De Bono's Marmite plan for peace in Middle Yeast
Sunday 19 December 1999
The celebrated master of lateral thinking is promoting supplies of the yeast extract spread as the means to resolve the region's seemingly intractable problems.
The logic, briefly, is this. A lack of zinc makes men irritable and belligerent. You get zinc in yeast, which is fine for your average lover of Mother's Pride. But in the Middle East, the bread is unleavened. Ergo, the great man says, Marmite is the answer to easing the way to peace.
Dr de Bono gave two lectures to the Foreign Office last week. The first was open to several hundred officials at all levels and was packed out. For the second, the Middle East team won a bid for a special dedicated session.
Speaking afterwards, Dr de Bono said that the classic approach to problem- solving was to identify the problem and then try to remove it. In world affairs, however, many of the problems were not eradicable. Diplomacy meant working round them. "That's the kind of thinking I try to encourage," he said.
He was confident his zinc theory would be proved if only hospitals in the Middle East would co-operate in tests. But he conceded they probably would not.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the decision to invite Dr de Bono came out of internal discussions on modernising the department.
"The idea came from thinking about how to make the Foreign Office more creative and introducing the idea that creativity can be taught. Edward de Bono is the guru of creative thinking," she said.
It is not Dr de Bono's first encounter with the British civil service. Last year Sir Michael Bichard, the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, accused top Whitehall mandarins of stifling creativity and refusing to reform the civil service. He drafted in Dr de Bono to show civil servants how to make radical decisions.
How successful he has been will become apparent only with the publication of next year's Marmite sales figures.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: QA .NET Agile UNIX LIN...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# ASP.NET SQL Develop...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET SQL Developer (Software Developer, Softw...
£500 - £650 per day: Harrington Starr: Excellent opportunity for Murex Subject...