No morals? No ethics? No conscience? No problem! Become a politician

Want to become a politician? Then More Gravy Please! (the politician’s handbook) by George Fripley, is the book for you – available through numerous Amazon pages. It will take you through what you need to know. Here is a little taster

 

How Parliament Works

As a new Member of Parliament you should spend some time getting properly inducted into the basics of the system.  This will allow you to slide smoothly into your new role with the minimum of fuss.  It would be a mistake to think you know much just because you have read the papers, seen official reports, and watched Question Time on the television. All of these are just for the public to provide assurance that the government is working and there is healthy debate both between parties and within parties. To help you out, this chapter will take you through some of the underlying principles and processes that occur on a daily basis – those that are not reported on in the media.

 

Mutually Assured Distraction

Most parties are reluctant to make actual decisions for fear of making a mistake and causing themselves angst; they prefer to rely on government departments to provide advice about what should happen. As most people know, government departments are also reluctant to make decisions. This leads to a vastly increased likelihood of embarrassing stalemates and inaction, together with a very short list of achievements for that particular sitting of Parliament – usually consisting of the easy no-brainer decisions (although there is no guarantee there will be quick agreement on these) with difficult decisions postponed until the next sitting, or the next, or even the one after that. The theory of Mutually Assured Distraction (MAD) prevents such inaction becoming embarrassing. It is implemented by both major parties and it protects them from a conspicuous lack of progress that will look bad to the electorate…well alright then, worse than it currently does.

MAD ensures that when difficult decisions have to be made, and there is potential for both parties to look incompetent due to their complete lack of ability currently sitting on the front benches, one or other of them will suddenly bring a new issue to the fore. They will flood the media with quotes and headlines. This distraction will, ideally, be a very minor issue that has been blown out of all proportion and / or be an issue that is global and beyond the control of a single country. It may even be time for a skeleton to be let out of a closet and to have a scandal. Whatever the distraction, it will bounce around in the media for months before there is finally a coordinated agreement on what to do. By the time this has happened everybody will have forgotten about the difficult problem that needed to be avoided.

The Party Whips

The Party Whips are not ladies dressed up in leather and thigh-high boots, as most of the public would think when this term is mentioned in the same sentence as politicians. No, they are senior politicians with a distinct and essential role. Because the party hierarchy knows that the general level of understanding of most issues is not that good among most of their Parliamentarians, they employ the whips to run around and tell everybody how to vote. Now, you could be a little insulted by this and feel aggrieved that they do not trust you to make a good decision, or, and I highly recommend this approach, you could be happy that someone else has decided to do your thinking for you and turn your brain to less onerous activities like what you might have for lunch that day. Who wants to have to wrestle with complex and divisive issues if someone else does it for you? Anyhow, if the party whips start getting you down, you can always go and visit the leather-bound ladies with the real whips who really know how to party.

The House Bubble

Contrary to what you are probably hoping, I have not mis-spelt bubbly; I am talking about an imaginary force-field that surrounds Parliament. This bubble prevents politicians getting into too much trouble. It separates them from the outside world. This bubble is to protect you by preventing annoying journalists from pestering you for quotes on a matter of current policy, and to stop members of the great unwashed asking you difficult questions. It also helps keep you at least a decade behind the time, where social attitudes are concerned.

Speeches

 Every now and then you may be required to make a speech in Parliament. This is not a cause for concern or embarrassment – every politician has to do this once in a while. Your speeches will be written for you by people who are skilled at keeping you out of trouble and making sure that what is on the paper in front of you is what your party whips believe is what should be said. On rare occasions you may be required to speak to the general public. In this case the same process applies, except that there is the additional aspect of looking like you are genuinely concerned about the subject matter. This can be quite challenging.

The Committee System

 The committee system is how issues debated within the Parliament are resolved – at least far as possible given that we are talking about politicians. It has always been done this way and it will always be done this way, so don’t argue – unless you are the Prime Minister. If you are in the top job, then you will probably be so assured of your infallibility that you will make random statements without committee oversight – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. The committee system is another way in which the political machine stops you from making an idiot of yourself in public; it hides your stupid comments in the minutes. It also hides you within a larger group of idiots, so you won’t be revealed as the class dunce and get voted out by your electorate at the next election.

