Updated: 29/11/2002; 7:47:34 AM.
Victor Echo Zulu
A city slicker moves to the bush

Wednesday, 27 February 2002

Com' on, preach it now - "Opposition stops short of demanding Barrie's resignation" triumphs ABC newsreaders across the nation.

The Federal Opposition says Admiral Chris Barrie has severely compromised his position as the head of the Defence Force after admitting evidence he gave to a Senate inquiry was wrong.

Shadow Defence spokesman Senator Chris Evans said Admiral Barrie's blunder is the result of political pressure being placed on the defence forces.

He stopped short of calling for Admiral Barrie's resignation, but says he should be embarrassed.

Admiral Barrie says sworn evidence he have gave to a Senate committee investigating the children overboard affair was wrong.

5:23:35 PM    Comments ()  

I love Dvorak - Actually I have never met the man, but anyone who hates the clueless Cluetrain as much as I do has to be worth knowing - right?

I remember when I was first introduced to Cluetrain. I thought to myself - "what a load of rot." Since I was in the company of people I respected, who seemed to be sold, signed and ready to move to the commune, I decided to keep my observations to myself.

Today I would not be so shy.

Cluetrain is clueless. There is nothing worth two beans in the entire "manifesto" (air quotes intended).

I resent that they call them theses. That implies thought, argument and research have gone into their construction.

I resent that there are 95 of them. That attempts to put them in commonality with, and draw credibility from, the writings of Martin Luther.

I resent that there is a noxious odor of mystique promoted by those who think they have read the Cluetrain Manifest and assume, because it is a book, that it is worth citing. Yet for the most part, they - and the readers of Stephen Hawkins book A Brief History of Time - actually haven't read any more than the title page.

I also resent that the 100+ line blog entry I wrote 17 days ago was lost when my browser quit, and I now look like I'm leaping on Dvorak's bandwagon, when it could have looked like he was jumping on mine.

I hope that the authors made a lot of money out of selling their book - because people who did buy it deserve to be parted with their money.

5:02:20 PM    Comments ()  

The gift - I forgot to mention the gift! Usually at these events a t-shirt is handed out as the mandatory piece of take home collateral. But this time we were given a blanket!

That's right - a blanket!

Perhaps it's a metaphor for the company wanting to get into bed with the partners or visa versa... Anyway it was given out mid morning when the air-conditioning was at it's coldest :-)

8:18:22 AM    Comments ()  

Seminars - I used to run seminars for a living. Seminar marketing is a very powerful, though frightfully popular, form of marketing. I attended one yesterday in Melbourne. The same seminar is being held in Sydney on Thursday.

So why did I go to Melbourne you ask?

Good question - there wasn't one scheduled for Sydney when I made my decision to attend. In fact there wasn't one scheduled for Sydney until last week. Apparently the outcry from the "poor partners" in Sydney was so great that the company decided to oblige.

Now I  thought that the seminar was important enough to attend on it's merits - and invest the airfare and transfer expenses, not to mention having to rise at 4:45 am. Does this mean that the Sydney folk didn't see as much value in it as I did?

Don't know...

Anyway this one was pretty mediocre. Same old, same old. In fact it's the same message I've been hearing form this company for the last twelve years now. The formula remains unchanged -

  • welcome
  • we love you
  • the future looks shaky but we're confident
  • we [the company] will shape the world
  • sorry we [the company and it's wonderful partners] will shape the world
  • dob in any software cheats you know
  • here is some nice food
  • here is the next version of our software
  • here is something I brought from the lab
  • commit to us
  • we do love you, you know...

The air conditioning was set to "freeze all living matter" and the event start time wasn't spelled out. There was a choice of American schedule (8:00am start) or European schedule (9:30am start). I enquired and was told "European" yet it actually started at 8:30am...

8:12:57 AM    Comments ()  

Simon Crean is a very smart man - Ever since being elected as leader of the Federal Labor Party, Simon Crean has been delivering the goods. He has walked the talk and talked up the walk. He is here, he is there he is seemingly everywhere.

"...when he marries virtue and self-interest it is a powerful combination..."

What impresses me is the way he is always on the attack. Always ready with a new angle on a fading issue, always ready to start off a new issue. Always ready to thrust - and so far not having to parry.

[It's ok - the cliches will shortly end]

In a great opinion piece, Glenn Milne, outlines the Opposition Leaders leadership in the public outcry against the Governor-General. His assessment is that Crean had the political insight into the situation and it's necessary course, whereas the Prime Minister did not.

After listening to the Opposition Leader's constitutional case against Peter Hollingworth, Howard asked: "I suppose your resolve is to get him to resign?"

"No, John," Crean responded. "My resolve is that he won't resign."

Howard was taken aback, the flicker in his eye betraying the fact that, at that moment, the Prime Minister realised the only way out of this crisis might be for him to sack the Governor-General.

Crean had already met with the Governor General and had formulated his opinion. Howard had not. The meeting with Howard was again at Crean's instigation. Setting the agenda.

Milne continues

But the quality of Crean's behaviour during this crisis has run deeper than that. Crean has managed almost seamlessly to marry politics, propriety and process.

Contrary to government opinion, Crean does not seem to be flogging a political pony on this one. He seems to genuinely be concerned at the public outcomes on this issue. Now I am not so doe-eyed that I think Crean incapable of scoring political points - not so - but when he marries virtue and self-interest it is a powerful combination.

Crean again took the initiative in telephoning Hollingworth, suggesting that he publicly answer the allegations as early as December 8th. Communication flowed back and forth and a face to face meeting was set up.

I was privately wondering, and it's a good thing to wonder, at the gall, that's right, of Crean in fronting up to Yarralumla and telling Hollingworth that he should resign - but having read this piece by Milne, it seems that Crean went about building a relationship with Hollingworth over a few weeks so that he had a platform to make his suggestions.

Milne closes with these lines:

The Opposition Leader's position was impregnable. He had behaved impeccably both constitutionally and personally. His dealings with Hollingworth and Howard had been open and proper, and he weighed, in a considered manner, his initial compassion for Hollingworth against the growing weight of evidence against him.

This was the week Simon Crean first looked like an alternate prime minister.

Crean is a fine leader.

I welcome the coming Senate inquiry into the "Howard is a liar" allegations, and can't wait to follow Crean's handling of the issues. It will be much better than Survivor - although the stakes [and ratings] may well be as high!

8:00:36 AM    Comments ()  

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