Post by Btms
Apols but I just want to vent but not on fb.
I think Brian needs a good PR Company to advise him on the waste issue.
Shula also needs one to redeem her reputation. Pat needs one to get
on board with organic farming.
Its the TSB fiasco. Husbad is Treasurer of a local branch of a National
Charity which runs local centres. We have to raise our own funds
have a couple of staff (its not admin) who are not highly paid but rely
upon their monthly pay.
I was miffed when TSB announced all was well. Husbad was clear it
Can’t get online at all and the local branch has recently closed. Now
have acknowledge this was not true and called in IBM specialists and saying
nobody will be charged for going overdrawn. What a silly statement. The
charity’s employees don’t bank with TSB and don’t have balances that
cover their fixed outgoings at month end. Nor can they be sure a cheque
will be cleared in time for their account to stay in credit, so they may
suffer a financial penalty!
Husbad is planning to pay the salaries himself and reclaim when this is
sorted but there must be lots of folk where this won’t be possible. My
whinge is the common PR device of the Corporate world regularly making
statements that don’t actually alleviate the problem for folk at the coal
face or properly respond to concerns.
I am reaching a point where my cynicism for the credibility of news, way
beyond the stuff on social media, is reaching monumental proportions.
Tell me, AIAOU?
No, you aren't. For me it's not the credibility of news per se, but the
credibility of institutional and corporate responses to problems and
criticism, i.e. the bland "no one was available for interview but they
sent this statement" bollocks with a load of waffle which doesn't
address the real point at issue. It is a standard tactic now and
reminds me of Orwell's brilliant analysis in Politics and the English
"Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending
Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing
off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so." Probably,
“While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features
which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think,
agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is
an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors
which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been
amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.”
The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words
falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering
up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one
turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like
a cuttlefish spurting out ink."
Universities have been full of this rubbish for many years, longer than
the corporate world where it is now endemic. When I was young I used to
have the energy to engage in arguments about the language in university
documents but soon there were more important issues to fight about.
ISTM that instead of "a mass of Latin words" we now get a mass of
meaning-free cliché ("exhausted idioms") like "fully committed to" and
"steps have already been taken" and the like which do nothing whatsoever
to clarify what really needs to be clarified, and "falls upon the facts
like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details."
(What a brilliant analogy!)
They make me cross.
It's all about avoidance of blame, which is what risk management has
I was invited to speak recently at an event held at the posh London head
office of a major company. I was asked to arrive early for a
pre-meeting. As I entered the building, a receptionist thrust an iPad
into my hand. She conducted me to the meeting room and told me she would
be back to collect the iPad when I had finished with it so that she
could tick me off on her list.
The pre-meeting was under way as I sat puzzling over the iPad and
wondering what I was supposed to do with it. The man in charge asked if
I had got to the bit about the stairs yet and everyone laughed. It
slowly dawned on me that what was playing on the iPad was a video about
safety, rather like the sort you get on aircraft.
The bit about the stairs instructed everyone that, when going up or down
stairs, one had to touch the staircase in three places. It would have
been clearer if it had said - as my mum used to - "Hold on to the
At the end of the event, there was a panel session and the chair
(ghastly woman who kept referring to me as either Lara or "the Prof")
asked all the speakers to identify three important issues relating to
the topic of the event. This was unexpected and of course she picked on
me first. I could only come up with two so she said she would ask the
others who had had more time and then come back to me. I ended up
talking about risk management being designed to deflect blame and gave
as an example the slightly odd safety briefing I'd received.
Not the most tactful idea. The chap from the host company leapt to his
feet and insisted that it was all about the comfort of staff and
visitors and nothing to do with trying to avoid responsibility. Which
was a slightly difficult end to the event.
And, in case you are wondering, we were escorted around the building via
lifts and I never even saw any stairs.
Laura (emulate St George for email)