29 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 23: George Osborne: Fact and Fiction

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

Journalists have spent a lot of time and energy of late discussing the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Some of these journalists are friends of George and tend to write quite nice things. Others are scared of his rather intrusive nose and write what they are told. The predominant focus has been on his candidacy for Tory leadership for the 2015/2020 general elections; his rivalry with Mayor Johnson; and whether or not his nose is his second bottom. This paper aims to dispel fact from fiction.Fact
  • His real first name is Gideon but he changed it to George because he thought Gideon was a type of poor person.
  • His nose doubles up as a Treasury spokesperson when he is asleep.
  • He once told Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury that he could have a lift home in his ministerial car. When Danny tried to get in he pretended that the door was locked and got his chauffeur to drive off really quickly.
  • He has successfully managed to ridicule Danny Alexander in several other ways, namely, making him the face for all of the most electorally damaging policies emerging from the Treasury.
  • When he was 14 he went out with Kat from Eastenders, aka Jessie Wallace.
  • He is the heir to the Osborne baronetcy of Ballentaylor, in County Tipperary, and Ballylemon, in County Waterford. However, his first job was entering the names of dead people into a national database super computer. He also briefly worked for BHS, re-folding towels

Fiction

  • His nose is not his second bottom, but it has been known to fart when he is nervous. Especially around pretty girls.
  • He won't be Tory leader or the next Prime Minister for several reasons: it has been reported that Ed Miliband has been reading Margaret Thatcher's 1979 election manifesto (I presume this will be enough to secure victory at the 2015 general election); Mayor Johnson is actually rather charismatic and clever (he quotes Shakespeare in media interviews) and might therefore pip young Gideon to the post; his nose, despite not being his second bottom, makes him look and sound rather silly.

I'd like to take some time at the end of this paper to issue a personal thank you to our new illustrator, Miguel Rodriguez Murcianado. Over the past month or so, Miguel has provided beautiful and quirky illustrations to accompany our papers which I think you'll agree, are rather good. For more information about our new illustrator, please visit our 'Staff' section on the website.

28 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 22: Who's funnier: Dave or Nick?

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

We got lazy on this one and just wanted to show you this picture. It's brilliant.



The Analysis

Nick cracks a joke, President Obama laughs, Cameron looks like the school bully who's been outdone by the geeky kid. In other news, David Cameron makes a joke about having sex with the wife of the MP for Wellingborough, Peter Bone.

Mr Peter Bone: Yesterday, I had a meeting with a constituent who I know can be very difficult at times. She was exceptionally happy and was singing the praises of the Prime Minister because we will not be involved in the Greek bail-out, and because after 2013 we will not be involved in any bail-outs. However, Mrs Bone wanted to know whether, if a bail-out came before 2013, Britain would vote no in any case, despite qualified majority voting. She would be very happy if the Prime Minister gave that undertaking, and it would be really helpful for the Bone household if he could.

The Prime Minister: I feel that a very big part of my life is spent trying to give pleasure to Mrs Bone. On this occasion, I can go only so far.

22 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 21: What is the right thing to do?

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

Policy making has previously been a highly complex, lengthy and often tedious process, but not for David Cameron. The IIPBA carried out some in-depth qualitative analysis of the Prime Minister's rhetoric and uncovered the following: not only is he better spoken than the Queen, but since becoming Prime Minister, he's craftily managed to bypass the policy making process, replacing it with something which can only be referred to as "slightly terrifying". Bang goes Tony's sofa government, raise your glasses and give a warm welcome to the "the right thing to do" coalition of the future.


"The right thing to do" or a rather slack justification for making decisions?

From foreign policy to economic theory, David Cameron loves doing the "right thing". Ever since he was 4 years old, all he has wanted to do is the "right thing", that's why he now eats his greens. Terrifyingly for the British public (and for that matter, the population of Afghanistan and Libya), he's decided to bypass the traditional method of policy making i.e. listen, learn, reflect, write, review, listen etc and replace it with his rather vague and narrow sense of what is "right". On the face of it, no, when looked at from any angle or distance, this is decidedly slack.

