31 August 2011

IIPBA's predictions for the new term

By Ron Ford Golightly and Tim Massingberd James

The new term is days away, and the little Ministers and Shadow Ministers all have new lunchboxes and sharpened pencils from WHSmith, ready to return from their 7 week holiday next Monday. To be fair to some of them, they haven't had much of a holiday. Poor Nick Clegg has had to make do with a dirty weekend away in Tottenham and David Cameron has only enjoyed 3.5 holidays this summer.

As Michael Gove lubes his lips and Ed Balls denies his role in the attempted murder of Alastair Darling, we look at the Parliamentary term ahead of us.

Some predictions:
  • The war in Libya will continue to benefit Dave (old Pinky) in the polls thanks to the blood lust of the British public. See latest YouGov polls.
  • On Tuesday 6th September, Ed "the daggers" Balls will say things like "too far, too fast" during Treasury questions. George Osborne will say things like "it was the last government wot done it" and "it all started in America". Both will repeat until 2015.
  • Some MP (probably Bob Russell) will make some point about the coalition at the Lib Dem conference. He will get tentative applause, but no one outside the conference hall will be listening, or care.
  • The Queen will breathe a sigh of relief as she remembers that she doesn't have to read that awfully repetitive speech at the opening of Parliament until at least November. It will emerge that the civil servant responsible for writing the speech has been dead since 1987 anyway and that each year they just cut and paste a speech from 1982.
  • At Labour Conference, everyone will pretend they really like both Eds whilst frantically talking about them behind their backs.
  • The Tory Government and their Friends will come up with a policy that is unpopular. They will then "reflect, listen and learn". Dear Dave, the policy making process is traditionally done the other way around.
  • In case you need him at Conservative conference, Eric Pickles will be found near the free sandwiches, and sausages on sticks.
  • Barry Gardiner MP will continue to be awesome, despite the dubious title of "Ed Miliband's Special Overseas Envoy for Climate Change". If only our Bar could be leader.
  • Gideon George Osborne will turn into Gordon Brown.
  • The release of Alastair Darling's autobiography will pin the blame for everything on Ed Balls. Ed will deny it and then blink his eyes quite a lot.

Thinking Paper #77: A Jessie Wallace vs. an Ebacc‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

Like two great civilisations clashing, the news today pits the tragedy that is Jessie Wallace against the breaking news that Michael Gove has done something about GCSE's. The IIPBA explores.

What is a Jessie Wallace?

Jessie Wallace is a type of dessert. No wait, she's off of Eastenders and she was due to get married and then didn't because her groom-who-wasn't texted dirty words to Max Clifford's secretary. As a result, Max Clifford and Hello magazine and everyone involved is going to make lots of money for something and nothing and possibly everything. Coleen Nolan hit the nail on the head when she said "Women love a bad boy because they're convinced they can change them, but it rarely works out". Amen Coleen. Just ask Roger, bad Roger.

What is an Ebacc?

An Ebacc measures how many pupils achieve a good GCSE in English, maths, two sciences, a language and humanity. Michael Gove, the lip quibbling rastafarian, wants everyone to be Ebacced up to the eyeballs. He says that an Ebacc will make you "rounded" because all of that art, exercise and religion bollocks is a waste of time. He also says that employers love Ebaccs and they will therefore love you. And that's good because everyone can be valued entirely on what they are worth to the economy. Nothing else, get it. You are your job and your contribution to the GDP. That is everything you are.

Concluding Remarks

We would like to send our condolences to Jessie Wallace and her groom-who-wasn't. However, she can take comfort in the fact that she was probably the most Googled name for three minutes this morning.

Thinking Paper #76: Andrew Mitchell's love of cameras‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

Minister's getting snapped with government papers seems to a really easy way to make an announcement of something that a) is bad news b) is something everyone kind of knew already but no one had publicly mentioned c) a nice bit of news that looks as though it has been accidentally leaked.


Andrew Mitchell's love of cameras‏

Andrew Mitchell getting photographed today falls under category b). What did we already know? That politics in Afghanistan is corrupt, that without money, Afghanistan would get worse, and that President Hamid Karzai stepping down is a good thing. For a mixed example of a) and c) please see the picture of Danny Alexander holding a copy of the Comprehensive Spending Review up against his car window for the journos.

Concluding Remarks

Responding to the leak, Hamid Karzai said "Thank Allah. I can't wait to leave this stinking job... I'm going to retire to the south of France and drink fruit smoothies all day".

Oh and George Osborne was said to be quite pleased because it marks yet another day in which, despite being in charge of a stumbling economy and terribly flawed policies, he manages to keep his meaty little pork chop face almost entirely out of the media.

30 August 2011

Thinking Paper #75: Free Schools - A Millionaire’s Bargain

By Roger Daring

Abstract

Far from being free, Free Schools actually cost a lot of money. The sooner we realise this, and come to terms with it, the more we will understand what a free school actually is.



Free Schools - A Millionaire’s Bargain

The current freeness of free schools has finally emerged at a very reasonable £130m. The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, a self professed fat-lipped quibbler, added a statement to these revelations saying “we wanted to spend lots of money to create the freest schools known to man without delay.”

The IIPBA applauds the Conservative Government and Friends in having created the most expensive free thing ever to have existed. Indeed, when this news was released, looting once again raged across London as people realised that they too could make something expensive into something free.

Remarks
  • We don’t believe that things can be truly free unless they are sufficiently expensive.
  • We commend and wholeheartedly agree with Michael Gove’s concession that he is a fat-lipped quibbler, and hope that he will make more concessions of this nature in the future.
  • The IIPBA agrees that through doublethink, nonsense and propaganda we will successfully reach the Post-Bureaucratic Age.

Thinking Paper #76: Shaun Woodward - True or False‏

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

On Sunday morning I found myself staring into the vacant eyes of Shaun Woodward MP, head of Labour's Tory Winning Attack Team (TWAT). Shaun has outlined a political strategy which, as the IIPBA recently discovered, has left Steve Hilton (Chief Masseuse to the Prime Minister) and Andrew Cooper (Head of political strategy in No10) shitting bricks.


The Detail

Shaun Woodward MP has spent the past year retaking a GCSE course in political strategy and has decided that David Cameron is "right wing". Three things that this piece of strategy ignores:
  1. Gordon Brown tried to paint Dave as "right wing" at the election and this didn't prove particularly popular
  2. A raft of "studies" which suggest that the British public actually quite like a bit of right winggery - reducing immigrant numbers, stringing up rioters, bringing back the death penalty and providing state support for the Daily Mail.
  3. Ed Miliband is visually and audibly quite silly.
Final Comments
  1. Shaun Woodward should remove all d's from his surname and become Shaun Woowar - I for one would try harder to listen to someone called Shaun Woowar
  2. Shaun Woodward regularly shops in Sainsbury's where he gets 15% family discount
  3. Labour should try a bit harder
  4. Shaun Woodward doesn't have a butler, and we should all stop going on about it at every available opportunity.

Thinking Paper #75: A Tribute to Gabriel Milland

By Ron Ford-Golightly and Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

Always quick off the mark, the IIPBA would like to send a warm congratulations to Gabriel Milland, for his recent appointment as Head of News at the Department for Education (last week - sorry Gabriel). We understand that he is due to join at the end of September. According to a man we asked at random in the street, Gabriel might be planning to use the interim for a "staycation" which will involve gin and tonics for lunch and painting the spare bedroom. Whilst this is not true, it does sound lovely.


The Department For Education - The Arms Race begins

One Paul Staines says that Milland's appointment marks another brick in the expansion of Gove's empire on Great Smith Street. Erm, good for Gove. We advise that he also raid the Chancellor's office for the young and the charming, Rupert Harrison IV of Wingbourne. Rupert would bring aristocratic credentials, a pair of brightly coloured socks and some well polished shoes to the operation.

