Friday, 18 February 2011

Chris Port Blog #101. On a response to the Cameron ‘cock’ picture...

'... Until corrupt and incompetent management is purged, things will just get worse and worse.'

See Cameron... you cock

“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views... which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of those facts that need altering...” 

(Doctor Who, ‘The Face of Evil’)

I don't ‘hate’ David Cameron. I'm sure he's a good-hearted man with good intentions. I dispute some of his ideology, policies, and methods of implementation, but I could say the same for most other politicians.

The ‘cock’ picture is fair game for the satirist, as indeed are the swastika Gordon, the crime notice Clegg and the finger Miliband (just to add some non-partisan balance).

But I stand by the quote about the very powerful and the very stupid sharing a common habit.

First, I wouldn’t put Cameron in the ranks of the very powerful.

Second (on Cameron ‘altering his view’ on the privatization of woodland), although he may publicly ‘alter his view’ on a relatively minor privatization issue (to pick up a few desperately needed popularity points) I think this is simple expediency rather than any profound sea change in government policy. Cameron’s indiscriminate privatization paradigm remains unaltered - and is the road to further systemic disaster.

As for benefits, I’m not a great fan of this country’s benefits system. But then again, I'm not a great fan of any of this country’s systems. They are appallingly inefficient and bad value for money. However, the underlying cause is not lazy workers and benefits cheats. The problem is excessively profit-driven business, bloated and corrupt management, and a system that has promoted intellectual incompetence by disastrously misappropriating a pseudo-business mindset to public services.

Desperately floundering management are going to become ever more corporate-fascist to save their own necks (until they get wrung by the next influx of gangsters). The public utilities are going to screw their customers for the sake of their performance-unrelated bonuses and Russian mafia front company profits. Follow the audit trails. Who actually owns what?

Meanwhile, the PFIs (Private Finance Initiatives) are just going to rip apart whatever sticky plasters we try to band aid over the class warfare cuts being made. (Make no mistake. It is class warfare. I predict a massive surge in crime, political extremism and home-grown terrorism).

The previous government front-end funded a lot of its health and education building programme by encouraging one of those deluded enterprise initiative ‘partnerships’ with business, dreamed up by some tick box dullwit to justify their job. Corporate vampires rubbed their hands in glee. Much of the actual front-end funding was actually secured from public funds to make it more attractive to business.

Similarly, much of the risk was left with the taxpayer. Lucrative tenders offered juicy management and maintenance contracts. Basically, if you want to change a light bulb in one of these public-private partnerships, you can’t do it yourself. You have to pay some Rachmanesque company who has exclusive ‘landlord’ rights to send a ‘health and safety’ engineer round and charge you an extortionate fee.

By October 2007 the total capital value of PFI contracts signed was £68 billion. We are now committed to spending at least £215bn in maintenance costs over the term of the leases. This is a MASSIVE hidden iceberg tearing an even longer gash in the hull of public finance. All of these objections were pointed out at the time. As usual, cynical bullying management just intimidated and
squeezed people out. Until corrupt and incompetent management is purged, things will just get worse and worse.

For some initial elucidation, please see:

Blog #78. On the Need to Relearn the Socratic Method

See also Blog #107. Management – The Ultimate ‘Trouble-Makers’?

‘ … Now the Tories would have you believe that they are the party of decentralization and local... autonomy. Their privatization paradigm is ostensibly founded on cutting red tape, freeing creative minds to be innovative, freeing entrepreneurs to create new wealth opportunities. Oh don’t you believe a word of it. The privatization scam in this country is as Stalinist as an apparatchnik… as absurd as Kafka… It’s all about power, and nothing else…’

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