What's he saying?

What the Elphicke

The week’s you-couldn’t-make-it-up stories…

Here’s the latest edition of Salix Insight with some observations on the week’s you-couldn’t-make-it-ups from the worlds of health, social care and reputational management.

And, what a week to return. Let’s start with Sperm Whales. Or at least with the scientists who claim to be making great progress in understanding their language. Using AI, naturally, apparently we are now closer to interpreting their eerie whistles and clicks. (The whales’ not the scientists’.)

The overiding question is why bother? Would not those brilliant scientific minds be put to better use to working out what, say, Liz Truss is on about any time she opens her mouth? Or George Galloway? Or Joe Biden? Insight anticipates the bitter disappointment awaiting the boffins when they discover that a Sperm Whale’s vocabulary is limited to variations on the word squid. That their number has been so depleted is testament to their not having the words for Japanese whaling ship ahoy!

Animal watching scientists have also been excited by another wonder of the natural world. Recently, an Orangutan was observed applying a poultice, consisting of the chewed leaves of a liana-like plant, Akar Kuning, to an abscess on its face. Oooh! exclaimed health economists around the world. We should not ignore the obvious possibilities this presents. Engaging as they are, Orangutans could not only promote the value of self care, but, with some further training perhaps perform minor surgical procedures. Global healthcare workforce shortages sorted at a stroke!

While our mammalian cousins have given us hope for the future, the same cannot be said for some of our reptilian politicians. 

As a consultancy at the forefront of managing reputations, we cannot be the only people left slack jawed both at Natalie Elphicke’s brazen defection, and the even more bewildering welcome her new party has given her. Elphicke’s switcheroo doesn’t seem to make sense to anyone, least of all to anyone who understands the value of a brand.

Riding high in the polls, the Labour leadership is paranoid about saying or doing something that would compromise their electoral chances. Akin to Prince Andrew thinking it would be a great idea to be interviewed by Emily Maitlis, in what world did Starmer’s advisors think it might be good for the Party’s reputation to welcome the toxic Elphicke and her hardcore hang ‘em and flog ‘em political views? Not to mention her comments in support of her convicted ex-husband. How much more powerful would it have been for Labour to have shown some integrity, and said thanks but no thanks. 

Elphicke is a self-inflicted pain they really don’t need. And, unlike the self-medicating Orangutan, Labour has been left to wipe egg off its face.