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The Apprentice BBC – Men and Women behaving badly to make money and make us laugh



Apprentices - Class of 2013


The Apprentice (1) – Mission (sadly) Possible

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to scour the land to find: irreducible egotists with a delusional conviction of their superior abilities and talent, devoid of any objective evidence to justify it and which is disproved by every self-aggrandising word that escapes their lips.

It is essential that you select individuals so manically self-obsessed that they are congenitally incapable of productive cooperation or any kind of shared enterprise teamwork.

They should be willing to sacrifice any independence of thought or personal ethics or honour to the overwhelming priorities defined by the producers of this sedulously promoted media product: the highly profitable world-wide franchise known as The Apprentice.

Women should be comfortable as Boardroom eye-candy, vindictive and either openly or better still, passively, aggressive to anyone threatening their ludicrously inflated conception of themselves, especially other female contestants.

The men should be intelligent, shrewd and unremittingly stupid in practical, common sense activities. Men and women should be oblivious to their own limitations or weaknesses and immediately employ their intelligent articulacy to avoid personal responsibility for anything that goes wrong with a passionate commitment to blaming someone else for their own deficiencies and mistakes.” Cowardice rocks.

This nasty, vindictive, mean-spirited farce will, as ever, be presided over by its Hobbesian (nasty, brutish and short) Chairman Alan ‘Call-me-Lord’ Sugar. His sycophantic side-kicks Karen Brady and Nick Hewer will deliver, as ever, post hoc, ad hoc business nostrums of banal obviousness that will suck up to what they know to be the Lugar’s uncompromising prejudices – about women, about intelligence and about dissent, however intelligent and soundly argued: Lugarian FIFO Management – Fit In or F*ck Off.

Yes folks the schadenfruede show returns for another disreputable season: dedicated to the proposition that customers are fair-game mugs to be conned into paying over-the-odds for crap goods and services inflated by hubristic, cynical, aggressive selling. The ‘make-money-at-all-costs’ Lugarian business philosophy is a perfect match with venal bankers and equally self-serving politicians who have kept them in place, in charge, and free of the shamed conviction for criminality they justly deserve.

I have had a bit of fun in the past taking the well-deserved piss out this demeaning, ethically bankrupt, bitchy (and that’s just the men), media product. But in a world where criminal bankers go unpunished; incompetent politicians are promoted rather than sacked for their culpable failures; and businessmen can effectively ‘buy’ peerages and undeserved recognition – the joke now falls flat. Because: real people are struggling to raise families and make ends meet. A strong, healthy economy founded upon honest, ethical, honourable fair profit for quality goods and services needs commitment and articulation to bring about. In these circumstances, the Lugarian business philosophy of buy-it-cheap, flog-it-dear creates precisely the kind of toxic business and ethical climate that corrupts intelligent young people, like the current batch of Apprentices, into selfish, self-obsessed, greed-driven behaviour that will not sustain the planet and certainly not a healthy, honestly conducted economy.

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