Cash for Afghans – from the CEO

From CEO
To Shareholders

I told you Conco were a busted flush. The latest market research shows people are not going for their nonsense that we need to stop spending and borrowing so much. Thank heavens they are so stupid. We can win the Board elections after all.

Enough of these minor matters. As your company’s grand strategist I have my mind on bigger things. I have good news to announce this week.

We are currently having a strategy conference with our Afghanistan subsidiary managers. During this I am going to launch my latest initiative to spend and borrow more. We have come up with the idea of offering cash back or incentive payments to all those Afghans who have been trying to damage our company in recent months.

I think you will agree with me that we can’t go on as we have been doing. Managers have been attacked, and some Afghans seek to undermine our brand. So why not offer them money to be part of our team? That way we can expand our spending and borrowing further, and cement a new bloc of customers to our Afghan operation. Pretty shrewd, don’t you think?

This builds on the success we are having with our never knowingly underbribed approach to key customer groups closer to home. Our ever popular cash back benefit offers now affect around half the population. The huge take-up of these offers led us directly to the idea of simply printing the money, cutting out the middlemen involved in borrowing it. I know we dressed it up as borrowing to buy back borrowing, but it was really printing it.

We will also be having another conference on how to regulate banking operations. As you know, now we own two of the largest banks in our main territory it is all so much more straightforward. We just tell them how much they need to lend to UK PLC and they stump up the cash. It takes the waiting out of wanting, I find. However, there are still unenlightened parts of the world where the main companies have not bought their own banking subsidiaries. We need to be at the table to discuss what to do about this.

I think the best course of action is to design more taxes and regulations for everyone else’s banks. That way we might be able to bring them down to the levels of performance of our own banking subsidiaries, which will make it easier for us in managing our huge conglomerate.

I have heard some people criticise us for having banking subsidiaries that are larger than the rest of the company. I used to think they were wrong, but now I have some sympathy. So I am now putting my thinking cap on to how we can accelerate the size of the non banking bits to catch up. The answer, of course, is to bring more customers in through our cash back benefit offers, and to borrow and print more to finance all our growing activities.

Our message boffins have been working on what we should call this new offer. After our ever popular “Tax a Tory toff today” campaign, they are thinking along the lines of “Treat a terrorist today”. Is it just too much alliteration to put it altogether as “Tax a Tory toff to treat a terrorist today”? That might put the wind up Conco! Let our spin doctors know what you think.

It’s coming on a treat. Yours in clover, welcoming my new Afghan friends,



  1. Lola
    January 26, 2010

    Your post is very witty, but it's just not funny any more is it?

    1. Mike Stallard
      January 26, 2010

      Lola, I really want to disagree: I think this is a searchlight shining into a very dark recess! It is the way to understand very well what is going on. And, yes, I do agree that it is getting a little laboured (Ho Ho).
      For your delight, therefore, I am appending a sonnet in honour of our Saviour:

      “The Iron Chancellor,” you said,
      “Is what I plan to be.
      “With prudence as my handmaid,
      “Your money’s safe with me.”

      And then with trust established
      You spent and spent and spent
      Until the money disappeared
      And all your credit went.

      And now in desperation
      You watch your debits soar;
      Yet with decreasing income
      You promise billions more.

      A nail biting silly Scot,
      Otto von Bismarck you are not.

  2. Simon D
    January 26, 2010

    I am worried about the Company's general strategy. We are too dependent on our financial subsidiaries and too many people work at the Company's Head Office. The payroll is too large and the head count excessive.

    I would like to see a policy that promotes the growth of our manufacturing and agricultural subsidiaries. I keep looking in the newspapers for clues about this but I never see anything mentioned. Surely with such large on-balance sheet debt such a policy would be good for the Company. Selling things which the Company has grown or manufactured would help pay down its horrendous debt.

    I also think the Company Press/PR Department concentrates too much on spin and the Board spends too much time protecting its image at the expense of
    taking decisions about real issues affecting real goods and services.

    Fortunately there is a General Meeting on 6th May at which I can make my views known.

  3. Martin
    January 26, 2010

    You forgot to mention that the CEO is delighted to have received the Walter Ulbrecht Award for most progress towards a Police State and exceeding the GDR norms for surveillance in 2009.

    January 26, 2010

    You have neglected one of the main benefits of our hostile takeover of Afghan and Sons , control of their opium output -should be very useful in our dealings with China – it certainly was in the past!

  5. gac
    January 26, 2010

    I have just discovered that Climate Change is irreversible.

    It is time to take a Global Stance and lead the World in making it happen.