The Evidence

When he became Prime Minister, he pledged "not to stick stubbornly to a course if it wasn't the right thing to do" (May, 2010). Well readers, you will be reassured that:
  • When commenting on the formation of the Coalition with the Liberal Democrats, the Prime Minister said that he "thought that was the right thing to do" (May 2010). In private, our sources suggest that he also believes "it is the right thing to do" to let Steve Hilton not wear shoes around No10.
  • Regarding the Afghan National Army he decided quite out of the blue that "It is the right thing to do to build up the Afghan National Army" (July 2010) - those lucky little Afghans. "The compass says 'it's right' - the Afghans shall have an army" (Cameron: 11:34).
  • Upon making the decision to go to Zurich to help with the England World Cup 2018 campaign our beloved leader said "I wouldn't be going to Zurich and putting all the effort in if I didn't think it was the right thing to do" (November 2010) - of course he wouldn't
  • On cutting the deficit he stated that "The national interest dictates that we do the right thing" (January 2011) - the national interest also suggests that people need healthcare, security and to learn things.
  • He said the UN resolution on Libya and imposing a no-fly-zone was "the right thing to do" (March, 2011) - marginally better reasons than Tony.
  • On ringfencing the aid budget he said "it is absolutely the right thing to do" (June 2011) - note the slight change of rhetoric. I liked this one
  • And most recently, on restraining the prisons budget, he said that "the right thing to do is to reform prison." (June 2011).*
These are all actual quotes. Yes, we usually make things up at the IIPBA, but we felt this sufficiently serious to be truthful.

Conclusion

This message goes out specifically to Civil Servants - Please get a grip of your policy areas and send emails that will probably never be read to No10 with evidence, justification and explanation for policy positions. Don't take this wave or "rightness" lying down.

To our Post-bureaucratic age followers - Be heartened by the Prime Minister's willingness to cut through unnecessary red tape and health and safety regulations when making policy. Walk confidently down your street chanting these simple words when challenged - "it's the right thing to do".

UPDATE

Shit the bed, it's spreading. Just flagged to us by our Qualitative Analysis Team: in response to news that David Cameron eventually decided to wear a morning suit to the royal wedding, London Mayor, 7th in line to the throne, and good friend of DC's, Boris Johnson declared that "I think it's the right thing to do". Taking the piss or the spread of a political virus? Comments please.

19 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 20: The Steve Hilton Factor‏

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

The right wing press are alleging that Steve Hilton, David Cameron's foot masseur, is on his way out of No10. Our sources suggest that he is threatening to take the cat with him. We consulted several frontline staff at the Jobcentre Plus in Catford and came up with a list of alternative jobs for Steve in the sad event of him leaving No10.




Steve Hilton - The background
Steve Hilton is part Hungarian and an expert podiatrist. He likes nothing more than rubbing Arnica salve into the Prime Minister's feet after a day of fighting the Little Society. Outside of work he really likes spending time with his favourite laptop, telling everyone how big his "society" is and coming up with ideas that will help cover the Prime Minister's expanding bald patch. On the latter point, Whitehall sources suggest that he has recently recruited Wayne Rooney to be the Prime Minister's Follicle adviser.

Catford Jobcentre Plus - The Staff
In this section we'd like to send a warm thank you to the staff at Catford Jobcentre Plus who made this paper happen. Specific thanks go to Jules, Andy, Cleo, Leo and Xeo.

Steve Hilton - The Job Offers

The staff at Catford Jobcentre Plus worked day and night consulting colleagues across the globe, specifically Vietnam and the US, to bring together a list of options for Steve to consider. They received hundreds of lucrative offers from banks, oil companies and other such firms who like to exploit on a global scale. In the end they picked the posts they thought were most suitable for Steve:

1. Sexy videos: Some lude US websites are said that to be very impressed with Steve's CV and have plenty of vacancies for male actors who understand feet. Contract and pay details are sketchy but negotiable and it is suggested that it would be best to keep details about any such work from his wife.

