Friday, 24 January 2014

Poetry corner with Gerard Hastings

I've been reading a bit of The Marketing Matrix by Gerard Hastings. Regular readers will fondly recall Gerard as one of the University of Sterling's numerous left-wing academics who uses 'public health' to push his anti-capitalist agenda. Despite having no medical qualifications, he has his fingers in both the temperance and anti-smoking pies (he is the director of the Centre for Tobacco Control Research and co-authored the review of evidence for plain packaging). He wants e-cigarette advertising banned, which is hardly surprising since he seems to want all advertising banned.

I wasn't expecting much from Hastings' book, to be honest. I thought I had got the measure of the man from his socialist outbursts in the media. Sure enough, The Marketing Matrix is a sixth form polemic about how we're all so oppressed by the free market. But there is a marvellous and unexpected joy within these pages, for it includes some of Gerard's poetry.

Would you like to read one of his poems? Of course you would.


The Corporation

You wear my name upon your breast
Your body end to end
It's plain for all the world to see
You are my greatest friend
You are my greatest friend, you are my greatest friend
I am the Corporation and you are my greatest friend

You love my Golden Arches
You crave my stylish swoosh
The looks you give my logos
Would cause a stone to blush, cause a stone to blush
I am the Corporation and I'd cause a stone to blush

My slogans are your poetry
Though they'd make a poet scream
They give your life its meaning
And craft your hopes and dreams
Craft your hopes and dreams, craft your hopes and dreams
I am the Corporation and I craft your hopes and dreams

You let me recreate you
In my image, by the hand
Like masochistic cattle
You queue to get my brand
Queue to get my brand, queue to get my brand
I am the Corporation and you queue to get my brand

Now my work has just begun
I have ambitious goals
I've started with your heart
But soon I'll have your soul
Soon I'll have your soul, soon I'll have your soul
I am the Corporation and soon I'll have your soul

For I am the new Jehovah
You answer to my call
You kneel before the labels
And worship in my malls
Worship in my malls, worship in my malls
I am the Corporation and you worship in my malls

You wear my name upon your breast
Your body head to toe
Little do you understand
I am your greatest foe
I am your greatest foe, I am your greatest foe
I am the Corporation and I am your greatest foe
For I'll crush you in the end, crush you in the end
I am the Corporation and I'll crush you in the end


Isn't that a wonderful? Oh, to be sixteen again!

It's worth remembering when you see Hastings on the television—as he was last night—that these are the kind of thoughts that are running through his mind. Getting him involved in regulating industries is a fox/chicken coop situation and probably best avoided.

10 comments:

nisakiman said...

I actually rather like poetry, which is why I didn't get past the first couple of stanzas.

Dear God, to think he had the effrontery to publish such dross speaks volumes about the man.

Jean Granville said...

It's more of a song's lyrics, and It makes me think of a degraded version of Joe Jackson's much better "I'm The Man" lyrics, which goes like this:

Pretty soon now
Y'know I'm gonna make a comeback
And like the birds and the bees in the trees
It's a sure-fire smash
I'll speak
To the masses throughout the media
And if you got anything to say to me
You can say it with cash
'Cause I got the trash and you got the cash
So baby we should get along fine
So give me all your money 'cause I know you think I'm funny
Can't you hear me laughing
Can't you see me smile

I'm the man
I'm the man that gave you the hula-hoop
I'm the man
I'm the man that gave you the yo-yo

Kung fu
That was one of my good ones
Well what's a few broken bones
When we all know it's good clean fun
Skateboards
I've almost made them respectable
You see I can't always get through to you
So I go for your son
I had a giant rubber shark and it really made a mark
Didja looka looka lookit alla blood
Give me all your money 'cause I know you think I'm funny
Can't you hear me laughing
Can't you see me smile

I'm the man
I'm the man that gave you the hula-hoop
I'm the man
I'm the man that gave you the yo-yo

Right now
I think I'm gonna plan a new trend
Because the line on the graph's getting low
And we can't have that
And you think you're immune
But I can sell you anything
Anything from a thin safety pin
To a pork pie hat
'Cause I got the trash and you got the cash
So baby we should get along fine
So give me all your money 'cause I know you think I'm funny
Can't you hear me laughing
Can't you see me smile

I'm the man
I'm the man that gave you the hula-hoop
I'm the man
I'm the man that gave you the yo-yo

Joe Jackson's song is funny while Hastings' is dull.
But let's wait for the music to "The Corporation".