Your Office and Appearance

 As a Member of Parliament, you will get an office, along with money to employ an assistant. Your office is where you hide when you’ve had enough of life and don’t want anybody to find you. Your assistant is there to repel any attempts to enter your office. Furnish it with some comfortable chairs and a minibar and you’ll be on your way. Where your attire is concerned, you should always dress very smartly and use your allowances to get top-of-the-range suits. People want to see their elected representative cutting dashing figures on the camera. No matter what you do and say in the House, people will have more inclination to support you if you look the part.

 

Oh, if only I could find a good one…

An old one but a relevant one come every election

My Futile Search

I’m told  there is talent in our political system
But I’ve looked pretty hard and it seems that I’ve missed ‘em
I took myself off through the corridors of power
It made me depressed and got worse by the hour
‘Cos all of the members to whom I was presented
Acted like kids or were clearly demented
The place was just full of these crushing old bores
The whining idealists, political whores.
When I finally left I felt soiled and stained
And wondered aloud about what could be gained
If we chucked this lot out and elected some more
But the reality was that I couldn’t be sure
That they wouldn’t just argue like immature gits
And continue to give the taxpayer the shits.

The Official Politician’s Prayer

I don’t know if this will ever become out of date…probably not – so here it is again

The Official Politician’s Prayer

Our government, somehow elected,
Delusion be our game.
My god we’re dumb
But there’s work to be done
And blame to be deflected.
Delay us today our daily decisions.
And forgive us our empty promises,
As we forgive those who make empty
promises in response.
And lead us not into innovation,
But deliver us from progress.
For we have the Politicians,
With the power and the will
To speak bullshit
For ever and ever.
Amen.

 

Taken from Grudges, Rumours & Drama Queens (the Civil Servant’s Manual)

Vote WARP – if you want to get elected, get the blame deflected

So, with an election on the way, WARP will be releasing numerous policies very soon, however, first here is a short tutorial for all aspiring WARP politicians explaining our core policy – after all, as all successful governments know – if you want to get elected, then get the blame deflected

Find out more about WARP http://www.westernaustralianwarp.wordpress.com

 

Blame – Where does it belong?

This is one of the most important questions a politician needs to answer during their stay in Parliament. There is absolutely no doubt that in any political career a politician will, at some point, find themselves caught rabbit-like in the headlights of an oncoming media storm. Do not fool yourself into thinking that ‘it won’t happen to me’ – it will; you’re not that bright. Your prime concern should be to limit damage to your party, ensure that votes are not lost, and also, most obviously, limit damage to your own career. At this point you may be asking why you should blame someone else for your own cock-ups, and let’s face it, I will repeat this warning, you will make your fair share of mistakes and stupid comments – such acts are an integral part of being a politician. Anyhow, if you are asking this question you should resign. There is no place in politics for those who take responsibility for their own actions.

Now, back to the question – Where does blame belong? In the immortal words of the Right Honourable Annie Portner-Storum – It doesn’t matter where the blame goes, just so long as it goes. These are wise words indeed, but the fact remains that you should take some care to ensure that you have a plan that provides some plausible options. If you have no plan, then you are in luck, for there is a tried and tested plan, devised by Sir Roger d’Enwharey, the well known political public relations consultant and spin doctor. Sir Roger is a much-feared operator who has beaten the varied and numerous libel and slander cases brought against him. He devised the Blame Hierarchy (a 7-level hierarchy) that allows the politician to learn from his experience and thereby lessen the number of blubbering and panicking parliamentarians ringing him at all hours of the day and night. You should have this hierarchy on your office wall. If followed it will ensure you have a long and distinguished career. It is particularly important if you have leadership ambitions. The Blame Hierarchy is as follows:

 

1) Your main opposing political party

 The first and most obvious option when the need to pass the blame arises is the opposing political party. As you will undoubtedly realise, politics is not about running the country – that is what the civil service does.  No, it is about taking part in petty point-scoring arguments with your colleagues, preferably in another party, but your own if need be. If you are on the front bench, your opposite number will be doing their best to blame you for everything, so feel free to let loose with both-barrels in their general direction. And feel free to dredge up as much ancient history as you feel is necessary.

This is the first option and should be used at all times unless there is no prospect of making any mud stick. If this is the case, then you should look at option 2.

 

2) The banks, big business, the unions

 The second option depends on your political persuasion. If you are on the right of politics you should blame the union movement. They are, after all, a real pain in the neck and cause many of your party donors a lot of headaches with their constant demands for a fair wage and going on strike all of the time. They can easily be made out to be responsible for any number of current woes. Whether it is law and order, the economy, or social issues, they should be well and truly in your sights. You will have a lot of wealthy people who will be all too willing to believe your story and agree that the blame should indeed be laid at the union’s door. The country is clearly only one step away from becoming a communist dictatorship.