An apology

At the offices of the IIPBA a few weeks ago, we couldn't help noticing that, less than 24 hours after Gabriel Milland drew attention to our work on twitter, an advert appeared for his job as Head of Press at the Policy Exchange. At the time, we were concerned that Mr Milland had decided to hand in his notice after learning about our new think tank, and realising that the Policy Exchange would never meet our exacting standards. Thankfully, however, he just got offered a better job. We are glad about this, as he seems like a good bloke.

Concluding Comments

To mark the accession of Milland to empire Gove, the IIPBA will be dedicating some of its time this week to exploring the latest in government education policy with a focus on fat kids, bullying, Jamie Oliver and overcrowding in classrooms. The IIPBA is also considering putting an outside bet on Milland being a future Secretary of State for Think Tanks in a Gove cabinet, but our petty cash reserves are low after our each way bet on Boris Johnson in the Olympic 100m final.

26 August 2011

Friday's thinking points

With Ron Ford-Golightly and Tim Massingberd-James

Friday's thinking points

This week's almost news in bullets:
  • 100% of the world will be fat by 2012 if we don't all learn an ancient and forgotten skill called 'will power'.
  • Kim Jong Il travels to Russia after hearing about Vladmir Putin's brand new 40 strong squad of gun toting female virgin bodyguards
  • Colonel Gadaffi is caught in Chad looking a bit dehydrated. He is mistaken for dead popstar Michael Jackson and is subsequently signed up for a World Comeback Tour.
  • David Cameron fits in his first holiday of 2011 whilst Nick Clegg stays home and re-paints his front room using the "Dulux dog technique".
  • The Government decide that they were being a bit hasty when they said that they were going to restrict the use of social media following the recent riots. When asked to comment, No10 said that they didn't even know what a "knee jerk u-turn" was.
  • Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt wins The Spectator magazine's hastiest remark of the year award after telling the BBC that: "The wave of riots was a one off event".
  • Chief Executive of Amstrad Steve Jobs resigns over fears he will never invent anything better than a phone-which-also-does-email.
  • The International Coalition of Hotel Maids (ICHM) issue Dominique Strauss-Khan with a fatwa.
  • Warren Buffett calls on American billionaires to pay the absolute minimum of tax they can get away with whilst staying technically within the rules.
  • Andy Coulson loses his parliamentary pass, or something or other, and Tom Watson MP considers it a week's work.

Thinking paper #74: Painting Mr Clegg blue

By Maude Bollingsworth

Abstract

Whilst last night’s attack on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has rung some alarm bells over his security, there are more important questions to be asked (a) Why was the paint blue? And (b) what will the consequences be on the search for Nick Clegg’s smile?


Painting Mr Clegg blue

1. The obvious. It was the “youths” favourite colour. He’s always loved blue. Blue, blue, blue.

2. It was an advertising stunt for the new Smurf movie

3. Ah wait, of course. It was a not so subtle attempt to point out to the people of Britain that Clegg's favourite colour is now a royal Tory blue. I’m blue da da de da da da.

The search continues

Nick Clegg’s smile has been missing now for over a year. I for one have always thought that he had a very pretty smile and that it really brought out his haircut. The IIPBA stands by Nick Clegg during this time of sadness and is here to support him in any way we can.

Thinking Paper #74: How long can incumbent governments point the finger of blame at previous governments?‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

The number of people moving to Britain jumped by 21% last year in a "fresh blow" to the Government's efforts to curb immigration. What was the line to take for the Immigration Minister I hear you ask? I quote - "It was the last government wot done it". In light of this cut and paste answer, the IIPBA asks, how long can incumbent governments get away with blaming the previous government for things that have definitely happened under their watch? Quick answer, for a really, really long time.


The Details - 1 and a bit examples

1. One of my favourite political memories occurred during the height of the recession in 2008. A young whipper-snapper of a David Cameron stepped up to the despatch box in the House of Cumberbunds and asked the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, if he had abolished "boom and bust" which of course he had, thank you very much. Gordon Brown lurched forward clutching his John Thomas and attacked David Cameron for being responsible for Black Wednesday in 1992 and then went on to blame Margaret Thatcher for eating his porridge in 19dickedy8. Such fun.

Other examples include: Tony Blair blaming John Major for the state of the toilet in No10 (poor John was wrongfully blamed - it was actually Cherie); David Lloyd George blaming Sir Robert Walpole for the terrible behaviour of the Hun; and Winston Churchill blaming Neptune (the Sea God) for two out of the three most catastrophic amphibious invasions in living history.

Conclusion

Dear readers, it is politics 101 to blame the other lot and continue to do so until you lose/win the following election. After an election the role is reversed and we all enjoy the same cut and paste lines for another 4 years or so. Then we all sail gently into retirement and watch cricket - Good luck to you Mr Major.

25 August 2011

Thinking Paper #73 – What next for Nat Rothschild and Peter Mandelson?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

If the Daily Mail is correct, with things not looking too rosy for Saif Gaddafi, Nat Rothschild and Peter Mandelson will need a new wingman. We examine the options.



Wingman

If, as suggested by the Daily Mail, Saif Gaddafi is one of Mandy and Nat Rothschild's drinking buddies, they'll probably be in need of a replacement whatever happens. Looking around the world for a successor who could fill Saif's boots, there are surprisingly few obvious options with the same gravitas.

We have, however, managed to come up with a few candidates who might be free to take up the role:
  • Kim Jong Nam – Eldest son of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Nam is most famous for being detained in Tokyo for trying to get to Disneyland on a fake Dominican passport. It strikes the IIPBA that this probably wouldn't wash with Mandy and Nat, but maybe they could bully him, like the fat kid at a public school.
  • Gideon – It's been long enough now since the big bust up with Mandy, and George Osborne is a bit annoying being on the telly all the time. Now is the time for him to become friends with Nat and Mandy again, leading inevitably to him becoming embroiled in another big scandal which gives all the papers a chance to bring out those pictures of him 'posing with a self-confessed prostitute and cocaine user'.
  • Bruce Willis – Bruce is too fat to be an action hero now, and doesn't look good in a dirty vest any more. He is also rather rich, and even occasionally acts reasonably. Acting might help him to act interested in all the boring bollocks Mandy and Nat would bray with laughter with their pals about, but on the downside he did actually earn - rather than inherit - his money. Bruce would also probably get a bit bored though, as he has much cooler friends.
  • Aliko Dangote – Aliko is the richest man in Africa, with a net worth of $13.8 billion, and recently bought himself a $45 million Bombardier aircraft for his birthday. This sounds pretty cool, and he spends time between Nigeria and London, which would make it easy to stop off on Nat's yacht half way between. He seems quite interested in cement though. Not sure how this would go down with Mandy, who likes cooler things like finance and inherited wealth.
  • Sean Parker – You know...the Justin Timberlake character in The Social Network. Sean founded Napster ages ago and is also something to do with Facebook. Again, he seems a bit too cool for Mandy and Nat, but maybe he could get them into more parties.
  • Silvio Berlusconi – Probably also down a drinking buddy if Saif's dad is out of the picture, Silvio needs someone to hang out with, especially as he's not standing again to be Italian PM. Mandy might not have much fun at a Bunga Bunga, but Silvio does have loads of cash, which both Mandy and Nat like.

Conclusion


Obviously Gideon. You knew that though, yeah? He and Nat were in the Bullingdon together. Buller boys are always loyal, even if Gideon is an annoying little twat.

Thinking Paper #72 - Gideon George Osborne: We do the maths‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

With all of this talk about geriatric Michael Jackson lookalikes and Prime Ministerial holidays, we mustn't forget about our beloved Chancellor, Gideon George Osborne.


