Principal nominee for president of the World Bank Robert Zoellick is currently laying low after letting it slip two days ago that key positions in the Bank may be filled by his pet cats and rabbits. This comes after stinging criticism of former Bank president Paul Wolfowitz for appointing his own favourites.
According to the Financial Times on 12th June, “Wolfowitz was criticised by Bank staff for appointing close associates to senior positions. Asked if he was likely similarly to bring in his own people, Zoellick said: ‘I don’t have people. I have two cats and two rabbits.'”
Ms Fluffy Tiddles, spokes-cat for the Society for the Advancement of Feline Employment (SAFE), commented, “It’s about time cats got the recognition we deserve. We can bring a wide range of skills and experience to the world’s premier development institution based on many thousands of years of evolutionary advance. For example, we know how to save water by washing ourselves with our own spit. And taking long naps during the day could prove crucial in enabling the poor to deal with unemployment.”
However, the move by the former US Trade Representative is not without its critics. Fears have been expressed that such appointments could be very divisive. Mr Kevin Woof of Dogs Without Borders said, “This is just the kind of sneaky, underhand tactic that you would expect from a cat-lover. How can anyone claim to be working on behalf of every species when he is clearly in league with certain special interests. Surrounding himself with a bunch of ‘Yes cats’ is not the way to make this institution operate and fulfil its mandate and can only serve to increase dog-cat antagonism. We pledge to hound Mr Zoellick until he makes a public apology and we will continue chasing and chasing and chasing and chasing and chasing.…until….we….forget…what it…was that…..”
In face of yet more turmoil, the World Bank was dismissive. Mr W.Hyme of the World Bank’s external affairs department released the following statement: “We have nothing to say on the nature of potential appointments under a new President when the post has yet to be filled. We regard speculation about cats and rabbits as idle gossip and strongly urge the media to let the open, transparent and democratic process for selecting the head of the World Bank run its course.”
Representatives of the Organisation for the Promotion of Rabbit Affairs (OPRA) are thought to have gone underground and were unavailable for comment.
The characters in this story are entirely fictional (apart, sadly, from Robert Zoellick) and bear no relation to any people or animals living or dead. It is an entirely fictional news story (apart from the FT quote), courtesy of the World Development Movement.