Wednesday, 11 November 2009

My new job

It seems an age since I spoke to you all. But an active age it has certainly been. My new company is already making giant strides and my active involvement with Google Business is helping to promote a truly amazing product and also providing an excellent additional emolument. These things make life at Morebath so much more acceptable. Of course I miss the cut and thrust of County Hall, but Roger Kershaw always keeps me posted. I will be celebrating my success with a party here at South Warmore. Everyone is welcome. Details to follow shortly. Meantime sit back and enjoy the show. Admirers say that grey hair simply adds to my charm.

If you like what you see please give me a call: 07885 499667

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Big D

You know the old saying - one door closes and another door opens. In my case two doors have now slammed shut. Susie packed her bags and left me to rattle around in this wonderful Morebath house all alone (the girls fled the nest long ago) I can understand her feelings. The last few years have taken their toll. She said she needed space. I certainly need height. Where will it all end? The legal vultures are already gathering. I anxiously await the naming of a correspondent. Breaking contracts can be costly. That is why Somerset will be permanently stuck with SouthWest One. But hard times breed strength. I have been up against the wall before and triumphed. Watch this space

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Uber Alles

I am delighted to post this new film which proves the success of SAP

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

My Wake

I know it is short notice, but I really do want to see you all there on Friday afternoon. There will be speeches, of course. (Roger K has already called me several times to glean some special reminiscences) There will be laughter. Perhaps a few tears. But definitely some tea. And maybe a few dainties on the side. I always was keen to have a little something on the side. Come and join me. 2pm til 4pm. Your chance to shake me by the hand. My chance to look you in the chest.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Tour de Farce

My admiration for Mark Cavendish grows at every stage of this year's exciting Tour. Our home-grown, four-star sprinter has triumphed against the wheels of the world and defied all the odds. He is a personal hero and a beacon of excellence. We share an intensely competitive spirit and an ascerbic attitude to stupid and intrusive press questions. Mark prefers the physical approach with journalists. I have recently relied on hired bullies. But life in the fast lane of cycling and local government takes its toll. Today I have taken the courageous decision to leave my post and pursue a stimulating new career. It may mean travelling back to my roots in the North West where the family business now beckons. The moment I made the anouncement at County Hall spontaneous messages of goodwill flooded in. I was touched and moved by the kind words of the many. Not to mention the gifts. What warm spirited and wonderful people I have nurtured. You know who you are. Together we have taken Somerset far beyond excellence and breached new barriers. My legacy will be the wonderful computer operating systems that are about to transform all our lives. Long live SouthWest One.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Don't blame the software

I apologise to any passing dog walkers, ramblers or visitors expecting a quiet Sunday afternoon in Morebath when the peace of the day was disturbed by four hours of anguished shouting. I may have allowed my temper to get the better of me in the tension of the Wimbledon finals and, when roused, I can make John McEnroe sound like a timid mouse.
It was a passionate performance by our SAPman, Andy Roddick, but when it comes to the game no player, however talented, can lean on the sponsor and expect miracles. We all knew there would be difficulties transforming this average American volleyer into a world class global entity. That is why he warranted a special build. Much of the training has since gone well and a Roddick HelpDesk was instituted to iron out specific problems. SAP command believed in Andy's determination to go for green. But it was the man who let us down. Only by a whisker. But whiskers count in tennis. There is only one winner. That's why Morebath heard me yell.

Friday, 3 July 2009

A Brave Man Needs Help

Lord Hanningfield, the imaginative and innovative Leader of Essex County Council, is currently under investigation by Scotland Yard for - allegedly - overcharging a few measy thousand pounds a year on his Parliamentary expenses. This is cruel victimisation of a real power-house in the realm of local government. It is claimed that he spent a lot of money on overnight trips to London when he lives just 46 miles outside the city and has the benefit of a chauffeur-driven car. These appalling stories are without foundation. Big H (as we know him) works his fingers to the bone, and many other parts besides, on behalf of the people of Essex. His Lordship has earned my praise for his brave espousal of IBM. He is a tribune among Leaders and richly deserves better than a knock on the door late at night from men in plain clothes - unless they happen to be invited! I suggest you go to his blog right away and show your support for the good things he has instituted. I am in no doubt that the Met will ask a few questions and decide that he is the most innocent of men. Should my prediction be in any way incorrect I have already offered my noble friend the services of an excellent lawyer who can pull his considerable weight in these circumstances.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Anyone for Tennis?

