Showing posts from January, 2012

Maybe RBS needs a different kind of boss?

So Roger Carr of the Confederation of British Industry thinks that when Stephen Hester failed to receive his bonus of nearly a million pounds the prospect of finding the best person to run a British bank next time we nationalise one was damaged. He said so in The Times.(Yes, I know. Paywall. Boo.)

"The chances of enticing others to take on difficult tasks of national importance have undoubtedly been jeopardised," wrote Carr.

Let's unpack that, shall we?

First, why does he believe it would be necessary to "entice" someone? What if, when a CEO left, everyone else at the bank moved up a slot in the hierarchy and someone from university were recruited for the job at the bottom of the rung? Is that just too silly as a theory? Or are chief executives of banks so solipsistically creative that you could never learn to do their jobs by watching them closely and talking to them about it five days out of seven? To assume not suggests that the wrong deputy has been recruit…

Why build a new airport in the Thames estuary when there's already one up for sale?

Politicians attempting to get elected like to razzle dazzle the voters with eye-catching proposals. Newt Gingrich is offering Americans a base on the moon. And London's own Boris Johnson has come up with, um, an idea for a new airport... But it's on an island, giving it overtones of Goldfinger (Gold Fingaaaahhhhh... With apologies to Shirley Bassey :-))

Anyway. I haven't had much respect for this idea since I saw Germaine Greer demolish the proposal on Question Time. She pointed out that the area the mayor wants is in the middle of one of the biggest bird protection areas in Europe and thatthe risk of bird strike makes it unworkable. You can't simply move birds because they don't speak English.

Slam dunk?

I'm not against the idea of more airports per se. For instance, I'm susceptible to the idea that in order to do business with China we need flights that go there. But it's not clear to me why we can't send these crucial flights from our existing ai…

Art on the Tube is bad news for small businesses

There are no longer any adverts as you go down the escalator at Bethnal Green tube station. What there is instead is this.

Now, I know there's a recession on and that advertising is therefore harder to come by than it has been. However, I'm deeply unimpressed by this and not just because it is described by TfL as "Art on the Tube". It's somebody's oeuvre. I'm not going to be rude about it.

Before this artwork appeared there were a series of A3-ish sized adverts in frames up and down the escalators. When I rang TfL to ask what had happened, this is the response I got: "The posters were a non-standard size for the advertising industry. Due to the constraints at the station the standard sized panels could not be installed."

I attempted to unpack this with Sylvia from the press office, since it was a little, shall we say, opaque. But it was apparent that she was reading an answer she'd received from someone else and wasn't able to explain wh…

Starbucks in embarrassing grammatical error

Horatio respects and admires the planet as much as the next seafarer. But really...

Anything you can count is FEWER. Not less.


And how would you get "more planet"? Build an extension?

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