one paragraph that ‘prison does not work’ and in a later, that ‘fraudulent bankers need locking up’. Prison works for some and the threat works for most. However, I think that for most it is the idea of being forced to mix with those (others) who get sent to them is what holds the threat and not the ‘idea’ of the conditions of the prisons themselves.

    Thus the idea of a doubling of sentences may well work for non careerists whilst I would suggest that increasing harshness would work for others. We try to have a ‘one size fits all’ system. People are different, their motives are different and the societal response should be different as per what we learn about them through the justice system.

    I would suggest that at some point, a violent ‘careerist’ should become ‘outlawed’ and a ‘prison Island’ be established where they are just removed and left with like minded individuals to get on or not as they wish. Australia has proved that a system like this can come good eventually.

    But the other argument is also right, the chances of detection must be high as a deterrant to those in society who would not be restrained by the thought of a short ‘stretch’ in a jail as currently configured.

    The other requirement is that the Law must not be unequal. And in modern times where ‘equality’ between every class and creature is a demand backed by legislation, the one area in which equality is not enforced is the law. It has been bought and paid for by those who want its protections but not its restrictions, (but only for ‘their type of people’).


  11. TRADER DON. HAHA yes it so true, put on any economist especially from the MPC and whatever they say, whether commenting on inflation or growth, can always be distilled down to..’ it may go up, or it may go down. I dont know.’. Keep up the great work John, makes my day reading your blog.


  12. Meanwhile, a certain Lord Scottish Ski Slope has settled out of court with ITV for a cool £125,000 plus legals.

    so much more convenient than using those awful libel courts…..


  13. Prison doesn’t work? It works for me, at least the buggers can’t touch me while they are inside! In that sense it works. Trouble is the time doesn’t reflect the crime. Admittedly the system is a mess and half the cons are innocent anyway. I would impose longer sentences. And I would Insist they acquire life / work skills during their stay. And make it extremely unpleasant for them if they don’t play ball. Always a hardcore who are beyond help of course, but they should be easy to identify and treat as a distinct group. Time to protect society from this lot. Any volunteers for prison warden role in my new world? Donald Sutherland has retired!


  14. “Meanwhile, a certain Lord Scottish Ski Slope has settled out of court with ITV for a cool £125,000 plus legals.”

    And in doing so has all on his on, confirmed what everyone who isn’t one of the Nobs, has always thought about those who are the Nobs.


  15. Well its certainly true that the BBC hated Thatcher (and still does) however you cant help but wonder how the Lord McAlpine story would have been presented had he been a Labour peer. I suspect somewhat differently although stating that the BBC actively stitched him up might be a little bit of an exaggeration. By the sound of it there’s plenty of dirty laundry on both sides of the political spectrum should the BBC still have an appetite for opening up cans of worms and raking through muck.


  16. I wonder, if towards the end of a distant, previous Empire, some Roman stood looking out of his window, sipping his morning coffee, whispering to himself :
    ” Mark my words,…any day now,…… this is all going to turn to shit”


  17. Following ITV’s payment of £125k for naming him as a paedophile, Lord Scottish ski slope is now seeking a further £125k damages from ITV +1


  18. Yes, an discussion MUST differentiate type. Type I – drug use, Type II – petty crime, fight, graffiti, etc. Type III – violent & sickos. Let drug users go, keep the bad guys. Type II is the issue. Can nihilists, zombies & drifters learn to live in a civil society and follow rules? Will harsher prisons have an effect? The big question: Do they care to change?

    There is a direct correlation between crime & recidivism rates. Compare recidivism rates for the US & Japan – 71% vs 17$. Also, Japanese crime rates are less that half those of the UK so they start off with an advantage. .


  19. Prison doesn’t work, because it’s not a remedy to the disease.

    Crime is about poverty of wealth, opportunity and wisdom. If you create a population/underclass that has no aspirations or opportunities, then crime is the result. See – Poverty wages, laughable ‘Education’ system, Drug policy and the rest.

    Poverty is the ‘elephant in the room’ for the lock em and shock em brigade. The links are obvious and self-explanatory.

    As for the effectiveness of jail; if you lock someone up with criminals, then release them back into the same environment that fostered their criminality, it doesn’t take long to figure out that for many nothing will change.


  20. Pingback: FROM THE ARCHIVES: A top-to-bottom critique of contemporary political thought | The Slog. 3-D bollocks deconstruction

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