I fear that it is no more than institutional nationalism driving the fans of Andy Murray. One can appreciate a certain degree of pride in the success of this gangly Scot, but for pure brilliance I am still staking my belief in Andy Roddick's chances. Yes, he is American. But what's wrong with that. IBM is also American and IBM delivers the most excellent scoring solutions to the All England Club. To demonstrate their efficacy I invite you to click this link . See what I mean? In one simple click those experts at IBM manage to misdirect you. But don't be disappointed. At least IBM has managed to produce a one-dimensional tennis game for Wimbledon fans who can't get the real thing. The strange thing is that IBM tennis players don't use rackets, they hit the ball with their head. This may account for many things. Anyway, back to Andy Roddick. The other winning factor in Roddick's sporting pedigree is his determination to back winners and be backed by them. That is why Andy wears the SAP logo with such obvious pride. Give it your all in the next few days, Rodders, and show the doubters what we're really made of. And don't roget to send your invoice in nice and early early so that SAP can deal with it efficiently.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Double Bonus

Not one, but TWO glowing red accolades to Somerset for the installation of SAP! My good friends at IBM assure me that "double-red" is the ultimate benchmark. Personally I think we should all be aiming for the future and a splendid quadruplicate.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Eady does it

I like a man in a wig, especially if he makes sensible decisions. Mr Justice Eady's reputation has just rocketed far beyond excellence in my estimation. In a ruling that will be viewed by many bloggers as a breach of their privacy the good judge has decided to allow a gale of fresh air to gust through the blogosphere. It will no longer be sufficient to assert that the internet is a place where anonymity can thrive. In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of a police officer who is the author of the NightJack blog. The officer, Richard Horton, 45, a detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary, had sought an injunction to stop The Times from revealing his name. In April Mr Horton was awarded the Orwell Prize for political writing, but the judges were unaware that he was using information about cases, some involving sex offences, that could be traced back to genuine prosecutions. Detective Constable Horton has now, rightly, been exposed. I intend to vigorously follow this important legal precedent and run the perpetrator of the weekly and obviously fake "ProperGander" blog to ground for his (or her) damnable cheek in pretending to be me. There is only one Official Alan Jones.

Saturday, 13 June 2009


When I called in the new Leader designate, Ken Maddock, last Monday it was always my intention to make his odyssey from opposition to power as stressless as possible. It is not easy to take on the reins of office after so long as a mere onlooker. I gave him some home truths and warned him of the difficulties ahead. I was struck by his innocent expression and winning smile. It was at this point in our conversation that I made a small but very generous offer. "Why not move into my offce, Ken. You will need the space for meetings. Politics must be consensual. But a Chief Executive merely makes up his mind and acts alone." Ken readily accepted and I have already located a bijou bolt-hole elsewhere in County Hall where I will continue to guide us all towards the goals of still greater excellence.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Morebath-to-Brighton Race

The challenge is irresistable! A road race from the lovely village of Morebath (just over the Devon border) all the way to the fair southern seaside city of Brighton. I intend to ride from the start and be up with the best at the finish. I offer generous sponsorship to those who are prepared to join me. The race must be completed by June 24th - conveniently timed to coincide with the close of entries for Brighton's new Chief Executive.Come on boys and girls. Brighton is the acknowledged national home of gender reassignment and by the time I have pedalled a few miles it is a working certainty that my excellent toned torso will already have been permanently reassigned - without the need of surgery.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Philosophy and politics

I have long been an ardent follower of the thoughts and beliefs that made Edmund Burke such a singular politician. My musings this week in Proper Gander were written before the election results came in. Now that the people have decided, I can allow myself some more Burkeian reflections. Indeed, when the new Council Leader meets me on Monday, I intend to offer my unswerving loyalty to his cause and quote my mentor yet again. He once wrote: "You can never plan the future by the past" How true this is and how much it has been my inner call-to-arms since I arrived in Somerset in 2003. I have sought to innovate with originality and flair. I have won for Somerset the glittering accolades that previously eluded them. I have secured partnerships, changed minds and introduced adventurous thinking. I am, just like Edmund Burke, a true creative. Yes, I have been detracted. Yes, I have sometimes erred. But I would defend my record against all critics. And I urge Ken Maddock to leave well alone and ignore the only quotation by which Edmund Burke is always remembered: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Make a date with me

Are you busy at 3pm on Thursday June 25th - I know I am!

