‘The Blog’

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‘The Blog’ is a collection of takes on management, politics and life in general, with regular posts to feed the soul.  Some posts will have a point – the point of some posts is to make you think.

After spending many years as a management consultant, stealing people’s watches to tell them the time, my intention is to have fun, cause mischief, entertain and above all inform. Consultant and writer by day, raconteur and stand-up by night, there is something for everyone. Click on the tabs to find out about me and the services offered. If you are offended easily, don’t complain, don’t come back – unless you have shedloads of money, in which case I’ll do my best to accomodate you – even I have to eat!

Andrew

CARD

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Investment Chapter

WikiLeaks releases today the “Investment Chapter” from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014).

The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: “The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.”

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.

Reminding the world that 1984 is a User Manual and not a novel.

https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/

All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson

 

Chic Geek Gets Political

The ChicGeek got political, this month, as he launched his campaign to be elected the chicest Member of Parliament in the forthcoming General Election. As the style leader of the Ginger Party, he will taking his role as the UK’s foremost men’s blogger to the home of democracy aiming to educated that scruffy lot in the details of male style.

Check out TheChicGeek kissing babies, standing on his soapbox and flying his poster all town in #VOTEGEEK. Plus see his trip to the BAFTAs, why we should all aspire to copy Calvin Harris, his honest reviews of all the latest grooming products, plus much more.

All rights reserved © 2015 Source: http://thechicgeek.co.uk/

A King’s Speech, A Pauper’s Lesson

It has been a wonderful week. I’ve been given the all clear, got myself a nightclub booking in London on Saturday and I have a tryst next Wednesday. So tonight I’m just chilling. And what better way than sat watching the Oscar proclaimed King’s Speech. You know it is such an inspiring film on many levels. It sent me off in search of an article I read some time ago. I’ve reproduced it below.

lessons-from-the-kings-speechIn a world where people start judging someone by what the person wears, how she behaves and how he talks, imagine the plight of a person with speech impairment. His problem is even more complex if he is the King of the country. This movie has some inspiring moments, some of which are discussed below.

1. Perseverance - The movie shows what a person can achieve with Perseverance. The more and more the protagonist King George VI practices the right way of speech, the more confident he becomes. The more that he learns and practices the right speech methods, the more he unlearns the methods that are not good for him. There’s so much that can be learned from this single aspect of the movie.

The Lesson
: It reiterates, in a compelling manner, the age-old saying “Try, try, try – until you succeed.”

2. Support - The protagonist’s wife is his sole pillar of strength. Her unconditional support and faith in her husband is inspiring. The wife’s acts and gestures clearly show what faith and support can do to a person. When you lose faith in your very self, and someone else relentlessly works towards reinstating that confidence in you, it changes your world for ever, for the better. If the protagonist did not have the support that he received from his better half, he might not have turned into what he went on to become, given that he was already devastated and low on self-confidence.

The Lesson
: When you are on the brink of giving up by virtue of losing faith in yourself, the faith another person has in you can turnaround your life. It can re-kindle your confidence, it can give you the energy to fight back with vigor, and it can do some many more things that you might never have thought you could do.

3. Unconditional Love – This is a tad related to the above point, but still worth a mention.  Where his very own sibling and peers would make a joke of the protagonist, here came a woman into his life who remains by him at every crucial moment of his life. That, someone can do, only from the seat of unconditional love – love that has no formalities, no clauses and no rules.

The Lesson: You don’t have to be related by blood to love unconditionally. Love is love – it has no set parameters or boundaries.

4. Self-fulfilling prophecies – The protagonist, somewhere at the age of five, faces situations that go on to make him speech impaired. As he grows, he makes himself believe that his speech difficulties cannot be cured. And that’s the very belief he holds every time he meets a new doctor. The movie is a great example of how self fulfilling prophecies can destroy a man. And when those self fulfilling prophecies are your own thoughts, something needs to be done immediately. And when the protagonist realizes that his speech impairment is more in his mind than a fact, he comes out victorious.

The Lesson: Your thoughts can either make you or break you. If you believe you can’t do it, you won’t and if you believe you can do it, you will.