The Maths

Thumbing through the internet this morning, our Financial team of Polytechnic drop outs noted that George Osborne's team of advisers (that's you Rupert Harrison IV of Wingbourne) had contacted their friends at the Telegraph and Mail to let them know that George was "launching a £5bn tax raid on Swiss bank accounts". Brilliant. Headlines achieved.

Now, the IIPBA doesn't pride itself on being particularly good at investigative journalism, but as I scrolled down the page, the article went on to mention that "Treasury sources were reluctant to put a value on the likely annual receipts [from the "tax raid"] because of the risk that some wealthy individuals may choose to shift their money to other secretive financial regimes." Reluctant? £5bn reluctant? Our polytechnic drop outs could never be described as Harvard whizzkids, but they felt quite strongly that £5bn didn't sound very reluctant.

Elsewhere in the world of newspapers, Labour HQ also contacted their friends in the media and passed them some figures written on the back of a beer mat. The Daily Mirror went to print. Headline: "George Osborne 'failed to collect £6bn in taxes' last year".

Conclusion

One of our polytechnic drop outs told me that this leaves a £1bn "black hole" in the Chancellor's coffers. We're in the process of drumming up a rather hasty and misleading headline around this figure for the FT. We'll keep you posted.

Thinking Paper # 71: Would someone please think of his bodyguards?

By Jacinta Burrow

Abstract

Alex Crawford is a Mumsnet web-chat with Alan Titchmarsh compared to Gaddafi’s Kalashnikov-toting female bodyguards. As the #Libya crisis worsens, what will happen to them?


What do we know?

1. The 40-strong protection force favours Gucci fashion accessories, coral tone lipsticks and those gel-inserts you can get for your shoes that mean you can dance round and round your handbag for hours on end without having to have a sit down.
2. They are the only known thing on earth to have upstaged a man who looks like a geriatric Michael Jackson and who took a camel with him on a state visit to France in 2007.
3. Ole Muammar claims that they symbolise his belief in female emancipation. They confirm the IIPBA’s belief in the benefits of anti-psychotic medication.
4. He claims that they are all virgins and he has never once asked them to help “calm his nerves”. In February he said that rebel forces “are drugging your children, they are making your children drunk and sending them to hell”. OK then.
5. Codename “Aisha” was killed while protecting Gaddafi from an attack on his motorcade by Islamic fundamentalists in 1998. She was his favourite one. But he was already absolutely fucking mental before that even happened.

Prospects going forward

It is understood that President Berlusconi has approached the new National Transitional Council offering the Gaddafi-bots full-time employment at one of his bunga-bunga lounges. Richard Desmond is also interested in a new martial arts/cookery show to fill the scheduling gap after the end of “Celebrity” Big Brother. Rumours of a WI-inspired calendar complete with strategically placed military hardware are yet to be confirmed. The MoD also denies reports that Liam Fox is to recruit the team so he can announce a “real terms rise in troop numbers”.

Conclusions

While their erstwhile employer runs off to a mansion in Pakistan to prepare for eventual “discovery” by the CIA in 2021, the IIPBA assumes that these young ladies will go down in a hail of bullets like at the end of Scarface.

24 August 2011

Thinking Paper #70: Where is Col Muammar Gaddafi?‏

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

With Tripoli all but overrun by rebels, Muammar Gaddafi is nowhere to be seen. Is he on a farm? Is he in Chad? In this paper we examine the possibilities.


What is he?

Silvio Berlusconi's number one drinking buddy, he was once described by Ronald Reagan as a "mad dog". Others have described him as "depressed, schizophrenic and a megalomaniac". I like the sound of him. Anwar Sadat, a former colleague of mad dogs, called him "unbalanced and immature".

On the more positive end of the spectrum, Fidel Castro said he was "reckless", Yasser Arafat said he was the "knight of revolutionary phrases" (?) and Jacinta Burrow of the IIPBA said that he "looked like a shaven testicle". By his own estimation, Gaddafi considers himself an intellectual and a philosopher. Brilliant. If we're just allowed to make things up, I'm an episcopalian and a polymath.

Where is he?

According to media hype and a fair dollop of bollocks he is omnipotent. The FT, Guardian and others say that he is in Tripoli. Others state that he has "gone to ground". At The Daily Telegraph HQ in SW1, a journalist randomly types words into a keyboard and suggests that Gaddafi is hidden on a "farm". Thanks Raf Sanchez. At least Raf was specific enough to suggest a type of building.

Various other papers randomly throw darts at a map and say things like "he may have crossed the border into Chad". Chad? Are you sure? Chad is rubbish. Other random dart throwing suggests that he is staying at Nelson Mandela's house in South Africa or with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. William Hague says that he "definitely" doesn't know where Gaddafi is. Good for you William. The IIPBA never doubted the presence of your MOJO.

Conclusion

No one knows where he is. However, I did see Eric Pickles the other day in the Victoria area window shopping for sandwiches. The End.

Thinking Paper # 69: Why does everyone hate their jobs?‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

The IIPBA's employment analytics team has recently finished a pioneering piece of research into employment options for people in their 20s/early 30s who are well paid, well educated and have sufficient access to life's essentials e.g. DVD boxsets and the internet. The findings are, in short, extraordinary.

The Discussion

It has been apparent to the IIPBA for sometime now that people in their 20s and early 30s have grown increasingly dissatisfied and apathetic about being well paid, educated, cultured, wined, dined and comforted. The number of these people who wish to move to a cave near to Lake Tittikaka or open an organic shoe shop in a desolate area of north Wales has jumped by 600% in the last year alone. In conjunction with this, the number of people who describe work as a "bone crushing ordeal" has also rocketed.

The Data

We asked 7 people within zones 1-3 of London why it was that, despite having largely successful jobs and active social lives, they felt that they were missing out on the wonders of an intricately rich and beautiful world.
  • 100% said that it was because they were missing out on the wonders of an intricately rich and beautiful world
Other reasons given included: video games, advertising, close proximity to other humans, DVD boxsets, attention spans and BlackBerry's. One lonely man from zone 1 said he just wanted to know what the weather felt like again as he shivered underneath an air conditioning unit. Another had a full body breakdown when all three of his BlackBerry's rang simultaneously as an advert on the TV in the background filtered his subconcious and made him feel inadequate.

Recommendations

We don't really have any solid recommendations, but forging substantial connections with other human beings and nice long lunches are a really good starting point. International travel also sounds lovely.

Other than that, maybe we should have a war?

Thinking Paper #68 – Exploring the Rixos Hotel

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

The journalists in Tripoli are under siege at the Rixos Al Nasr Tripoli, a luxury hotel facing onto the Meditteranean. The only one who isn't is Alex Crawford, who is staying on the front line huddled under an old army jacket in the arms of a roguish rebel freedom fighter for warmth because she is double hard. But before the siege, was the Rixos luxurious enough for our other friends in the media?


Exploring the Rixos Hotel

The Rixos Al Nasr Tripoli is a brand new hotel on the Tripoli seafront, offering a large and certified Spa and Wellness Center, an indoor swimming pool, a modernised Fitness Center, some splendid A'la carte restaurants and a shopping center with famous brands.

Whilst now the Rixos is 'under siege', until recently it has been jolly pleasant. The media understandably often plays down quite how luxurious the settings in which its precious journalists are held during wars, and this hotel sounds jolly nice. In Evelyn Waugh's Scoop, the war correspondents gather for drinks and live a mundane existence whilst nothing really happens, and the same has happened in Tripoli until recent events took over, except modern journalists live in upmarket luxury.

