id327-The Whats About Christmas Review 2005

Written by Anon   

An Interview with your favourite PM The Whats About Christmas Review

The Whats About Christmas Review.

With: The Prime Minister, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport and the Head of UK Sport.

WA: First of all PM congratulations on your personal achievement in bringing the 2012 Olympic Games to London.

PM: Thanks, but I must emphasise that this was a team effort led by the Lord Coe and that Fast Track chap, Sir Alan Pas.., oops sorry, a bit previous there, Mr Alan Pascoe.

WA: Are you confident that UK Sport can deliver the target of fourth place in the medals table in London?

PM: I have no doubt. We are putting in place the people, and procedures to produce results across all sports. ?Modernisation? is the key to it all.

WA: And what is modernisation?

PM: Modernisation is getting rid of all those amateur volunteers who have been clinging to non-jobs for decades and replacing them with bright, professional, highly motivated people tasked with thrusting sport in to a new dimension.

WA: The governing body of athletics recognises this and claims that the amateurs are playing politics as they thwart change. What do you think?

PM: I think that is an excellent choice of phrase. After all the amateurs are clearly playing at it. We, on the other hand are the professionals. Politics is our game and we are playing it for the long haul. It was not by chance that Sir Andrew Foster was tasked with the review of athletics in the UK and it was not by chance that he recommended reorganisation based on the existing EU sponsored 9 Regional Assemblies.

WA: But the 9 Regional bodies (assemblies) are un-elected bodies thrust on the public and financed from Council rates. Indeed the only vote on these assemblies was rejected by 75% of the North East electorate.

PM: I know. Someone will have to tell John Prescott soon. In the meantime its 9 regions and that is it. Militant lot these Northerners.

WA: So what will change in the sport of athletics?

CMS: There already are changes concerning personnel.

WA: I know. Perhaps the key one is the appointment of the new Performance Director. But what is confusing people is that he introduces himself as the man not responsible for success. Isn?t this strange?

UKS: Not at all. Over the last 8 years we have had too many broken promises and false dawns. What we need now is a degree of humility mixed with the political expedient of keeping avenues of retreat open. (At this point Geoff Hoon pokes his head round the door. ?Just remember our latest battle tank spec. is for 7 reverse gears and 1 forward. The forward gear is in case we are attacked from behind." Much laughter. ?Only joking PM?. And this seemed to ease the tension which had been building gradually.)

WA: Any other initiatives in the pipeline?

UKS: I am sure that you would not wish me to give away confidences but I must say I am particularly excited by the proposals from UKA that future selection trials for track and field will be held in the Caymen Islands.

WA: What is the reasoning behind that?

UKS: Well I can?t be sure but as the elite athletes will be in a training camp there, with their designated coaches, and the stadium holds more spectators than Sports City Manchester it seemed a good idea. I am also assured that there will be financial economies as we are planning to take UKA accounts off shore. Our boys need to concentrate on preparing for 2012 and not have to worry about the minutiae of day to day finances.

WA: This leads me on to the financial performance and accountability of UK Athletics Ltd., There seems to be a new initiative every week and some, like the SHINE Awards scheme, have lost around ?700,000 . And yet no one has been held accountable. After all UKA is partially funded by lottery and UK taxpayers monies.

CMS: You couldn?t have it more wrong. We do not look to see if an initiative or event is a success or failure. What we judge performance by is job opportunities. Our aim is to maximise the workforce for the minimum investment.

WA: How come?

CMS: I don?t think I am betraying any secrets here. It is the Treasury?s new concept of the ?Virtuous Investment Circle?.

WA: Explain please.

PM: Well, the idea is that as Government we have to raise revenues. We tax people at source (income tax) and then by commodity taxes such as petrol duty and VAT followed by stealth taxes (pensions etc). (Gordon jokes its 100% from the Nave to the grave!). Anyway the idea is to get in tax revenue as quickly as possible so that it can be used to employ greater numbers in the public sector who again pay tax and so on and so on.

WA: And how is athletics doing?

CMS: I am glad to say that athletics lead the way. If this was an Olympic sport UKA would be in the gold medal spot. It brings tears to your eyes. But enough of sentiment. Lets just say that for every ?1 million spent on staff costs ?80,000 goes to grass roots sport.

PM: That?s truly impressive. After all the CPA (child support agency) only manages to spend ?1 million on staff for every ?1.8 million distributed.

WA: So UKA can claim to be a leader?

PM: Not really. Let me put it in to perspective for you. Since this government came to power 8 years ago (Same time as UKA-Ed) we have made real progress in achieving the ?Virtuous Investment Circle?. In Financial year 1997/98 we spent ?320 billion in the public sector. This year it will be nearly ?520 billion.

WA: You mean ? million not ? billion don?t you?

PM: No. Its billions which puts the whole sport thing into perspective. In fact why am I wasting my time on such trivial amounts?

WA: Political expediency perhaps? At least it all means more monies for the Treasury.

PM: And the Cayman Islands.

WA: Thank you PM.

END. Copyright WA and ABAC


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