As Gordon Brown jetted off to the US to see president Bush last week, Guru wondered whether the prime minister would try to bring any HR issues into dinner conversation.
Sure, the ongoing catastrophe and human tragedy in Iraq, the inexplicable failure to find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and the need to tackle climate change may take priority during the aperitif, lavish starters and first main. But surely by the time the cheeseboard is passed round, the conversation may be in need of new impetus.
“We’ve introduced this skills pledge, actually old chap,” Brown might interject as he wipes the camembert and cracker crumbs from his mouth. “Get employers to sign up to giving their staff Level 2 training, don’t you know?”
Bush: “Whoa there, cowboy. The only Level 2 I know about is the one I reached last night on my PlayStation game God of War. Have you seen that? It’s just like real-life war, except you can’t get away from it as easily at night. Do you fancy a game?”
Brown: “Er, no. But, look, the thing is I really think improving people’s skill levels is vital if we are to combat the challenge of India and China.”
Bush: “India and China? Have they got weapons of mass destruction now? We need to give them some Level 2 treatment right away – I’ll get on to the Army.”
Okay, perhaps that one is better left unsaid. But surely HR could be enriched in some way by the special relationship? Guru understands the US is pretty hot on flexible working, for example – most of California seems to hit the office about three hours later than New York. And with its litigation culture, surely the States could teach UK employers a thing or two about avoiding discrimination cases.
Demand more from your leaders, disciples.