2. Vietnamese Tourist Board (VTB): The VTB were very keen to put Steve's experience and passion in the Big Society to good use. They offered a job as "Strategic Advisor to the CEO on the Big Society - Vietnam style" on a 2 year loan with opportunities for extension. Contract details were once again sketchy but they said that he would get free suits and that it was "ok" if he didn't want to wear shoes around the office.

3. Sock model for BHS: In a surprising move, BHS approached Catford Jobcentre Plus after reading the right wing press running the Hilton story. They said that they were looking for someone who was bald and had experience working in central government to be their "Next top sock model 2011". Jules at Catford Jobcentre Plus said that this role seemed to be "sent from heaven".

Recommendations

Steve - take the job at BHS - you'd be brilliant

Thanks for reading

p.s. Big shout out to Keith Adams - thanks for following Keith

17 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 19: Who is the "Daddy of all Quangos?"

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

Alan Milburn recently claimed that the NHS Commissioning Board was "the daddy of all quangos". This got us thinking here at the IIPBA so we sat down over a cupcake which cost us £5 and set about answering three fundamental questions: Who is Alan Milburn? Is he right? And who is the real daddy of the the quangos?


The NHS Commissioning Board - THE TRUTH

The NHS is massive. No wait, it's bigger. And the NHS Commissioning Board, according to "Milburnism", is in overall control now of the NHS. This puts it in a pretty good position for the title. As a side note, and if you hadn't noticed, the NHS is being reformed to make it post-bureaucratic. Since David Cameron was 4 years old, all he has wanted to do is reform the NHS to make it post-bureaucratic. Up until the "Great Pause of 2011" he believed that the answer lay in handing healthcare over to Tescos and other such multibillion pound businesses who will definitely put healthcare before profit. The "Great Pause of 2011" is still ongoing.

What is Milburnism?

It doesn't exist - nor for the record does Blairism, Thatcherism or Brownism (sorry John). They're made up.

Other contenders for the title

Oh God, who cares. Maybe the Crown Prosecution Service. Maybe not. The cupcake was eaten quite early on in the "brainstorming" session, people got bored and the conversation petered out.

Recommendations

Our general advice to the PM, which doesn't really apply to this paper, is just to say that you will do things because you don't have to bother actually doing them. No one will really notice, and if they do, it's unlikely that they will care, particularly if it is about Quangos.

15 June 2011

Thinking paper #18 – Why is everyone banging on about cupcakes?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

Everyone is banging on about cupcakes nowadays, and for the heterosexual male it is rather confusing. They're not as nice as a bacon sandwich, they look funny, they're expensive and pointless. However, girls seem to love them, and it is rather difficult to work out why. In this paper we examine some possible explanations.


Sex and the City

In something called Sex and the City, horsefaced Sarah Jessica Parker and her ageing friends apparently spend a lot of time eating cupcakes at a Magnolia Bakery in New York, biting into them seductively whilst gossiping about who they have shagged.

We are told that this was part of the birth of the trend, as unhappy middle-aged women around the world realised they couldn't have meaningless sex with well hung, attractive men, or live fabulous lives with the sisterhood in New York. The only thing they could replicate about their favourite TV charade was the cupcakes.

Cupcakes became fashionable, and queues for the Magnolia bakery stretched for miles. Inevitably, unhappy women around the world started baking them and setting up copycat shops, and gay men followed because they also wanted to be fabulous, and spent a lot of time with the unhappy women.

Nostalgia

Many of us ate cupcakes when we were children. Our mothers baked them for us and we liked the look of them, because they were small and we were small. They were also full of sugar, which we loved, and looked interesting, unlike sponge cakes.

Everyone alive wishes they were children again, and they wouldn't have to worry about boring things like money and going to work. Many believe that by eating cupcakes they will become young again, and try it to see if it works. It does not. This makes people more unhappy, and they eat more cupcakes.

Cost & Tax on Cake

Baking a cupcake costs a few pence, but they often retail for in excess of £2.50. In capitalist terms, this makes them a particularly attractive item, especially because under British Tax law VAT is not paid on cakes, and anything over the price of basic ingredients is pure profit.

