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31 March, 2010  
London Calling

Leverhulme needs to take up the Treasury’s course on relaxation and de-stressing … Three former Labour ministers busted in lobbying sting – including proud little Aussie Pat Hewitt (Sir Len’s daughter)

imageLife is getting much more difficult. Advances in medical science and startling discoveries come at a great cost.

The bewildered citizen is assailed by leaflets and brochures and finger-wagging from purse-lipped advisers. But worst of all are the confusing stories in the press.

We are warned almost daily that coffee prevents cancer, but causes heart attacks; chocolate is good for you, but then again it might not be; Goji berries prolong life, but don’t get pricked by the Goji berry bush or you’ll end up with a prolapsed womb.

There is no shortage of help points to contact: caring individuals with a background in emotional abuse issues and a kid at law school who have been on a one-day training course and will move heaven and earth to help you put your boss in prison.

But as they say in the rainforests when they lop another tree, “It’s all about jobs”.

imageDid you know that the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service has an Equality and Diversity Manager?

Spending on the public sector has increased to 52.1 percent of GDP under the Brown terror.

It was 25-35 percent before Harold Wilson (seen here).

Those in government jobs will surely vote Labor. What turkeys wouldn’t?

* * *

The real concern of this week has been stark.

It emerged after the disturbing revelation that 10 Whitehall departments have issued BTP funded guidelines for harassed British civil servants.

Apparently, stress-related problems can be caused by members of the team having “too little work or responsibility”.

Advice comes freely from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that pressured workers should take up a hobby.

The Department of International Development recommends that toilers allow an extra 20 percent more time to complete stressful tasks. Is that an increase, I wonder?

“Breathe in and out heavily a few times,” it urges, “and imagine yourself being successful”.

Now that’s a tough one.

Earlier this year, the Treasury advised its workers to “lie on your back, legs stretched out”.


“Tense the tongue by pressing against the teeth. Feel the tension in the tongue, under the chin, with your fingertips if you wish, and in the throat. Let the tongue relax.”

* * *

imageThe theme of the week is that people who want to work are being prevented from doing so and those who go to work are punished.

Take those who want to work: well-connected, ex-Ministers such as Geoff (Buff) Hoon, Stephen (The Bad News Burier) Byers and Patricia (Matron) Hewitt who were each caught in a Channel 4 sting last week.

Pic: Hewitt and Hoon

The trio offered their expensive services to a bogus consultancy company and bragged about their level of access to the Cabinets’ ear.

In power, each came across as haughty, self-important and very boring, but behold them when their guard is lowered. They are as enthusiastically venal as the rest of us.

* * *

There is a certain type of Australian, who within six weeks of landing on these shores and holing up in a grubby bedsit in Bethnal Green, affects an English accent and says nauseating things like, “Oh raahly”.

imageMost locals are shocked when they discover that the dreadfully plummy Matron Hewitt hails from the brown, unpleasant land.

Her sire was the legendary Cyrus Lenox Simson Hewitt, whom old Rex (Khemlani) Connor (seen here) had hand-picked to head the Department of Minerals and Energy in the Whitlam Gumment. In Jolly John Gorton’s day Hewitt was secretary of the PM’s Department.

Graham Freudenberg wrote in A Certain Grandeur (MacMillan 1977):

“In Hewitt Connor felt he had found a kindred spirit – both were strong nationalists, both loners, both impatient of the windy orthodoxies of ‘established channels’; both saw themselves as tough-minded negotiators, both authoritarian, both more easily able to inspire fear than affection, yet both had great charm in private; both were supremely confident in the ability of their applied intelligence to master any problem.”

Daughter Pat doesn’t appear to have inherited the great charm, but she sure knows a thing or two about the established channels.

She must revel in her role as a social engineer. If you look at her bibliography on Wikipedia you will see she shares much of the intellectual responsibility and credit for Britain’s Great Society.

There are a lot of learned treatises on “Know Your Rights”, but Pat even has time to put in her two-bob’s worth on such thorny issues as “Your Second Baby”.

Not only have the three been suspended from the Labour Party, but sadly none will be scoring their eagerly anticipated peerages.

They have been penalised for wanting to work.

* * *

Another man punished for going to work was Mr David Mooney. His house was stolen by Romanians.

imagePoor old Dave, from Southfields in Northampton, returned home to find the lights on, an unknown car in the drive and a couple of Euros emptying the house of his belongings.

Judge Richard Bray (pic) gave Mihai and Laura Dediu 12 month community orders and 100 hours community service.

The Daily Express, apoplectically reported that despite their wicked behaviour the Dedius were allowed to stay in Blighty AND claim child benefit.

The beak said Britain was in danger of returning to Dickensian times and added rather curiously:

“This is a bizarre case. I must be the most experienced person in this building for burglary and in 26 years I cannot remember a case where burglars have taken a young child with them to carry out a burglary. I really can’t.”

* * *

A Romanian invasion is nothing new.

imageI was thumbing through an old book called Innocent Merriment, which is a collection of light verse issued to Aussie armed servicemen in the Second World War.

There is a poem by Ogden Nash (snap) which our sainted editor would not dare print these days.

“How courteous is the Japanese;
He always says, ‘Excuse it, please’,
He climbs into his neighbour’s garden,
And smiles, and says, ‘I beg your pardon’;
He bows and grins a friendly grin,
And calls his hungry family in;
He grins, and bows a friendly bow;
‘So sorry, this my garden now’.”

* * *

Well there was a war on.