JD said...

Does he mean the Corporation as in the days of my youth - corporation buses, corporation houses, corporation libraries? No, I thought not. Maybe he means the BBC? Or maybe he's just an arse who thinks calling companies corporations makes them sound more sinister.

Junican said...

Remember the McTear Case? Tobacco Control tried to get a judgement that the tobacco company, ITL were responsible for McTear's lung cancer. This is what Judge Nimmo Smith said abut Garard Hastings's 'expert' evidence:

"Professor Hastings, who regarded himself as an advocate for greater measures of
tobacco control, carried this into his courtroom manner and his tendency to argue with counsel rather than to answer questions. I am bound to say that none of Professor Friend, Sir Richard Doll and Professor Hastings seemed to me to be
mindful of the need to be independent (see para.[5.18]), and each appeared to me to engage in advocacy to a greater or lesser extent.
"
And later:
"Finally, on addiction:
(6.208) The evidence of Professor Hastings appears to me to add nothing for present purposes. The fact that individuals may be exposed to advertising, and even influenced by it, does not mean that they are precluded from exercising a free choice. Advertising simply adds to the complexity of the individual’s decision-making process. People are well-accustomed to weighing up mixed messages, and to making their own decisions and choices. In any event Professor Hastings himself disclaimed any such mechanistic account of the influences to which an individual such as Mr McTear might be exposed"

Hastings strikes me as something of a charlatan, who has taken advantage of Tobacco Control to feather his own nest and exercise his desire for power.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Nice find Junican. Very interesting. I can't see why Hastings would be invited to speak at that court case in the first place.

Junican said...

I can't remember how I came across the McTear Case. It seems to me that that case was very, very important in that it set a precedent which applied throughout the Commonwealth. It only concluded in 2005, so it is not ancient.
TC lost the case on all four claims - that smoking causes lung cancer in general; that smoking caused Mr McTear's LC in particular; that JPS cigarettes were the specific cigarettes in question, and that he only smoked as a result of addiction (caused knowingly by the tobacco company).

The actual 'opinion' of Judge Lord Nimmo Smith covered some 600 pages. I spent some weeks doing a summary of the 'opinion' and managed to reduce it to some 60 pages without, as far as I can tell, losing the essentials.
Anyone interested in reading my summary, or even the whole 'opinion', can access them here:

http://boltonsmokersclub.wordpress.com/the-mctear-case-the-analysis/

-----

It has amazed me that Tobacco Companies failed to take advantage of the judgement. It is really weird. But the same occurred about Stirling Uni's claims about youth smoking initiation. Japan Tobacco demanded information about the nitty-gritty of the study and was supported by the Ombudsman. But, having won the judgement, Japan Tobacco suddenly dropped the whole thing! The only rational explanation is that 'deals were done' in secret and that corruption is wide-spread.

Bucko The Moose said...

That settles it. I've been wondering if public health 'professionals' are all missing a gene. The gene that allows you to feel embarrassment.

I think this poem must be proof. Although I may need some funding to investigate my theory further.

Ivan D said...


Hasting has been awarded an OBE for his "services" to healthcare. He has produced nothing of value and has used public health as a vehicle to promote his political agenda. His worthlessness is rivaled by few.

And the Westminster clique wonder why we don't vote for them and why we increasingly despise them.

Junican said...

Ivan,
They nominate each other, especially the academics. Their 'awards' are worthless baubles.

Ivan D said...


Agreed Junican but the tragedy is that this demeans those awards given to others who actually deserve recognition.

Australia has just honored Mike Daube thereby reinforcing the attitude that telling the truth is of little value in modern society.

Honoring people such as Daube and Hastings sets an extremely poor example for our children but fortunately most of them are smart enough to realize this which is why young people are especially disillusioned with politicians and the establishment.

I have no idea why politicians are not as smart as children but there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this is very much the case.