Both unhappy 'successful' single women of a certain age and gay men often have a large amount of disposable income and want to spend it on something which will make them happy. For some reason, they believe that cake is always the answer, and think that paying £2.50 for something that is pretty and full of sugar and fat will be the answer to all their problems. Exactly the same rule applies to men and pints of beer, except the tax regime is not so lucrative, so breweries have to aim for volume.

Conclusion

Cupcakes are cheap to produce and hold the promise of a return to childhood, sugar, fat and being as utterly fabulous as the horse-face one from Sex and the City. Only the sugar and fat are real, in any sense, but their purchasers and those who sell them are afraid to admit this, as the arrangement is going pretty well for both of them.

Thinking paper #17 - Should politicians stop reading Tony Blair’s autobiography?

By Jacinta Burrow

Abstract

In his attempts to reform public services, a Prime Minister adopts as his mantra “modernise or die”. He wants to get the reorganisation done quickly before it’s too late and he has to leave Downing Street, or before he gets distracted by a foreign war.

Westminster insiders and supporters of the Royal British Legion will recognise this as the plot of Tony Blair’s A Journey. But David Cameron has also borrowed heavily from chapter 16 of Tony’s meisterwerk entitled “Domestic Reform” (pp. 480-511), as well as sections in “Departure” (pp.626-664) and “We Govern in Prose” (pp.200-223), for his proposed changes to the NHS.

So we at IIPBA got to thinking: what can we usefully learn from A Journey? Should it be used as the basis for all future policy making? Was there politics before fake tan?
What can we usefully learn from A Journey?

David Cameron can learn a lot. Being a modern Prime Minister is not only about starting sentences with “look”, drinking tea from a mug and letting photographers join you on your family holiday. Tony Blair managed to sort out Northern Ireland, invent “Cool Britannia”, make friends with Colonel Gaddafi (?), introduce the minimum wage and execute an illegal (?) war, while still finding time to get his wife pregnant and appear in The Simpsons.

The IIPBA has identified the key themes for our 52nd Prime Minister:

1. Leadership is all about “balls”: No not that one (although there is a fantastic moment on page 485 when Tony deliberately provokes Ed into a fury: “after all, I was prime minister”. Fantastic stuff). Rupert Murdoch has “balls”. Alastair Campbell has “clanking great balls”. The IIPBA would like to see more evidence of Dave’s balls. Remember that time when Tony rescued someone from drowning? Maybe Steve Hilton (see Thinking Paper #15) could engineer photos of Dave wrestling a tiger or performing the Heimlich manoeuvre on a Garden Girl? Something like that.

2. Don’t neglect the smallest room: “I am very typically British”, Tony tells us. “I like to have time and comfort in the loo. The bathroom is an important room, and I couldn’t live in a culture that doesn’t respect it. Anyway, that is probably more than you ever wanted to know”. The IIPBA agrees with that final statement. It hopes David Cameron ate plenty of salad with his burgers and sausage at the recent Obama-cue.

3. When you’ve stopped being Prime Minister you can say whatever the hell you want: Tony describes failingsecondary schools as “basket cases”, the Scottish media as “a PhD dissertation about chippiness”, and his former Chancellor as “a strange guy” (p.616). Whilst the IIPBA awaits Dave’s memoirs with something very nearly bordering on mild curiosity, it is its considered view that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any Prime Minister record his or her sex life for posterity (p.65 of A Journey). Dave, no one wants to read about the conception of Florence Rose Endellion. Thank you.

Conclusion

A Journey proves that Tony is awesome but it is very much a reflection, not a guide to being a Prime Minister. IIPBA would not advocate policy-making based on its tenets because that would Britain like Niyazov-era Turkmenistan and the Daily Mail has enough to deal with, what with the European Union and all. The IIPBA worries about how much fake tan there is in politics these days.

14 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 16: What are the post-bureaucratic credentials of the Bilderberg Group?