All rights reserved © 2015 Source: https://randomwisdomblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/lessons-from-the-movie-the-kings-speech/

When We Are Young

When we are young age has no meaning
I never gave it a second thought
until one day along came this old man
and this is what he said to me
and this is what he said to me

I know what it is to be young
but you, you don’t know what it is to be old
someday, you’ll be saying the same thing
time takes away so the story is told

I’ve asked so many questions
to the wise men I’ve met
couldn’t find all the answers
no one has as yet.
There’ll be days to remember
full of laughter and tears
after summer, comes winter and so go the years
So my friend..
let’s make music together
I’ll play the old while you sing me the new
In time when your young days are over
there’ll be some one sharing their time with you

I know what it is to be young
but you, you don’t know what it is to be old

So my friend..
lets make music together
I’ll play the old while you sing me the new
In time when your young days are over
there’ll be some one sharing their time with you

there’ll be some one sharing their time with you

ORSON WELLES

The Chocolate Budget

Budget day approaches and MPs continue to line their own pockets by increasing per capita expenditure on mental health issues, not to give Prime Mentalist Cameron an unfair advantage, a spokesperson insists.  The real story though continues to be the increasing likelihood of a return to the Chocolate Standard. A wide range of lenders from the big boys at the worlds’ favourite money launderers, Ping Pong Banking Corporation, through to giro day loan companies are raging at the prospect that negative inflation will mean them paying interest to people who have borrowed from them.

A RosesGovernor of the Bank of England, Mark Carnage, acted swifty to allay fears, bringing the wisdom of a foreign education to explain that since 1694 when God’s appointed financial adviser on earth, the English monarch, begat the Bank of England, we have been worshipping at the altar of year on year growth. The new negative interest payments were simply two sides of the same coin and the Royal Mint are actively considering a two-faced coin, the double-header, made from recycled chocolate. Before you rush down to your local Wonka’s Outlet Store issuance will be dependent on the introduction of the Chocolate Standard.

Barrat Holmes, of We Flog Any Garage, notes, “A meagre £1,000,000 mortgage based on 3.5% APR could mean payments of £5,000 a month. But if the APR becomes -3.5% the bank has to pay £5,000 a month to you. So the more you borrow from them, the more they have to pay you.” Straightforward? Well, no not until there is a universal Chocolate Standard, as no-one wants worthless fiat currency – remember the Curly Wurly?. The Swiss Toblerone continues to be the choice of both the Chinese and the Russians. Both produce inferior chocolate bars and until recently were heavily leveraged in Herpes Bars.

Indeed, one cheerful debtor told us, “I’m quids in, I’m going to take out as many pay day loans as I can. And if I don’t pay back the capital then they have to pay me penalties. If there’s no chocolate, I’ll take pre-decimalisaion Toffos.”

Within London’s square mile many financial institutions are thought to be keeping a stiff upper lip. “Brown lips tell no lies”, said a spokespersonfor PPBC, assuring us that the bank had plenty of reserves to cover the unexpected payments but the Herpes Bar wrappers strewn around Canary Warf told a different story.

“Don’t worry. We’ll just take it out of old people’s savings accounts. They can suck but they can’t chew” He explained. Can we really expect a return to 2008 when pensioners queued day and night to suck on a length of Northern Rock? Will our denture less pensioners really find chocolate easier to swallow? We will find out on Wednesday or will we? Despite threats of criminal action against against lickers and hoarders we hear that Minstrels are flying off the shelves. Like an ISA they have a worthless outer shell but the same goods are on the inside, allbeit at a premium. Their practicality, mobility and ease of storage make them the preferred under the radar purchase.

Known as ‘little bitches’ or sovereigns, Minstrels are the choice of bankers around the world, who are known to swap hands at ninety-nine when indulging. “Wall’s have ears, I found one in my ninety nine once but my tip to the plebs is to do the opposite to the crowd, no cream eggs for me, what’s Easter?”, said Baron Redshield.

cucumberA case of suck it and see. Meanwhile Britains premier parasitic pensioner has no such financial woes as the family firm, founded in 1066, is guaranteed to endorse your choccy bars soon with a brand new effigy.

