More on the best political epigram we’ve heard in a long, long time:
“The higher the baboon goes up the tree, the more we see of his arse.”
John tells of a polite, management speak version from GE CEO Jack Welch:
Peter Block, author of Stewardship, describes the situation
well: until the mid 1980’s, American corporations largely “owned” their
customers. There was little global competition and customers had little
choice. Companies could afford to be slow, unresponsive to customers,
and hierarchical. As Jack Welch of GE says, they could afford to have
their face to the CEO and their backside to the customer.
But all the evidence suggests the saying is African in origin. One web source says it’s Ethiopian – although this version talks about chimps, not baboons.
But our favourite provence comes courtesy of Shane, who says it’s a
variation on an old Jamaican saying “The higher the monkey climb, the
more he exposes.”
“Higher The Monkey Climbs” by Justin Hinds and The Dominoes was a
first-wave ska hit. Well worth a listen. You can hear a sample on
“In the movie Clara’s Heart, it is quoted by the Jamaican housekeeper played by Whoopi Goldberg.”
Steel bands outside Parliament House as the pollies file in, anyone?