Political Absurdities, especially about us leading the world, are becoming the norm. A man on television was proposing we – in Britain – should give an open apology for Slavery, and implied a responsibility for restitution. Where does this sort of lunacy stop, we, as a nation were not unique. We all know it was cruel and wrong, but therefore, should the French and the Danes have to apologise and make restitution, also? If we should be apologising at all, it should be for allowing Israel to settle in Palestine in the first place, that was mainly the British; later, not to have allowed building in the occupied areas, and to have led the world then.
Margaret Beckett, in a cleared field in the Middle East was proclaiming that we should ‘LEAD THE WORLD’ in ridding it of Cluster Bombs. They are a stupid, random and hideous weapon aimed at the non combatants, like napalm, but I wasn’t aware we ever intended using Cluster Bombs. If we don’t, we can’t really say we are going to get rid of them now – presumably, we already have in essence if not in fact. Just a sound-bite, maybe? Our PM wants to spend Billions on atomic subs and bombs. Why? – when we haven’t enough to money to equip our forces currently in battle. Like Iraq, and Afghanistan, he wants to LEAD THE WORLD, while our infrastructure is crumbling. If a nuclear deterrent is required, and many authorities think it is outmoded, Europe should be footing the bill. In this day and age, international aggression is taking a more personal form, and there are easier and cheaper ways of creating havoc than loosing off rockets which will be retaliated. They are fiscal, and strategically hand-placed bombs, and with our economy on a knife edge, and our security stretched, it doesn’t take the mind of an Einstein to think of how these atrocities could be achieved.
A Long Route to Order out of Chaos- I write as a professional who covered most facets of his work and have also been a civil servant and a Local Government employee. The word ‘professional’ in this context includes all who have served their time and know their job inside out. Local and civil services used to employ professionals at all levels of their professions, allowing in-house training and promotion. Now work of any significance is farmed out to consultancy companies, and contractors, Promotion is less in-house because the experience to make valid professional judgements is no longer on the strength. Civil servants move from department to department, as do politicians, and while they may have managerial experience, most are not experienced in the professions and regimes they are managing. Hence, policy is an abstract, based upon second-hand information, prescribed by government, controlled by targets, spin and aims, the latter not always intrinsic. The professionals juggle to meet the criteria posted, by managers without the background or training in the field they are managing. Greed, self-interest at many levels, together with vested-interest pressures are the causes of mis-management, as is sweeping implementation of untried policies without adequate localised test – the poll Tax, and many, many others.
Putting the clock back is appealing, but impracticable. Putting the management back in the hands of the professionals, should be our aim? Brainstorming, favoured by No 10, has a pecking order favouring the bully. Instead, if a small network was built of real, select professionals, working individually, and communicating using the internet, posing questions and supplying solutions if available; this information could be channelled to central logistical correlators, who would evaluate, circulate it for selective comment. Then one might arrive at a workable and professional solution which could be implemented. The merit of this idea puts the decision making process in the hands of people who have nothing to lose or gain. Small, general problems can quickly be identified and possibly solved as quickly – many errors now, must be through mismanagement rather than resources. A pilot scheme, highlighting universal faults in a small area of activity might just prove the theory. Invention starts with an idea, then a prototype to iron out logistical problems, and sometimes at this stage another idea is envisaged which dwarfs the original.
The level of expertise in government is being steadily diluted; those with real ability profit more from seeking other paths. Fewer faces become known on TV and seem to change almost weekly in all parties, so how can they become expert? It seems sensible for outsiders to come up with watertight, irrefutable solutions to problems. Currently those in charge tinker regularly in every sphere, causing confusion to those expected to implement the changes, wasting money promulgating the changes and rescinding them, and spreading Public frustration and discontent.