  • Case Study Session - Effective Recruitment, Strong Communities, Better Business - Local Employment Partnerships Around the UK

  • Tackling local employment and welfare issues through partnerships
    The need for community-based solutions

  • Making local and multi-area agreements work - reviewing and improving private, public and third sector links

  • Somerset County Council - the trailblazer for LEP's

  • The role of welfare and referral staff in moving individuals into training and skills

  • Assisting the long term unemployed and those receiving disability incapacity benefits

  • Setting and achieving local improvement targets - committing a talented workforce

  • Releasing the skills potential of all local residents - maintaining a vibrant economy

  • Improving access and opportunities to work through the personalisation of service provision

It is good to know that my most excellent private conference services continue to be in great demand. My power points are legendary. Please direct any future requests to my agent

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Thanks Paul!

Councillor Paul Buchanan and I have not always seen eye to eye on every issue, but his words in the Council chamber today brought a lump to my throat. I was moved and flattered by his rich praise for the efforts I have made to effect change in Somerset. I was struck by the appreciation he showed and the respect for his colleagues. I only wish that the wider world had been afforded the chance to hear him speak. I will continue to regard him as a real friend. He will be sorely missed after June 4th.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

No appointments please

Everyone needs a break. In my case it has been very well earned. So from June until September you can rule me right out of the Somerset County Council diary. No meetings, thank you very much. No earnest get-togethers around the water-cooler. No tittle-tattle with the girls. It isn't over, so they say, until the strong-boned lady ushers in an aria. Just expect to see a lot less of me in the weeks to come. And don't jump to conclusions.

Friday, 15 May 2009

I'm watching you

Every election leaflet is now being carefully scrutinised by my legal team to ensure that ALL candidates avoid ALL mention of ANY problems connected with SAP or SouthWest One. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Thanks Meic!

What a diligent man he is. And what a snappy dresser. Thanks to Meic Sullivan-Gould and his trusty txt I was able to learn all the latest from the non-event that took place this week at the Holiday Inn. So nice to see a firm hand in control of the Adjudication Panel. And so nice to know that the accused's loathsome tittle-tattle will now fail to be aired in public. Meic kept me informed throughout. He is well worth the huge fee that Somerset is paying him to look after my interests. I suggest he orders an extra pie.....and a necktie!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

We have the answers

In these testing times it is important, nay vital, to be able to access correct information swiftly. That is why I have been driving forward the exciting new Somerset Google search engine. Somerset Google is now the first port of call for any facts that have eluded you about the real activities inside County Hall and local government in our area. We also carry crucial links to the police. So whatever your inquiry, anything from the risks of swine flu to one-off legal settlements to members of staff departing in unusual circumstances, just click the logo - you will not find anything of substance (because I have deliberately removed anything incriminating!)

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Into Denial

Sometimes the most effective method of dealing with ugly rumour is to ignore it. Often the matter can be defused by personal denial. But the sure-fire, one-hundred per cent, copper-bottomed secret weapon to use in extremis is to call in the services of the wife. You don't even have to give her the whole story. In fact you don't even have to consult her at all. I have found that one letter signed, ostensibly, by my long suffering spouse renders many false criticisms completely harmless. I - sorry She - writes to the superior of whoever has called my activities into question. I - sorry She - will have a tear in the eye and a metaphorical quiver in the voice. How can they refuse the entreaties of an honest woman? Of course they can't. One missive sent from Mrs J's e-mail and the job's a good 'un ! Usually. (But not always)

Monday, 27 April 2009

Improving the Mind...... is key and I thoroughly recommend the journey! The vibrancy I witnessed in Slovakia speaks eloquently of this nation's true ambitions. It may seem a far-away place, and some of the names (like the lovely Miss Bratislava, Katarina Prikazska - pictured on my trusty camera -with other Miss World contestants) may be hard to get one's tongue around, but I certainly gave it a try during down-time at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The conference was a huge success. The welcome from everyone was genuine and open-hearted. I will return to bring ideas which have now matured in Somerset to my wider world audience. The best is yet to come.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Nom de guerre?

