In large organizations, you just can’t have them in charge



Via Bill Quango:

Sarah Teather MP, { hopeless , hopeless minister. I’m amazed Cameron hasn’t insisted she be embargoed. Mind you, its not likely even she could cause much more embarrassment to the coalition this week.

Conservative Anna Soubry MP, ‘A’ list Tory but incredibly gaffe prone. Is there really no-one in command at Con-HQ?

Via Victor Meldrew’s Brother and Jailhouse Lawyer:

Nottinghamshire police have long been under the spotlight for under achievement and incompetence. They are led by Chief Constable Julia Hodson who in police uniform looks like someone’s granny and is obviously a product of the Common Purpose school of politically correct appointees.

David A. Evans:

As far as I can see, you missed two notable American parachutees.  Jane Lubchenko and Lisa Jackson!

1.  As administrator of NOAA, is she saying she doesn’t know about this?

Is she really suggesting she is completely unaware that Dr Josh Willis, from the JPL worked in conjunction with NOAA and determined that cooling in the oceans has occured?  Is the NOAA administrtor, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, really suggesting that she is completely unaware of the Argo Buoys deployed by NOAA in 2003 at great taxpayer expense?  Or is she saying she hasn’t yet bothered to skim over the reports her underlings surely have prepared on the subject?

Here is the link to the government website, on which the reader will find the following executive point: This summer, the world’s oceans were the warmest in NOAA’s 130 years of record-keeping.

This woman either needs to be dismissed for incompetence or prosecuted for perjury.

2.  Incompetent idiot: Lisa Jackson:

For 34 days our friends and neighbors in southern Louisiana have watched BP’s inept attempts to stop the flow of oil, and waited for the mess to come ashore and kill the wetlands, and their jobs, and their way of life. Actually, they haven’t been ‘waiting’ for that; they’ve been waiting for things like permits for dike construction from the Corps of Engineers.

And Lisa Jackson, the moron who is Obama’s ‘environmental chief’ couldn’t even find out what crude looks like. She had 34 days to come up with something reasonably intelligent, if not useful …

3.  By the way, who was in charge of the Corps of Engineers, a non-engineer herself – one of these new graduate “managers”?  Yep – the flooder of the Missouri basin herself – Jody Farhat who decided not to listen to her line managers, men in the field because they were trying to dictate to her.

Every which way you turn, without exception …… I want them out now, all of them and sent back to where they belong.  These people are trouble and when put in charge of something, they become lethal in their incompetence.

On a par with IBM chief?

Will Augusta National be forced to appoint first-ever female member?  Rometty is said to play golf sparingly. Her greater passion is scuba diving. Hootie Johnson, chairman of the club a decade ago, ignited the controversy back then when he said that while Augusta might one day have a female member, it would be on the club’s timetable and “not at the point of a bayonet” Rometty could become a central figure in the argument over female membership whether she wishes to or not. . 

Classic case of possibly competent in on area [only just started] but knows nothing of another she’s forced upon.


There’ve been many who’ve stood up and said no, this is wrong – Enoch Powell, David Kelly, Jim Garrison, Daniel Ellsberg, Yuri Bezmenov, Andrei Sakharov and there was a human cost to all of them. It’s an entirely different thing to arguing the indefensible or arguing from prejudice – it’s arguing from the evidence on the table.

It may have escaped people’s attention – it certainly has escaped that of the MSM in this country but not the American blogosphere, that Labour has taken a bollocking Downunder in Queensland. Anna Bligh has been ignominiously dumped and it looks like they’re coming for Gillard next.

It’s a truth fairly universally acknowledged that, of the available men for the top jobs, the wrong ones get them more often than not, either through brownnosing or tickboxing and they end up making a pig’s breakfast of things, e.g. the Diana Fountain or the Darling Harbour Monorail, which leaves a pool of experienced men of talent unconsulted or unappointed.

It’s a truth fairly universally acknowledged that the Peter Principle is valid – that people are appointed one step beyond their level of competence and much of the incompetence and wastage stems from that. When a system encourages the appointment of incompetents through qualifications mania, KPIs and bizarre tickboxing alone, the die is cast for society.

It’s a truth by no means universally acknowledged that when it comes to women, they really must not be allowed into top management roles if they are ideologically driven and where the jurisdiction is large, complex and mutating, for example a nation. As managers of vision, they can make excellent administrators but unfortunately, following the previous two principles, the wrong ones get in and can’t even administer.

