Thursday, 2 June 2011

Job done! Repossession of an expression


In the last two weeks, our staff have been very busy coping with demands of both Mr Obama and Mr Blatter regarding presidential powers, decrees, votes, transparency and how democracy actually works.  Our experts have been gathering in Dauville and Zurich for matters of the utmost importance. 

Among the topics not discussed at the G8 or in FIFA Haus was the matter of trade in moral dilemma.  We’ve visited this topic before and are pleased to note that moral dilemma was discussed in the final programme of the Moral Maze series.  This is a programme which is broadcast live on a Wednesday and repeated the following Saturday.  It can be listened on the BBC iPlayer and we discussed the programme in some detail two weeks ago. 

We would like to remind you that the said Slut Walk will be taking place on Saturday.  Lady Jean Bridie will be discussing this from the perspective of procession, orders, chivalry and the rights of women to dress as they please etc.

The FIFA coronation of Mr Blatter against the strong advice of the English Football Association, with some alleged support from the Scottish Football Association, proved to be a non-event as the election proceeded in much the same way as elections have done in tyrannical regimes, one party states  and even some religious groupings with territorial claims.  We are quite sure that FIFA has, as yet, no arrangement with the Swiss Customs Union for a partial cantonment of FIFA Haus in Zurich, though one of Lady Jean Bridie’s friends in Kanton Glarus is keeping a watchful eye should FIFA 101 be required in such wide subjects as banking regulations, copyright infringement, sponsorship, corruption and fund raising in matters of academic study for some of the UK leading universities (£9000 per year). 

The Obreption Collective (OC) is in listening mode and we’ve been listening to all our readers and followers with the same care and affection shown by Her Majesty’s Government in matters of health reform, immigration, law and order, education and constitutional arrangements within and without the United Kingdom and the European Union.  The OC is harvesting some new pools of talent and we’ve been so impressed by some of our alumni that we look forward to the next semester. 

Our discussion of the Moral Maze features a Roman Catholic commentator and an Anglican priest.  To illustrate balance, we have included a plaque which could symbolise the Methodists, who might be engaged in some sort of marriage proposal.


A few words on the final programme of the Moral Maze:

At the beginning one of the regular panellists – I think it was Matthew Taylor – mentioned David Hume and I was agog in anticipation wondering if Raymond Tallis would put in an appearance.  As it turned out, Tallis did appear at the very end of the programme and knocked the four panellists into the long grass.  Clifford Longley was totally out of it trying to bring ‘theology’ into a discussion about science and morals.  Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, tried not to be in ‘Thought for the Day’ mode and acquitted himself fairly well. 

The other guests were:

Professor Joshua Greene ( and
Professor Jerry Coyne ( ), who could neatly sidestep any daft hypothetical idea posed by the panel.  In this case, Claire Fox sounded as if some sense was being made, but again this was all very philosophical and shows how poor some of the regular panellists can be in trying to debate subjects with which they have encountered little challenge hitherto.  I missed this programme last week, but have enjoyed listening to it twice on a live basis.  The Slut Walk was more confrontational and perhaps more entertaining; the last one less so.  This may have been due to the fact that Melanie Philips and Michael Portillo were not there.


The reference to job done may attract a wry smile from some of a certain age who have a paternal grandmother ‘Scottish’ in their ancestry.  These ladies were renowned for what is euphemistically described as ‘potty training’.  The grandmother would ask her daughter-in-law (the child’s mother): has he done his job?  To which the mother would reply: job done! 

The child would learn this to the extent that many people who are a quarter Scottish will recognise the term ‘job done’ not as a victory for Manchester United Football Club nor as mission accomplished – as often used by generals and defence staff.  The appropriation of such terms causes confusion, so it was with some sense of schadenfreude and a bit of zeitgeist and even a gestalt shift that Manchester Untied Football Club did not win last Saturday.  So there!


  1. You've been attacking the Communion wine again, I see. What's this about Man Untied? I know they lost the final, but still ... :-)

  2. I know that you view religion as a kind of religion. You're not in any way suggesting that Mr Blatter in any way resembles the Pope in being the leader of a world movement? I know that Sir Alex Ferguson has been quoted as saying that: football is not a matter of life and death, it's much more important. You have neatly juxtaposed signs and morals. Are you also trying to throw in football and theology? In so doing can you suggest any luminaries apart from Mr Cantona.

    Your mentioning of job done strangely resonated in our family which has some Glasgow influences. I remember Billy Conolly had one of his songs related to the subject, although this was of course more scatological than eschatalogical.

  3. Thank you for your comments. In addition to the BBC Religion and Ethics programme, you might be more familiar with the Radio 5 genre of broadcasting. While many of us find the running commentary of a football match unintelligible, the Radio 5 team usually has a no-nonsense, clearly spoken post-match analysis. In some cases, these comments are often superior to some of the ethics debates. Some of us prefer the clinical approach of the Beyond Belief series, which is always good value.

  4. I didn't believe a word you said about all this business about job done etc etc - and so I looked up Google and .... found this:

    Ah feel better noo ahv dun a jobbie.

    Apologies for thinking you were pulling an obreption on us mugs ....

  5. These small phrases often lead to confusion. I came across your blog when researching Muhammed Iqbal, and it would appear that Islam is not alone when translations of holy scripture are totally taken out of context and deliberately used by obscurantists to divert young minds. I'm sure you were being satirical in your Edinburgh conference regarding Jesus wept in the Christian Bible and you have illustrated the meaningless mantra of 'job done'. I can assure you that there are many such mantras in Islam and a book Understanding the Quran by Ziauddin Sardar has been explaining these. This book may not prove popular with some authorities.

  6. Yes, I had to laugh when I came across a company called 'Jobdone' recently! It seemed to provide a sensible service - odd jobs etc - but I wonder if they knew the origins of the expression.