'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Friday, October 28, 2005

Whats nepotism Dad

What’s nepotism Dad?
Nigel said, as they drove to work in the Rolls.
No idea son.. that windscreen’s dirty … must remember to wipe it.
But Dad what’s nepotism?
Yeah well drop me a note and get your mother to type it.

I’m on the train to London and back. Virgin’s £297 fare has worked wonders and made sure that the First Class Macassar carriages are nice and empty enabling me to get on with a load of work un-hindered by the working classes… or the middle classes or the upper classes. In fact the only people in here at all are people like me (on expenses) and RailTrack and Virgin workers going between jobs. A note to the Simmering Hostility Police: so far so good; staff very pleasant of all ethnic minorities including 1 Cumbrian; communication skills are good if a little loud, as I seem to be sat under a loudspeaker and 2 seats away from an Italian (virgin staff man) explaining Italian house design to a fellow worker. I have nihil against the Latins you understand.
The reason for the ‘nepotism’ tag and the boiling over hostility forcing me to blog is the Department of Trade & Industry, in the shape of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). It’s not really the NDA in particular (they just happen to be the most contemporary manifestation of my experience of things done in the public interest). Actually it’s not really nepotism either - see later. The government (let’s not beat about the blair) sets a set of rules and measures which it believes deliver best value for money. Yeah … I know this is starting to sound like a previous blog – but stick with me on this one.. The DTI, it’s servant the NDA, sets the agenda regardless of location or situation. No favour should be shown to local business, incumbents, competition should be the word most used, European Rules, transparency. They introduce something called ‘socio-economic impact’. BUT this is too soft for the DTI buyers and their agents to understand.
So - what has driven me to this outpouring? The fact that despite 30 plus years of doing work for the previous agent of the government - before my company can now bid work for the current agents (same people different clothes) we have to ‘pre-qualify’. This means a shit load of extra work and questions like ‘how do you communicate with your workforce?’ … ‘what is the turnover of staff and labour in your organisation.. and how do you establish the training needs and practice continuous improvement?’
What this lot forget or don’t know is that most of Cumbria is related through blood or marriage or familiarity. It is impossible not to be nepotistic(?).
I was asked once ‘how do you discipline an employee?’. My answer was ‘When I go home I have a word with his mother/sister/aunt/gran’. My auditor, for a second, thought I was joking. I then asked him who is father was and was he one of the Wigton Johnstons?


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