26 January 2012

Thinking Paper # 219: Government by Product Placement

By Jacinta Burrow

Abstract

Last year, Nick Clegg told The Sun that he wanted to help “Alarm Clock Britain”. Now he’s calling for a “John Lewis economy”. The IIPBA can’t help but notice that John Lewis sells alarm clocks. What is going on? We investigate.

Shops and economies: are they the same?

We at the IIPBA love a bit of Brett Easton-Ellis, but if policy announcements are going to start resembling wry sideways looks at the zeitgeist where will it all end? Is George Osborne going to start telling us where he bought his red box and whether or not it’s available in other colours?

The IIPBA has charted Call-Me-Dave’s devotion to canned Guinness, Eric Pickles’ Greggs habit and Cheryl Gillan’s weakness for velour leisurewear. But now the Clegg-ulator has taken that nod-nod-wink-wink approach and slapped it all over his autocue. What does a “John Lewis economy” even mean? He wants us to run our finances based on a high street shop instead of, you know, like a national economy. But apparently he can do you a lovely deal on a couple of touch screen radio controlled alarm clocks.

Conclusion

The IIPBA thanks its lucky stars that Nick Clegg doesn’t shop much in Primark. We’ll never get out of this recession with queues for the changing rooms like that.

25 January 2012

Thinking Paper # 218: The art of coincidence: A study

Abstract
 
The IIPBA laughed today as it read that a government press spokesperson had labelled as "pure coincidence" the fact that Ministers had bought twice as many tickets for beach volleyball this summer than athletics.  Pure coincidence?  The IIPBA investigates.
 

The facts as they stand
 
1. Women's beach volleyball is played by women.  They tend to be pretty, tanned, athletic and wear very little in way of actual clothes.  In hot climates volleyball players like to grease themselves up with sun tan lotion (see Top Gun volleyball scene).
 
2. If we take haircuts as a lead, 80% of the current Cabinet members have penises.  These people tend to be heterosexual, middle aged and married.  If we were to take a leap of faith, we might argue that these men enjoy watching young athletic women greased up with lotion playing in the sand.  And we might therefore conclude that they would jump at the opportunity to do so if they thought that it could be carefully disguised* as watching sport.
 
Concluding comments
 
Men enjoy watching the aforementioned type of woman play in sand, greased up in sun tan lotion. 
 
The IIPBA doesn't mind this, as long as Oliver Letwin, who's office sits conveniently overlooking the beach volleyball arena, doesn't ignore the grand vision that is the post bureaucratic age.  We're still watching you Letwin.
 
*By carefully disguised we mean not very carefully disguised.  Beach volleyball isn't even a proper sport.

23 January 2012

Thinking Paper # 217: Can a woman pose in glossy magazines and be in favour of equality? A very brief history

A very brief history of people
 
Throughout the history of mankind, many humans have managed to be two things at once. A history of sexy Home Secretaries
 
Home Secretaries are humans.  Historically, they have also been a varied and notoriously sexy bunch.  Take William Petty, Home Secretary in the 1780's. He had at least three children by two wives and his alter ego was a Brazilian male escort called Huego.  He led the 18th century freedom movement for male escorts operating in the British Empire.  Elsewhere, the superbly named Aretas Akers-Douglas, Home Secretary 1902-05, was famous for his trouser bulge; said by contemporary commentators to be "intimidating".  He set up the world's first dating website for oversized men.
 
All of this AND they successfully carried out their duties as Home Secretary.  Are you listening Dacre?
 
Concluding comments
 
It should come as no surprise to the Daily Mail that someone can be two things at once and that the current Home Secretary can do a bit of sexy stuff in a glossy magazine and talk about issues of equality at the same time.  No surprise at all.  For other examples, see Paul Dacre.  Daily Mail editor and champion of Natalie Cassidy.  Very good Paul. 
 
Over and out
 
 
 

19 January 2012

Thinking Paper # 216: How much importance should we place on a desk?

Abstract

Desks.  We've all probably sat at one waiting for a rather arbitrary time to appear on the clock before we can go home. Some of you may even own one.  Thatcher’s Britain lives on.  But what does a desk mean these days in terms of political power in Whitehall?  This is really important stuff people, pay attention.
The Bob and Jeremy show

Sir Bob Kerslake, that new lad in Whitehall who gets to run the civil service has bagged himself a rather nice desk in a room next to Sir Jeremy, that floating mandarin that secretly runs the country.  Sir Bob said "I'm right chuffed with my new desk". 

This is important you see because it means that Bob and Jezza are now equidistant from the Prime Minister's desk, that red fellow who reads things off of word documents. 

Elsewhere, there is a scrap over a desk on the fourth floor of No10 between one Sir Kim "the fat" Darroch and some other fellow.  We forget who.  He's very important though. 