“With a succession of new Chairmen lined up through until the turn of the century only an oubreak of common sense will halt this Greco-German brand,” said Russel Bland.

 

All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson

Comedy in a Nutshell

Well yours truly, along with ten thousand others, has been asked to contribute to an opinion piece for a university comedy website. They have a list of some commonly asked questions. Well here’s how it went.

Interviewer: Lewis Calvert, Liverpool John Moores University

calvert

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Interviewee: Andrew Hutchinson aka ‘Bobby Nitro

What is it like for women in comedy?

Ask me after the op.

How do you write a joke?

Sow a seed. It might be a quote, a piece of graffiti, a smell, a jotting. Then wait, wait a while longer and prepare to go and mow a meadow.

What do you do if nobody laughs?

Laugh at them. If it was a free gig, they got their money’s worth. If it wasn’t, laugh louder.

Have you ever pulled at a gig?

No comment.

Have you ever dated a fellow comic?

No.

Is comedy the new rock and roll? (quoted)

Yes and I’m the new Leonard Cohen (not).

How do you get gigs?

Luck and knowing that luck is when hard work meets opportunity.

Should you drink on stage? (Jonny Vegas, does it effect humour?)

Yes if you’re thirsty but don’t drink and drive. You spill it.

Are rape jokes ever funny? (ched Evans)

Only if they’re about fictional paedophile prophets.

Are any subjects taboo? (the N word, Reggie D Hunter?)

No but let’s get a bit of perspective. I am there to offend and through that entertain, not to abuse. People have shitty lives. They want to enjoy the night, as you should. You can go all weird, arty farty and Picasso once you’ve proved that you can draw, paint, act, perform, entertain. To start out thinking that to piss people off is an art form is narcissistic is to be a nut job.

Is the BBC right to have at least one woman on panel shows? (manford criticism of making it public)

I reckon so, yeah.

Does the way you dress effect the audience reaction?  

Of course it does. It’s about relatability. Be that to their lives or your projected character.

How do you deal with hecklers?

Heckle louder.

Why should people support alternative comedy?

For the same reason that they grow flowers.

Is musical comedy cheating if songs aren’t original?

No because art is an assault on all of your senses. Hearing is but one sense.

What if your parents disapprove of comedy?

Ask Mr Freud.

Are northern comics better than southern comics? (northern comedy looked down upon)

I reckon, no, dunno. Ballocks. I’m from Rochdale where men are men and sheep are frightened.

Does comedy have performance enhancing drugs (weed / alcohol)?

Only when gigs are at 4-20pm, followed by Happy Hour.

Does comedy conflict with your job?

Life conflicts with my job.

What is it like balancing comedy and a family?

I don’t know. I love children but I couldn’t eat a whole one.

Does comedy pay well?

For some. Not for me. Might be because I’m shit. Sorry about the self-defecating humour.

Are comedians more prone to mental health issues and does it help? (bipolar and Robin Williams death)

I believe people with mental health issues are more prone to comedy. Comedians and artists are some of the loneliest, self-destructive people on the planet. If you enjoy what they produce, take the time to appreciate the humiliation and vulnerability that made them.

Is comedy an art form?

Yes, and comedians are part of my clan: the mavericks, the vagabonds, the mad scientists, the gypsies, the theatre people, the artists, the musicians, the deviants, the radicals, the outsiders and you.

Are comedians over 40 not funny? (as Frankie Boyle said)

I don’t see why not but we’re back to relatability. What life experience do you have prancing about at uni pretending to be a fucking tree? I’ve lived, I’ve messed with Special Branch, now that’s part of a big tree BUT if I stand in front an audience of freshers telling tit and bum jokes at an age when the only stand-up I do withour Viagra is comedy it ain’t working.

What is it like for a promoter?

Tough, hardwork. You pound the streets, get knocked back, pound again. Fix up a gig, sort out the acts and find out that half of comedians are good eggs, half have egos the size of Belgium and half can’t do fractions.

