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 Advisors. Good and God Help Us

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Priscilla
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Priscilla

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PostSubject: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 16:19

I learned young to be wary of advice from friends which  could be spiteful or leading one down a doom laden track. In History advisors have played crucial roles. I have liked playing the 'eminence gris' role on occasion but it must  be used with very  great care. Let's give advisors the full Monty Res Hist once over jere...… and not only the very bad English ones... there must be others.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 17:01

Priscilla, don't take "me" as adviser, if you don't want to end on the wrong track...if I may advise you...

Kind regards from Paul, born during WWII and never been in the Indian subcontinent in his life...

PS: Gandhi a good adviser?
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 17:13

Gandhi was a leader not an advisor - and I rather suspect he didn't take advice from anyone, either. Of course he  did advise people on how to make their opinion count through peaceful means

Being older than you, Paul ,of course I would not take advice from you if you have the wrong track in mind. Actually wrong tracks are sometimes better than the conventional ones. I have a small problem with conventional.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 17:59

@Priscilla wrote:
Gandhi was a leader not an advisor - and I rather suspect he didn't take advice from anyone, either. Of course he  did advise people on how to make their opinion count through peaceful means

Being older than you, Paul ,of course I would not take advice from you if you have the wrong track in mind. Actually wrong tracks are sometimes better than the conventional ones. I have a small problem with conventional.

Priscilla, thanks for the immediate reply. I was a bit absent from the computer as the granddaughter was talking to us from Zurich via I-pad with Face time...

Unconventional you said. No problem...in my old fashioned way from just after WWII, perhaps also an itsy bitsy unconventional in some "domains"...and certainly accustomed to the unconventional...as the whole family of my father's side is that way...

As usual kind regards from Paul.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 25 Apr 2020, 12:50

Rasputin is trending on Twitter. Not a thread about the Russian chap, or the Boney M song, but about our very own Dominic Cummings. They're calling him Rasputin now -  apparently because our Dom has been attending the SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group For Emergencies) meetings and could be "interpreting" the science to suit himself. Now would he do that?!

But is calling Cummings the UK's Rasputin unfair to the latter? Didn't the Russian occasionally give some good advice to the Tsar? It's a pity posters from outside the UK would not have seen Brexit: The Uncivil War - superb bit of drama in which Cummings, the mastermind behind Brexit,  was played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Brilliant Eccentric or Evil Genius?


Advisors. Good and God Help Us 0_JS191462561




Advisors. Good and God Help Us Rasputin-big-photos-2-crop
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 25 Apr 2020, 15:16

Francois Leclerc du Tremblay, confidant of Cardinal Richelieu, thanks to his grey Capuchin robes, the original eminence grise:

Advisors. Good and God Help Us 800px-G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Eminence_grise_1873
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 25 Apr 2020, 15:18

CWS should do his version of that one!
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 25 Apr 2020, 15:21

He certainly should!!!!
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 30 May 2020, 13:33

Yesterday some of us got a bit carried away over on the Spoof Art thread: a lively discussion of Cold War Steve's satires on the UK government - notably the doings of Dominic Cummings, Islington's  very own Tiresias, and his boss, Boris Johnson - took off. But as Cummings is an adviser, this is the more appropriate thread for our musings. I have MM's permission to reproduce part of a very interesting reply he gave to Priscilla. Perhaps the moment is past and we should, as the UK Prime Minister has urged us, "move on" from the topic  of Mr Cummings' recent odyssey, those peripatetic motorings which ended in a birthday idyll amongst the lovely bluebells in the woods near Barnard Castle. However, as one wit put it last night on a superb edition of Have I Got News For You: "We can't move on: you've told us we've got to stay put!"



MM wrote:
@Priscilla wrote:
To what end do you reckon all this scurrilous talent is to be directed?


I'm wondering about that too. In Johnson's case it doesn't seem to be out of any sense of public duty for the betterment of the country and its people as he doesn't seem to actually want to do the job: critical meetings skipped, deadlines missed, holidays taken when crises loom, PMQ only reluctantly attended, important briefings to the nation delegated to others, and by his own words "doesn't work weekends", and, as at yesterday's health briefing, just bluster, distraction and confusion, sacrificing people's health for the short-term benefit of deflecting scrutiny. I suspect what Johnson originally wanted was the badge, the title and honours of being PM - a bit like wanting to be head boy, or winning an Oxford debate - especially when his old university chum, Cameron, had already achieved it and secured his place in the history books. It's probably all just a game for him, boosted by the underlying arrogance and sense of privileged entitlement of someone who has never had to do any actual work to get where he is ... yet still believes he is somehow destined for the role, however incompetent he might actually be. But I really don't know. I certainly wouldn't want to be in his position, even if there weren't a pandemic, massive unemployment looming and the country facing the sort of social and financial difficulties that rarely occur outside of major wars. Maybe Johnson actually doesn't want the position now either ... but it was his choice and the rough times are a necessary part of the job. But at the end of the day Johnson is very wealthy in his own right so could quite happily live without ever working again ... and so, unlike the rest of us, he will not be particularly inconvenienced by any fallout resulting from his disastrous and incompetent (in)action.

