funny article - what is political bullshit

This is just such a funny article that i have to quote it in full...

NOTE to the libelous i-d-iots - do not shoot the messenger.


from -

From: David See
Date: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:07 pm
Subject: What is Political Bullshit? See Ho Ching's Take On NKF

Below is an article from Mr See Lweong Kit elaborating on what Political Bullshit is. For a perfect example of Political Bullshit we also append below extracts of Ho Ching's (and the PAP's) take on the NKF scam.

Date: 17 July 2005
From: Mr See Leong Kit
Singapore Review
Subject: What is Political Bullshit?

For the past few years, our charity donors have to put up with all the "corporate bullshit" from the National Kidney Foundation.

But this pales in comparison with the many "political bullshit" which long-suffering Singaporeans have to tolerate for 40 years (following independence from British colonial rule) !!!

"An empty language for empty heads"

by John Kay (Visiting Professor, London School of Economics)

Financial Times 11 July 2005

When George Orwell wrote his magisterial essay, Politics And The English Language, in 1946, bullshit was political bullshit.

There is still a lot of that about. Election campaigns in Britain, constitutional arguments in Europe and global summits in Scotland have produced political bullshit in quantity.

But the worst abuses of the language now come from business people and management gurus.

Lies and spin communicate, but what they communicate is false. The defining characteristic of bullshit is that it does not attempt to communicate at all. Bullshit has the vocabulary and syntax of ordinary language but not the meaning.

And, in fact, the metaphor is not apt. What we describe as bullshit is more like candy floss --- when you bite into it, there is nothing there.

The symptoms of bullshit are familiar. Stock phrases are parroted without thought --- change drivers, organisational transformation.

Words are given meanings different from their ordinary sense --- government spending is called investment.

Bullshit creates new words --- empowerment, creovation --- but these do not define original ideas. They describe concepts too nebulous to be expressed by terms with known meaning.

Bullshit is characterised by prolixity --- "serving customers better" becomes "striving for continuous improvement in the customer relationship management space".

Why do people talk or write when they have nothing to say?

Sometimes there are good reasons. When the Queen pays a royal visit, her remarks tell people nothing other than that she is present. But that purpose is important. Some of what senior executives do has this symbolic role. Such speeches are properly short and banalities suffice.

So most bullshit is simply to fill space. Sometimes, people do not want to speak but are required to. The growing culture of audit and accountability has stimulated such obligatory communication --- read any corporate risk assessment or statement of auditors' responsibilities. Written by word processor, read by nobody, this material is generally innocuous.

But the purpose of bullshit is often deceptive. The squirming politician, forbidden to lie but unable to tell the truth, must bullshit. see "Lifting The Veil On Singapore Politics";

But not all the audience had noticed that the words they heard meant nothing. If you are asked to report on implementation milestones towards Key Performance Indicators, you are obliged to reply in the same language. Before long, you speak this way yourself.

Proper academic training, which emphasises substance over form, is an antidote, and many universities still provide it. Business schools, where both the faculty and students must disguise how little they know, sometimes do the opposite.

The most powerful enemy of bullshit is ridicule, and the most powerful ally of bullshit is the corporate conformity* that makes such ridicule impossible.

The more authoritarian* the culture, the more bullshit.

If bullshit tells you nothing else, it tells you something about the organisation* that excretes it.

[* hallmarks of the PAP political organisation]

This is a perfect example of Political Bullshit....

18 JULY 2005
WRITING in her personal capacity, Ms Ho Ching, the CEO of Temasek Holdings, has asked for continued support for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) which has come in for heavy criticism recently.

Ms Ho argued that NKF's policy of building up strong reserves was sensible and responsible.

"No one likes to have the dreadful responsibility of deciding which patients should live when money dries up in an economic downturn," she wrote. "What if 10 per cent or 20 per cent of their patients or their patients' breadwinners lose their jobs in an extended downturn? Surely, you hope to continue dialysis for them even if they cannot co-pay their part?"

In a letter that touched on a wide range of issues raked up by the recent NKF saga, including the emotive one of the salary of its outgoing chief executive T T Durai, Ms Ho advised the NKF to consider building and managing its reserves as an endowment.

On the issue of the CEO's pay, she said that even charities ought to be managed professionally.

"I would not begrudge Mr Durai a proper and well-earned compensation and bonus," she wrote. At the same time, she acknowledged that "some of the things Mr Durai has allegedly done raise a questioning eyebrow or two". She also touched on the behaviour of the outgoing board, which had backed Mr Durai.

"It is important that the board balance its support and guidance for its CEO with its fiduciary duty," she wrote.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan will deliver a ministerial statement on the NKF in Parliament this week. Several MPs have filed questions on the NKF.

On Saturday, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong gave Mr Khaw his stamp of approval. "I like the way Khaw Boon Wan is handling the issue," he said.

He also touched on the statement that Mrs Goh, until recently an NKF patron, had made to the effect that Mr Durai's annual earnings of $600,000 were "peanuts".

"When she told me what she had said, I told her: 'You're in trouble. There will be negative reactions.' The next day, Singaporeans reacted. They were quite critical of her remarks and it's understandable because the NKF is a charity.

"(Singaporeans) do not earn that much money and surely they were upset by her remarks ... I received quite a few emails and letters, and to educate her, I showed her the letters and emails and she now understands better that what she said was not quite in order."

He said Mrs Goh told him she had been thinking of the organisation and the fact that the right person must be paid the right wage.

"But, of course, she didn't put it across that way and the rest is history," he said.

If your stomach can handle it, for the full article go to:

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