Consultants

Of course they listen, they have nothing to say

Of course they listen, they have nothing to say

I worked for a business consultancy a decade ago and later in organisations who use consultants. It seemed to me that these people are merely good at bluffing. They talk the talk but when it’s time to walk the walk they find it necessary to hire contractors. That’s how I ended up working with them on more than one occasion.

In the UK I’ve seen consultants bring in recent graduates from Singapore and charge them out to work on technical projects. The arrogance of these consultants in charging fat fees for people with no qualifications or experience is astounding but we have to remember that these consultancies are frequently “partnerships” and the partners will be getting a slice of the fees.

I’ve seen medium sized projects balloon into monsters as every requirement generates two new consultants who then require people to work for them. All the time the project gets bigger and the end date gets pushed back. It seems to me that New Labour were partly responsible for encouraging these people. After the collapse of the .dot com boom I understand that they flocked into government departments like rats. The mantra there was “Organisational transformation”. Of course the consultants were TALKING BOLLOCKS but Blair swallowed the bullshit that government departments could be transformed through targets and other fashionable ideas. As citizens we saw the result with absurd situations such as not being able to book a doctors appointment more than 48 hours in advance as the surgeries fought to ensure that they met their “key targets”.

During the New Labour years the UK seemed in some kind of trance. Peter Mandelson would come on the TV or radio and talk the most abject nonsense and nobody would realise that he wasn’t saying anything. Just so with consultants, they have lots of important meetings and cause havoc within an organisation but they don’t actually do very much.

As Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell eventually spilled the beans on what was going on in government now senior consultants are telling all about the work of consultancies and The Independent has an article about this today. Best quote is: “We were proud of the way we used to make things up as we went along”.

The fault lies in all of us. If we visit the financial area of London known as The City we see that all the big banks and financial institutions have big expensive buildings with marble floors and that the directors turn up outside in chauffeur driven limousines. We have to ask yourself why we are giving our pension money to organisations which spend it on marble floors and chauffeurs.

NHS spent £313m on consultants

Million year old baby

Babies are millions of years old

Babies are millions of years old

While in America a few weeks ago I listened to the talk radio stations. Without exception the shows I listened to were hosted by fanatics who condemned their opponents as not only wrong but intentionally evil. On one side the U.S. Government were conniving with BP to enrich themselves while deliberately destroying the environment. Another side blamed the liberals for deliberately lying about climate change in order to destroy the American way and allow other countries to impinge on America sovereignty. The abortion debate is one of the most acrimonious. Fiendish liberals murder babies while tyrannical misogynists seek to inflict back street abortions on young women.

Over the years British politics seems to be becoming similar to that of America. (All this dull witted talk of “progressive politics” is an American import). Listening to LBC radio this morning one guy was claiming that the Tories are a party obsessed with making the rich richer while Labour are portrayed as wanting to destroy industry.

When one tries to argue (as reasonably as one can) against one of the extreme views one is immediately cast as representing the opposite extreme view. When I blogged about the gross incompetence of the New Labour government I was branded as a racist an a fascist. If I complain about the corruption of the corporate world I am branded a communist.

Let me explain something to all extremists: You are all TALKING BOLLOCKS!

Most argument are not straight black and white and most people are capable of understanding that both sides in most debates have valid arguments and that decisions must be taken which attempt to ameliorate the downside of both arguments while accentuating the good. So why do the politicians insist on playing these idiotic games of simplifying arguments to a level that only an imbecile would agree with?

Take the abortion debate for example. One side believes that life begins at conception and that it is always wrong to take life. The other side believes that a woman’s body is her own to do with as she wishes so if she wants an abortion she should have one.

Both are Talking Bollocks!

Firstly it is ridiculous to say that life begins at conception. A sperm is alive and an egg is alive. Life is a continuum. One unappreciated fact about the human race is that we are all one continuous stream of life going back thousands, if not, millions of years. Its amazing! It fantastic! Its a far bigger idea than a man with a beard who did everything and it means that a new born baby is a million years old! – Cool!

Listen to Unbroken Chain by the Grateful Dead which, I’m told, is inspired by this idea.

Secondly yes, a woman’s body is her own to do with as she wishes but at some point one has to realise that she is carrying a child. What are you going to do, allow abortion up to 1 minute before delivery? At this point the accusation is usually this is unfair as I am a man and therefore will never be put in this position. Sorry, I know it’s unfair but it’s  still true.

As I said, these are the two extremes but anyone with any intelligence can see that there is validity in both arguments and this is what I find so annoying: That the bellicose  imbeciles who insist on inflicting their bigoted opinions upon us refuse to even acknowledge the obvious truth in their opponents arguments. Yes life should be treated as sacred but yes a woman should have control of her own body so the law should probably be something like that which we have at the moment: Not “abortion on demand” but limited according to strict criteria.

Immigration is another debate where our politicians behave like hooligans. Yes, the United Kingdom is crowded and our resources are over stretched but no, it’s not true that we should  judge people by their race or religion. (Whatever race is supposed to mean – I thought there was only one race, the human race – I thought that most of your also worshipped the same God so I don’t know why you bicker about minor implementation differences). So when one politicians argues against immigration he is not necessarily a fascists and another argues in favour of immigration they are not necessarily hell bent on destroying British culture. My personal view is that the racists debate has become so stylised and dangerous that prejudice is rampant on both sides of the debate.

One reason I support the current coalition government (so far) is that it is trying to run more heterogeneous politics. It is OK to have opposing views on some issues while agreeing and proceeding on others. In the end every member of the House of Commons is allowed to vote on a bill so if enough MPs (Tory, Liberal or Labour) oppose the bill it wont get through.

What we require from politicians is an end to the mindless demonising of their opponents and reasoned, intelligent debate culminating in a vote where the decision is accepted by all.

Democracy, I think it’s called.