Piece after piece of evidence for that statement keeps turning up and Bligh is simply the latest in a long line of incompetents. Take the appalling and indicatively named Clover Moore, parachuted into the Lord Mayoralty of Sydney in a very Cressida Dick way:

Clover Moore is probably the worst … mayor in Sydney’s history. She has presided over a decay in Sydney, the cbd is filthy with rubbish lying around, cigarette butts all over foot paths, the foot paths [themselves] look very ugly and vomit stains across. Overseas visitors can’t believe how filthy the city is. Nothing useful has been built on Clover’s watch.

And why? Because she combines a peculiarly female approach to management with being a red-ragger, a greeny for whom ideology trumps administration every time. These people are more than incompetent ideologues, they have mindsets and emotional responses which are really not on running a thriving metropolis, they get vindictive, they carry out witchhunts, they’re ultradefensive the whole time to any gender suggestions.

As for Bligh, she went for the typical politics of the leftist female:

But while she had already lost the trust of voters, it now appears Bligh lost their respect during the campaign with her personal attacks on her rival before pleading for mercy at the end.

And this is now lapping at the PM’s door:

PM caught in Bligh rip-tide

She came to power by stabbing her predecessor in the back. She then held on to it by selling the nation’s soul to the greens and three treacherous independents. It is unfortunate that Australia’s first female prime minister has rightfully earned the title, ‘Australia’s worst ever PM’.

Now I wouldn’t want you to get the idea that these are isolated cases:

McKew loses Bennelong

Ms McKew has ceased to be relevant. Nobody I know in Bennelong will be voting for her. As useless as tits on a bull. [female commenter]

In fact, every which way you look, cases keep popping up of why women should not be running things in politics – be in politics, yes, but not running things:

Sarah Palin – attractive, earnest and clearly out of her league

Nancy Pelosi out of her league from the start

Caroline Flint Has Resigned!

“By deliberately making a false claim of sexism, she has shown herself to be dishonest, vindictive and unprincipled.”

May appears incompetent, weak and unable to take responsibility

Oops! Warsi scores an own goal

“What to do about Warsi is quite a problem for the Tory high command. She does visibly show how the party has changed but she’s also not very competent.”

Charged with incompetence by opposition Socialists, Ms Dati returned fire

“She has annoyed parliamentarians by walking into the chamber of deputies with a mobile phone clamped to her ear and carrying a copy of Paris Match, a celebrity magazine in which she has appeared posing in black stiletto boots and confessing a taste for Chanel, Dior and cheap T-shirts from Monoprix. At her first Paris city council meeting she was caught on camera filing her nails. André Vallini, a socialist deputy, says she has “unbearable lightness”. More substantively, she has acquired a reputation within her ministry for impossible rudeness and arrogance. Eleven members of her cabinet, or team of advisers, have left since she arrived in the ministry.”

Michele Bachmann’s demise:

Biggest problem for Michele, she is so honest and trusting, and she trusted these campaign advisers to guide her, protect her and do their jobs, they are the ones that failed not her. She will not be so trusting next time.


In spite of all the effort … to shift the blame for the failed campaign to her campaign staff, the picture is one of an organization without a leader. She fumbled and bumbled her way through the campaign presenting a convincing picture of someone totally unqualified to be president.

Harriet Harman is either thick or criminally disingenuous

Just why is Nadine Dorries so despised?

For a start, it isn’t because she’s pro-life, and it isn’t because she’s religious, although there are an awful lot of people who seem to think otherwise. Nadine Dorries has been having way too much fun playing the victim card, interpreting every criticism of her policies as a personal attack.

‘Traitor’ Blears could be kicked out by Thursday as grovelling fails to appease her local party

Diane Abbott ‘fell asleep in key Westminster debate on abortion laws’

Worst of the worst

How about a competition not for the worst minister between 1997 and 2010 but the worst Labour MP? And I nominate: Glenda Jackson.

‘I have the powers of high-level nagging’

Yet few ministers suffer such a bad rep, not just from Conservatives, but the very women’s groups who fought so hard for [Lynne Featherstone’s] role to be created. Her tendency to go off on a tangent during debates, or say the wrong thing when asked to comment … has led to much name-calling. As the Guardian’s women’s editor, I want to support her, and will face charges of hypocrisy if I don’t. But our previous meetings have not been encouraging. [Also, it takes a special mind: “Lynne Featherstone: if I’m wealthy its because I have a nice house …”]

And quickly:

Louise Mensch: “Several embarrassing errors, such as not understanding the role of participants in the Leveson inquiry, can occasionally make her actively uninformative.”