Conclusion

The Rixos looks jolly nice, though as Ron Ford-Golightly recently spent most of the IIPBA's Autumn budget on magic beans, the IIPBA team will probably be staying in Grandma George's Pension Berber on our next trip. Grandma G does make a lovely Libyan bazin with fish & potatoes though.

23 August 2011

Thinking Paper #67: The real Andrew Mitchell

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

As London drowns in a downpour of beautiful rain and the Battle for Tripoli rages on in a "fog" of propaganda, the IIPBA has a little look at the rather understated Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell. Interviewed on BBC breakfast this morning, the IIPBA was impressed with the way he said words like "Bbbrrrritain" and used phrases like "the ebb and flow of war". Despite the fact that he doesn't really talk like normal people do, we actually quite like him. In fact, he is my favourite minister, pipping Nick Clegg to no.1 spot despite Nick Cleggs wonderfully sad face.

The real Andrew Mitchell - Why we like him so much

  • His father is David Mitchell, that young lad off of The Peep Show
  • Andrew Mitchell once won the Westminster Dog of the Year Award, for his dog Molly. The rather attractive Springer Spaniel was said to have an "excellent condition and temperament" and "a very well groomed owner" (Andrew)
  • The Daily Telegraph failed to smear Andrew in expenses shit - the only thing they could pin on him was a purchase of a "13 pence" stick of glue. An angry Daily Mail reader said that "glue-gate" was a "shitting disgrace".
  • Despite voting in favour of the death penalty he votes very favourably for the gays and other such people.
Concluding Remarks

His post bureaucratic credentials are questionable but we will let that slide. To Andrew, we say, keep up the good work helping out the poor people of the world. The IIPBA is here to help in anyway it can.

Thinking Paper #66: Libya, Libya, Libya‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

David Cameron and Alex Crawford are talking about it, the IIPBA is thinking about it, even Alan Carr is probably chatting about it (Hi Alan - the IIPBA really loves your radio show with Melanie Sykes). We had a little think over breakfast about why this is and came up with some suggestions.


The suggestions

1. It's the right thing to do - Look, it's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to talk about it, think about it, write about it, bomb it, drill it ... it's the right thing to do - get it? Good.

2. Hair envy - It is a well known fact that David Cameron is a little bald (see previous thinking papers and Simon Hoggart's memoirs). Col Gaddafi has a rather lush head of curly thick hair. Is it a coincidence that David Cameron and William Hauge only go to war with leaders who have healthy heads of hair? Just asking

3. It's the only thing happening in the world - WRONG. Famines in Somalia, nuclear fall out in Japan, economic collapse in the West, lunch time at the IIPBA - there's a lot going on. Please see previous thinking paper on the vicious media loop of boredom.

4. Oil - something about oil and plentiful supplies and black gold. Some people drill it, others drink it, the world kills for it. Oil, oil, oil.

Concluding Remarks

It's probably all about oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil, oil ... Sky News, something, Kay Burley, excited newsreaders, hairless Prime Ministers , oil, oil, oil etc

22 August 2011

Thinking Paper #65 – Sky News's Alex Crawford: Gifted journalist or mad lady?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

Last night Sky News Journalist Alex Crawford rode into Tripoli on the back of an open pickup truck, claiming there was 'no risk', and that she was only wearing a tin hat and flack jacket because of 'stray bullets' being fired in 'celebration'. Is this the action of a gifted journalist, providing some of the most gripping live footage ever seen in a ground war, or a mad lady?


Sky News's Alex Crawford: Gifted journalist or insane mad lady?

Alex Crawford rode in a convoy into the heart of what everyone assumed to be a dangerous war zone last night. She looked almost gleeful at times, even sounding chirpy when her convoy did a U-Turn 500m from Tripoli's Green Square due to a barrage of fire. The pictures were gripping, and echoed around the world, blowing the BBC and Al Jazeera's stock footage from the afternoon out of the water and keeping sleepy people up for hours on a Sunday night, with Alex shouting over the gunfire that "The scenes in Green Square are absolutely crazy".

The IIPBA has yet to speak to anyone in our Tripoli office to ascertain danger levels, but regardless producing this sort of coverage surely requires reporters to be slightly unhinged, or completely fruit loop mental. She seemed ok, and maybe wars aren't actually that dangerous, but in Iraq, around 150 journalists have been killed, and the IIPBA thinks that seems like a big number, rather than a small number.

Having said all this, the IIPBA has never really met a normal journalist, and most of them have been sociopaths, so it is not really a surprise that they act the way they do.

Conclusion

The IIPBA suggests that most journalists like Alex Crawford are a bit unhinged, but they do a fantastic job of keeping us in touch with what's happening around the world. The only thing to add is a query about whether or not we need rolling news at all. The IIPBA recently sent a member of staff to live on the Isle of Barra for two months, and prevented any access to television, newspapers or the internet, providing only a nice selection of books, a sketch pad and some watercolour paints. When we visited at the end of the trip, the sun was out and temperatures were pushing 25 centigrade, the staff member was much happier, and had also found an attractive new wife, had three beautiful children, and had grown a fully stocked vegetable patch. News is bad for you.

Thinking Paper #64: Son of Tony B‏

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

Over the weekend, David Cameron's spiritual father switched off his sunbed and chastised his son for being more melodramatic than him following a rather horrible event. The IIPBA investigates.


The Discussion

On Saturday night Tony Blair turned down an invite to a wine and cheese evening with his colleagues in the illuminati, took his WH Smiths fountain pen and wrote an article for The Observer. He criticised his spiritual son for claiming that this month's riots exposed Britain's "sick" society and rubbished suggestions from Cameron that the UK is in "moral decline".

Tony Blair has always been famous for being measured in his language. He rarely used opportunities such as murders in 1993 to, in his words, "elevate issues into a highfalutin wail".

Concluding Comments

1. Tony hates it when David is better at being Tony

2. Terry Wogan is right again. He told the Sunday Telegraph that, "We’ve all been aware of this running sore for years, and been content to let it be, as long as it didn’t intrude. Now it has, and we all have to come out from behind the chaise-longue and face the music".

3. Dave has had to come back from another holiday in Cornwall this week, but The Daily Mail, wait for it, is still angry about him trying to achieve one full holiday a summer.

Here's to Terry Wogan.

19 August 2011

Thinking Paper #63 - Were the riots caused by a lack of post-bureaucracy?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

Our glorious leader, Rt Hon David Cameron MP, thinks the recent riots in England were caused by the lack of Post-Bureaucracy. The IIPBA must step up and accept its share of responsibility for this crisis.


Were the riots caused by a lack of Post-Bureaucracy?

During Monday' speech on the recent riots, the Prime Minister tried to uncover the causes of the crisis.

He outlined the need for action on a number of fronts, placing the blame directly at the door of, amongst other things:

"...bureaucratic problems in our society..."

At the offices of the Institute for Ideas in a Post-Bureaucratic Age, work stopped as these words were uttered, and everyone clustered round the Sky News box in the corner of the room.

The IIPBA has been striving for months and years to bring about the Post Bureaucratic Age and here our Prime Minister was outlining that our failure was the cause of riots and looting in the streets.

If only Post-Bureaucracy had been easier to achieve we might have prevented the scenes which hit towns and cities around the country two weeks ago.

Conclusion

The IIPBA must try harder to bring about complete Post-Bureaucracy. It is clear from the speech given by the Prime Minister that the IIPBA is not fit for purpose.

A source close to Tim Massingberd-James said: "As Co-Director of the IIPBA Tim offered his resignation this lunchtime, but as everyone else was at a long, boozy lunch at White's, no one was available to accept it. He has, therefore, decided to stay on as Co-Director, to attempt to help steer the IIPBA through the choppy waters ahead."

