open text

23 November 2005 at 07:50

news digest


Tim Collins, the tough and honourable Gulf War commander of The Royal Irish Regiment in Iraq, who found fame as a result of his speech to his troops on the eve of battle, has written a book. He pleads with Britain and Australia to try and influence the US to change their thinking on Iraq, or else face decades of conflict. What was needed in the aftermath of the war was some sort of exit plan, such as a 5-year plan to build peace, but "Americans only understand subjugation."

He suggests that the only hope now is to gradually replace the coalition troops with a regional force composed of Arab nations, until an Iraqi force can take over.

He points to the lesson of Britain's hasty withdrawal from India in 1947, resulting in the violent partition and the death of millions.


My workplace is "managed" by managers who believe that if the teachers have a problem, it can be solved by a meeting. And if that doesn't work, the solution is a longer meeting. Meetings should be rambling and agenda-less, that way the managers can best convey their wisdom to the staff.

I can endure maybe 1 hour in a meeting, before I get very frustrated. By the 3-hour mark, I usually want to machine-gun the room and get on with the mountain of real work waiting on my desk. The longer I fight the urge, the more unhappy I become, and the harder it is to simply walk out without feeling and looking murderous, especially as someone might challenge me and trigger a bloodbath.

Yesterday I discovered the value of having an exit plan. At the very start of a meeting, scheduled for 3 hours but obviously likely to run to 5 hours, I announced that sadly I would only be able to stay for 2 hours. I set my watch alarm for 2 hours. By the time it went off, I was still feeling composed and secure in the knowledge I had an exit plan. I calmly rose to my feet and walked out.

My poor colleagues emerged from the meeting at the 5-hour mark, looking shell-shocked. Some had been crying. Like Bush, they had gone in without an exit plan.


In the Shanghai final of the ATP Tennis Masters, David Nalbandian the super-fit Argentinian beat the also-amazing Federer in 5 dramatic sets.

I spoke to Nalbandian myself a few years ago in Tokyo. He was standing right behind me in the immigration queue, carrying umpteen tennis rackets. His loud conversation with his mates was busting my ears so I tried to wave him ahead of me, "No, no" he said, you go ahead. It was a short conversation, and I'm not sure if he remembers our meeting, but in those few words I was able to weigh up the man and his tennis hopes.

I had to stay up half the night supporting Nalbandian on Sunday, but that was only fair, since he had to stand in line an extra few seconds for my sake. Everything balances out.


After 30 years of futile attempts to qualify for the football World Cup, the Australian soccer team has finally won the right to participate in 2006. As a result, 19 million nationalistic Australians, who ignored the sport all these years because Australia was no good at it, have overnight discovered a great love of the game. The nation has been partying all week, you'd think they'd won the World Cup.


Who designed the intelligent designer?

Sources acknowledged.

Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Heil! Conquer the meetings! Let no one get a word in edgeways. When they fall asleep, eat them. This always worked for me. I hope it helps. Hotboy  


Blogger robmcj said...

Just one measly comment today! This is what happens when you give people a taste for nudity, they desert you when you put your clothes back on.  


Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Zeig! Fickle, they are! I'm only left with Jack the Spam Robot! Hope this helps. Hotboy  


Blogger Carslemane Foraix said...


That is an exceedingly interesting post. I would write more comments but I am late for tukker.  


Post a Comment

Who Links Here
Who Links Here (short form)

Where people click from:
Locations of visitors to this page