Tuesday 25 October 2016

Muddle, muddle, tolls will double…

“Oh, no, … damn it, … oh NO! … John, look, when we put the numbers through the high minded principle prism of science, the tolls review numbers come out almost double!  How are we going to get THAT past the Members?”

“Where? Do you mean the tolls review you did all by yourself but let the navigation chairman share a byline? Show me, … ah yes, … ooops!”

“Well, what are we going to do? I can’t face the Members of the Authority and tell them that my carefully orchestrated tolls review to outshine all tolls reviews is a complete flop and a waste of everyone’s time!”

“No, you certainly can’t do that. It doesn’t really matter so much what the stakeholders think - that’s mostly irrelevant - it’s the members who make you Chair, and you can never admit you’re wrong to them. Time to deploy the Pikeman algorithm #1, I think.”

“Which one’s that John? You have so many nefarious methods ..."

“Don’t be ridiculous, Granny. There aren’t that many - and most of them derive from this one in any case. I’m just going to dress this one up a little more than I usually do, using the power of social media. That’ll impress the Members.”

“Step 1. We write a report for navigation committee, make the report wordy and pack it with numbers and appendices and thoughtful little details about the process, how hard key members of staff worked and a special little mention for a member or two.”

“Step 2. Give the EDP an exclusive press release about the amazing results of your AMAZING  tolls review which is wordy with lots of appendices and based on a scientific method of producing exactly the outcome you've decided on. Members will be too loyal to want to embarrass you or me in public, and we’re half way there.”

“Then, step 3. I’ll pretend to go out to consultation with the general public on social media. The real aim will be to pitch private boat owners against the hire boat industry and see what gives. The Blessed Forum is as good a place as any and we might come across a friendly face or two on there so it doesn’t look too bad. The Forum kicks our arse, but that won’t matter.”

“Step 4, we put it to navigation committee.  The usual suspect will make a fuss, but there’s enough bodies from the Toil Review Gang who won’t want to see months of turning up to pointless meetings go to waste AND admit to it being a waste. We tell the members we engaged on social media, don’t tell them we got our arses kicked, we do tell them how lovely and engaging we were online and how hard the team worked behind the scenes to get the show on the road. With special thanks to key team members, that always goes down well. Before you know it, the collective fear of failure will drive them to approve the outcome of the tolls review.”

“Step 5, this is the final step and easiest of all. We tell Authority Members how hard the Toil Review Gang worked, how hard the team worked, how engaging we were on social media and how this has all been such a great team effort and how the navigation committee has given it their blessing and honestly, what do members know about navigation, really, that should all be delegated to navigation committee who know what they are doing AND cue Dick Billson with an amiable remark about how hire boat operators can buy private boat owners a round of drinks with their savings and BAM! Bob’s your uncle, you’re the Granny and I’m laughing all the way to Why Hill.”

“Oh John”, giggled Granny, “do you ever get tired of being such a wizard? I know you promised that I’d be able to afford my own 40ft gin palace by the time I’m done on the Authority, but I didn’t know you’d make all the private boat owners sell up so soon.”

“For you, my queen, anything.  Which gives me an idea … shall we commission a reed throne for you? The Silted Rivers, Lost Moorings and Bogs project has just enough money in it for one of those.”

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