Tuesday, 21 December 2010

All of a Piece

There is a striking similarity between the failures in the current cold conditions, the banking crisis and politics generally. That failure is a lack of accountability, which leads to a lack of care. Let's go back a bit to when this culture crystallised. Tony Blair knew that he had to lie to the electorate in order for Labour to become electable. People were aware that whilst some of the Tories were bent (Archer, Aitken) some were deeply unpleasant (Clarke, Heseltine), but that under them the country had prospered and had a strong sense of national identity. It is why Thatcher is so hated by the chattering classes, why comedians make half-jokes about her with a knowing nod that well, she was awful wasn't she, without any attempt to substantiate why. So Blair had to lie about the Tories and their intentions. He was very good at it, it came naturally to him. And then when in power he realised that even when a government was caught lying through its teeth, no one could do anything about it and he just said 'move on'.

So a lackadaisical attitude at the very highest levels became the order of the day. Banks hired people who seemed to know where the end of the rainbow was (by which I mean that was the level of planning that went into hiring them) and these Chief Executives then demanded, and got, pay packages that included massive bonuses whether they succeeded or failed. When such a moronic situation can arise, you know trouble must be ahead.

Politicians also came to live in a fantasy land, seeing themselves as very special people, who didn't have to actually work for a living and that the taxpayer should fund their every whim. The shock at the reaction of the public to their pilfering was real. The politicians had no concept of any wrongdoing on their part. It was their entitlement, how dare anyone object. And while politics slept the iceberg approached. All kinds of senior people, in government funded Quango's and big corporates up and down the country adopted this new laissez faire attitude to the responsibilities of their positions.

And then they get tested and naturally are found wanting. The banks run out of money; how did that happen the CEO's ask, surely banks have loads of money? And then it snowed. Not horrendous amounts you understand, just quite a bit. So, not only has no real planning and preparation been done by the work averse senior management, but when confronted with the disaster that was wholly predictable they just rely on their inbred character and shrug their shoulders. The people are left stranded and freezing, the airport closed and the trains not running because they don't actually care.

And it is everywhere. My postman pushed a card through my door today, for the collection of a parcel. I went after him, 'hello, I'm here, you have a parcel for me?' 'er no', was the response. 'due to the conditions and the backlog we are not delivering parcels, you have to go and collect them.' You see the attitude at work here again? They have charged me for a service and yet, once conditions get a little difficult they feel entirely free to sit back and tell me to put myself out and struggle through the snow, because they don't want to. Despite being paid to deliver parcels.

My other favourite comment so far, was from some gimp at BAA who, trying to explain why, even without it snowing for 3 days, the airport was still closed. He sounded quite reasonable, until you actually listened to what he said. He seemed to have been taken aback that the snow had covered the whole airport, he said that the 'problem' was that they have 200 gates and each has an aircraft at it. Was he not aware of that previously? Well no, since when did someone in a senior position at an airport have to know anything about what goes on at his airport? He was very concerned (and I believe this was genuine) that the TV crew filmed him saying how distressed he was at the suffering of their customers. The words of course, he didn't actually care which is why the airport was not functioning.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Armed Police

It is a special fascination of mine I know, but armed police in Britain seem to be a bunch of specially selected bumbling fools. And their ability to do harm, indeed kill is the reason we need to pay particular attention to their deployment, training and operations. So it is distressing although not surprising to hear that an armed officer left a taser on the roof of his car and drove off. I wonder if he has ever done that with his doughnuts? You have to keep your mind on the important stuff.

I appreciate that all of modern British bureaucracy is incompetent to a level rarely seen before, and across the board but the police of course occupy a unique position of trust and reliance. They have already solidly lost the support of the general public through their own stupid policies Now they are on the verge of being out of control to a dangerous degree, where the fabric of society itself will start to tear. An early example of this is the immediate resort to violence by youngsters supposedly protesting about university fees. These immature work-dodgers aren't concerned about the police or breaking the law. They want their way and are prepared to be violent to get it. It is a lack of personal and societal discipline. Tony Blair and New Labour promoted this personal attitude and lived by the same code themselves and its vacuity as an ideology is undermining the whole of society. No one has a sense of shared responsibility, no sense of national belonging and no feeling that anyone in authority is on their side. Indeed, the ordinary law abiding citizen is correct in the observation that they are the target of the authorities rather than its bedrock.

Marxism in the form of environmentalism and its brethren are able, in such an empty, pointless and worthless society to steal a march, as is the dangerous political religion being corrupted in the East.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

On no! It's Snowed!!

so, once again a bit of snow and the country can't cope. Well, actually that is wrong. In a Big Society kind of way, people cope it is Government and companies with monopolies (like railways) who can't. The Police, the Highways Agency, councils and train operating companies and Railtrack) feel that all their responsibility is, is to say 'well surely you can't expect us to cope with this'. The RAC Foundation have bleated on about other countries where the weather is worse, that they know with precision when their bad weather will arrive. I don't know if that is true, but we did get days of warning that severe weather was on the way. Now, it would be fair to not trust anything the Met Office says, but the evidence was always plain with our own senses, as it got very cold.

We can't spend millions more on infrastructure the politicians moan. Then don't; spend the right amount on doing the right things at the right time. For days we had icy roads here without any gritting and I mean on the key roads. Why was that? Then when it snows and we need ploughs, it seems they go missing. Big Society, Public Sector cutbacks? It seems this current little national difficulty proves that the people are stoical and that massive cutbacks in the Public Sector can only save money and do good. It would mean a rump that is keenly focused and not comfortable in its own righteousness and with the sense of entitlement mentioned at the start of the post.

We should look at the countries that do cope and see what we can learn from them, not the navel gazing 'reports' we currently get that clearly (try getting a train today) don't achieve anything.