Tessa Jowell: A masterclass in tedium. The shadow Olympics minister mixes laborious party political niceties … with persistently uninteresting news. Like a modern art installation representing the tedium of modern British politics.

Baroness Ashton: I put her inappropriate comments down to stupidity (she is way out of her depth on every issue) rather than bigotry.

Christine Lagarde: Mme Lagarde, whose crass incompetence has already been well proven by the ever worsening EU economic crisis in the few short weeks since she supposedly took charge at the IMF, has now given her supposed seal of approval to the EU endorsed smashing of Italy’s democracy.

Caitriona Ruane: Has there ever been a more incompetent minister in the history of Irish or British Politics? [Although] Jenny Dawe rivals [her] for most incompetent woman politician of 2011. At least Sinn Fein did the decent thing with Ruane. Slugger O’Toole: [Is she] dysfunctional or merely incompetent?

Jennifer Lynch: She’s already told Parliament that she’s going to give them recommendations about what her job description at the CHRC should be. What an uppity, insubordinate, presumptuous hack. She is Parliament’s servant, yet she has arrogated unto herself the status of lecturing her bosses – and spending tens of thousands of taxpayers dollars on consultants and lobbyists to clean up her ugly reputation.

Janet Napolitano: Homeland Security chief, gave the most lame, inept excuses imaginable. She engenders no confidence by the American people that we are being even adequately protected from terrorist threats. Her “body of work” to date in the Obama Administration has been abysmally dismal, repeatedly reaffirming that she is not qualified for this job and needs to be fired immediately.

Zenna Atkins: You’ll recall yesterday, listed as one of her qualifications for the job, that she was “a tall busty blonde. I like being a tall busty blonde. I flaunt it.” You’ll also recall her “insisting all pupils need one “s*** teacher” and that it would be wrong to sack useless members of staff. The word she used was then airbrushed out, in news articles, to “bad teacher” or “dud teacher” but in fact she had said s*** teacher.

Julia Middleton: Barking mad is how Ms Middleton comes across in her videos and how anyone can be taken in by the rubbish she preaches is beyond me! … Can you imagine sitting in on one of her seminars – talk about comical. Just goes to show how gullible many people are even those who are supposed to be professionals.

Just how long is it going to take? If you don’t let the grovelling men who are in power anywhere near the reins , then you equally don’t allow women of this type [above] near the reins full stop.

The one competent female leader of the modern era has just said:

‘If I had my time again, I wouldn’t go into politics’: Thatcher regretted becoming PM because of effect it had on her family

Women are just not right for it, they lack the equipment. Perhaps they’re better in the judiciary:

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is by all objective accounts an activist judge who will indulge left-wing policy preferences instead of impartially applying the law. She appears to be intellectually shallow, and perfectly willing to use her judicial power to discriminate on the basis of race, as long as the victims of discrimination are white. Sotomayor freely admits that she makes judicial decisions based on her feelings and personal politics rather than the Constitution and the law, as if this were something to be proud of rather than ashamed of.

Is Cherie Blair the worst judge ever to sit on the bench?

And so on.

I’ll say it once more – as managers of vision, women can make great administrators. Given a task to perform, an area to administer or even to manage, they are, IMHO, better than men in many cases. They can be great sub-managers – thorough and with an eye for detail.

But not in managing a large field such as a large company, a civil department or a metropolis, let alone a state or a country. Who keeps pushing them forward, who keeps putting them in these positions? Not one has been shown to be able to handle the position, not even the former Sydney Lord Mayor, Lucy Turnbull who, by all accounts, was incompetent without actually being damaging, unlike Ms Moore:

Mr Turnbull, the husband of Ms Moore’s mayoral predecessor Lucy Turnbull, said: “I have never, never, never understood why, when Clover became Lord Mayor of Sydney (in 2004), she recontested her seat in state parliament. “I don’t understand how she can do justice to both jobs or why she would want to distract herself from the very important job she has as Lord Mayor of Sydney by sitting on the crossbenches of state parliament, where she has very little influence,” he said.

It especially comes out in the area of business. The lady who wrote this was making the point that there are good and bad females, as there are males but look carefully at the roles described and therein lies the key point:

My boss (age 60’s) and manager (age 30s) are females. They are both from extreme ends of a rope. My boss is an absolute b***h, rude, unprofessional, lazy, bossy, micro manages, undermines, stupid and constantly sabotaging everything the team does and plans because it’s not her ideas. She does this spy thing when more than 2 of us congregate to discuss something face to face instead of emailing, she moves near us and pretends to be searching for something while eavesdropping.