Recognise it? The architecture is a bit of a giveaway. Taunton's old workhouse looked exactly what it was. Until, that is, we at Somerset County Council took it over and softened its image with a subtle change of name. The grey and forbidding workhouse was rebranded by Somerset County Council as a "Public Assistance Institution". Suddenly it seemed like a worthwhile place of light and hope rather than the stark paupers' dumping ground which, in fact, it still was. What the heck. Image matters. Words carry power. I applaud rebranding. Such brainwaves are still happening. That is why we now call SAP a great success.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Between a Rorke and a hard place

History was kind to Lieutenant Chard VC. Probably too kind. He didn't live happily ever after. That is the price we heroes have to pay. Tonight in Chart Beauchamp the feather-headed numbskulls who claim to be protecting us all from malpractise and wrongdoing among elected councillors let everyone down. Instead of convicting the loathsome Paul Buchanan for his consistent outbursts of rudeness and vulgarity the useless Adjudication panel let the felon go free. I have rarely witnessed such a miscarriage of justice. In fact I was unable to witness it in person but Cathy Bakewell sent me endless panic-stricken Blackberry messages as the afternoon progressed. The loathsome Buchanan is now hell-bent on having my scalp (what is left of it ). Wishful thinking. His early study of theology and philosophy should have taught one essential lesson: people like me never give in. And some people, surely, do like me....... Don't they?

Friday, 27 March 2009

Hatch Beauchamp

This feature, about the lovely village of Hatch Beauchamp was scheduled to appear in today's "ProperGander"

Those of us fortunate enough to have studied Somerset's rich history will know of the valour of Lieutenant John Rouse Merlot Chard of the Royal Engineers. One hundred and thirty years ago he was left in command of 150 brave British soldiers at Rorke's Drift. His opponents were 4000 zulus. Outnumbered ten to one Chard fought on bravely. His mortal remains are buried at the fine little church in Hatch Beauchamp. All who know the area that still bears his name will understand why the name Chard is synonymous with courage. Chard South is political home to the very able leader of our County, Jill Shortland. For Jill and her predecessor Cathy Bakewell it has taken Rorke's Drift-style determination to face the enemy this week at a brutal battle of words in Hatch Beauchamp itself. Dear Cathy suffered insult and verbal bruising at the hands of a cornered reprobate in a hearing that is still unfinished. She showed the mettle of the Chard breed, however, and kept me informed via her trusty Council Blackberry of all the blood-curdling developments taking place in that most attractive of venues - the splendid Farthings Hotel. A strange place for a trial, you may think. But life is strange. If only Blackberry had been available to Lieutenant John Rouse Merlot Chard. As the 'last man standing' it is always my difficult duty to bear the weight of responsibility for prosecuting such actions. I stand by everything I did in taking on what my name-sake Corporal Jones would have called the rebel "fuzzy-wuzzy" from Chard North. Lieutenant Rouse earned the VC. I am sure that when the full transcripts of these hearings are available my efforts will also deserve intense scrutiny and public recognition of some kind.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Ouch its Crouch!

The man on the left supposedly penned these words. He takes my dictation very well indeed. Readers will recognise the style:

"I would guess that very few of us would have recognised how important the financial 'system' is to us in life. Yes, of course, we understood its financial relevance, whether in trade, in investment, in borrowing or whatever, but I bet there weren't many of us who realised how much the financial sector served as the bedrock to things not quite so financially driven, which included our whole social system. The conclusion that everyone seems to have come to is that the World's financial 'system' is broken, but the question is how many other 'systems' that rely on this financial bedrock are also broken? Take local government as an example. We have exactly the same problem as the man or woman in the high street, in that there are expectations placed upon us which are well above what can be afforded within the present 'system'. A lesson from the economic recession has been that our citizens' high standard of living was a sham and completely unaffordable as they relied too much on borrowing and not enough on good old fashioned Victorian values of spending only what was earned and nothing more. The trouble is that the same is true in local government and we know full well that within the present 'system' of delivering local government the finances available to it wont be nearly enough. So, as with the financial sector, if the money isn't available to furnish the current 'system' then it is the 'system' itself which must change and many councils, thank goodness, are already contemplating this. One of these changes has to be a step change in the way we conduct our business and even with all the good work we've done on multi-agency working, partnerships etc, there is still one fundamental flaw which is that we, as a sector, continue to be too organisationally centric, when we need to be far more place centric, community centric or even citizen centric. And the trouble is, all of our internal 'systems', whether they are financial, ICT or employment based are light years behind where we will need to be to achieve the type of extra-organisational flexibility we will soon need. There is much to be done!"

Thanks Richard. I couldn't have put it better myself

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Well Done Sue!

My very good friend and much maligned colleague Sue Barnes - who helped us come to such a fantastic financial arrangement with IBM and SouthWest One has just picked up a prestigious award. She earned it for hard work in the County of Buckinghamshire on similar strategic projects. I have no doubt at all that it was well earned, and I have no doubt at all that Sue will be the recipient of other awards when the success of SouthWest One is more widely recognised. Her husband, Colin, would avow to the huge effort she put in. It is extremely fortunate that Colin takes a close interest in these matters. Somerset can be proud of them both.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Left-wing lackeys

As everyone knows I am, above all, a fair-minded and decent individual. I always play by the rules and defend those who have been subjected to intimidation. That is why I resent the campaign being waged on the left of politics to undermine people like me in our quest to ensure level playing fields in the workplace. For we cannot allow blatent breaches of data protection laws in the name of union representation. That would be wrong. When the union man named in this article was caught out by my loyal lieutenants we treated his case in the same impartial manner that all such miscreants should expect. We did not hurry to pass judgement upon him. Instead we suspended the man deliberately and delayed his trial for four months in order to allow hot tempers to cool and common sense to prevail. His full displinary hearing was conducted in accordance with the rules and the decision of that hearing will be announced shortly. These wicked Fleet Street hacks describe such action as "blacklisting". This is nonsense. Any suggestion that delays were instituted to instill fear among staff is ridiculous. Those who spread such rumours can expect justified harsh punsishment.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Three weeks and counting......

Everything is going SO well! As you can see the new SAP system is already on target for complete installation. The links to Warwick are coming on a treat and all that remains is for me to persuade Ministers that Warwickshire should be part of Somerset so that my original promise that SouthWestOne would provide local jobs for local people can be realised. I am on the case. The arrival of the nice young men from Bangalore to assist with training has also encouraged my dedicated team to think outside the box. There are indeed many boxes outside of which to think. I am confident that we will show those idiots in Parliament how excellent we are

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Tremendous news from the Audit Commission! Somerset has at last gone way beyond excellence and achieved five stars. You can see them displayed in the photograph taken outside County Hall. Do not be disturbed by the men in white coats on the left hand side of the photograph. They were simply on hand to keep the staff in order. I don't know how the Viking warrior got into the picture (he is wearing a horse blanket and carrying a pole) I believe he may be a senior IBM executive. I have commissioned a film to celebrate this wonderful event. All staff were invited to participate. The late Peter Sellers would have been proud. I know you will all enjoy it. Sit back and watch my loyal team forming a star for the cameras.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Spike Jones

A few days ago, when I attended that most important conference in London about transformational change, a young man in nerdy glasses who said he was from Computer Weekly canvassed my professional opinion about the progress of SouthWest One. I was bullish, but not brash. It is never good to brag even if bragging seems the appropriate reaction. I told the man - and I watched his biro scribble my comments into his notebook - that SouthWest One was definitely going to succeed even if, as yet, its customer base was small. I referred to the "spike" - a sum of money extracted from potential new clients to allow them to join us in this most exclusive joint venture club. It is not a derogatory term. The spike is the traditional iron fastening for railway tracks. It may be a humble hero of the industrial revolution but it has become a small cash fee for membership of the international digital society. The spike may have deterred some clients but I confidently predict that as soon as the new dawn of IBM's SAP computer solution begins to prove SouthWest One's mission on April Ist the clients will be flooding our way. Mark my words.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Professor Bananas