    Your CEO

  6. oldrightie
    January 26, 2010

    Since there is an office in Kabul that has been running slush payments for years this "initiative" will just reduce the number of middlemen. It might expedite the end of the conflict, however, by improving the weaponry purchasing power of the Taliban!

  7. Javelin
    January 26, 2010

    You are connecting the many aspects of Gordon's political approach. Perhaps what you're describing is "Brown-ism."

    The common thread of Gordon's tenure is to "regulate and spend". There is no problem that can't be fixed by introducing Government regulations and spending tax payers cash to implement them. Gordon can't do nothing. He has created the Government in his own self image – a micro-managing, interfering, controlling, Machievellian over Lord. Unaccountable, unelected and uncontrolled.

    What I would like is a return to nature – from this bloated heavy handed regulations. I believe savers and borrower want their risk profiles to be matched up. So that saving money into a high risk fund has high risks. Those who save money into low risk funds know their fund wont sink. Those who borrow money from low risk creditors expect their paybacks to remain stable. There is a natural state of affairs for savings and loans we need to return to it.

      January 26, 2010

      Well observed ,sir. Gordon can't do nothing- now there is a slogan that works on different levels. I like your thoughts on matching risk too.

  8. Stronghold Barricade
    January 26, 2010

    All very well, but maybe we can have a piece where Mr Redwood has opposed these measures

  9. A Griffin
    January 26, 2010

    I loved it, thanks.

  10. DBC Reed
    January 26, 2010

    Plenty of people on this site have called for bribing the Afghans to behave themselves.And why on Earth not? All those political pensioners in India were how we kept the peace.We need more Rajification of this situation not neo-Con absurdity.

  11. Demetrius
    January 26, 2010

    Rebrand the company as "Muggers R Us".

    January 26, 2010

    If our proposal of 2005 – repeated ad nauseum since, including on this site – we would have licensed all the farmers to sell us their opium for medical purposes and been paying them legitimately.
    So many ways to skin a cat – especially one as wiley as the Afghan!

    John – with the Chilcot Enquiry producing so much of interest this week – and with the testimony of the former AG and PM coming up this week – how about your thoughts with an opportunity for our own contribution?

    We Essex Boys promise not to compromise the site's legal position but we would like to suggest some specific matters that we think Sir John and his team can legitimately raise to explore alternative possible motives to 'I did what I thought was right'.

    We'd be surprised if many of your regular contributors do not want to do the same now that THIS enquiry does seem to be getting crucial information into the public arena at long last.

    Incidentally it was so good to see Malcolm Rivkind being interviewed on Sky and BBC today. We tend to put him in the Redwood stable of mature warhorses ready to be given their heads and a long strong gallop!

    1. DBC Reed
      January 27, 2010

      @Essex Boys,
      The Senlis Council ,an international organisation which puts forward a Poppy for Medicine programme, similar to their proposals, has complained that weed-killer has been sprayed on opium poppy fields in Afghanistan which are under Allies'control. I ask you. Do members of the ruling-class realise that they come to be despised because they did n't see the Credit Crunch coming,don't know how to deal with it,conspired to declare an illegal war in Iraq and have been caught fiddling their parliamentary expenses,but most of all because ,despite their arrogant self-importance, they are ,self-evidently, dead thick.

  13. Ex Liverpool rioter
    January 26, 2010


    The BIG question is will the Shadow banking system come to Gordon's aid……or will it happen on "his watch" after all?

    "They" will want "DC" to be onside for them, they will not have much more use for Gordon…….thus i assume the "Event" will happen, say mid Feb?………….Gordon Gone by the end of Feb…….Labour drop in "HH" till May then head to exit counting all the money they raped from the public purse?


  14. Adam Collyer
    January 27, 2010

    Dear CEO

    This certainly has been a trying few days. Despite your very best efforts, the economy has grown by 0.1% in the last quarter. This will of course make it even more difficult to continue achieving your worthy targets of increasing borrowing as a percentage of GDP.

    We just need to make sure the growth doesn't continue. I suggest that anyone wishing to buy something made in Britain should require a permit. That might discourage this unwelcome economic growth. The more spending we can direct towards imports, the more our GDP will fall.

    Surely it is time to buy some more Chinese-made army uniforms for our troops?

    A Concerned Shareholder

  15. DBC Reed
    January 29, 2010

    This John Redwood site is the business. I called for bank nationalisation on here ( not altogether seriously to be quite honest) and the next minute it is government policy.Similarly, I suggested wholesale bribery of the Afghans and that has come about. The strike rate of this site is prodigious ,although not always for proposals from our gracious host,who though I am an LVT supporting leftie who also believes in Resale Price Maintenance
    I have always found the soul of courtesy.

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