Concluding comments

Right then, where were we?  Desks.  Yes, anyone who's anyone has a desk in Whitehall and preferably it should be near that fellow who reads stuff he's told to depending on what the latest focus groups have said.

Thanks for reading.

18 January 2012

Thinking Paper # 215 : Should Michael Gove stop treating schools like hotel rooms?

Abstract
In the words of David Cameron, it is "noteworthy to note" that Michael Gove, son of a Preacher man, has top secret plans to use real money, that's real money, to send a copy of the King James Bible to every school in the country.  The Bible is to include, and this is important, a personal inscription from Gove himself.  The IIPBA has never written a prologue for any of God's work before and would probably be a little intimidated to do so, but then we're not Michael Gove. I bet he's done it loads of times. 

Should Michael Gove stop treating schools like hotel rooms?
For the IIPBA, the answer is yes and no.  I've had many a pleasant night in a hotel room.  My favourite is the Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Worcester.  One night back in 2006 I had a steak sandwich in room 32 and watched one of those pay per view "blueys".  It was a really good night.  On another note, Gove could definitely do worse than providing all pupils with free shower caps, single serving soaps and complimentary towels.
On the "No" side, the IIPBA would argue that schools are quite different from hotel rooms and that this should stay as such.  Hotel rooms witness all sorts of bad things e.g. horse play and heavy petting.  Even one of Pickles' most dysfunctional families wouldn't want to see this in the classroom.

We're getting off track.

Bibles

The IIPBA knows it to be a fact that children get bored reading the internet and that's full of brilliant stuff.  It's pie in the sky stuff Gabriel. Have a word with him won't you.

Concluding comments

In saying all of this, I really want to see what Michael Gove would write as a prologue to God.  A drawing of a penis on every page?  An attempted politicisation of Jesus (he's a compassionate conservative through and through) ?  Or would he just underline all of the dirty passages at the back.  We can only speculate.

All the best Gabriel - let us know how you get on

Thinking Paper # 214: The IIPBA’s rather late predictions for 2012

The year of the 2012 is well underway and according to that media it’s going to go off big time. The IIPBA gives you its thoughts on the major battles of the year ahead.

Ed Miliband vs. Himself

The list of people gunning for Ed Miliband is as long as an NHS White Paper but for the IIPBA, Ed's biggest problem is Ed.  The IIPBA has previously covered his annoying face and feels that it need not say more.  He looks silly.
1-0 Ed (o.g.)

Boris vs. Ken

He can't can he?  Our dear Roger covered the ins and the outs of this political struggle last year and the IIPBA executive have nothing much further to add. Essentially, Boris has adopted the old "place your name at the front of a big public policy scheme" strategy very effectively.  It doesn't matter that they haven't happened yet or that he never really had much to do with them in the first place, it really works: see Boris bikes, Boris buses and now Boris Island airport.   Get your act together Ken e.g. Ken's Kinder eggs (p.s. this needs working on)

1-0 Boris I'm afraid.
The Queen vs. Seb Coe

This years highest profile celebrity TV battle pit’s the Queen against Seb Coe. As we all know, the Queen represents your thinking man’s egalitarian dream and they don’t like it up em, good ol style British patriotism. Seb Coe on the other hand is a bit of a penis who says stuff like “East London’s gonna do right well out of a great big fuck off stadium and loads of multi-million pound corporate profits”. We’ll see Seb.

1-0 Queen.


Kim Jong Un vs.The World
Kim Jong Un is that fat lad who’s just taken over a country of 24 million malnourished people who believe him to be a God.  He and his Uncle Jang and Auntie Kim will want to continue his father’s tradition of cognac, pleasure squads and opulence. His starving people may not. Here’s rooting for the people of North Korea.

1-0 the North Korean people (we hope)

p.s. Phil Hammond is right good at tracking down and killing dictators. Current record = 100% success rate.
p.p.s. Did you know that Kim Jong Il’s favourite flower was the Begonia Kimjongilia. Well it’s true.


Animals vs. People

What with the end of bull fighting in Spain, bestiality in Sweden and the battery farming of Chickens in the EU, the IIPBA thinks that 2012 is looking pretty rosy for our under evolved cousins.

We particularly like the fact that Sweden has only just gotten around to legislating against bestiality. But our commiserations go out to those internet users who enjoy watching humans and animals make love. The new material available after 2012 is set to diminish I’m afraid.

1-0 Animals


Democracy and stuff vs. people like Vladimir Putin

With elections set to take place in Mexico, France, the US, Russia (ahem) and China (kind of - ahem) in 2012, the IIPBA’s democratic reform team is facing a busy year.

The IIPBA hopes to see a celebratory good riddance to Vladimir “Russia’s greatest love machine” Putin. And a warm hello to a second term Obama.  The other lot seem a little too crazy to be allowed to run a country.

1-0 to Democracy


Over and out.