Friday's Thinking Points

With Ron Ford-Golightly and Tim Massingberd-James

Here is a round up of some of the big news to end the week:

  • David Miliband is on holiday at Center Parcs in France, amid accusations that he is too poor to afford to sit in European squares drinking mochachinos. The IIPBA likes David Miliband more now he is a backbencher.
  • David Cameron has issued a "social war on terror". He singled out Brixton, Tottenham and Peckham in his "axis of evil" speech, as Tony Blair looked on fondly.
  • Steve Hilton has returned from his two week holiday in Hungary. He is said to have enjoyed a "relaxing time researching ideas that will piss off nearly everyone in No10" e.g. street Goulash parties.
  • Sally Bercow has avoided looking like too much of a twat on Big Brother, because nobody watched it. Ian Atkinton, a Spot Welder from Daventry, was the only person in the country to watch, telling the IIPBA: "Big Brother is shit".
  • Teenagers are getting cleverer, blonder and prettier - see Thinking Paper # 61
  • Ed Miliband has been talking to himself, insisting this definitely still counts as a "national conversation".
  • Two in every three people in England are now in prison, in what Home Secretary Theresa May described as "the right thing to do".
  • Nick Clegg has got a secondary slot on a local radio station where he says something thoughtful about riots and then No10 agree to hold an inquiry into the riots / kick the issue into the long grass.
  • The X-Factor has returned, with the IIPBA exclusively predicting that Simon Cowbell will choose "the annoying one with the back-story" to win.

Thinking Paper # 62: Kay Burley and The Daily Mail - A few of my favourite things‏


By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

I want to talk about two of my favourite things: Kay Burley and the Daily Mail comments page. Kay Burley is a news reader who is 50 years old. Her recent bout of cosmetic surgery generated 137 comments on the Daily Mail comments section - this excited me very much. My favourite comment came from Tony in Birmingham who said "Great looking woman, but as thick as army mince", but there were so many good ones to choose from.The background

I fell in love with Kay Burley in a voyeuristic fashion in 2007 after getting a job in which I was paid to watch her on Sky News 5 days a week. I love her the way I love watching those "bodyshock" documentaries on Channel 4 featuring the 100 stone man or other such human tragedies. My two favourite Kay Burley moments are: (1) when she made Peter Andre cry (2) when she claimed that the whole eastern seaboard of the United States had been destroyed on 9/11 and (3) when she asked the wife of the Suffolk Strangler if she could have prevented it through sex. I also really like it when she gets visibly excited about an international humanitarian crisis.

The main theme in the Kay Burley comments page was that she should also get a "personality transplant". Sometimes the forum users are bitter, other times they are aggressive, but mostly they are stupid.

Things to be concerned about

Approximately 5 million people in the UK read the Daily Mail and it has the second biggest newspaper website in the world. It also once supported the Nazi's. Kay Burley is also watched by millions and is a bit nasty. Sometimes the government change policy direction because of angry comments from the Daily Mail. The End.

18 August 2011

Thinking Paper #61 – Do only attractive girls get A-Level results?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

A-Level results day is upon us, and in newsrooms up and down the country lecherous Picture Editors are poring over pictures of teenagers who have just received their A-Level results. We explore why coverage of A-Level results day is always dominated by pictures of attractive blonde girls, when in fact many teenagers are ugly.


Do only attractive girls get A-Level results?

The helpful Sexy A-Levels blog is a demonstration of the picture presented to the country on A-Level results day, when the Picture Editor at the Daily Mail has his best ever excuse to show pictures of sexy 18 year old girls (ideally twins) to sexually repressed middle-aged men.

The rules are simple. Boys should not appear in coverage, but if they do they should either be in the background, or outnumbered by attractive girls by a ratio of four to one. It also offers a unique opportunity for the newspapers to subconsciously underline their mantra about how standards are slipping in A-Levels, because as everyone knows attractive blonde girls are stupid, and not as clever as boys.

Even if this is not actually true, the lecherous Picture Editors haven't got to where they are today by fighting on a level playing field, and need to ensure that a healthy level of sexism in the media – and in society as a whole – is maintained.

Conclusion

Yes, only attractive girls get A-Level results. I seen it in the paper.

Thinking Paper # 60: A brief study of political interviews‏

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

Listening to the Home Secretary on the radio the other day, the IIPBA was reminded of just how frustrating it is to listen to Ministers answer (is this the right word?) questions from journalists. In response, we've drawn up the following action plan often employed by Ministers ahead of media appearances. Please try to bear this in mind when faced with the prospect of listening to one of them answer questions. It may help you cope with the rather depressing manner in which they feel like they have to talk.


Action plan

1. An issue emerges and civil servants and special advisors (SPADS) run around flapping slightly and demanding "lines to take (LTT)" by "close of play" or "urgently". Someone draws this together into a script of bullet points for the Minister in question to learn. Sometimes the Minister learns these LLT, and other times they read something that they want to read instead such as the new James Bond novel. Or they go home and reflect on their life to date.

2. The Minister arrives at the radio station, TV studio etc and has a nice cup of tea.

3. A question is asked and the Minister begins his/her answer with any of the following: "Look..."; "Let me be clear..."; "As the Prime Minister said just yesterday...". They will then reel off the relevant or irrelevant bullet point that comes to mind, regardless of the question.

5. If pushed on a question they will repeat a bullet point and then another, and then say things like "But I am answering your question..." or "It was right and appropriate..." or "If you'll let me finish..."

6. They repeat this process until the interviewer is either a bit frustrated, they run out of time or the Minister feels sad because he/she can't say what they actually feel or forget what this is anyway.

7. Everyone goes home and watches a DVD boxset and drinks a bottle of wine which is on offer from Tescos.

Concluding Remarks

For a truly post bureaucratic approach to media interviews, sack the civil servants and special advisors whose job it is to run around flapping. To the minister we say, think back to when you were allowed freedom of thought and let the words flow.

17 August 2011

Thinking Paper # 59: Enterprise Zones, Science Cities or Gordon Brown?

Abstract

The Daily Mail told me today that "David Cameron and George Osborne will unveil plans to create 30,000 jobs in hi-tech industries by doubling the number of enterprise zones". Today, the IIPBA will unveil a paper exploring dubious job announcements of old, how they interrelate and what the number 30,000 means to others. The Detail

Does anyone remember "Science Cities"? Of course you don't. In 2005 as Chancellor and then in 2007 as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown announced that he was going to create 100,000 jobs in hi-tech industries with a focus on "enterprise zones", sorry "Science Cities", across the UK. I think you'll like this; the Conservatives greeted these plans with scepticism and said the figures had been "plucked from thin air". Ha, very good.

The number 30,000

1. When the Coalition's welfare reforms come into effect it is estimated (by the Treasury) that 30,000 people in Wales will find themselves cut off from benefits with no employment to go to or "enterprise zones" to enjoy.

2. Earlier this year the Coalition created a 30,000-strong census "police force" (door knockers) to chase up people who failed to fill in their forms. To the best of our knowledge, none of these people lived in "enterprise zones" or "Science Cities".

3. Wayne Rooney spent £30,000 on getting some new hair

Concluding Remarks

If the Coalition led Tory government really want to impress they should take a tip from Gordon Brown. In 2010 the then Prime Minister told the attentive electorate that he was going to create 1 million more hi-tech, skilled jobs if he were to be re-elected. This was a jumbled together figure consisting of fables, reannouncements and optimism. We advise George and Dave to announce a higher figure e.g. 10 million and then justify it by shrugging their shoulders and laughing.

16 August 2011

Thinking Paper #58 - Is Theresa May using maths or wishing to work out police budget cuts?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

The Home Secretary insists that, whilst everyone else is using numbers to work out potential police budget cuts, she has wished really really hard that it wasn't happening, and her wishing has reduced the cuts in spending on the police from 20%, to just 6%.


