Election Promises

 

What is an election promise

but a grain of hope,

washed in the grubby political shallows,

gathering grime by the layer.

A grain full of nothing,

no substance, just hot air,

that bursts when probed

leaving shattered illusions.

Fragments of truth drown in toxic ooze.

Grudges, Rumours & Drama Queens – the essential office manual

Yes indeed. The essential office manual is now available at Amazon and other online book stores.

Grudges, Rumours & Drama Queens is essential reading for all aspiring and current government officers at all levels, as well as anybody who is desperate to understand how the whole machine works. Grudges Rumours & Drama Queens is an essential text for all aspiring and current bureaucrats, whether they realise it or not. This book builds on the work of the ancient philosophers Futilius and Dillayus, and details the importance of grudges, rumours, and unintelligible jargon. This manual will take you from the basics, such as how to not make decisions and passing the time on a quiet day, right up to advanced skills such as avoiding the blame. It will ensure your success as part of the office machine!

Click on the cover to learn more.

GRDQ

Grudges, Rumours & Drama Queens is available at Amazon, Amazon U.K. And many other online stores

Grudges, Rumours & Drama Queens – soon to be released!

Grudges, Rumours & Drama Queens used to be titled You Can’t Polish A Turd, but the powers-that-be decided that Turd wasn’t a proper government-approved word. Those government auditors and policy wonks (at the highest levels I must add!) approved Grudges and Rumours as appropriate for a book about government and bureaucrats – and I thought they were a bunch of drama queens – hence the new title. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Many thanks to Taylor Street for publishing the original, but time moves on and it needed revising.

I shall be releasing this revised edition of the Government manual very soon!

George

Burocrates – Great Government Philosopher No. 2

Burocrates – The Greek perspective

The pre-eminent Greek philosopher was Burocrates.

Born in 450 BC, Burocrates studied early democracy and looked at government in a holistic manner. He regarded it as a form of art. He viewed public servants as artists whose job was to provide aesthetically pleasing processes and outcomes in a manner that was not rushed by the mere inconvenience of time. He was a contemporary of Socrates, and it is rumoured that these two philosophers spent many hours discussing the relative merits of democracy and royal rule, over large amounts of wine.

He met his death in 385 BC when he found himself in an argument with another contemporary, Aristophanes, who accused him of having all the characteristics of the popular politicians he studied: a horrible voice, bad breeding, and a vulgar manner. They both died when their brains dribbled out of their ears due to the banality of their arguments.

Unfortunately, Burocrates is not widely known and few, if any, academics have seriously studied his work. However, he leaves us with some notable quotes including:

– The pure art of government should be unsullied by the ticking of the clock.
– Where the path appears straight and without danger, extra care should be taken and your pace slowed.
– A quick decision is like a premature ejaculation. It deprives the bureaucrat of respect and leaves him feeling unsatisfied.
– The vote is a precious thing, its value priceless; never have so many people been kept happy by such a futile act.
– Let a politician announce decisions and keep him happy for a day. Let a politician think he made the decisions, and keep him happy for a whole term of government.

A Message From the Director-General

The Department for Avoiding the Blame (DAB) is recognised as one of the world’s leading government departments.

By virtue of DAB’s size, experienced directors, incomprehensive and random policies, and resolute stance on not making any significant decisions, it has maintained a world class bureaucratic system that defers or ignores at least 80 percent of decisions it is asked to make or questions it is asked to respond to. This level of inefficiency has not been achieved anywhere else in the world.

Our knowledge of our politicians is by no means complete. We are learning how our new cabinet, and we are still trying to understand the short and long term consequences of the various intellectual capability of the various Ministers, such as those including health, climate change, and treasury.

The Annual Report (2012) provided a snapshot of our indicators. It showed that we were achieving an acceptable level of hot air output and that there was an increasing level of confusion in the general community about the purpose of DAB. While our structure was in reasonable shape, the report did indicate that there were emerging opportunities to add additional layers of bureaucracy to the system and that a sound strategic plan should identify where DAB can act on these opportunities.

The Government has made recent statements about reviewing and restructuring the government machine, including making risky changes to speed up decision-making within the bureaucracy. It has also flagged merging and splitting departments.

All of this creates potential risks for DAB and other departments, however DAB’s leadership team are committed to maintaining it aim of succeeding at the expanse of everybody else and will continue to work towards that goal.

DAB can play an important role in the workings of government.  It has the duty – on behalf of all of the public and, more importantly, the many esteemed ancestors of the current bureaucracy, to rigorously refuse to make progress on any proposals or policies, and to determine what impact this will have in inconveniencing other departments and private companies, and whether those impacts and obstinate refusal to use common-sense are of sufficient bloody-mindedness to frustrate everybody to an acceptable level.

Based on its own analysis, and drawing on the best scientific advice from other areas of Government, academics and the private sector, DAB will then ensure that it has the required tool to avoid blame for any delays and or financial losses. If it does its job well it will remain largely anonymous.

DAB also provides strategic advice to Government on key issues so that it can engineer its continuing anonymity and gain large slices of funding at the expense of other departments and non-government organisations without being asked to produce anything of any substance in return.

