Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Donkeys, Asses and Non-jobs

I have always felt that I am a charitable person. For the the last 10 years Mrs Tickles and I have donated to Donkey Sanctuary. I have always felt sorry for those those abused and sad faced little asses and have never begrudged the money I have parted with. Last year whilst enjoying a rain soaked week with the family on a over priced caravan site in Devon we decided to visit our adopted donkey -Vincent.

I didn't expect Vincent to get excited or respond in anyway to us but nothing prepared me fully to what happened. I apologise in advance for those of a sensitive disposition but quite simply Vincent displayed his manhood (or should that be donkeyhood?) to the twins, Mrs Tickles and myself. Whilst the twins giggled, poor Mrs Tickles was speechless and in shock for days afterwards. I felt like half the man for not raising a formal complaint with the owners. For gods sakes surely there should be warning signs up or something.

After some deliberation, we decided to continue donating  to the sanctuary but sadly this may have to change now as I feel that I need to help assist in bolstering the PMs inadequate salary.

You too can help with a donation - You can make a sad life better for a donkey, an ass or a prime minister.

Here is the latest FoI request to Uncle Eric at the Department for Communities and Local Government

Dear Chums,

Last week whilst I was tucking into the marvellous 7-item breakfast that can be purchased from the Eland House cafe, I turned the dial on my wireless and listened to The Today Programme. On said show I heard Andrew Stunell, who I thought was Minister for LibDim Appeasement but who actually turns out to be a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State. An elderly Mr Stunell was commenting on Manchester Council's proposal to cut 2000 jobs. He seemed to think that he could negate the arguments about cuts to job and services by putting on a whiny voice and simply blubbing 'but their chief exec gets paid more that the Prime Minister'. He seemed to believe that this comment robustly defended the cuts and would invalidate any counter arguments.

I know the government has an obsession about the PMs salary, but it does seem an arbitrary comparator. However it has got my old grey matter working. I think the solution would be to pay poor David Cameron more - amazing yes?. After all it must be difficult for him and the fragrant Sam to bring up a hard working family with a new born in these austere, all-in-it-together times.

So I have decided to terminate my monthly donation to the Donkey Sanctuary and volunteer to help fund a pay increase to David Cameron. After all what have donkeys ever done for us? To be completely honest on closer inspection donkeys lead quite an enviable existence at our expense and they never really show any gratitude (a bit like poor folk - eh?). I am sure there are another few hundred thousand or so civil servants who would volunteer a modest annual donation so that we can get the PMs salary up to say £500,000. Then we can move on with important debates over cuts forward without this silly distraction.

I also note that Uncle Eric has a few things to say about non-jobs.I thought if DCLG were to delete the non-jobs then the money could be used to fund the PMs enhanced salary. Hence my request for information is:

1) Can you please supply a list of all non-job that have been identified in DCLG?

2) Do you have an example job description of a non-job?

3) How many of the following posts have been identified as non-jobs?

Julie Carney - Deputy Director, Local Government & Economic Growth /Accountability
Nick Dexter - Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State
Shona Dunn - Director, Fire and Resilience
Dawn Eastmead - Deputy Director, Fire: Strategy & Finance
George Eykyn - Director, Communications
Jane Houghton - Chief Press Officer to the Secretary of State
Giles Kenningham - Special Adviser
Paul Rowsell - Deputy Director, Local Governance
Nick Sheridan Westlake - Special Adviser
Michael Winders - Deputy Director, External Communications

Oh, and finally can I ask an unrelated question please? Can you list all items that can be selected as part of the 7 item breakfast and tell Alarm Clock Britain how much the breakfast can be purchased for in Eland House. I suspect this will be enough to shock some from repeatedly hitting the snooze button.

Yours philanthropically,



  1. Eric,
    Loved the article, thanks.

    I've always been a great donkey fan.



  2. Thank you - some donkeys are nicer than others I guess.