Tonight at 22:15 CET I received a message from my French bank. Below is a translation of the content:

‘Today you have received a message in your XXXXXX(bank) online inbox. Do you have knowledge of it? It was sent to you from an email address we do not recognise, and said replies to the address were not allowed. Hoping as always that we retain your confidence’

Note the absence in this notification of any (a) opinion (b) identity of the sender (c) why I should GAF about their failure to recognise the address or (d) why in that context I should have any confidence at all in the bank.

What the bank’s missive represents is nothing more or less than robotic arse-covering. Nothing in it offers any added value to me as the customer whatsoever. It is simply an inhuman systemic reaction to LegalBeagle1 in the organisation saying to the Underlings, “We must be seen to react, so that – at the Day of Reckoning – we can feel safe from accusations that we did nothing”.

So I went online to view the message. It was from the bank itself, acknowledging my request for a new cheque book. Oh what joy to be with a bank that does not recognise its own email addresses.


Another notification – this time from an outfit claiming to send my website hits into the stratosphere:

Tip #3: Write about topics (within your interest/expertise) that people are searching for

Start out by listing the companies or topics that are within your expertise and interest.

There are three problems with this ‘advice’:

  1. I’ve no idea which (of those topics I know about) people are searching for, or indeed if I know those people – or give a damn what they think
  2. I’ve even less idea who the companies are…if indeed there are any
  3. It is advice aimed at generating hits, sales leads and income….not at attracting people who like a well-written summation of what’s wrong with the world, and possible ways of restoring a more healthy balance to it.

A deregulated internet makes for a good source of fearless comment. However, it also makes it a safe haven for the commercial lies of every wannabe Grant Shapps, and every greedy false accuser of every celeb in history.

He’s a double-edged cove, your internet.


George Monbiot writes in the Guardian today:

‘Do you find yourself thrashing against the tide of human indifference and selfishness? Are you oppressed by the sense that while you care, others don’t? That because of humankind’s callousness, civilisation and the rest of life on earth are basically stuffed? If so, you are not alone. But neither are you right.

A study by the Common Cause Foundation, due to be published next month, reveals two transformative findings. The first is that a large majority of the 1000 people they surveyed – 74% – identify more strongly with unselfish values than with selfish values. This means that they are more interested in helpfulness, honesty, forgiveness and justice than in money, fame, status and power. The second is that a similar majority – 78% – believes others to be more selfish than they really are. In other words, we have made a terrible mistake about other people’s minds.’

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. What else would those of us in market research expect people to say other than ‘first’ a large majority identify more strongly with unselfish values than with selfish values; and ‘second’, a similar majority – 78% – believes others to be more selfish than they really are?

Or put another way, “I am a fine person and far superior to the average grockle, but actually I am lying my head off”.

The naivety of the liberal left never ceases to amaze me.

Schlaf gut, dormez bien, sleep tight.