Is Theresa May using wishing to work out police budget cuts?

Talking to media earlier today, the Home Secretary dismissed claims from senior police officers and Boris Johnson that spending on the police was falling by 20%, claiming this was not the full picture she wanted to happen.

The Home Secretary outlined a new imagined figure of 6%, claiming she had used using aspiration and wishes to make up the 14% shortfall, and claimed that a wizard had told her she could do the remaining 6% through “reform” which would put more “bobbies on the beat” and remove “back office jobs” which she had wished were not an integral part of policing.

Mrs May deliberately said some confusing things about the local government "precept", claiming that whilst the money central government was giving the police was falling, and the money central government was giving local authorities was falling, she had wished really hard that local authorities would raise magic money and use that, like George was at the Bank of England.

"One thing is clear: the experience of the last 10 days makes the case for police reform more urgent than ever.", said the Home Secretary, whilst closing her eyes, crossing her fingers and making a turn-around-touch-the-ground-times-three.

Conclusion

The Home Secretary has invented this figure, assuming that no one will understand what a local government precept is. She might have got away with it, if no one at all understood, but it turns out that Police Officers and Boris Johnson do understand.

Thinking Paper #57 - Is Steve Hilton on holiday?

By Jacinta Burrow

Abstract

Watching Ed and Dave make speeches yesterday morning (see Thinking Paper #56) about how they’ve spent the past few days meeting real people and how this has made them realise that a) the causes of the riots are complicated, but that b) they were right about this all along, the IIPBA had a strong sense of policy déjà vu. Is the bare-footed lover of all things radically NEW on a mini-break in his native Hungary (it’s in Thinking Paper #20, people. Keep up...)?


Key points


1. “Broken Society” – What do you get when you cross “Broken Britain” with the “Big Society” agenda, weave in a spot of “the Great Ignored”, and add a twist of “hug-a-hoodie”? Answer: the “top of Cameron’s agenda”. It’s what’s known in the business as “policy synthesis”. We at the IIPBA like to think of it as “partying like it’s 2005”. It’s more fun that way.

2. “National Citizen Service” – The policy formerly known as “national service” (ask your Grandad) was first mooted by Cameron last year and no one really gave a monkey’s. But if your boss came back from holiday early, you’d be pretty f*cked off as well. So well done to whoever it is in Downing St who pulled the classic CTRL + C +V manoeuvre. We’ve all been there.

3. The blue-red tie divide – Yesterday morning, David Cameron wore a blue tie (“I’m no liberal hand-wringer! I know a yob when I see one!”) to distinguish himself from Ed Miliband who wore a dark red tie (“Will the effects of Thatcher’s pernicious legacy never END?”) That whole purple/green tie, bipartisan metaphor thing (see Thinking Paper #1) is so over.

4. Iain Duncan-Smith – He’s back. You know...the slaphead one who isn’t William Hague. He stopped being Tory leader, discovered poor people and his view that marriage is the answer to everything is finally coming into its own. Quite frankly, he’s never looked happier.

Conclusion

Politics is like fashion: if you wait long enough, it all comes round again. Remember Tony Blair’s 2003 “Big Conversation”? Of course you don’t. But Ed Miliband obviously does and is pretending the “National Conversation” is HIS big idea. But let’s play along: he really looked like he was enjoying himself up there, in front of all his old teachers (“look everyone, I’m the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition!”), demanding that something be done. The IIPBA just hopes that Steve will be back before anyone in government finds the folder marked “National Cones Hotline”.

15 August 2011

Thinking Paper #56 - Miliband Vs Cameron: The battle for the Broken Britain

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

This morning, two comfortably rich men started the weekly news wheels whirring with twin speeches to mark seven days since everyone got new tellies and trainers. They once again put on concerned faces to make sure everyone knew this was serious. Broken Britain is back, and we examine who is most concerned about it, and who is least likely to fix it.



Key points

  • The Prime Minister will volunteer to spend time reading children bedtime stories at the end of each day. At 7.30pm, he will visit each home in Broken Britain with a copy of Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, and read to each child until they can't keep their eyes open any more, at which point he'll tuck them in, give them a kiss on the forehead, slowly close the door, and tiptoe down the stairs. This marks 98th relaunch for the 'big society', a record number of relaunches for a Conservative Prime Minister.
  • Meanwhile, over at the Leader of the Opposition's grand suite of offices overlooking the Thames, plans have been drawn up to ensure that every person in the country “bear[s] a share of responsibility for the society we create". Ed spoke about his plan to sit down with the North London community partnership, and encourage votes to be taken on what is for dinner that week and how many hours of television will be allowed from then on. A vote has already been taken banning gender-specific terms like “mum” and “dad”, and henceforth children in Ed's street will be forced – at gunpoint if necessary– to refer to their parents by their first names.

Conclusion


Our country is in safe hands. Both the Government and the Opposition know how to stop people stealing trainers, and next week the Cabinet and and Shadow Cabinet will tour the country on a bus, stopping each time they see someone wearing a hoody, to tell them that they love them, just in case they have never heard that before. This will definitely happen, unless something more important comes up on Sky News before then.

Thinking Paper # 55: An open letter to Pippa Middleton, Pippa Middleton, Pippa Middleton‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

Pippa Middleton has a bottom. A lot of men like it, everyone else finds it hard to care. Simon Cowbell wants to find her X-factor and 100% of the population want to see her in a "bluey".


An Open Letter to Pippa Middleton

Dear Pippa (if I may),

We hope this finds you well. To get straight to the point, we understand that Simon Cowell has decided to excavate you in search of the elusive X-factor which he keeps banging his drum about.

This alarmed us greatly so we held an emergency meeting to discuss what we could offer you as an alternative. Before we set out these offers, we would like to remind you that Simon Cowell (1) has a flat top haircut with a funny little centre parting (2) is still yet to find an X-factor in any human being (3) once managed Zig and Zag (4) will exploit your bottom until he's got enough money to buy a pair of stacked heeled shoes that will make him the tallest man on earth.

Instead of bowing to Cowell's mining expedition, we wondered if you might consider the following unique offers from the IIPBA:

The offers

1. We still have 12 places left on the IIPBA executive board - so far we seem to have been rejected by Simon Hoggart and Toby Young - this position is unpaid but you will have sole decision making powers over how many pictures of your bottom we publish online.

2. Freelance writer - Despite stiff competition for vacancies, we would be happy to offer you a place in our writing team. A word of warning though, Jacinta Burrow is, and always will be the IIPBA's no.1 diva so don't get any ideas above your station - "Jacinta don't take no prisoners." (J. Burrow, 15th August 2011)

3. We understand that you currently work in events – would you be interested in organising our launch party at the end of August?

Many thanks for reading and remember what we said about Simon Cowell. He's a bad egg.

Feel free to contact us via twitter, email or our RSS feed.

Kind regards,

Ron Ford Golightly

12 August 2011

Thinking Paper # 54: Friday's Thinking Bullets‏

By Ron Ford Golightly

The IIPBA's choice cuts from today's media coverage of the riots:
  • The UK government are planning to follow the likes of Syria, China, Iran and Libya in attempting to block the use of certain social media networks during times of social unrest. No10 commented that they didn't even know what a "knee jerk reaction" was. The IIPBA say that it will never, ever happen, but it sounds really good, like mentioning the army and speaking in a stern voice.