But my manager is extremely hard working, yet sympathetic, nurturing and understanding. Always making sure we are happy at work and encourages us to speak up if anything is wrong. As soon as she asks of us to do work, we get it done in a drop of a hat and are never afraid of approaching her. We all have so much respect for her (we are not brown nosers…) and absolutely none for our nasty boss.

I’m going to come back to that but let’s look at what a man says first:

I hate to say it, but basically every single problem manager I’ve had has been a woman. This is not to say every female manager I’ve had has been bad, far from it. But a lot of them have been a problem. I find they take things more personally (ie work disagreements, differing points of view when it comes to how to handle proffesional problems), whereas male managers seem to be better at compartmentalising (ie a disagreement about handling a proffesional issue has zero to do with personal like/dislike or any future interactions).

OK, in that first quote, the girl is describing a boss, as in the person in ultimate charge and her “manager” is presumably her immediate boss, maybe an assistant-manager, maybe a supervisor. It’s clear that the former is higher than the latter. And there is my point again – women are great in certain roles and up to a certain point.

Has anyone thought that the glass ceiling is still not cracked for more reasons than just men’s misogyny and the old boy’s club? That there might be a Peter Principal at work here?

A lady I know and I were having a conversation in the last week about this very thing. She was banging on about her boss and the assistant boss and it followed exactly the pattern as the quote above – one micromanaging, even down to counting the biscuits people had consumed [cf with Caroline Flint] and utterly unable to delegate … while the other was nurturing, helpful and an all round pleasant person to work for.

This is the crux of the matter, the nub. When a woman [and a man too for that matter] is promoted that one step too far, the Peter Principle comes in and she spends a large amount of her time shoring herself up and less on what she should be doing. She is consumed by the possibility of people being disloyal to her [which they are] and also drives herself to an early grave, for she fears any other woman’s attempt at usurping her – there is so much anecdotal evidence for this latter point that you can find that for yourself.

Another critical point and you’d need to decide that for yourself on this post, is how far what I have argued is valid and how far the product of men’s general disdain for women managers. I would obviously argue that this post is valid and only one fraction of the evidence has been presented – we could go on for pages and pages.

Whether the former or the latter, perception is a crucial aspect of management and if she can’t carry her troops’ loyalty, as in the Caroline Flint case, as in the case of the boss of my lady friend or in any of the cases listed above, then she shouldn’t be there in the first place. It might be unfair, there may well be a glass ceiling but that doesn’t alter reality – dislike of the female manager is a very real factor in a happy organization and has to be taken into account.

Having written all that, I personally like having a female boss because I can usually get my way better with her than with a man, the conversation is meatier and more fulfilling and she’s easier on the eyes than a guy. Sometimes I even get a kiss. She’s nice to sit down to a meal with and there are always things in her appearance that day to compliment. The place is cleaner. The women cook and bring food for us to share. From her point of view, I think she likes having a male present as a counterpoint to an all-female environment and I’m not averse to those odds in the least, plus there’s always the possibility of chemistry with male-female. In fact, the most insane decisions recently have been from the area manager, a male who obviously doesn’t know the game.

So at that level, fine but I still don’t go back on the comments about large organizations and/or ones where people’s welfare depends on the boss’s competence and vision.

12 comments for “In large organizations, you just can’t have them in charge

  1. abrupt
    March 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I cannot wait for the comments on this one

  2. Voice of Reason
    March 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Too many of the cases have nothing to do with gender, in my opinion. I have seen just as bad, stupid, incompetent and paranoid behaviours from many males in the hierarchy. The problem is that the people you point at are frequently installed only because they are female.

    Then, if you are looking for a female with the appropriate politcal connections, the available field is often quite sparse.

    • March 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      The problem is that the people you point at are frequently installed only because they are female.

      Yes, that’s the issue, hence all the parachutee posts. Don’t forget I didn’t let men off in the post.

      • Moggsy
        March 30, 2012 at 9:23 am

        James, I do agree a post should go on ability, not on skin color, or sex, or religion. Unless you are advertising for a ladie’s maid or something (not that I would be).

        But this post seems to be missing it’s real target that should rightly be left wing politically correct box ticking, not half the human race.

  3. Mudplugger
    March 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    In my career I had some female bosses: some who had earned it on their backs, some who had earned it on their birth certificate, but hardly any who had earned it on merit.

    The problem is that the first two are quickly exposed, their struggles to operate at that level infecting all the organisation and earning them (and the ones who appointed them) only derision.

