Happy Hogmanay from the CEO of UK PLC

Dear Shareholder,

I hope you had a great Hogmanay, and have now forgotten New Year’s Day when sensible people sleep it all off.I wanted to write to you in the spirit of this great festival to tell you how your company has added to the joys of this old and formerly Scottish custom. I left it until today for obvious reasons. No-one wants a serious message from the boss on New Year’s day.

I have been stung by criticisms that the Board of UK PLC in recent years has been too narrowly Scottish, and aware that many of the joys of being Scottish could be more widely applied by changes to the company’s practise and policies. That is why we extended 24 hour drinking, hoping the idea of serious drinking at the time of change of year would spread more convincingly beyond Scotland. I think you will see just how well shareholders have responded to this thoughtful initiative.

I was also worried that shareholders in England did not seem to get enough time off to celebrate New Year in the way we always did in Scotland. The English seemed more hung up on the earlier seasonal festival of the 25th and 26th December. Despairing of weaning them off this, despite all our efforts with changing the language and banning Boxing Day hunts, we decided to just give everyone longer holidays instead.

Our plan to give most people two weeks off for the seasonal festival and New Year has worked well. We led the way from Parliament of course, where we ensured the MPs were sent away on 16th December, not to return before January 5th. We went for a longer period than two weeks, partly because MPs collectively are not very good at counting and sums. I am told some of them have broken the spirit of this by writing blogs and sending out press releases. They were meant to be leading by example, drinking more and doing less, so we will look into whether we can control these unwelcome work activities more. We must find ways to make them enjoy themselves, as we insist on all of you enjoying yourselves in Board election year. As I have often reminded you, the drinks will be on us for the next few moths, unless you use the rival company Conco. We will be advertising our wide range of benefits and income top ups so your glasses can be charged.

I was also keen that we should extend the Scottish winter weather to the rest of the UK. The snow bound homes and the all white on the night scenery are part of the magic of true Hogmanay. That was part of the reason I was so keen to save the world from a temperature rise. I hope you will forgive me from reminding you, but this has been one of the most astounding achievements of your comppany. It was literally as I finished speaking on how we could save the world that the big freeze up and the snow began. I think you will agree you never got this much snow and ice at this time of year when Conco were in charge. It’s a huge improvement. I see it as part of my climate equalisation policy, showing that what Scotland has England should have as well.

It was in that same spirit of generous sharing around the different parts of our company’s territory that led us to allow English shareholders to participate in the losses and activities of two great Scottish banks. Our decision to take over most of those institutions’ shares was the single biggest leap forward we made in our policy of record spending and borrowing. What has been little appreciated is just how it also advances fairness between the different regions of our company. If Scotland is just so much better at generating losses than England, it is a magnanimous gesture and part of our fairness policy to let England join in.

Some have said it is not fair that England has to pay more tax than Scotland to help pay for the company’s activities. They point out that more people proportionately are in paid employment outsde the company in England than in Scotland. I agree. That is why we have been pursuing monetary and economic policies designed to push up the unemployment rates in England, and to increase the numbers of people on UK PLC’s own books both sides of the Scottish border. We want to minimse the need to work for other employers throughout our area, not just in Scotland. We intend to make it as difficult as possible to employ people in the private sector. I think you will agree that that policy is working nicely as well. I am sorry if you still think too many people are in non UK PLC jobs in England. We are working hard on that issue all the time. Our latest bankers tax should get rid of some more of these unwanted jobs, to be followed by the new higher income tax which will stop some of them and drive others out of our territory for good.

Some silly forecasters wrongly said we would let prices fall and create a deflation. The Board’s vigorous action in boorrowing more and printing more will,I ensure you, push prices up at a livelier pace in this New Year. Just to make sure we have asked our railway subsidiaries to charge more for car parking and some journeys if you do go by train. We are sticking up VAT again which will help. Watch petrol prices. We aim to get these much higher over the course of the year, as they feed into all other prices. Our company slogan of “Never knowingly undepriced” will ensure that wherever we think prices are too low we will take corrective action.

So my advice is to sit back and pour yourself another favourite tipple. It’s on the hosue for the next four months. Given the winter conditions you can’t go anwhere easily, so forget all this work lark for a bit. Like the MPs, you deserve another holiday and I am going to make sure you have one.

Yours in snow

The CEO

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11 Comments

  1. Kevin Lohse
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Poor John. You’ve been Getting On With The Job because it’s the Right Thing To Do and the CEO is still upset with you. It must be your refusal to integrate fully with the CEO’s “Sotishness” sorry, Scottishness, “Hogmanay for all” policy, which of course was announced to the Press before Parliament was told, as is the CEO’s invariable wont.

    Thank you for your masterclasses in macroeconomics thoughout 2009. I have a much clearer understanding of just where Gordon’s Enronomics have led us. I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year, and join you in wishing Confusion to the CEO.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    !
    Many a true word…..

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Dear CEO,

    I hear that some of your staff are demanding that you step down before the General Meeting later this year. They have concluded that your company would be better placed to retain the franchise to run UK PLC if there were another CEO. As mere shareholders I recognise that we have no rights in determining just who should be the CEOs of the companies vying to run UK PLC. However, I do see some merit in your going. A change at the top in your company may well produce a more dynamic response from your main competitors who seem to think that whilst you are in charge they need do nothing but wait to take over. Indeed, since the CEOs of those organisations haven't exactly done much to further their own companies’ bids to take on the franchise, perhaps your replacement might quickly be followed by theirs. We can only hope.

    Yours, looking for true leadership but not seeing any,

    A Cold and Frustrated Shareholder

  4. James Matthews
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    "On the hosue" . Is this a new form of litigation for fun and profit?

  5. alan jutson
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought CEO with these holidays etc.

    Given that you had about 11-12 weeks off for Summer recess, and another 3 weeks for Christmas, why not suggest you just shut down from Christmas to Easter (all inclusive of course) all the staff could then dissapear to foreign parts, where the sun is, and save us a fortune on your heating bills.

    Would be doing your bit to help combat global warming, and you could boast lowering your carbon footprints etc at the same time.

  6. Simon D
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    If the Conservatives gain a working majority at the election I hope they will address the West Lothian question, which gives Scottish MPs special voting rights at meetings of UK Plc. First the planned electoral reform (reduce MPs to 600 and make all constituencies the same size) will be a small step to redress the anti-English bias. Secondly, the English must be given the same devolved rights as the Scottish and Welsh Assemblies either through their own parliament or by other means. 'Discrimination' is hugely unfashionable in 2010 and operates detrimentally towards the human rights of English shareholders.

    I would be interested to know what method people currently favour to deal with this problem.

  7. Demetrius
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Should I assume that this is your application to be Great Chieftain Of The Pudding Race?

  8. Bazman
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    See you, Redwood! What are your polices on social justice?

  9. Bazman
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Eat less and Drink more. You know you can afford it. I do like to celebrate the New Year in the New Year.

  10. Ex Liverpool rioter
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Poor "DC"
    So much Debt
    So many Off the balance sheet debts
    So many wars
    So little income

    "Bloody Torries"

    John
    "It" must "Happen" on Gordon's watch!

    Mike

  11. John Ward
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Dear CEO,
    I apologise for my tardiness in replying to your kind Holiday message, but I have only just been dug out of a snowdrift in Kent.
    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment about extending Public Servants' time off work, especially as the Board is looking to make my time off Public Service work of the more permanent variety.
    Given my future I feel you need not exhort me to quoff ever more freely of the fruits of Bacchus, I am way ahead of you!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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