As to what (or who - where is that report about illegal Russian influence in the 2016 referendum?) Cummings is working for ... well who can say? I don't think he actually shares much Tory ideology (he's not a Conservative Party member) but I doubt that really bothers him. I suspect for Cummings it's an interesting, intellectual exercise to see whether he really can subvert democratic process and deliver whatever result is asked of him. He seems to have no morals (in Temp's meaning of the word), no scruples and few limits. He too is wealthy (and his wife is genuine upper crust being the daughter of a baronet) but I don't think the prime driving force is just the acquisition of yet more money. Does anyone really know what's driving them? ... And that in itself is worrying.

On a side note, I see that Cumming's son - whose welfare was so important that it might yet bring down a government - is autistic. I wonder if Dominic is the same? It might explain some things - and I most certainly do not mean that pejoratively.


The bit I have highlighted really got me thinking, especially when followed by the mention of autism. What indeed does drive these people? What is the desired "end" for them? Do they themselves know, or is it something buried in their unconscious? Other words mentioned over on the Art thread were "narcissism" (used also in a couple of Guardian articles about Johnson and Cummings), and the really worrying "sociopath" - a word that is often used to mean "psychopath". Cameron once described Cummings as a "career psychopath". "Sociopath" was used yesterday by nordmann, not of Cummings, but of Johnson. These three conditions are all referred to in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the handbook used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose psychiatric illnesses. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association. Various members of that body have taken the unusual step of publicly discussing the possibility that the present holder of the highest political office in the USA could meet some of the criteria for a diagnosis of the personality disorder of malignant narcissism - and possibly the criteria for other, even more dangerous, maladjustment.

These are random musings from me, but musings prompted by Priscilla' comments about why on earth would anyone seek high office in the first place - whether as top man or woman, or as an adviser to a top person - unless such awesome responsibility came, as in the old days, with an accident, an obligation, of birth? Neither Johnson nor Cummings was born great; and neither has had greatness "thrust upon them". They have gone after it. But why? Naked ambition, plus a dollop of the ill that usually attends such an impetus? Do you have to have a recognised personality disorder, or be on the spectrum for autism disorder, to want go for power these days? Is the old idea of
simple "service" a joke - was it always? More random musings, please.

PS Very interested in the Russian connection, MM. Cummings spent some time in Russia, didn't he? Absolutely agree it's a kind of intellectual game for him - he's like a teenager with a genius IQ, but one who remains at the emotional age of a wilful toddler. Outwitting the grown-ups is such fun! I have met a couple of those in my time. They are a nightmare.

PPS Another quotation from Elizabeth I - an extract from her brilliant Golden Speech. I should like to send it to both the PM and the adviser:

To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it. For myself I was never so much enticed with the glorious name of a King or royal authority of a Queen as delighted that God hath made me his instrument to maintain his truth and glory and to defend his kingdom as I said from peril, dishonour, tyranny and oppression. There will never Queen sit in my seat with more zeal to my country, care to my subjects and that will sooner with willingness venture her life for your good and safety than myself. For it is my desire to live nor reign no longer than my life and reign shall be for your good. And though you have had, and may have, many princes more mighty and wise sitting in this seat, yet you never had nor shall have, any that will be more careful and loving.

She had Cecil, of course, advising her. A good egg, or just a very shrewd and clever egg? John Guy describes him as "a spider"...
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 30 May 2020, 14:12

It's tough being an advisor. Even tougher to be an advisor to an advisor ...



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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptySat 30 May 2020, 16:36

Perhaps Cummings is, in part, Johnson's Zaphod Beeblebrox? Or maybe it's vice versa?

"The President in particular is very much a figurehead — he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had — he has already spent two of his ten presidential years in prison for fraud.” - Douglas Adams
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Advisors. Good and God Help Us   Advisors. Good and God Help Us EmptyYesterday at 18:27

All very curious. Now the man who said he saw Cummings a second time in the north has revealed that he only said it to raise a laugh and was not true...….. that he might bring an able man down is neither here nor there. Doing or saying things for a laugh - well we have all been there and regretted it.

Then it seems that all the protestors out side of his door and the loudest critics were  - as of course many had already guessed of the old stalwart Remainers Guild. The now resigned Labour whip who eventually owned up to trysts with her partner who is married and at the time locked down at home in April at the height of crisis.... but then she is not very high profile so I guess lees fuss will ensue and it matters not much if she stays or goes. Her integrity is not hanging on a line anywhere as yet for inspection. The Cummings and goings in our road throughout is not  up for inspection, either. 

But it has all been a delight for satirists - not that one is ever entirely comfortable with mockery, I think - at least I have never been so and am still undecided as to whether it is a negative or positive agent in the human pursuit of progress for all. 
And anyone who gives advice tippy toes through a minefield - never do it is my  game if asked for it - root out and perhaps discuss all the  all the options is the best tack  for me in that role. I wonder if Cummimgs has any heart left to sort out the Brexit problems for which he was called in to do. Is he playing Europe from  a weakened hand? Public outrage may well have guided its own hand to shoot itself in the foot...…. again.
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