On a resignation by Wendy and critics of Holyrood
I once asked a leading herbalist if he had a cure for a hangover. His reply was brief and crushing: 'Don't get one.' We have to fall back, therefore, on some foul Italian concoction or Jeeves's recipe for Bertie Wooster - two raw eggs and a dash of Tabasco. In politics, the equivalent is a spell in the wilderness. It has been the fate of many, some of whom, like Churchill and de Gaulle, have gone on to greatness.
Published: Tuesday, 29 March 2011 12:58
In Scotland, Wendy Alexander has exchanged a portfolio in the Scottish Executive for a seat on the backbenches while Alex Salmond, conclusively confounding my suspicion that he has become addicted to Westminster, has announced his intention of returning to Holyrood in 2007. By then, he appears to acknowledge, he will have been on the fringes of the main action for too long, and the expectation is that he will attempt to resume the SNP leadership.
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On consultants and chief executives
I have always entertained an especial detestation for the Irish saint Ursicinus of Saint-Ursanne, a pal of St Columba, who loathed wine and those who served it. Down the years, only management consultants have aroused my deeper dislike. The growing scandal surrounding corporations is thus an ill wind. It has wiped millions off the stock markets but it has brought an end to the myth of the visionary chief executive and punctured the arrogance of the consultant.
Published: Monday, 28 March 2011 11:38
In my not always happy experience, there could often be an unhealthy degree of connivance between them. The executive called in consultants to help him force through changes on which he had already decided. The consultants, with an eye on their fee, were always happy to oblige even if the scheme were rash, dangerous and ill-advised or, as often seemed to happen, a false economy.
Read more: On consultants and chief executives