  • Everyone looked confused when the Prime Minister announced new police powers to ban face coverings, masks and balaclavas. The President of the National Association of Beards sounded concerned when we spoke to him on the phone.
  • A representative sample of the British public, the rather authoritarian Question Time audience, want to see really, really tough sentences for children. No one is sure what these heavier sentences might involve but members of the Question Time audience are said to favour death by rubber bullets, an enforced recreation of 1950's England on all run down estates and internships at The Daily Mail.
  • After taking 1,600 questions during a debate in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister relaxed by listening to a statement on the global financial crisis by his good friend George Osborne. He laughed dishearteningly hard at a joke that George Osborne delivered about Mickey Mouse.
  • Ironically, George Osborne's voice squeaked three times during his statement on the global financial crisis. Treasury sources state that he is seeking advice from Ed Miliband about how to sound less nasally.
  • As the global financial crisis deepens and Britain's Broom Society clears up the mess left by disgruntled pastry chefs, the Prime Minister concerned himself with Rob Flello's (MP Lab, Stoke on Trent South) poor House of Commons etiquette. Following a question about cuts to police numbers, David Cameron took time to dress him down for not wearing a jacket in the Chamber - tut, tut – Dave was later reprimanded by his wife for wearing the same tie for over a year.

11 August 2011

Thinking Paper # 53: The who's who of No10 - characters 6-10

By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

The second part of our 'Who's Who of Number 10' series examines more people who keep the news cycle churning, write speeches about being clear, and divert attention from David Cameron's comb-over.

Who's Who of Number 10

James O'Shaughnessy - Bridge Building Coordinator (specialises in maintaining relations between the Notting Hill and the Chipping Norton sets)

James began his career alongside Roger Daring in a Berlin squat (see staff section) . He rose to prominence in the powerful world of think-tankery and then he was invited to lunch by the Notting Hill set. The Notting Hill set introduced him to the Chipping Norton set who got him an invitation to the Bilderberg conference where they issued him with a badge and a goody bag. James does some policy stuff but mostly he tries to keep that young upstart, Rohan Silva, from stealing his job. James seems a good egg, is taller than most in No10 and also went to Oxford University.

Tim Chatwin - ex-dentist and chief Paul Brown impressionist

Tim is an ex-dentist who specialised in dog dentistry. Tim is now Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Strategic Planning and is responsible for implementing the strategy determined by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. When we approached No10 to inquire as to what the specifics of this strategy was, the Prime Minister's spokesperson refused to comment. Tim now lives in the gargantuan shadow of Paul Brown, the ex-grid man of No10 who left last year.

Steve Hilton

As we know from Thinking Papers 15, 20, 40 and 43, Steve is an ideas man who enjoys cycling and wearing socks. His favourite type of shirt is white linen and he wears it with three buttons undone on weekdays and no buttons done up at all on the weekends. Some times, Jeremy Heywood, a Senior Civil Servant in No10, tells him to stop being silly.

Kate Marley - Outlook Calendar Operative Assistant

Kate Marley's internet presence is minimal, but Whitehall sources inform us that she enjoys Olympic Greco wrestling, lunch from Pret and mochachinoskinnylatteswithsprinkles . Her dislikes include rioters (be they youths, organic chefs or Opera stewards), Alex Ferguson and Ed Miliband's voice (amen sister).

Larry the Cat

Larry is a cat. He was hired to catch mice around No10 and advise Steve Hilton on strategy. In the winter, Larry sleeps at Steve Hilton's feet to keep them warm.

Thinking Paper # 52: Piers Morgan: phone hacker extraordinaire, receptionist for Heather Mills or just God's joke

By Ron Ford-Golightly

What is a Piers Morgan?

The IIPBA investigates:
  • Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan (really) is a rather tired joke devised by God to ensure that a certain segment of the population remains sufficiently angry.

  • Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan (ha ha!) has showbiz "circular dick feuds" (also known as daisy chains) with other celebrities including Ian Hislop, Madonna, Jeremy Clarkson and Sir Alun.
  • Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan (no, honestly) used to do bad things whilst Editor of a newspaper who's chief aim is to make money and cause scandal.
  • Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan (you couldn't make it up) used to work at Stringfellows stripclub as a "thong gopher" alongside his BFF Andy as shown in this photo (NB: Is this the only recorded shot of Andy Coulson's smile?)
Conclusion

We don't know - we kind of hope that God is responsible.

10 August 2011

Thinking Paper #51 - Is David Cameron clear enough?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

Is the Prime Minister too distracted by worries about his own clarity to do a good job? We examine a very real problem.



Introduction

Talking about the use of cannons this morning, our Prime Minister had the following to say:

"Let me be clear, at COBRA this morning we agreed, full contingency planning is going ahead. Whatever resources the Police need, they will get. Whatever tactics the Police feel they need to employ, they will have legal backing to do so. We will do whatever is necessary to restore law and order onto our streets.

Research

Whilst we at the IIPBA support the return of law and order, in order to do that we need strong leadership. We are inceasingly concerned that the Prime Minister is too preoccupied with whether or not what he says at press conferences is clear enough to do his job properly.

We have reviewed recent speeches, and found the following worrying examples:

On whether he discussed the BSkyB deal at secret meetings:

"I never had one inappropriate conversation. And let me be clear, let me be clear, I completely took myself out of any decision-making about this bid. I had no role in it, I had no role in when the announcements were going to be made, that is the point." - 21 Jul 2011

On the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla:

"Let me be clear: the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable" - 28 Jul 2010

On reform of Welsh public services:

"Let me be clear: it is not my intention to interfere in decisions over devolved matters." - 12 Jul 2011

On NHS reform:

Let me be clear – this is a genuine chance to make a difference." - 7 Apr 2011

"Let me be clear: as long as I’m Prime Minister, yes, there will be, as there are now, private providers and voluntary providers. But let me also be clear, no: we will not be selling off the NHS, we will not be moving towards an insurance scheme, we will not introduce an American-style private system." - 7 June 2011

"Let me be clear: No, we will not be selling off the NHS" - 9 Jun 2011

On Libya:

"Let me be clear to anyone watching in the Islamic or the Arab world. Britain has no selfish or strategic or oil-related interest in what is happening in Libya. Our interest has been to try and help save civilian life,” - 2 Apr 2011

On Euro bailouts:

"Let me be absolutely clear: Britain is not a member of the eurozone and we're not going to join the eurozone" - 13 Jan 2011

On Lockerbie

"On one issue in particular, Lockerbie - let me be absolutely clear - there's no daylight between us" - July 2010

Advice

Relax, Dave. We got it. You were clear enough the first time. No need to repeat it, or add in a statement to confirm your clarity. You could save valuable moments by leaving it out of your next speech, and spend that time fighting rioters, or Boris.

9 August 2011

Thinking Paper # 50: Roger 'the rock dodger' reports on the riots‏

By Roger Daring

Abstract

Whilst Ron and Tim were out amongst the strewn trainers, looters and crumbling ruins, we sent our third finest investigative reporter Roger ‘rock dodger’ Daring on the trail of the politicians to see what they had to say.

Roger’s Findings

Roger found David Lammy MP at Ground Zero (JJB Sports) who said “For every person on camera throwing stones there will be 1,000 others off camera looting, burning buildings and having a jolly good old riot.”

Diane Abbott, loitering in a car park 100 yards away, made the following insightful remark whilst watching the blazing remains of a Tesco on the street opposite “it is difficult to see how areas like Tottenham can become less flammable soon.” Roger later realised that this was a summary of advice that she had been given by the Fire Department. When pushed for her plans to make Tottenham less flammable in the future Diane mumbled something about ‘flame retarded’ before tripping on a trolley of discarded trainers.

Nick Clegg said that he rejected "completely this notion that somehow this government hasn't been functioning very effectively". He added that the government stood "side by side" with the looters in "utterly condoning" the rioting and looting.

Ken Livingstone made a statement today which read "We do not want to go back to the 1980s," he was later seen wearing neon legwarmers, shoulder pads, a bat winged sweater and a Members Only Jacket. Roger remains sceptical regarding his original statement.

