The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Sunday, June 14, 2009

the royal visit

This week is John Fry Week at The Heelers Diaries.
Yes folks, all this week we're celebrating the arrival in Ireland of John Fry, the talented effervescent utterly wonderful Chief Executive of the Johnston Press.
At last the great man has deigned to walk among us.
Truly we are blessed.
Some days ago, the delectable Laura Noonan of the Irish Independent wrote of media speculation that John Fry is in Ireland to close down a printing facility.
But who cares what he's here for.
Let us not be churlish.
We must make him welcome.
I intend to do my level best to make him feel right at home.
Some of you will be aware that the Johnston Press took over the Leinster Leader newspaper a few years ago and shortly afterwards fired me.
Ah we were younger men then.
It is time to forgive and forget.
It should be noted that John Fry was only appointed Chief Executive of the Johnston Press last January.
It seemed to me like a sudden enough appointment.
The Johnston Press claimed the old Chief Executive's retirement was long planned and had nothing to do with a collapse in the company's trading position and the evaporation of its share price.
Apparently his predecessor just had places to go, people to see.
Other fish to fry, arf arf.
So the new Chief Executive has decided to show his face in Ireland.
No doubt John Fry is being met with admiring glances and respectful salutes as he tours the various Irish company facilities whose ownership now resides with the Johnston Press.
For everybody loves the Johnston Press.
What's not to like.
The Johnston Press has taken over 20 Irish newspapers which previously had nothing to do with it.
It runs around 300 titles in the United Kingdom.
It is in debt to idiot banks to the tune of around 500 million quid that we know about.
The fate of 20 Irish newspapers and 300 Brit ones is now inextricably bound up with the fate of the people who fired me.
I gotta say I doubt the abilities of those people.
I gotta say I don't think they could run a public toilet let alone 320 newspapers.
But perhaps I'm not an objective judge.
Ah despair where is thy sting.
I wonder will any of those 320 publications be around in five years time.
Remember, the share price of the Johnston Press fell from around £4 to a level of five pennies within a year of the decision to fire me.
I think God is punishing them.
I'm predicting that God will punish them further.
I'm predicting that their company will cease to exist.
We'll see.
But five pennies.
And classy, classy people.
Five pennies 'orth of genius guvnor.
Cor blimey.
It's the price of them.
The takeover of Irish newspapers by a British company like the Johnston Press presents some interesting talking points.
Certainly the workforce at the Leinster Leader, (I mean the journalists, the sales executives, the girls on the phones, basically those people who actually did do some work as opposed to the management types who got paid through the nose for doing nothing), none of us actual members of the workforce were given a choice in the matter of the Johnston Press takeover of our company.
Not our area of expertise.
Personally I'd have advised against accepting the takeover by the way.
Up to the eve of the Johnston Press takeover, the Leinster Leader itself had traded successfully for 130 years.
Ironically enough it was originally established by nationalists to oppose British rule in Ireland.
Ironic alright.
The irony is screaming.
We didn't need the Johnston Press.
But maybe three or four members of management needed millions of pounds.
Ah yes.
A deal that benefits a handful of people who are already rich and leaves everybody else facing an old age without pay or pension.
Where can I sign up for that sublime social vision.
I'm telling you folks, this is where Stalin, Hitler, Chairman Mao, Robert Mugabe, President Ahmadinejad, Pol Pot, and all the other murdering bogeymen of history come from.
If the social order is unjust enough, people finally get sick of it.
People will finally choose hell on earth rather than be impoverished by British toe rags who know nothing about our country.
So here we are.
The Leinster Leader had weathered two world wars, the Cold War, Nine Eleven, the internet challenge, the rise of free sheet newspapers everything life and the ages could throw at us.
Tell me folks.
Do any of you seriously think the Leinster Leader will weather being bought out by the Johnston Press?
They fired me.
A brilliant decision.
No better indicator of their insight and abilities.
You know I really think I've come to terms with it.
So much so that I can now bid John Fry Chief Executive of the Johnston Press welcome to Ireland.
Ea re sanguinolente bastardo, as the Romans used to say.
May you go beneath the earth wretching blood.
I am not commenting as succinctly as I'd like on the Johnston Press and its latest newly appointed management genius.
I would prefer to offer a more measured and balanced assessment in honour of His Highness John Fry's arrival on these shores.
But I don't trust myself.
Instead I ask you gentle readers, to google the words "Chocolate Salty Balls video by Chef." You will find a link to Mr Youtube's nifty little website.
I ask you to click on this.
Here you will find the full extent of my feelings for John Fry expressed more delicately and with greater restraint than I am capable of at the moment.
It's better than they deserve.


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