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

Every year the world's rich and powerful meet up in a secretive location somewhere in Europe, usually a grand hotel complex (this is TRUE). The attendees are from the worlds of banking, media, finance, business, academia, the armed forces and even European royalty. There are also British Cabinet ministers in attendance, the odd future Cabinet minister, oh and Lord Mandelson. This year, they're meeting in St Moritz, Switzerland and the attendees from Great Britain include:
  • Agius, Marcus, Chairman, Barclays PLC
  • Flint, Douglas J., Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings
  • Kerr, John, Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
  • Lambert, Richard, Independent Non-Executive Director, Ernst & Young
  • Mandelson, Peter, Member, House of Lords; Chairman, Global Counsel
  • Micklethwait, John, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
  • Osborne, George, Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Stewart, Rory, Member of Parliament
  • Taylor, J. Martin, Chairman, Syngenta International AG

This years Bilberberg conference begs three urgent questions: What on earth do they do/discuss at these retreats? Will Rory Stewart become the next Foreign Secretary? (short answer: yes) And how post bureaucratic is it to allow 130 of the worlds most influential people to decide on global policy and the future direction of the human race?

The Questions you've been asking... answered

1. What on earth do they do/discuss at these retreats?

Well, in short, this is largely unknown. When asked this very question, Lord Mandelson once replied that they just sit around and enjoy the facilities together, for it is a rarity that these individuals have such holidays away from the glare of the public eye. The IIPBA believe that this is plausible. At the other end of the spectrum, certain theorists and wayward analysts, believe that this is where the powerful elite determine future wars, global economic policy and the enslavement of the human race. The IIPBA believe that the latter has already come to fruition thanks to the introduction in 1977 of what some experts refer to as a "9 to 5".

The IIPBA believes that the truth might lie somewhere in the middle of these extremes. Generally speaking, people are stupid, but I think Mandelson underestimates even the stupidest of us if he expects us to believe that the financial leaders of the world don't talk "shop" over their boiled eggs and toast soldiers. On the other hand, the idea that anyone could plot the future direction of humanity over a weekend seems equally ridiculous given the difficulty that the government has had in convincing us that our happiness lay in say, the Big Society.

It seems plausible to the IIPBA that George Osborne might talk to the head of the World Bank for example or the head of the IMF (no wait, he's in prison: set up by the illuminati? What did he know?) over a cocktail or two, possibly get some insights he might not have managed to get at an international conference, or just compare how many lives they've helped / ruined that financial year. The detail of these discussions, the content and the outcome is all unknown.

2. Will Rory Stewart become the next Foreign Secretary?

This afternoon the IIPBA placed an imaginary £200 bet on Rory Stewart becoming Foreign Secretary in this Parliament and were given the odds of 75/1. The £200 is all we have left in our pot of petty cash which is made up of charitable donations. Rory Stewart became an MP in 2010 and he is definitely not a former spook. Upon becoming an MP he also became a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee which is unusual progress for a "newby" and he has now been spotted on the attendees list for this years conference. This usually bodes well for the young polician in mention. Tony Blair attended pre 1997 as did Osborne pre 2010. Our analysts argue that his invite suggests three things: recognition by a higher force; that the weekend will be a test, or a scoping out of the individual by the powers that be; and that his attendance is usually a preliminary to a significant promotion, in Stewart's case, to Foreign Secretary (the IIPBA hopes).

3. How post bureaucratic is it to allow 130 of the worlds most influential people to decide on global policy and the future direction of the human race?

In short, very. From our perspective, we can see that this cuts out a certain amount, if not all of the bureaucracy of the usual policy making process. However, if we take it to be true that these individuals are determining the future course of man, then it begs some further questions about democracy which we can't deal with here. We're all about the post bureaucratic age and in this area, the Bilderbergs get a big tick from us.

Conclusion

We'd like to praise and welcome the shape shifting Lizards from the 4th dimension (see David Icke) to planet earth and give our full backing to their work in bringing about, although inadvertently and through the enslavement of mankind, the post bureaucratic age.

Thinking Paper # 15: The Big Society: what the fuck is it all about?