All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson

Friggin’ Foragers

Supermarkets accross middle England are in turmoil, not at the prospect of EU withdrawal but goose stepping ancient foraging laws more ancient than the Royal and Ancient and more akin to the middle ages than middle England. Do they mean that supermarkets are unable to legally charge for fruit, meat or vegetables on the proviso that they could have been picked, dug up or hunted in Britain?

A spokesman for the National Association of Friggin’ Foragers told us “Most of our members do spend a lot of in woods, up lanes and generally getting lost but it’s comforting to know that on occasions that they can’t be bothered or it’s raining, all the loose unpackaged products in supermarkets can still be legally foraged for free. As long as they carry a wicker basket and only pick up food they plan to eat that evening.”

William Bracey-Norris known locally as ‘Foraging Noris’ had just left Samesbury’s and remarked, “I’ve just foraged berries, potatoes and a joint of pork, all free as I could have picked it myself in the countryside. If I hadn’t also had to pay £140 for a baguette and a newspaper, I’d have been quids in.”

A spokesperson for supermarket giant Polska Express explained that the company would still expect to be making a profit charging for their best selling chopped and shaped chicken derivative miscellaneous shapes and bear ham. “What do you expect for 99p, a organic raised, Cheltenham Gold Cup winning, two foreign holidays a year thorough bred? Retard”. Karol Wotzamakallitz went on to say that his parents always told him to watch what he ate and now he understands the importance of watching the Grand National as a family.

All rights reserved © 2015 Andrew Hutchinson

2015 Election Debate to be held on Porn Hub

STOP PRESS – LATE BREAKING NEWS

sootyPrime Mentalist David Cameron has confirmed today that he will not be attending any televised pre-election debates unless famous glove puppet Sooty is included.

Mr Cameron has said, “All national parties and Sooty must be represented at the live debates – which were first introduced for the 2010 general election – they set a prescedent for puppets being centre stage.”

 

The Groinian and Daily Torygraph have announced that they are teaming up with online skin flick vendor Porn Hub, to host an online leader’s debate  ahead of the General election on May 7th.

A spokesman for the three media outlets explained, “People are bored of stagnant debate and lame party political broadcasts on BBB and CTV. Even that Skyblue lot are getting a bit fully clothed and samey. What happened topless darts? Here there’s a load of pricks, people need is to be able to weigh up the finer points of each relevant candidate’s beliefs, trustworthiness and all round political sophistication whilst simultaneously having a sneaky wank.”

debateOne voter we spoke to welcomed the news, “It’s about time politics got a bit more naughty. It’ll give any promises of an in out referendum a new meaning though”.

Deputy Prime Mentalist Nick Clegg was already growing a moustache, complaining about the heat and stripping off to the sound of a 1970s style wah wah guitar when we spoke to him.

“I’ll go into coalition with anyone. And I mean anyone.  I’m so filthy. I’m just sitting here wearing only my pants waiting for a senior coalition partner. One that’ll boss me about and treat me like the naughty tuition fee raising little politician that I am. Yeah.”, he noted.

In a rare display of cross party agreement, Prime Mentalist David Cameron has promised to stop playing hard to get and has also voiced his support for the proposals.

“It’ll take us back to the good old days when our MPs were always getting caught wearing ladies underwear with an orange stuck in their mouths. We didn’t need a coalition then. It must be the way forward.”

I loved the 80s, when the Tories had the MFI problem – one loose screw and your cabinet fell apart.

All rights reserved © 2015 Inspired by: News Toad

Why I’m joining Equity

And all other comedians should too, says Paul Ricketts

Comedians (me especially), love to moan – in cars, onstage, backstage, on Twitter & Facebook, Chortle and most recently at meetings.

pr_paul_ricketts

I hope most working stand-ups will have heard about the newly formed UK Comedy Guild which came into being after a series of meetings held in London – mostly initiated by the issue of late payments by Jongleurs.

The frustration by felt by some comics at Equity’s response to this issue indirectly led to an invitation for a comedians’ delegation to meet with Equity bigwigs. At these meetings both the delegation and Equity quickly realised that things need to change.

