This week’s prize-winning perpetrator of marketing speak is the former Thomas Cook group strategy and technology director, Alan French, talking about the rebranding of the travel group. “Our new business will combine fantastic UK based customer service with an updated operating model protected by Atol and with the backing of a multibillion-dollar organisation. The part of the brand that we’d like to take forward is the customer-centricity. We want to be able to wrap it in a technology lens that allows us to bring that to life.” This bold claim left me feeling quite bewildered, as it did Ian Barlow from Bristol, who kindly brought it to my attention.
Such a relief to turn to some old-fashioned common sense from a quite unlikely source, namely David “the human jelly bean” Flatman, the co-presenter of Channel 5’s excellent rugby highlights programme. At the end of last week’s show, he let rip: “Can people stop talking about the global pandemic? Pandemic means global. Can people please stop saying it.”
I paraphrase – I was too lost in admiration to make an exact note. His fellow presenter, Mark Durden-Smith, looked quite taken aback, but more power to Flats’s elbow, which I’m sure he never used in anger during his playing career, though I do recall him saying how much he enjoyed trying to punch Lawrence Dallaglio. Just what we need, though, more plain speaking.
And a big thank-you also to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the reliably apocalyptic economics correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, for the following: “This is not to say that the EU is the most egregious scofflaw of the western world.” Scofflaw – a person who flouts the law, especially by failing to comply with a law that is difficult to enforce effectively. A fine word, Ambrose. I wonder if it applies to anyone in this country.
•Jonathan Bouquet is an Observer columnist