By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

Margaret Thatcher, Sky TV, a longing to be alone, immigrants, microwavable meals, the closure of town halls, the closure of pubs, the closure of post offices, the internet and the "Neighbours from Hell" series on ITV have been destroying communities in this country for years. People apparently long for a feeling of community and have a burning desire to get to know their neighbours (weirdos) and Steve Hilton, a non-shoe wearing Hungarian who lives with David Cameron, thinks that the Big Society will lead to the reform of community spirit. This paper aims to get to the bottom of all of this. Will it? Is Steve Hilton really Hungarian? Why doesn't he wear any shoes? What does community mean to you? And crucially, can anyone be bothered?


The Studies

We interviewed the entire population of a really poor borough in Liverpool. Below is a summary of our findings:

  • 100% of respondents said that "the Prime Minister can go fuck himself if he thinks that I'm going to clean shit off a pavement after getting home from a job I hate to feed a husband and child that bring me little to no satisfaction anymore". They usually added "Who the fuck does David Cameron think the British people actually are?"
  • 100% of respondents said that they really loved Sky TV and not talking to people. They usually added that their favourite pastime was speculating about who was to blame for problems in this country and that if they a) got to know people in their community or b) helped solve some of the problems facing their community, then they would have nothing to talk about.
  • 100% of our respondents said that they worked very hard in their jobs, but weren't quite sure why the job existed. Anyway they said they work bloody hard and definitely couldn't be bothered to do anything but watch television and eat cancerous foods in their spare time so David Cameron should sod off and clean up his own shit.
On the other end of the spectrum, we interviewed the entire population of a village in Berkshire. Below is a summary of our findings:

  • 100% of respondents said that they were definitely rich enough (and had sufficient spare time because they didn't work) to set up a local school, volunteer at the library or clean up the incredibly nutritious poo of the resident dogs who ate 8 fruit and vegetables a day.
  • 100% of respondents said that they were happy to help build and strengthen their communities because everyone was white, trustworthy and rich like them. They added "Just the other day I helped Jeremy with his shopping because the dreadful man from Ocado had to rush off home to tend to his birthing wife, no doubt having another child that will be a scourge on our good nation".
  • 100% of respondents said that they were already active in local campaigns such as the 'We want another Waitrose store' Facebook page.
Your Questions answered...

Will it work?

Yes in well to do areas. No in not so well to do areas.

Is Steve Hilton really Hungarian?

Yes. Hilton is the son of Hungarian immigrants called Hircsák (alternative spelling: Hircksac), who fled their home during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and anglicized their name to Hilton.

Why doesn't he wear any shoes?

Steve Hircsák is famous because he doesn’t wear shoes at work. No one knows for sure why he doesn't wear any shoes but our Whitehall sources suggest that Hircsák's creativity stems from the souls of his feet, unlike most people, whose creativity originates from their genitals. Now, our sources suggest to us that in 1989, Hircsák voluntarily became a eunuch on the understanding that it would make him live longer. Upon doing so, he unwittingly removed the source of his creativity. Thanks to the versatility of the brain, the focus shifted downwards and lodged itself firmly in his feet. Our Whitehall sources suggest that he believes that shoes stifle his creativity and therefore, where he can refuses to wear them.

What does community mean to you?

100% of respondents who answered this question said: Facebook.

And crucially, can anyone be bothered?

I don't know about you, but after a day of hard slog at the IIPBA, I barely have enough energy to make love to Mrs Golightly, let alone clean dog shit from pavements because David Cameron refuses to use our taxes to pay someone to do it.

Policy recommendations

  • Televisions should be banned. If this is not feasible, the TV series, "Neighbours from Hell" should be discontinued
  • It should be illegal to have a commute to work that is longer than a 30 minute walk
  • Everyone should go down the local pub at least three nights a week
  • Underage drinkers should be allowed in the pub to be shown how to drink responsibly and behave appropriately around adults
  • For every conversation had on Facebook, the individuals involved should have one full conversation with a stranger, friend or loved one immediately afterwards either on the telephone or preferably in person
  • The week should be made more equal - 3 day weekend, 4 day working week. People should be paid the same wage regardless
  • For every Daily Mail article about "Britain going to the dogs" the same newspaper should be enforced by law to print two articles highlighting pleasant happenings from around the country that aren't stories about different species of animal that are friends

10 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 14: Should the Archbishop of Canterbury be able to tell us what to do? And should we listen?