The complexity and volume of matters now coming to DAB, and increasing community expectations about the rigour and timeliness of decisions, means that DAB is failing, to some extent, in its quest for anonymity, it must therefore continue to embrace, and even promote, reform to ensure that roadblocks are placed where most effective and that the development of Government Function Inhibitors (GFI) progresses in a timely and efficient manner.

This Strategic Plan outlines the context in which DAB currently operates and its strategies and priorities for the period 2010-2013.  The plan also articulates DAB’s vision for reforming its practices to stay abreast of the changing social and economic conditions in which it operates.

Finally, this Strategic Plan is not a static document. It will be regularly reviewed and refined to better focus the efforts of DAB in fighting needless and expensive efforts to smooth out the current administrative systems to ensure that it meets its obligations to enrage and frustrate the community, business and the Government of the day.

 

Bartholomew Menzies-Thatcher

Director General

March 2010

A President’s Prayer

A President’s Prayer

Our President, somehow elected,
Delusion be his game.
It seems that he won
And there’s work to be done
And blame to be deflected.
Support  him today in his legal challenges.
And forgive him his petulant tweets,

As we forgive those who make petulant
tweets in response.
And lead him not into innovation,
But deliver him from progress.
For he has the Staff,
With the power and the will
To speak bullshit
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Brighten up your day at work

5 Ways to Brighten a Dull Day at Work

Life in the public service, or any other job for that matter, can have its boring moments when nothing appears to be happening. In times like these you will need to have some ways to brighten up your day, or at least give your work life some meaning.

Cultivate a Grudge

All good bureaucrats need to have cultivated at least one grudge during their time in the civil service. A grudge will give you a hobby that you can enjoy whenever you like. It will usually make someone’s life difficult, though preferably without them being aware that it is you that is causing them problems. If you find yourself the subject of what seems to be a lot of bad luck, few opportunities, or even just more boring and soulless work than usual, you are probably the subject of a grudge.

A good grudge can be cultivated where you feel someone of less merit was awarded a promotion, or perhaps where someone has made a decision that has given you more work to do, or even where someone just seems ripe to be the subject of a grudge.

It really does not matter who you choose, so long as you work to make their life difficult and have fun in the process.

The more senior you are in government, the more grudges you will be able to accumulate, and the more entertainment you can devise to make your days go by more rapidly. In fact, by the time you are a Director, you should have at least five well-cultivated grudges that colour your every decision.

Invent Some Jargon

The nature of jargon means that at any one time there is new jargon being invented by some boffin or career bureaucrat somewhere in the world. It would be a shame if you missed out on this. So, a way to pass some time is to invent your own phrases. The minimum you should aim for is a three-phase high-impact neologism. Once you have become comfortable with this you can progress on to four and five-phase jargon. Anything more than a five-phase fustian phraseology will lose its impact on the reader. The ultimate accolade for inventors of jargon is to see their own phrase included in a government document. This shows that your invention is gaining ground and that some poor soul has convinced themselves that they know what it means. This is extraordinary, as you know it was just meaningless crap. Some examples of meaningless drivel are included below.

• Collaborative database nodes
• Enhanced empirical capability
• Interactive operational paradigm
• Relevant talent dimension
• Functional competency matrix
• Replicable human capital synergies
• High-resolution talent protocols
• Emergent executive mission statement
• Corporate risk management feedback-loops
• Multi-phase expanded organisational continuum

Invent Jargon with Acronyms

To take your jargon to the next level, you need to disguise it in an acronym. This adds an extra layer of confusion to the term and sends people scurrying for a dictionary or searching the Internet for an explanation of the term. The more amusing your acronym, the better. Five examples are included below.
• Joint Australian Regional Government Organisational Network (JARGON)

• Notional Organisational Benchmark (NOB)
• Transitory Work Allocation Timetable (TWAT)
• Comprehensive Risk Assessment Protocol (CRAP)
• Global Undirected Feedback Framework (GUFF)

Write a letter to the Minister that you know will come to you to answer

Here’s one for those in government. No matter what area you work in, there will be times when you will have your own views on a particular matter that you are dealing with on behalf of the government. At these times, you can write a letter to the Minister (under a pseudonym of course) and wait for it to work its way through the system and onto your desk (members of the public are often unaware that letters to the Minister go to a civil servant to draft the response that the Minister then signs). You can then spend your time composing a well thought out institutional response to your question. If you write enough of these letters you will also be able to keep track of how well the bureaucracy is working by comparing the time it takes to get a response back to you through the system.

Start a Rumour

Many an enjoyable day has been spent watching the result of a well-prepared rumour. The government rumour mill will spread the word as quick as greased lightning. For example, a well-placed whisper that a major restructure is in the wind after a visit by an unknown ‘suit’ will take off like wildfire. To start the rumour you should make the suggestion to a colleague that you have heard the man is a Human Resources consultant with a reputation for ‘streamlining’ departments. Never directly suggest that you think a review is in the wind; just give enough information to set off the minds of the impressionable into a stream of consciousness that will head in the direction of a dark and scary tunnel. The impressionable person, probably a drama queen or a very bitter and cynical employee, will hit the ground running. Before you know it someone will be saying to you – ‘Did you know that a departmental review is happening?’ and you can truthfully say – ‘Really? I hadn’t heard that before. Who told you?’

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