If, however, you are in a left-leaning party, then multinational corporations such as banks, phone companies, transport companies, private energy providers, pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturers, and oil companies should be targeted. They are obviously out to screw the people with their capitalist approach to business and are borderline psychopaths in the way they look after themselves at everybody else’s expense. The public don’t need much encouragement to believe that any one of these industries is responsible for the current crisis, whatever it may be.

 

3) A government department

 Assuming that the first two options are not viable, then you need a third alternative. This should be a government department. Any department will do, provided that you think you can make the blame stick. And let’s face it, the public service is an easy target and will not be able to defend itself. It cannot be seen to be taking sides in politics, so you can let fly with accusations of incompetence or inefficiency, adherence to process over common sense, administrative wastage, giving you bad advice, and anything else you can think of. Add to this some snide remarks about the easy life of the taxpayer-funded government employee and you will be onto a winner. For more ammunition, read my book – You Can’t Polish a Turd (The Civil Servant’s Manual). All politicians love to put the boot into the public service and you should make sure that you are not the exception.

 

4) The unemployed, immigrants, minorities

So, assuming that your political opponents are smiling, you haven’t been able to pin the blame on corporations, unions, or the public service, you then need to look at Option 4 – blaming individuals and minorities who are not in a position to defend themselves. While the disabled immediately spring to mind, this is going too far, even for a politician (well, most politicians). No, you should take aim at the unemployed. An example of this is as follows.

These unemployed wasters are a stain on society and are responsible for everything; they sent the country into recession because of all their fraudulent claims for financial assistance and their apathy. Following this you can then include immigrants in your blame strategy, because they are now taking all the jobs that the unemployed could otherwise be put into, aren’t they? And then there are the bleeding heart community groups and non-government organisations. And the damn greenies must be responsible in some way shape or form for the current crisis. As you can see, there are plenty of avenues for blame using this option.

 

5) One of your own party colleagues

In the unlikely event that you cannot attach blame to minorities, and at this point you should take a long hard look at yourself and your career choice, then Option 5 looms as the next best bet. This is the ultimate ‘it doesn’t matter where the blame goes’ situation; you are in the shit, right up to your nose, and desperate measures are required. Having said all of that, this is also an opportunity, because by now you will have got on the wrong side of any number of your own party and it is one of them that you should target. Make the most of your petty grudges and simmering resentment; line up the appropriate person for a totally unexpected and vicious attack. At first glance, this may appear to be a career-limiting move; however the hollow men of your party will recognise your ruthlessness and leadership potential, albeit with a certain nervousness. They will ensure that all is forgiven a week after your treacherous act, and a short time later you are likely to be promoted. But what if you are in a position that such an act will actually ruin your career? Then you need Option 6.

 

6) Climate change, global financial crises, in fact any global issue will do.

 At any one time there are global issues that are totally out of the control of domestic governments, although few like to admit this unless there is a good reason to do so. They prefer to maintain the illusion that they are actually in control. One such good reason is when you need to shift the blame and all other higher level options have been assessed and found wanting. One word of caution – there are likely to be many experts out there who actually know what they are talking about, or at least are more convincing than you are when they talk, so beware of getting too specific about why climate change or the current financial crisis  are responsible for your current woes. You need to have your bullshit technique in good order for this. You’ll need to practice a lot.

7) The French

As the hierarchy was developed by an Englishman, the final port of call is to blame the French. Feel free to improvise should you be in a country other than England. As every Englishman knows, the French are responsible for most, if not all, of the woes of the world, so they should rightly take the blame for your latest crisis. When you have reached this stage of the Blame Hierarchy you will be looking like a complete twat; no, don’t argue, it’s a fact. Your lame excuses and nationalistic posturing will provide huge amusement to the population, many of whom will laugh out loud when they see you on the street. They will actually start liking you at this point, and your stocks may well rise. You’re obviously an idiot and incompetent in the extreme – congratulations, you are perfect political material and should be Prime Minister.