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

If I may refer you back to Thinking Paper # 12, the following paper will discuss the same topic but in the context of God, the Archbishop of Canterbury and God via Ed Miliband. Our position on this key policy question remains steadfastly in line with that of TP#12, yes and yes.


Background

People once listened to God via more educated religious spokesmen who prospered in an environment in which they held all knowledge. Over an unspecified period of time people became ever so slightly more educated, retaining a certain level of stupidity which they still have to this day, but learning just enough to begin questioning God and the teachings of the holy book. Secularism prevailed and the glamour model, Jordan (aka Katie Price) wrote three best selling novels each of which reached number one ahead of the bible and other such books. Some people still listen to God and the IIPBA supports this.

Ed Miliband’s link to God

Our Theological Research Unit here at the IIPBA confirmed for us that the Archbishop of Canterbury, as a spokesman for God, has every right to speak his mind on issues affecting his flock, who are, at a stretch, called the British public. However, it has been brought to our attention that in this instance, God may have been subject to political lobbying from the left.

Just last year and every day since the election, Labour leader Ed Miliband has said something along the following lines:

“There is an alternative to letting Nick Clegg and David Cameron return to business as usual pursuing policies which haven’t been thought through and for which people did not vote.”

Today, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote this in the New Statesman:

"With remarkable speed, we are being committed to radical, long-term policies for which no one voted.”

In February, Miliband said:

“The reason why Cameron's Big Society is in such trouble is because the Government is making painful cuts.”

Today, the Archbishop said:

“The widespread suspicion that this has been done for opportunistic or money-saving reasons allows many to dismiss what there is of a programme for "big society" initiatives”.

Finally, according to media sources the Archbishop is rumoured to have prayed very recently to encourage Prime Minister Cameron to not go quite as far with his cuts and to do them not quite as fast. We don’t need to remind you that Ed Miliband’s duvet cover and matching pyjamas have blazened across them the very same political catchphrase – “too far, too fast”.

Conclusion

Is this an example of Miliband playing at the highest level of politics or is it just a biblical coincidence? We can't be sure. Either way, we feel strongly here at the IIPBA that God still has a role to play in modern politics, but not necessarily in determining whether the UK goes to war with a predominantly Muslim country (this is aimed at you Tony). Public discourse benefits from eclectic and widespread contributions, even from those of you who contribute to the Daily Mail comments page. In fact, the post bureaucratic credentials of such interventions are extremely good. They cut to the chase and get people talking about things. That's good isn't it?

Thanks for reading - I think there is 8 of you

7 June 2011

Thinking Paper # 13: Where did Ed Miliband go on is honeymoon?

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

From the Daily Mail to the man in the pub, the question on everyone’s lips is – where did Ed Miliband go on his honeymoon? I say the question on everyone’s lips, the story has been on one blog and I just spoke about it with a guy in the toilets. As informers about the details of his honeymoon flood forward, it is clear to us at the IIPBA that he is holed up in a high class hotel in Marble Arch/Park Lane, depending on how much you squint at a map.


Other Theories

One Guido Fawkes has it that Ed Miliband may have abandoned his plans for a honeymoon in Seville in Spain with his new wife Justine. Other sources state that he has yet to emerge from a service station toilet on the M1 which he entered over 2 hours ago. And a Farmer in Lincolnshire said that he saw an Ed Miliband shaped object in one of his barns but was afraid to approach it because the sound of it breathing and trying to pronounce things like “too far, too fast” was “simply terrifying”. However, following detailed discussion with colleagues at the IIPBA, we have concluded that he is holed up in the newly refurbished Marble Arch Thistle Hotel on Bryanston Street in London.

