Children often leave parties with a goody bag. A-list movie stars, always leave red carpet parties with spectacular goody bags. Many über-rich food multinational shareholders leave AGMs with do-it-yourself goody bags –canapés greedily shovelled into their voluminous handbags for later consumption.
This glittering cornucopia of Swiss Style is an unparalleled goody bag crammed with fantastic treasures catering to the most discerning taste. Opinions on food, yachts, social media (Dial M for Murdoch?), furniture and a host of other treats. I was astonished for example, to learn that globally, one out of five people use the Supermax razor. My jaundiced eye fell, not unnaturally, on ‘social media’ and I reflected…
In the 15th century, Portugal seemed to be doing rather well. Henry the Navigator was summoned by his dad, the King, who hoped to take advantage of what he saw as the newly emerging social media phenomena. The King hoped to take a serious swipe at the rest of Europe whilst brandishing a red hot poker up their bankers hedgies. Henry was to pitch for this fabulous new account and wanted to dazzle the court with his insights into social media manipulation. He had already consulted the Portuguese media group, Newsão Internationão and their advisor’s Davão Camerão and Rebehkão Brooksão.
The agency team were nervous and had overdosed on the newly invented cigarette and copious amounts of Madeira. Actually, rather too much Madeira which, with the fags, had made them very dizzy. They were summoned into the court. Dozens of eminent dignitaries were seated around an enormous table. All ‘experts’ in social media. All stony faced. None twitched a muscle. Henry announced: “We will cross the sea by judicious use of social media.” Utter silence. Even stonier faces with furtive glances to the King to see his reaction. A noble noble’s assistant, overcome with smugness ventured: “And how prithee, shall we achieve that prowess?” He sat back overcome with joy at delivering a death blow to the presentation through this embarrassingly difficult question. Henry sprang to his feet. “By ship dad. Er, Sire.”
“By ship!” exclaimed the King, “Darlings, I love it. Ships! Social media will announce our victory! Entirely new media – twiddle, twaddle, fiddle and faddle! Huzzah. Double huzzah!” Two consultants from McKingsly were in the room and said: “Sire, we had anticipated the same and were to present it to you tomorrow, but in a more refined form. Together with a test programme for a modest $56 million.”
The noble noble’s assistant, already pre-briefed by the McKingsly consultants on a fact-finding mission at his newly given El Dorado estates, ventured forth again: “Indeed, this could be achieved without the sea.” Henry looked askance. “Find new lands without the sea?” The court nodded their bleak, collective heads, like all wise clients. Yes, yes, without the sea. That could save a fortune.
The King looked his son in the eye and asked: “What other ideas do you have aside from these social media – twiddle, twaddle, fiddle and faddle?” The other agencies presented five new ideas each. And then there is the problem of the ships. None invests in ships these days. “Remember the Vikings? Absolute buggery flop old boy. They were laughed out of the market place and every news-sheet in the Newsão Internationão stable ridiculed them to the point where their share price hit the floor.”
I consoled Henry the Navigator, Davão, Rebehkão and the Chairmen of Fiddle, Faddle, Twiddle & Twaddle in the bar afterwards by telling them: “The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you.” They nodded wisely. I went on: “And they won’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying. And they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you. And they won’t listen to you unless you’re interesting. And you can’t be interesting unless you say things freshly, originally and imaginatively.”
So the team are nodding away and Henry, perhaps unwisely, orders another flagon of Madeira and another box of 100 Raleigh’s. I deliver my coup de grâce: “Until I told you this, only two people in the world knew this truth. Now there are eight of us. So put this valuable knowledge into practice from now on.” And if you obstinately refuse, join verbally challenged Milliband on the naughty stool and suck your thumb for ten minutes whilst your classmates deride you.