 

Cross-posted from https://moregravyplease.wordpress.com/

WARP enters the election race

WARP enters the election race – for the election – date to be advised

As it is clear that Australian is heading to the polls – eventually, maybe sooner than later, in true political style WARP is recycling its policy platform for the coming election and this is our manifesto…

We promise to lower income taxes

We promise to lower business taxes

We promise to reduce the deficit

We promise to solve the refugee problem – well at least find a good excuse to not solve it

We promise to give free education

We promise to give free health care

We promise to have a strong defence policy

We promise to stay in Eurovision

We promise to leave Eurovision

We promise that there is life on Mars, and maybe even in Western Australia too

We promise world peace, or at least peace in Canberra

We promise that all lawyers are nice people

And accountants and real estate agents and bankers too, but possibly not politicians, even us

We promise to prove that unicorns really do exist

We promise to ban reality TV and that annoying fixation on food and renovation programs

We promise to keep Johnny Depp’s dogs alive should they revisit Australia

We promise to attend to your every need, whatever that might be

We promise to review all our promises should we be elected and see reality; and finally

Should we be elected, we promise to find numerous ways to deny we ever made any promises in the first place.

So….VOTE FOR WARP – get  Australia up to WARP FACTOR 10!

 

Cross posted from http://www.westernaustralianwarp.wordpress.com

Tule’s Law

I have probably posted this before, but what the hell

 

Tule’s Law

.Professor Charles Tule has spent his long and distinguished career studying the political system and how the collegiate party system impacts the ability of the government to make decisions. The pinnacle of his career was the aptly named Tule’s Law. This law goes some way to explaining how viral ignorance manages to prevail in many circumstances.

It states that:

The total common sense of a group of politicians is equal to slightly less than half the sum of the common sense of each individual.

This law provides an explanation as to why a group of seemingly intelligent people can get together in parliament and come to conclusions that the rest of the population can see as unwise and stupid in the extreme.

Exhaustive testing of current debates, and research into debates and policy decisions of the last 100 years, has conclusively proven that this law stands the test of time. While further testing is underway, it is generally believed that this law will not be able to be challenged. Professor Tule is now carrying out further research to see if he can refine his theory to find out whether there is a critical mass where very large groups of politicians have the capacity to lose all common sense whatsoever.

Lord Barr-Studd of the M1 – a politician of note

New politicians can do themselves a favour by studying the career of Lord Barr-Studd. A long sitting Member of the House of Lords, Barr-Studd has managed to achieve very little in his career, but has provided a great many examples of how to come up with the cutting and memorable quote.

Lord Barr-Studd resides in on an anonymous property between Milton Bryan and Eversholt, near Junction 12 on the M1. The good Lord has managed to lose his driving licence no fewer than 17 times. He is currently suspended from driving. Lord DeVere Barr-Studd is, in fact, the 27th Earl of Drule, however the number of times he has been seen standing at Junction 12, and many other junctions between there and London, trying to hitch a lift to Parliament, led to his title being officially changed to Lord of the M1. Barr-Studd refuses to travel on any form of public transport because he is convinced that cholera, malaria, rickets, tuberculosis, polio, scarlet fever, and the Black Death, are still rife among the lower classes.

He is currently lobbying to be made chairman of the Road Safety Committee due to his extensive experience in this area. When asked about the reason for this he replied, ‘We need to change the law on the speed limit. It is outrageous that I cannot drive my Aston Martin as fast as it can go. Speed limits were only ever meant to apply to the common people who do not have the common sense to drive safely.’

Lord Barr-Studd sees it as his patriotic and ancestral duty to attend the House of Lords and, despite his often late appearance, he has managed to cast his vote on many issues. An outspoken critic of everybody, Barr-Studd eventually decided to become an independent and sit on the cross-benches. Due to his current driving suspension and wish to only hitchhike with ‘the right sort of people’, not the ‘common oiks’, he now spends much of his time on the benches of the Red Lion drinking real ale. In his most recent press release he has announced that he is independent of thought and will no longer be taking his seat in Parliament. All five parties of which he has been a member agree that he is indeed independent from thought.

Regarded as slightly to the right of just about everybody else in the country, Lord DeVere Barr-Studd’s most famous quotes include:

 

  • Sink the boats before they reach our shores. We don’t want them in this country.’ This was a reference to ferries full of French tourists.
  • ‘Paying tax is for morons. Look how much of it the government wastes.’ He said this when his own party was in power.
  • ‘Everybody should own a gun, this was just a minor mishap.’ This quote came after he was shot by his friend and fellow Lord, Winstanley Watson of Rockall, on the first day of the duck hunting season.
  • ‘This is a police state! Speed cameras just raise money which is then wasted on poor people.’ – after losing his licence for the 7th time.
  • Who are all these senile, dribbling, and rambling old bastards?’ – on attending his first party-room meeting.

 

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