    But, working for a good female boss is enlightening – they simply add a different layer of attributes to the common ones displayed by all good male bosses.

    The challenge for recruiters is to cut through the preferment nonsense and only appoint on merit. A few years of that and it should no longer be an issue – managers would be respected for their skills, regardless of gender, which is how it should always have been.

  4. March 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    There’s too much of the generalized quota thing and too much of a PC ignoring of what particular people bring to specific roles. It’s everything – age, gender, experience, nationality, actual qualification for that particular job, race, all sorts of factors. When a govt says certain factors are not allowed to be considered or where people are desperate to be “fair and non-discriminatory”, then you don’t always get the best person for the job.

    This has been shown in the examples given. It’s amusing to see people make excuses for these people in the post, as if women can never be criticized. To say “there are men equally as bad’ is not to make the women in the post better.

  5. john in cheshire
    March 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    James, I’m in full agreement with you.

  6. Moggsy
    March 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Voice of reason is right I think.

    You quote “It’s a truth by no means universally acknowledged (paraphrasing a woman) that when it comes to women, they really must not be allowed into top management roles if they are ideologically driven and where the jurisdiction is large, complex and mutating, for example a nation. ”

    This, if it didn’t especially single out women, might well be a true statement about people generally.

    As it is it your post clearly suggests women are basically less competent than men and that is simply (good word) mendacious and betrays an unreasonable and unreasoning predudice.

    The idea of promotion beyond a person’s level of competence absolutely preceeds women in the boardroom or government or out of the kitchen and bedroom.

    It probably was around before universal sufferage in the west.

    Maybe you see it as ok if a guy gets a job for being a party hack, or born to the right parents or just climbing above their abilities?

    List all the incompetent women you like I expect a similar longer list could be compiled of male incompetents.

    Longer, not because males are more, or even less, incompetent… but because more of them end up in positions of power. And that is just the way it is.

  7. March 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    List of incompetent female MPs just updated. Shall keep updating this list from around the blogs as and when they arise. Going to add to this comment now:

    From the post at my place, dedicated to you, which you know about, Moggsy:

    It’s this mania for homogeneity which is so blighting us. Countries are not the same, people are not the same. An African will think differently to me on many issues, a woman most certainly will. An older man will think differently to a younger man. They are not equal in all respects and they most certainly are not the same.

    Yet government, on an ideological whim, lays down social policy and says: “There’s your decreed reality you will operate within.” Anyone trying to follow the “real” reality is prosecuted and incarcerated or called all sorts of horrible names – racist, misogynist, disablist etc … even, heaven forbid, mendacious.

    A woman is not my equal. In some ways she’s superior, in some ways inferior, in the food we both eat – the same. It’s all of those, not some State-imposed, uniform unreality of sameness. I want this stupidity, this inanity, this mania, particularly of women that they can do everything exactly the same and better to cease. It’s pathological and it’s fanned by the wickedness of the State agenda serving its own ends.

    Also, in this post at OoL, was:

    It’s a truth fairly universally acknowledged that, of the available men for the top jobs, the wrong ones get them more often than not, either through brownnosing or tickboxing and they end up making a pig’s breakfast of things …

    So yes, you can list incompetent males and so can I.

    … when it comes to women, they really must not be allowed into top management roles if they are ideologically driven and where the jurisdiction is large, complex and mutating, for example a nation …

    I should have added to this last one “… and if they are parachutees …”

    There is nowhere in that that I have lumped all women in though you need it to be so, so that you can accuse me of thinking all women inferior, which I don’t. Exhibit A: Julia M. I happen to think she’s superior in many respects and would wish that she and her kind were in place at Westminster – then we might get some sanity.

    I’ve specified which types and running through that list in the post, every one of those is of those two types and every one of them is incompetent. Not a few, not a majority – all of them.

    I repeat that there is no way certain types of women should be allowed to be in charge. Lastly, quoting Fabian Tassano on what is blighting us today:

    Once upon a time there was a world which was culturally productive but rather inegalitarian. Then the inhabitants invented ‘social justice’ as a device for legitimising their mutual hostility, and soon things were in a pretty pickle.

    VofR – wasn’t ignoring you but ladies first. I agree with you:

    The problem is that the people you point at are frequently installed only because they are female.

  8. David A. Evans
    March 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    As far as I can see, you missed two notable American parachutees.

    Jane Lubchenko and Lisa Jackson!

    EDIT: I suspect they were actually parachuted in because of their incompetence!

    • March 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks, David – shall add them now.

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