Trash-talking Pickles awarded for talking trash

20 Apr 2011, 10:13

Talking Rubbish Awards outside the Houses of Parliament

The Sceptic Tank is a huge fan of pretentious management bibles. So much so that we rarely visit the bathroom without first consulting the Sun Tzu's Art of War, and have recently hired a private detective to work out Who Moved Our Cheese.

As such, we issue this heartfelt plea to publishers everywhere: will someone please commission a management guide from our peerless Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.

We would love to hear Pickles's words of wisdom on how to build a team, boost staff morale, balance a budget, and generally deliver success. Not least, because judging by his actions, they would boil down to: insult everyone, accuse the people you are responsible for of being lazy and over-remunerated, deliver contradictory policies at every turn, and always promise to delegate power while engaging in escalating levels of control-freakery.

The blurb on the back of the cover (we are thinking moody photo of Pickles with a baseball bat over his shoulder) could also make play of Pickles's naming yesterday as the winner of Friends of the Earth's inaugural Talking Rubbish Awards for his services to a waste policy of which Kafka would be proud.

Not content with ordering councils not to fine people for failing to recycle at the same time as insisting that he supports localism and the devolution of policy-making to local government, Pickles claimed that efforts to encourage recycling meant that everyone is now terrified of the "bin police".

Not so, say the Friends of the Earth supporters who voted Pickles winner of the Talking Rubbish Award - an award the minister truly deserves, according to Friends of the Earth's waste campaigner Julian Kirby.

"Government ministers have been keen to trash recycling when in reality it's more popular and successful than ever. Eric Pickles in particular has been at war with councils when he should be supporting them to cut the amount we needlessly throw away," he said.

So come on publishing gurus. Put down the Chablis and snap up the most innovative mind management theory seen in decades.

A man who has never seen syntax that he cannot garble, a man who believes the secret to a loyal and motivated team is denigration at every opportunity, a man who believes the best way to improve the UK's laughably Byzantine planning rules is to enable a fatuous referendum on every little planning decision.

We will continue to visit, credit card at the ready, until the book explaining the Pickles school of management finally emerges.

Editor's Note: props to the Sceptic Tank for getting through an entire snarky article on Eric Pickles without mentioning his, erm, robust stature.

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