Willem Buiter is wheeled out ad nauseam by supposedly impartial tv companies whenever an "expert" on the UK financial system is required to make a half dead story stand up. So it was last week, when the talkative Professor appeared on Channel 4 News to tell its gullible audience that Somerset was unlikely to get any money back after our intelligent investments in Iceland. Buiter is a charlatan, a trickster and a foreigner to boot. He masquerades as a Professor. He knows nothing. My own team of financially astute experts calculated all the risks and are still convinced that not only will the money return to Taunton intact, it will also have been enhanced by the excellent and generous arrangements we were able to achieve. I have instructed the County's legal locum to write to Buiter in the strongest possible terms.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Up the Summit

Tomorrow promises to be a very fruitful day. I like the buzz on the breakfast train to London - familiar faces from industry and commerce; useful contact with the right people; a decent breakfast and - when we arrive at Paddington - just a gentle stroll to the Royal Lancaster Hotel. As someone who has reached the summit in Somerset I relish the opportunity of passing my wealth of experience down to others less fortunate and also to spot new peaks for my next ascent. This Public Sector Summit is bound to be special, coming as it does midst the gloom of a recession. But am I gloomy? No way. Positivity is the only way to climb. Excellence was yesterday. Beyond it are pinnacles of unimaginable splendour. I am on my way.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Robinson's Golly!

Steve Robinson and I are old friends and I am utterly delighted to see that he is emulating my excellent example by performing two jobs at once. He was recently hired as Chief Executive of the new Cheshire Unitary authority, but will carry on as Chief Executive of Stoke on Trent City Council until a suitably able replacement can be found. Good on him. Incidentally the pay deal for his successor is likely to be close on £200,000 a year - that well beats Gordon Brown's salary! Stoke is currently an aspiring three-star council. They will certainly need a four-star personality to lift them even higher. Which reminds me - must give Steve a ring this week.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

See You in Court

I am following the High Court hearings against Christine Laird, Cheltenham's former Chief Executive, with great interest. Ms Laird is being sued by her former employers for £750,000. Cheltenham claims she falsified her CV in order to get the job - some people in County Hall Taunton have muttered darkly about my qualifications too, but as anyone at the Universities of Kent and Liverpool will avow my Masters degrees are totally correct. And Plymouth University will confirm I am still a familiar face among the qualified expert staff there. In Cheltenham, however, the council is also angry at the amount of time Ms Laird took off (on full pay of course) when relationships between her and the council's ruling Liberal Democrats reached a low ebb. In fact Ms Laird was brave enough to report more than a score of allegations against the Council leader to the Standards Board. It takes true grit for a Chief Executive to face up to a politician and I should know. Stress is a real and enduring condition for we men and women at the top. It deserves proper recompense. I am therefore throwing my weight behind the raven-haired Ms Laird. I believe that Chief Executives forced out of office by small minded politicians deserve every penny they can extract. Good on her and she is welcome on my team at any stage. I have already consulted her on the advisability of Cheltenham joining the super soaraway success story that is SouthWest One. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The legacy of Nicholas Chauvin

There are several important things to remember about Napoleon. He was diminutive but had huge ambitions and a libido to match. Those who liken me to the great emperor are flatterers. He also went bald when young. But in the practise of warfare it was one of his officers who surpassed him - Nicholas Chauvin. Chauvin was so devoted to his country that he may have damaged Napoleon's chances of victory. This was the point I was trying to make in my comments to the Local Government Chronicle last week. I referred to the "instituional chauvinists" of Devon and Cornwall who have, so foolishly, chosen to reject the growing empire of SouthWest One on the grounds of seeking to keep local jobs for local people. What blinkered fools they are. Just like the institutional terrorists who lurk within our great organisations. In this new year I intend to campaign against all these accursed "ists" - the psychiatrists, protagonists, pragmatists, reflexologists, therapists, timpanists, materialists, sentimentalists, dermatologists and institutionalists. You have been warned.