“I lost something –my joy, my innocence – says Hollywood madam”… YOU WHAT???

Are you like me? I find almost everything interesting, including Marie Claire magazine, which I read yesterday morning whilst on the throne.

The July issue has an interview with Jody Gibson, the Hollywood madam who employed the other Hollywood madam, Heidi Fleiss. Remember her?

Jody was making up to $1m a year till she got caught. Her success was largely, as far as I can see, due to training her girls to give The Swirly Move, which is the ultimate blow-job, to clients including Bruce Willis, who tried to sue her for naming him in her memoirs.

What a disgustingly hypocritical country the US is.

She went to jail for seven years, where she was beaten up by other inmates, got a fractured jaw and lost eight teeth. But the court protected the identity of her clients “to protect them from public scrutiny”.

Don’t these double standards make you want to vomit? And doesn’t it please you just a little that even the radiant Bruce has to pay for it?

I did get a laugh from this article when I read about what the journalist, taking refuge in the comforting arms of cliché, called her “psychological scars”. Jody felt that when in jail “I lost something – my joy, my innocence”.

To what can we best compare the innocence of the average madam? The social conscience of the average Albanian crack dealer?

Which reminds me of something else pretty ludicrous that probably costs us more than crack but gives no pleasure at all – the European Common Agricultural Policy – CAP.

I have a special place in my heart for this absurd concoction. In my first job after walking out of university (more on that one day) I was assistant editor of a trade magazine called “Cotton”.

I used to write the editorials, in which I often fulminated on the idiocy of the U.S. Farm Support policy. This was, like CAP, a costly, elaborate system of bribery to win farmers’ votes by paying them not to grow or raise things – and so keep commodity prices up.

Still with me?

Like so many other stupid, wasteful American ideas it has been copied by the buffoons in Brussels, endorsed by the wretches in Whitehall.

And that is to introduce the following brilliant letter, sent me by a friend, Ian Dewar. I roared with laughter. If you don’t, we’re incompatible.

Rt Hon David Milliband
MPSecretary of State,
Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR12

June 2007

Dear Secretary of State,

My friend, who is in farming at the moment,recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business.

In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy. I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many
people already not rearing these?

As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?

My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever
made on them was £1,422 in 1968. That is – until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.

If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100?

I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about
£240,000 for the first year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my
second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department.

Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing
harmful and polluting methane gases?

Another point: These pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don’t rear?

I am also considering the “not milking cows” business, so please send any information you have on that too. Please
could you also include the current Defra advice on set aside fields?

Can this be done on an e-commerce basis with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares)?

In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits. I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Dewar

Ian said it was all true except his promise to vote Labour. But wouldn’t telling the truth to a politician be a cruel jest likely to confuse?

By the way, 11 years ago when I was doing an interview on the BBC, I got talking to one of their drivers. We discussed people he’d driven. At that time Labour were still in opposition.

He told me Gordon Brown was one of the most obnoxious he’d ever come across.

The next issue reveals some more about how I finally went into mail order – with one little thing that made all the difference between making and losing money, plus a little about the lovely John R. T. Davies of the Temperance Seven.

Too young to remember them? Look ’em up! Or check out the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, who were much the same a few years later.

About the Author


In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.

He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.

Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.

He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.


  1. Ian

    Oh bugger – another website I have to visit daily…how on earth is a chap expected to get any work done.

  2. The thought of you sitting on the throne thinking up another dropping worryingly distracted me for a while there.

    The letter did have myself and 2 others looking over my shoulder roaring with laughter.

    Can’t wait to tune in next time.

  3. Drayton this is great looks like it’s going to be a very popular blog…

    Keep up the good work as the famous entrepreneur D Trotter said “you know it makes sense” 🙂


  4. Frank Drebin

    I laughed at that letter as much as I laughed at The Naked Gun last night – and I still hurt.

    Well done on a great letter. If only this stuff could go in a magazine and make tons of money!!

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