Big Bang Birthday Blues
PublishedMarch 28, 2012 CategoryBertie in Business

Big Bang Birthday Blues

To celebrate the first anniversary of Big Bang in the City of London, BBC’s Money Box, via Vincent Duggleby, commissioned a Bertie Ramsbottom Birthday Ode. To the rhythm of ‘A Cornish Floral Dance.’
Read on air by Ralph Windle.

Big Bang One, so the papers say,
Hit the old Square Mile just a year today.
But the real Big Bang, if you’ve heard the news,
Means our little Big Bang merely lit the fuse.
We’d iced the cake, for a birthday do,
When the tick-tock-ticker in the Big Bang blew. Continue Reading »
Business Memoranda
PublishedMarch 27, 2012 CategoryBertie in Business

Business Memoranda

When the Things from Outer-Spaces
Over-run the human races
And are sieving through the traces
Of the ruins which replace us;

Should they come across, at random,
Any business memorandum,
Do not fear! Nil desperandum!
They could never understand ’em.

For executival grammar
Would suggest a panorama
Where the writer’s tried to slam a
Piece of paper with a hammer!

Even Martians lack computers
So conceivably astute as
To decipher these polluters
Of our literary futures.

For the way the writer fidgets
With his syntax and his digits
Is enough to blow the widgets
Of the trans-galactic midgets.

Continue Reading »
The Job Description
Published CategoryBertie in Business

The Job Description

I trod, where fools alone may tread,
Who speak what’s better left unsaid,
The day I asked the boss his view
On what I was supposed to do;
For, after two years in the task,
I thought it only right to ask,
In case I’d got it badly wrong
‘Ad-hoc’ing as I went along.

He raised his desultory eyes
And made no effort to disguise
That, what had caused my sudden whim,
Had equally occurred to him;
And thus did we embark upon
Our classic corporate contretemps,
To separate the fact from fiction,
Bedevilling my job-description.

Continue Reading »
The Dreaming Spires PLC
PublishedMarch 25, 2012 CategoryBertie in Business

The Dreaming Spires PLC

Domine illuminatio mea,
Look favourably on this our prayer.

Let these poor souls, in statu pupillari,
Become not too inquisitive nor starry-
Eyed, nor radical, nor witty,
But help them lust for riches in the City;
Wherewith, by covenant or charter,
They may endow their grateful Alma Mater.

Temper their yearnings to be wise
With visionary calls to Enterprise;
And exorcise all ghosts of shame or sin
At ventures of this dubious kind we’re in.

A thousand years on, we commit to Thee
The relaunched Oxford Inc and PLC.

Continue Reading »
We Won’t Know Where We’re Going Till We’re There
The Times they are a-Changing,
But not the old taboos
On asking where they’re going,
Or what it’s for, and whose.

We’ve been M.B.O.’d and Down-Sized,
We’ve been T.Q.M.’d, Divested;
Re-Structured, Dis-Invested.
Kept up with all the ‘ologies’,
Each ‘Go-for-Change’ idea;
Read every trendy guru’s book
And business panacea;
Consorted with consultants,
Bought their ‘this-should-fix-it’ isms,
Gone round and round the circuits
Of computing cataclysms.

The Times they are a-Changing,
But not the old taboos
On asking where they’re going,
And who will get to choose.

Continue Reading »
The Bottom Line
PublishedMarch 9, 2012 CategoryBertie in Business

The Bottom Line

The Business true-believer’s Shrine
Is something called ‘The Bottom Line’;
All Great Religions need their Sign,
Some symbol of the Most Divine.

Until the Audit-Priests have read
Its mystic runes, as Black or Red,
Our futures, and the Chairman’s head,
All hang, suspended from this thread.

Though heretics may think it thick
That mighty Corporations tick
For little, but a line of slick
Accountancy arithmetic;
We – typist, labourer and boss –
All worship at its Omphalos,
And pray the magic lines may cross
At PROFIT oftener than LOSS.

Continue Reading »
Public Privateers
PublishedJune 3, 2011 CategoryBertie in Business

Public Privateers

It seems that virtue has, of late,
Not seven deadly sins but eight
To vanquish and eliminate
    In search of heaven’s nectar;
The most pernicious on the list,
Our Guardians of the Good insist,
Is one the moralists had missed –
    The evil Public Sector!
But none, more wickedly than this,
Brings virtue to the great abyss,
And poisons with its vampire kiss,
    Our economic vitals;
Nor prompts the Righteous and the Wise
To exorcise the Evil Eyes,
With fervent cries of ‘privatise’
    At gung-ho hymn recitals. Continue Reading »
Wall Street Blues (1987)
Nineteen Eighty Two to Seven.
Wall Street on a high-to-Heaven.
Five long years of Market Bull,
Gravity clean out of pull.

Brokers pushing buy and borrow,
Making like there’s no tomorrow;
Just one long celestial caper,
Hyping assets made of paper.

Five years on, and celebrating
Wall Street’s way with levitating.
August’s Ain’t-It-Such-A-Fun-Day,
Turns to Black-October-Monday.

Space Ship Bull becomes a Bear-
Of-Even-Smaller-Brain; but where
Have all our market-makers flown?
Sure weren’t answering the phone.

So back to market push-and-pull,
Bullish-bear or bearish-bull.

Continue Reading »
Lady on the Board (1983)
A Board Room is a kind of den
Wholly redolent of men,
Which women mainly get to see
When bringing in the lunch or tea;
But one or two, I would applaud,
Have brought a Lady on the Board,
Either out of great acumen
Or as their ‘statutory woman’.

Either way, the eye detects
Unexpected side effects,
Which tend to make the Board Room rock
To massive metabolic shock,
And leave the gentlemen regretting
A problem of their own begetting.

For here the chauvinistic mind
Seems inescapably inclined
To place, in two main categories,
The ladies central to their worries;
Disparaging, behind their backs,
Their ‘bomb-shell’ or their ‘battle-axe’.

Continue Reading »
The House That Jack Built

Here’s a taster from 1982  which collapses time between then and an equally uncaring now.

Where are the hands that made the wheel
That turned the lathe and shaped the steel,
And helped a thriving nation feel
Proud of the house that Jack built?

Where are the brains that led the West,
Industrialised before the rest,
And made us feel that Britain’s best,
Because of the house that Jack built.

Where are the girls and where the boys,
With buoyant step and eager poise,
The promise of our future joys,
Here in the house that Jack built?

Continue Reading »