Wednesday’s Piece

“Two big factors restrict strikes. One is the unions’ small funds, which amount only to an average week’s wages to each man. The other is public opinion, which looms like a genie: the TUC knows well that strikes by public services, as by the London busmen in 1958, can make the genie scowl.”

(From Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

18th July, 1970

sampson_300

Saturday’s Piece

“‘The Tory party is run by about five people” said one leading Tory: ‘and they all treat their followers with disdain: they’re mostly Etonians, and Eton is good for disdain.'”

(From Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

22nd June, 1970

Tuesday’s Piece

“….MPs are being selected for totally different qualities. ‘They’re chosen because they’re good at talking, not doing’. As one cabinet minister put it, ‘It’s very difficult to find people who can actually run things.'”

(Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

22nd February, 1970

Tuesday’s Piece

“…..the prime minister, like the cabinet, is constantly having things done to him – by America, Russia, the TUC, the Opposition, and even his own colleagues, which spoil any pattern he may be devising, and provide further muddle.”

(Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

9th February, 1970

Friday’s Piece

“….one view of the role of the ‘Establishment’….is that it creates a closed, self-contained circle which favours hereditary amateurs against self-made professionals, produces ‘old-boy’ agreements between banks and businesses, and acts as a drag on ambition and dynamic.”

(From Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

19th January, 1970

Sunday’s Piece

“Western capitalism has not yet discovered a dynamic substitute for the self-advancing entrepreneur. Only the prospect of personal gain can provide the lively eye on the future, the gambler’s skill, the restless awareness of what industries are finished and what still to come, on which the city’s reputation must eventually stand or fall.”

(From Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell (who, while acknowledging the awful truth of this statement, does not interpret it as licence for the abandonment of altruistic concepts in civic affairs).

14th December, 1969

Tuesday’s Piece

“…..a big American food firm in Britain held a sales conference, to pep up its salesmen. The sales manager began by blowing up a balloon, and bursting it with a small bang. ‘That wasn’t very good, was it,’ he said to the company: ‘Now each of you will find a balloon under his chair: would you mind bringing it out and blowing it up.’ The salesmen pulled out their balloons and all blew them up. ‘Now we’ll all burst them together’ – and they did with a loud bang. ‘That was much better, wasn’t it? You see that goes to show that one man by himself can’t do much, but if you all work as a team you can make a big bang.”

(From Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

16th July, 1969

Sunday’s Piece

“Next door to the ministers, in less spectacular rooms, are the permanent secretaries. The contrast with their ‘masters’ is immediately obvious.The secretaries are, above all, anonymous……With many senior civil servants anonymity is a passion as gripping as fame is for their masters……”

(From Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

7th July, 1969

Saturday’s Piece

“I have not thought it necessary to reiterate that I consider Britain the most civilised and humane country, and the happiest to live in, and I have not dwelt on the long traditions of democracy, and the tolerance and humanity of most British institutions, which Englishmen easily forget and which writing this book has brought home to me.”

(From Anatomy of Britain by Anthony Sampson, 1926 – 2004)

John Lentell

26th April, 1969