Twerpery seems to be an increasingly useful word to describe much in the world of politics and bureaucracy these days. Bristling Brock has no idea whether it's a real word or not but it captures that moment of emotional frustration very nicely when reading or hearing about world events and the people making those events happen.
Let's start with Nick Timothy, former political guru to Theresa May. Now there's a can of worms waiting to be opened if ever there was one. His revelations that our esteemed PM has always thought of Brexit as a 'damage limitation exercise' should come as no real surprise to those who observe such goings on. It's been clear from the start that the government under the PM's rigid and unimaginative leadership was not going to have any truck with fulfilling Brexit as it was intended and the revelation by Mr Timothy merely confirms what we already knew. What it does tell us, of course, is that those who pressed the PM's political buttons over the last couple of years are now distancing themselves from the Queen Bee's hive. We must conclude that Mr Timothy was either complicit in strategising the chaos of the Brexit negotiations or that his advice was just not regarded with any value. Either way, 'twerpery' sums him and his former classmates up.
Let's now go to Trumpy and his North Korean summit walk-out. What a farce that has been. His approach has been 'Do what I say and then I'll ignore what you want !' That's never going to work as a negotiating gambit, is it ? What captures the moment is that classic photo in the press of Trumpy bombastically explaining why he's the good guy in all this whilst Mike Pence looks on, his expression aghast, a hand to his forehead in exasperation. Come on, America, you can do so much better than this and you can start by impeaching Trumpy and throwing him out.
Army recruitment is next on my target list of twerpery. The decision some years back to outsource army recruitment to a staffing agency - Capita (though they'll bridle, no doubt, at my description of them) has been a monumental disaster. Recruitment is down and further hampered by the excesses of political correctness that just make joining up not worthwhile. That leaves the army with a disproportionate number who are not in real terms effective military personnel due to their expectations of risk aversion, health and safety mantras and a refusal to be placed in harms way should the need arise. Don't misunderstand BB, for there are many within the ranks who still fulfill our national expectations of their role with courage and dignity, but they are being weakened by both poor recruitment (what would anyone expect from a staffing agency ???) and a cadre who are drawn from that trendy liberal, 'nobody told me I might get shot at' brigade. This is the army not the WI, come on, get your act together in the MoD !
Chris Grayling is up on my next twerpery listing. BB could rant on and on about this inept character. Suffice to say that it appears that he - through the auspices of several departmental opportunities - has not succeeded at any strategic or tactical level in making a policy work. How he has maintained a Cabinet seat is extraordinary - or is it, considering Mrs May's penchant for Conservative loyalists rather than professional and effective ministers? He has to go - no corporate entity in their right mind would have this fellow on their books. Twerpery confirmed here again.
Vodafone come next. At a moment of downsizing their operations and several hundred employees in Scotland facing redundancy, some twerp of a senior director posts himself on the company intranet and mocks the image of them being forced to become Brummies should they decide to relocate. This was Vodafone's customer relations director. It speaks volumes about his fitness for such a role and it speaks equal volumes about Vodafone's reluctance to censure this idiot. Twerpery of the week goes to this bloke.
Some chap in Wales has built a tree-house. It seems he didn't have the appropriate planning permission and the council have ordered him to pull it down. Naturally, the chap is refusing. Judging from the pictures of this construction it looks an imaginative and fitting piece of work that fits in amongst the trees very nicely. Oh, how this has agitated the local planning department where bureaucracy and mindlessness is apparently well embedded. What would they respond, BB wonders, if they were asked to justify the mountains of ugly brick and concrete dwellings that have been erected all over the country in a mindless bid to meet a statistical target and with absolutely no regard for location, style or presentation ? Housing need is one thing, poor planning is another. Sheer twerpery by this council.
David Lammy, the MP, has castigated 'white people' interfering in Africa's affairs to its detriment. BB is no particular supporter of so-called celebrities wandering around Africa cradling doe-eyed babies - there looks to be more than a touch of self promotion in such acts - but if it stimulates cash being donated then where else is Africa going to get the push it needs to develop in the modern world ? Doubtless much aid is squandered and syphoned off illicitly, but some must make it. If countries like Britain were not to continue financial aid amounting to £13 billion or so a year then how would Mr Lammy choose to stimulate donations ? BB would suggest that there are many nations around the world who would gladly stop their aid programmes if they thought that politicians like Mr Lammy were ridiculing the effort and thought it a waste of time.
And lastly, in BB's diatribe of twerpery, we come to what is being called 'Moggism', that affectionate term to express some level of kindred thinking by those who conduct themselves like Mr Rees-Mogg. BB is a supporter of Mr Rees-Mogg, so perhaps these remarks may look biased, but Moggism represents a wide spectrum of calm behaviour, logical thinking, astutely conscious of the legalities and proper conduct of due process and a whopping dollop of humility and dignity. Now BB has few of these attributes personally but he respects enormously Mr Rees-Mogg's style, manner, unbending commitment to do things correctly and with great personal presence. He may not be the potential leader we all want in this country but he represents what many see lacking in almost every other politician in the public arena. For those who criticise, BB awards a further twerpery of the week award to them, but for BB we can learn a lot from Mr Rees-Mogg's style and manner at how professional politics should be played.