More Gravy Please! Now available free through BookFunnel for a limited time

  1. yes indeed, for a short while you can download More Gravy Please! for free right this is a satirical politician’s manual that will have you laughing (or crying). Download it here. Bookfunnel

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.

 

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)

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.

Censorship

Coordinated and controlled,
ever watchful, tightly wound
never letting loose their grip, they
send free-thinkers underground,
overseeing their ‘perfect’ world, with
rules designed to close your mind, they
sit within their ivory tower
happy that ‘good’ taste’s defined
in denial of the human right, to
pen a thought that casts some light.

6 questions for all aspiring politicians

Our politicians often become the brunt of criticism and sometimes have abuse hurled their way. We all like to stick the knife in as they continually make us grind our teeth and shout at the television. Still, there are always people who aspire to these lofty heights, so if you have ever thought about becoming a politician I have some advice for you. It is, to be sure, a fine and worthwhile career choice; however, before you leap into the quagmire of politics you should ask yourself some very serious questions. Think carefully about the environment into which you are heading and the likelihood that you will chewed up and spat out very quickly. I know that you will be feeling a fair degree of uncertainty and so I have devised a few questions that will help you decide whether you are made of the Right Stuff for politics.

Q1 – Have you ever made a mistake?

 It is a well-known fact that very few politicians have ever made a mistake, so if you believe you have made a mistake, no matter how trivial, you are clearly unsuitable for a political career. If you have never made a mistake, ever, then you have the right mental make-up to start thinking about standing at the next election.

Q2 – Have you lost your grip on reality?

 Being remote from reality is essential for a politician – it makes decisions far easier to reach. There is no chance of becoming lost in the myriad of opinions and inconveniences that is the everyday life of the common person. If you know what the average weekly wage is, the cost of a loaf of bread, or how many people are currently suffering from mortgage stress (and what that actually means), then you are already filling your mind with too much information about the real world. You will most likely to reach a state of mental paralysis. How can you possibly come to a decision if you are trying to balance out the needs of all the community?  It is far better to choose a small but influential group of stakeholders and concentrate on keeping them happy. Once you have done this you can make quick and un-researched statements to the media whenever required. If you are a Minister, you may also be able to make quick and un-researched policy decisions. Surrounding yourself with staff similarly removed from the demands of the real world will help, as they will support you by not asking difficult questions.

Q3 – Do you lack moral and ethical substance as a person but have the hide of rhino?

 A good set of morals and ethics are a hindrance for politics as they may cause you to have sleepless nights and start to believe that you need a better grip on reality. You may even begin to think that you need to know more about the underprivileged and the challenges that they face. If you believe that this may occur then do not, I repeat, do not enter politics under any circumstances – you will very quickly be reduced to a burbling and rambling idiot when confronted by skilled politicians. I suggest you go and hug a tree instead –  at least the tree will not stab you in the back at the first opportunity.

Q4 – Do you have some skeletons in the closet?

 No self-respecting politician is without a past that involved something dodgy. If you haven’t been shagging prostitutes, defrauding business partners, assaulting people after a few drinks too many, had, or still have, an addiction of some sort, or been a member of a political organisation that skated on the limits of legality, then you will need to remedy this. You have two options – you can either delay your entry into politics until you have achieved some of the aforementioned, or you can work on them during your first few years in the job.

 Q5 – Can you make bad decisions in the face of overwhelming evidence and common sense?

This is a core capability for all politicians, but becomes more important as you rise through the ranks. The ability to ignore all evidence and fly in the face of common-sense when called upon to make a decision is a valued skill in Parliament. I have included a chapter on this later in the book.

Q6 – Do you have nagging inner voice telling you that you are destined for greater things

If you do, you are probably in the early stages of narcissism and have begun to believe that people actually do want to listen to you when you speak.  You may even believe that people value your judgement on current events.  If this is the case, then being a politician will provide you with the opportunity to test out this theory. You could have an audience of millions of people to talk to and, if you are smart you will surround yourself with numerous spin doctors and assistants who will convince you that the reaction of the masses to your ill-thought-out drivel is positive, no matter what they actually think. When this happens you will no doubt become convinced that your true greatness has finally come to the fore.

If you find that that you have answered yes to the all questions above, then I am pleased to tell you that may well have a long and successful political career ahead of you.

 

This is an extract from my book More Gravy Please! – a politicians manual.

A Fairytale…

Once upon a time, Pragmatism, Process and Common-sense jointly ruled the realm. Pragmatism led, Common-sense gave advice, and Process made sure everything happened once decisions had been made. The people of the realm lived ordered and sensible lives that, while occasionally challenging, gave them a varied and interesting society.

The, one day, Process took control. Nobody saw it happen, there was no sound, no obvious sign, and definitely no blood; in fact for a while nobody knew it had happened, but all of a sudden Pragmatism and Common-sense had vanished, never to be seen again.

The people went looking for it for a while, but soon found themselves forgetting about them as they settled into the familiarity of sameness. It wasn’t long before Pragmatism and Common-sense receded into mists of myth and legend. The comfort of Process was soothing.

However, people soon become regimented, ordered, so much so that they found themselves captive to Process, slaves who were not allowed to divert from ‘the course’, were unable to think for themselves.

They longed for Common-sense and Pragmatism, but these leaders were never seen again. It is rumoured they only exist in the far off kingdom of Imagination, Hope and Regret. Given and inch, Process had taken a mile, took control of everything, made all things uniform, smashed circles so they would fit into square holes, destroyed difference, hammered bumps in the landscape to homogenous flatness and predictability.

Everybody lived miserably-ever-after until they all went numb with boredom and became soul-less vegetables with no awareness of time.

The End.

 

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