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Consultant herd

I’ve heard a ditty from a little bird,
He knows  a poorly functionnaire,
Who he keeps a small consultant heard,
In his John Monnet lair.[1]

He girds them with a silver bell ,
From EC money wrought.
He does not treat them very well,
But they’ve been sold and bought.

So they never raise a murmur yet,
Gainst the wicked wicked waste.
Their feet are in the pig trough set,
And to leave it there’s no haste.

He has a programme, dear and vast,
To stroke his ego, large and great.
To make his progress very fast,
and get a job in his home state.[2]

They tend it for him day and night
so he can spend his time away.
But he keeps his workload very light,
And  quibbles on their pay.

The Commercial world new frontiers rise,
and ensures that he, just never  fails.
For risks in his domain, do not surprise,
As in the front!, he follows; On  their coat tails.[3]

When the accolades at last do come,
And  noble functionaries they’re backs do slap.
The Press corps makes the lines to hum,
So great honours upon their shores do lap.

But   the lowly Consultant,  we cannot see,
for the fickle lord no praise will spare.
Its his idea now,   We did pay the fee,
and he functions; not to glory share.





[1] The John Monnet Building is situated on the Kirchberg plateau in Luxembourg City. It is the main European Commission Building in Luxembourg which is the second major centre of EU Commission administration. Its a horrible sprawling tinted glass construction. Naturally all the really palatial locations are up the road in Brussels.

[2] Many functionnaires (Civil Servants in UK parlance) are just serving away time until they can get back home into a prestigious local job.

[3] If this is a little too abstruse, I will explain. It is a clever strategy to avoid failure.

All functionnaires are risk adverse, you would not be a functionnaire if you were a risk taker. But they are not stupid. Unfortunately for them, amongst other things, they are tasked with research, which is risky. This is called cognitive dissonance.

The intelligent thing is to fund research into areas which seem innovative but are really already proven. You rely on the time lag before the general public is cognisant of that area. That way you cannot fail, but at the same time you look like you are a leader on the cutting edge. You also look very good to your boss and can go home early.



© John Hulbert December 1999  - All rights reserved