Giving It 110%

2 mins. to read
Giving It 110%

It was David Coleman who got away with persistently and consistently saying rubbish on live sports broadcasts. For those too young to remember, he, rather like Parkinson, was one of those unremarkable individuals who won the TV jobs lottery in the early days and made a lot of money as a pioneer going nowhere in the least bit wild and dangerous. He wasn’t quite so lucky as Parkinson to have a disease named after him, but his comments, flawed in logic, became notorious, ultimately being collected and collated by Private Eye magazine into a regular column called Colemanballs. There have now been many Colemanballs books published, which I want to call volumes, celebrating the verbal incompetence of Coleman and others. One of the most famous lines he said live on telly was “it’s been a game of three halves”.

Did his verbal lunacy cause any real harm? Well I used to think not, but we accept a lot of things in society which should be challenged. We’ve only to look to sport today to find something which underpins a culture of over-expectation that explains the VW emissions issue. It has remained largely unchallenged that sports people routinely mumble about “giving 110%”. It’s not a metaphor: these people are idiots.

No more running things up flagpoles and finding windows in diaries. Nowadays people in companies – whilst still having pointless meetings to make it look like they’re actually working when in fact they are stuffed shirts with no real job just kicking up a dust cloud to make it look like they’re essential employees, before casually taking credit for someone else’s work – would say they’ve given 110%. No matter how inappropriate the timing, pull these people immediately up if they come out with this sort of crap. Especially if time is of the essence and it’s a matter of life and death, have that conversation about how you can’t give 110% right away.

How is 110% doing any harm? Well everyone seems to think there actually is 110% of everything now. To be fair socialists always have, and been quite happy to share things out eleven ways, 10% each. I had a debate with some musos the other day who complained that Spotify doesn’t pay enough for streaming songs. Curious since not one of them has a release on Spotify, and they’re all happy to take underpaid gigs at local pubs, but not one of them has come up with a way to increase the revenue that Spotify is carving up. They’re expecting 110% from Spotify.

Governments expected 110% from manufacturers in order to hit their emissions targets reached, not by scientists, but by people who read a lot of books at uni that they found in the Humanities Department. Is it any wonder now then that we have companies like VW, Audi and Skoda having to ‘cheat’ to have the extra 10% to give. Today I read that Samsung’s screens may have some special software to cheat emissions tests. Quelle sur-bleeding-prise!

These are the very real consequences of not challenging verbal idiocy. 110% is the mathematical equivalent of the grass is always greener concept. Sub-prime was based on 110%. It’s not aiming high; it’s predetermining guaranteed failure. Have a nice weekend!

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