17 July 2009

Ken Clarke’s wonderful world

Should we all attempt to go about our daily lives like Ken Clarke?

FT: Do you carry a mobile phone now?

Ken Clarke: I’ve carried one for a long time but I don’t switch it on.

FT: BlackBerry?

KC: Yes, but I don’t switch that on as well. David [Cameron] taught me to carry a BlackBerry, which is quite useful. I can keep up with the markets, I can keep up with the news and keep up with the cricket scores. But I don’t switch it on because, firstly, I find I don’t notice that it’s buzzing, so people encouraged to use it find they still can’t contact me, even when I have got it switched on.

And the same with the mobile phone. I do live surrounded by people who are never off the blasted mobile phone and I do think it’s a distraction. I will confess to being an old fogey on modern technology. I think the reason the efficiency of the average office and bureaucracy has deteriorated is because they’re obsessed with information technology and gadgetry. It really vastly increases the complications of the processes and the burdens of the paperwork, if they print it out. It slows everything down.

And three cheers for this.

FT: You haven’t made any concession to fitness regimes, have you?

KC: None whatever, no. I avoid all unnecessary exercise, apart from walking around bird-watching. No, no. Very dangerous at my age to do that kind of thing. They say politicians should never make jokes with journalists but my after-dinner speech joke is jogging is for people who are not intelligent enough to watch breakfast television. It’s not original. I forget whose it is.

Don’t you just love the guy.  He has my vote.

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