As a result, I’m not only going to join, but also ask other comedy performers to do the same.

champagneAfter these meetings I’m now confident that finally comics can have the effective, professional and expert unionised representation to campaign and negotiate on pay and conditions, which can change the industry for the better at all levels. And while the nascent UK Comedy Guild will be a welcome watchdog overlooking and representing all parts of the comedy industry, only Equity wishes to solely represent all comedy performers (from sketch to improv, alternative to new alternative, clowns to musical comics) working in all the different circuits, venues and media.

This is a new start, but if we want Equity to take us seriously then we need to show that we take it seriously too. The aim is in the near future that comics will feel that Equity membership is a badge of professionalism – much like musicians in Musician’s Union and actors in erm… Equity.

But will things change?

Already Equity has given the chance for comics to have a new, distinctive voice within the union by offering us the opportunity to form a Comedians’ Network, and an allocated Equity official to work with us.

Further meetings are planned with the comedian’s delegation and Equity officials have also offered, through the UK Comedy Guild, to come to a general meeting to answer comedy performers’ concerns.

More changes have been offered such as the formation of a comedians’ branch (removing us from being under ‘Variety’ branch of Equity), plus the possible future recruitment of a new dedicated comedy official.

But none of these things will happen unless loads of comedy performers choose to join (or re-join) Equity. I’m mainly preaching here to those comic performers who make (or part make) their living in the industry, but open spots shouldn’t think that joining Equity won’t be of use. If they want to graduate into regular paid work and already have evidence of earnings in excess of £500 from comedy (up to six email scans/screen grabs will do), then membership is an investment in their future.

In short, the more members we have, the more Equity can do for us!

What does Equity offer? Click here for the full details, but in brief it’s protection from unfair treatment from managements, employers, agents or bookers, insurance, free legal services and tax and welfare support. And it can offer collective representation in disputes with employers, thereby minimising the risk of comics being ‘blacklisted’, as well as campaigning for better pay and conditions across the industry.

I know that for some comics unionisation conjures up images of obstreperous ‘I’m Alright Jack’ leaders asking workers for ‘a show of hands’ in factory car parks. But I’m not asking you to join Equity to ‘break the balls of the bosses’. I know that the stationary and even reduced performing fees that currently exist are understandable during an eight-year recession.

What I want in the future is a flourishing and successful comedy industry and a professional body to represent and ensure that performers get their fair rewards in a growing multi-million pound business.

But as I said before we need lots of new members to make this achievable aim possible. So that’s why I’m joining Equity and asking you to do so too.

Click here to join Equity; and once you’ve joined please email UK Comedy Guild with your name and conformation that you’re an Equity member: comedianscollective@gmail.com

All rights reserved © 2015 Source: Chortle

Politics is a Changing …

Since the 2005 election, Westminster has changed. The traditions, the green benches, and the antiquated language remain, but politics is now digital, fast-moving, and relentless. The new reality still includes a few certainties, as demonstrated by the Government’s recent announcement on cigarette packaging. Here are 12 things to think about when you’re following an issue:

  1. A big development may be slipped in under the radar… For example at 8pm, during a Wednesday evening Adjournment Debate
  2. News will be broken on Twitter – after all, everything happens on Twitter first now
  3. The opposition’s first response will be tweeted, long before they manage to put out a press statement (47 minutes, in this case)
  4. In the rush to report breaking news first, not every outlet will get their facts straight
  5. The debate will be cross-media, with comments made on the radio ending up on TV and online
  6. Politicians will take the argument out of the chamber… and even away from party politics (sometimes)
  7. Stakeholders will have their say, even if the press ignores them
  8. The media will get excited about whatever Nigel Farage says
  9. Social media makes it easier to turn armchair opposition into action
  10. An announcement of Government intent is rarely the end of the story, thanks to troublesome backbenchers
  11. In the meantime, parliamentarians will not wait patiently. Instead, they will table written or oral questions and bring it up in debates
  12. And while everyone waits for the Government to act, recalcitrant backbenchers will keep up the opposition.

All rights reserved © 2015 Source: WikiGuido