The Marble Arch Thistle Hotel – The Background

The hotel has 637 rooms decorated in beautiful art deco styling. Ed Miliband is rumoured to be in room 204, overlooking Primark on Oxford Street so that he can see what the “squeezed middle” are buying and adjust his style accordingly. The main bar in the hotel has just had a £1.3bn investment to ensure that it is sufficiently stocked with Archers – Ed’s favourite drink. He likes to have only one ice cube in his Archers and he doesn’t allow Justine to drink because it makes her “windy”.

The hotel is unusual in that all of the staff have to live there. The second floor is rumoured to feel like the first floor and Mondays sometimes feel like Wednesdays depending on where you are in the building.

In addition, Ed is said to have picked this specific hotel because it plays host to the UK’s quickest butcher who can kill, skin and dissect a Lamb in under 3 minutes. The Head Concierge is also worth a mention, he is reported to be the most experienced Concierge in the UK with over 157 years of Concierging background.

Recommendations

Ed Miliband and his windy wife Justine should be able to holiday where the bloody hell they like but they should just be up front with people. The general public aren’t going to begrudge a millionaire a millionaire’s holiday, especially as they already hate his silly face anyway.

Thanks for reading...

3 June 2011

Thinking Paper #12 - Should celebrities be able to tell us what to do? And should we listen?

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

To cut a short paper shorter, the answer is "definitely" to both questions. This is a long standing position of ours and one which is central to the work of the IIPBA. Earlier, this week Sting called for the decriminalisation of drugs. I for one hate Sting and everything that he stands for, but his words confirmed for us here at the IIPBA that in order to push through the PBA agenda, politicians need to listen to celebrities on a more frequent basis. In this paper we will briefly explore the latest policy suggestions from the likes of Sting and Kathy Burke and recommend other areas that would benefit from celebrity interference.


Celebrity interference – The Background

Sting’s real name is Gordon (it’s true), and he told David Cameron this week that “Giving young people criminal records for minor drug possession serves little purpose.” Elsewhere, Kathy Burke, star of BBC2 comedy “Gimme-Gimme-Gimme”, called for the “immediate decriminalisation of drug possession”.

From Bob Geldof on international poverty to Joanna Lumley on Gherkins we have seen celebrities shape public policy debate for millennia. As far as the IIPBA is concerned, we need to see more of this. We believe strongly that celebrity endorsement, whether informed or otherwise, would dramatically improve public policy formulation in the following ways:

1. Achieve popular support for policy areas that the general public just wouldn’t care about otherwise;

2. Sufficiently dumb down debate about complex issues to allow for ill thought out and hurried reform instead of pragmatic and considered, but essentially flawed policy responses;

3. Make politics beautiful again, remember Tony Blair, what a lovely smile that lad had;

4. Give something politicians themselves to be interested in. Did you ever see Tony Blair’s face when he met Bono from U2? Like a little boy in a sand pit.

Policy Recommendations

We sent postal questionnaires to 2,300 celebrities asking them for ideas to improve public policy discourse. Three celebrities responded positively and one, who shall be referred to as Lee from Blue, sent us a picture of his penis.

1. Dating girls - Paul McCartney suggested he launch a campaign to warn rich and elderly men from believing that young attractive women (albeit with one leg) are genuinely in love with them.

2. Employment options for teenage girls - Katie Price wrote to us to say that she would happily head up a series of employment programmes for teenage girls with a focus on intercourse with footballers.

3. Olympics tickets - To our surprise, Kat from Eastenders offered to lead a joint review with Alfie Moon from the same programme into how Olympics tickets could have been given to people other than those lucky enough to work in the Department for Culture, Media and Communications.

The IIPBA strongly supports each of these proposals and urges the empire builders and back stabbers in No10 to look a little past their career progression and have a little think about these ideas. If they would like to get in touch, we can provide them with the contact details of the aforementioned celebrities (and the picture of Lee's penis).

Thank you for reading...

^Picture © w_o_n_d_e_r_s_l_u_g used under Creative Commons^