Ed Miliband reported that it still causes him pain to sneeze after his nasal transplant operation.

Concluding Remarks
  • Diane Abbott has announced that she will apply for the role of Fire Department Communications Officer.
  • Nick Clegg continues his career defining confusion as to exactly whose side he is on.
  • The Labour Party requested that Ed Miliband be tagged in all social media websites as #pointless.
  • Employees of Millbank Tower have asked that those involved in the clean-up operation donate any looted trainers they find to the ‘Barefooted Blundering Barnacle’ Steve Hilton as they ‘can no longer bear looking at his bony toes’. The IIPBA supports this donation to a charitable cause.

Live reaction - David Cameron - The Press Conference

As Dave emerged from the black door of No10, the youths on the streets of England's cities stopped to listen. They put down their knives and petrol bombs, replaced the £3 shoes they had stolen from the Primark window display and tuned into BBC 24 news.

The Prime Minister's words to the people / office workers who watched him on their flat screen TV's

He said that it was "criminality, pure and simple" and that 16,000 police officers would patrol the streets of London. He looked sincere and we liked this. Office workers up and down the country looked relieved. One youth in Hackney who tuned in on his iphone muttered, "is that Nick Clegg?" Others carried on playing FIFA 2010 on their brand new x-box and widescreen TV.

Elsewhere, Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow does a walkabout of her local area and talks to people. Someone says "she's like the Queen mum". Dave returns to his "bunker" (remember that? Brown's bunker) to take on some "serious work". He watches some more action on the TV and he shakes his head.

THE END

Thinking Paper # 49: Should schools be recalled in the wake of the London rioting?


By Ron Ford Golightly

Abstract

As the kids take to the streets of London to protest against having 6 weeks off for the summer, we ask, should school holidays be downsized to a long weekend at the end of August?


Detail
London has been hit by a wave of riots because teenagers feel that they get too much time off school and less time in a safe and structured environment. Only one of the kids we interviewed told us that he was after a new pair of trainers. Another said that he raided the Carpet Right in Brixton because he thought it was some kind of "sexy parlour".

The teachers we spoke to however said that they still needed 6 weeks off work because "the harvest won't do itself". Some spluttered over their beers whilst sat in the sun, and others looked worryingly on, before making urgent phone calls to recruitment consultants about teaching opportunities in Kuwait.

Conclusion

Teacher's holidays will probably never be cut because the people who have the power to make these changes are MP’s and they too need the summer off for the harvest. If teacher’s holidays get cut, then MP's might open themselves up to the suggestion that they too should shorten their holiday. This is called a "self-interest loop of self interest"

8 August 2011

Thinking Paper # 48: Are police getting it right, wrong, Kay Burley or something?

The IIPBA brings you a rolling blog of the war currently raging between police who are trying to do their jobs, kids who want to go back to school and media lizards who like filming it all in the hope of seeing a window get smashed.

17:21 A window gets smashed in Hackney - someone in a newsroom gets an erection

17:30 Someone says that the police are being too heavy handed. Others suggest that unemployed teenagers should be killed. The remainder of the population go home to drink a bottle of wine in front of a DVD.

17:45 The Home Secretary is still "really trying" to get home from her holiday

17:52 Lynne Featherstone spotted in the Pizza Express in Victoria - conference call with other European Equality Ministers?

17:56 Editors at the BBC panic over which scene of someone smashing something to include in the 6 o'clock news

17.57 Sky's main posh sounding twit Jake Britton is beside London Fields. It is, he says "his neck of the woods", but he seems scared to venture to Hackney Central. Over there, he understands, you can't even get a mochalatichino.

18:01 BBC 6 o'clock news goes with images of police brutality and Nick Clegg dressed up as Theresa May, Home Secretary

18.02 - Just heard a siren in the nice, affluent area of London where I live in listed Georgian town house. Maybe I should move to Buckinghamshire - Tim Massingberd-James

18:05 Someone pretending to be Theresa May appears on ITV. Lynne Featherstone spotted leaving Pizza Express in Victoria. Heading home for wine and a DVD?

18:08 Latest statistics just in -more people taking photographs on their iphones in Hackney than throwing something at the police

18.22 - Time to clock off for the day. It's bound to quieten down when it gets dark anyway.

20.22 Our reporter Ron Ford Golightly has returned from the frontline in Peckham to reveal that Greggs has been burnt out. Meanwhile, Tim Massingberd-James has visited Lewisham, discovering Tesco is closed and it is full of 'youths'

Thinking Paper #47: Global financial crisis which began in America 2...hooray for Justine Greening‏

By Ron Ford-Golightly

Abstract

It's all well and good this post bureaucratic age thing (as you know, we're avid fans), but should there have been at least one civil servant in charge of making sure that not all of our beloved leaders went on holiday at the same time?

The Detail

Whilst the US loses an A and Kay Burley gets excited about riots, our records show that David Cameron is still waiting for his cafe latte mochachino in Tuscany, George Osborne is working out on a beach in California, Nick Clegg is somewhere north of Stoke. Other busy people include the Home Secretary, currently trapped in her office, and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury who gave a statement to the Sunday Times outlining that "I am on holiday, I am holiday (phone cuts out)".

The Consequences

Justine Greening is left in charge of the economy and forgets about the unstoppable tide of globalisation and the borderless nature of the global financial system - "We've very much been on the edge of that crisis that we've been seeing in the eurozone and, indeed, in the US". Justine is refering to our geographical location.

Lynne Featherstone (don't ask) is left to make inquiries about who stole what from JJB and Footlocker.

Conclusions

Justine Greening said that "the reality is that you're never on holiday from these jobs".

We beg to differ. Considering George Osborne's sunburnt nipples, David Cameron's refusal to come back from Tuscany and Danny Alexander's statement (see above), it seems fair to suggest that Justine is both technically and actually wrong.

Thinking Paper #46 - Should the police cry more?

By Tim Massingberd-James.

Abstract

The police have been criticised by self-declared "community leaders" in Tottenham for refusing dialogue following the death of Tottenham man, Mark Duggan, whilst the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, Commander Steve Kavanagh, was keen to stress in an interview on Sky News this morning that the police had been "standing next to these people, watching them cry". Should the police be talking to people and, if necessary, having a bit of a cry themselves, or did the rioting only occur because Tottenham is sh#t?


Should the police cry more?

Sometimes policemen get very angry, and worry that their mummies didn't love them enough. They have feelings, but they don't really understand them and so when they get the chance to hit people like Ian Tomlinson they fill up with anger and hit him really really hard, even though he didn't do anything wrong, or deserve it.

However, sometimes real people get angry too, and burn things. They also like free iphone 4s and robbing JJB sports, and when life has no meaning robbing and burning things doesn't really matter.

Stephen Kavanagh seems to think that standing watching people cry is good enough, but here at the IIPBA we think the police should be talking to people and maybe having a little cry themselves. Whilst this will never overcome the joy young men take from burning things or robbing stuff, it might make them think about their mummies and how they didn't always feel so angry.

If necessary, both sides of the rioting (probably no more than 200 people) could be sent to a camp in the Peak District where they could all have a little cry, as well as - if the need arises - burning and breaking things in a controlled environment away from other people, and having a bit of fight.

Conclusion

Spending a couple of grand on a crying camp for police and rioters may draw attention away from the fact that Tottenham is sh#t. It's worth the money. The IIPBA thinks this is exactly the kind of lightweight solution that duty Minister Lynne Featherstone MP would love. For some reason she has been left in charge of the riots so the IIPBA would like to make her a straightforward offer to organise the camp, as long as we can skim off 20% for 'administration' costs.