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The Mad Hatter’s Job Summit

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, March 2nd, 2009 - 15 comments
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There was a conference going on in the south of the city, and the Prime Minister, the Cheshire Fat Cat, and his cronies were busy creating jobs.

The conference was a large one, but they were all crowded together in one corner of it: ‘No room! No room for the unemployed!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. ‘There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the conference hall.

‘Here, have a job,’ the Prime Minister said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all round, but there was no work. ‘I can’t find a job,’ she remarked.

‘There aren’t any,’ said the Prime Minister. ‘I’m cutting back public jobs, and my cheshire fat cat colleague here is cutting jobs from his company’.

‘Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer me one,’ said Alice angrily.

‘It wasn’t very civil of you to come without being invited,’ said the Prime Minister.

‘I didn’t know it was YOUR conference, it’s got space for a great many more, ‘said Alice; ‘and how can you be busy making jobs when you’re cutting them?’

‘You look unproductive,’ said the Fat Cat. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.

‘You should learn not to make personal remarks,’ Alice said with some severity; ‘it’s very rude,and besides which, I’m a very hard worker!’

The Fat Cat opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was, ‘Why is a job like a cycle-way?’

‘Come, we shall have some fun now!’ thought Alice. ‘I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles.—I believe I can guess that,’ she added aloud.

‘Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?’ said the Prime Minister.

‘Exactly so,’ said Alice.

‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the Prime Minister went on.

‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least—at least I mean what I say—that’s the same thing, you know.’

‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Fat Cat. ‘You might just as well say that “I save the jobs I cut” is the same thing as “I cut the jobs I save”!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the Prime Minister, ‘that “A Prime Minister makes a great merchant banker” is the same thing as “A merchant banker makes a great Prime Minister”!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added one the cronies, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, ‘that “nine days of work every two weeks” is the same thing as “two weeks of work every nine days”!’

The crony was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Prime Minister, he woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: ‘—which is the same thing as – isn’t it the same thing as four days of work every week?’

‘Really, now you ask me,’ said Alice, very much confused, ‘I don’t think—’

‘Then you shouldn’t talk,’ said the Prime Minister.

This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the crony fell asleep instantly, and none of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, the Prime Minister was simulating riding a bike on the back of the Fat Cat.

Hat tip: Lewis Caroll

15 comments on “The Mad Hatter’s Job Summit”

  1. Edna 1

    “and none of the others took the least notice of her going”

    Are you talking about Alice or Helen??

    Hat tip: Absolute Power

  2. Janet 2

    And on the bizarre theme. Build a cycle track the length of NZ for tourists (who will just love to cycle down main highway 1 on their metre of concrete – while we continue to make our cities bicycle unfriendly), but cut back on investment in railways which could have major tourist appeal as well as providing enduring transport infrastructure.

    I doubt whether any of the people making these decision have ever been on a bike or a train.

    They might just as well be the gardeners Alice found painting the roses because they are the wrong colour,

  3. QoT 3

    A++ would grin insanely again.

  4. Kerry 4

    Was interested to see old JK and his business round table friends wanting to start chain gangs to build their bike track! I wonder if any of those people were unemployed if they would be there working away with the gang…..NUP!

    John needs to get into the REAL world and do something…..i’ve seen bugger all in their first 100 days (feels like one million days) that would give anyone confidence that they are wanting to do the best for the country……..the only people they want to do their best for are themselves.
    If all else fails John can get another useless talkfest together to discuss problems raised and then organise yet another talkfest to discuss the problems that came from the problems outlined in the other talkfest….typical CEO mentality and John boy needs to lose it fast!

  5. Kevin Welsh 5

    At least John admits he is a merchant banker, saves me the trouble of calling him one.

  6. Ianmac 6

    Hilarious with a dose of truth. Clever. Thanks Eddie.

  7. randal 7

    I hear hooton on the radio this morning still claiming it was policy that won National the election
    bulldust
    it was the constant cacophony raining down on the country from the right wing radio stations and the suborning of the hair and teeth jobs on teevee nz
    same way the national socialist party won in germany in the 1930’s

  8. Michael 8

    I’ve been after a national cycle way for years. Not for tourists but locals, well me to be exact.

    There is a really cheap and easy way to make cities cycle friendly.
    Remove all car parks on the side of the road and make them cycleways with a small tussock berm between the cycleway and road.

  9. QoT 9

    Ah, but Michael, isn’t it so very, very telling that they’re only willing to talk about a country-long cycleway for tourism, as opposed to building cycleways and bike lanes throughout the country for commuters and people who are already here?

  10. Roger Harper 10

    Who purchased the blooming run down railways back at an exorbitant price? Short memories on this site.

  11. The railways have real economic value. The cycleway, while something I and a few other would enjoy, doesn’t.

    If we want to boost cycling (and we should), it’s with cycleways in cities, not in the middle of nowhere.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Roger,

    Who purchased the blooming run down railways back at an exorbitant price?

    Try informing yourself about what happened. I could supply a link, but the facts were that it was a very protracted hard-nosed negotiation over 18 months.

    Toll’s asking price was $1 billion… at least twice the book value, but they held out because they knew there was no other possibly buyer and they were not especially in any need to sell. Indeed they more or less held the upper hand, because the alternative to not selling was to continue being happily subsidised by the taxpayer via the ongoing funding being pumped into the SOE OnTrack.

    Cullen started under $500m and after a long battle they settled at $665m. (Not the $2.7b that the well named vidiot claimed yesterday). The whole notion of a market price is pretty tenuous in a market where there is only one possible sale, from one possible vendor to one possible purchasor. But these numbers suggest that Dr Cullen came out on the somewhat better end of the deal.

    As for the ongoing money needed to repair a rail system stripped and raped under nearly two decades of private ownership…. why not bring yourself to correctly assign the true responsibility for that act of economic sabotage?

  13. deemac 13

    thanks for this clever post – and the reminder of Lewis Carroll’s genius

  14. BeShakey 14

    Also interesting to note that few of those that complain now about the price paid to get KiwiRail back are so interested in the price when they were sold. Better to focus on what can be privatised now than focus on the failings of everything that was privatised the last time the Nats got a chance.

  15. KD 15

    Have a look at the sheer numbers of bicycle tourists in europe and maybe that will give you an indication of what they’re aiming at.

    its a sound idea, just the numbers dont add up yet. but thats all it is at this stage, an idea.

    dont forget about other things that may spring up as a result of the cyclepath – motels nearby for cycle tourists?

    NZ is a beautiful country and the more we can promote access to the remote areas the better.

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