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Consultant fever

• In a time of increasing unemployment and serious difficulty in selling one's latest book, I believe consultancy is the way forward.

I abandoned academic life to run a consultancy on how to become a consultant. I was inspired by the story of the amorous tomcat. It was decided, reluctantly, to resort to the services of the vet, but when this was found to have brought just a temporary respite for the recipients of his affections, enquiry revealed that he was now acting as consultant to his fellow tomcats. I was struck by this feline imagination.

One of my proudest achievements as consultant to consultants relates to a research student who has just achieved her doctorate, but could not find employment.

The focus of her doctoral research was the foetal life of the rabbit. She now tours the world giving advice on child rearing.

Another of my clients, a disgruntled dairy farmer, has teamed up with her. He now provides advice for expectant mothers on the benefits of breast feeding.

You may say that I am colluding in the exploitation of the gullible. Tell that to Bertie Ahern. It was through my encouragement that he enthralled the Americans as a demotivational speaker.

He encouraged those who have been found wanting, helping them to get positive and celebrate failure. As a result, the Midwestern town of Brass Neck Creek, is now twinned with Drumcondra.

Philip O'Neill
Edith Road, Oxford, England

Irish Independent