Thursday, 21 July 2016

The five ills

Ridiculous people! They want to free you of every squirming, torturing, nagging question mark.
Yevgeny Zamyatin – WE (1921)

I see Jeremy Corbyn has identified himself with the politics of lists. Probably a good idea when a chap lacks the divine spark of inspiration.

Speaking at the UCL Institute of Education the embattled Labour leader laid out the "five ills" of 21st century Britain - inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice, and discrimination. Echoing the five “giant evils” identified by the social reformer William Beveridge in the 1940s, the Labour leader claimed that throughout his leadership campaign he would match each of these ills with a policy solution.

Policy solutions eh? The real world doesn’t believe in policy solutions but that won’t stop Jeremy and his band of swivel-eyed acolytes. Although he probably has no real acolytes. He’s a means to an end.

Oh well, it we’re doing lists then how about integrity, transparency, scepticism, intelligence and opportunity? Took me about ten seconds to compile, but do we exclude them, or are they unimportant?

Rhetorical question of course. Jeremy’s political philosophy seems to be the bleak uniformity of some totalitarian dream from the seventies. I met plenty like him in those days but I thought they had all grown up and learned the painful lessons of life by buying an Austin Allegro. Evidently we have one left over. 


Sam Vega said...

I also knew lots of people like that. None of them have survived with their beliefs so radically unchanged, and to see it in poor Jeremy is quite shocking. As if they were still choosing to live in bed-sits and smoke dope and put posters on their walls.

Your line about buying the Allegro is excellent. I suspect middle-class privately-educated boys like Jeremy (the name itself is quite telling, along with his brother Piers) didn't have to buy Allegros. That's probably what's kept him in his time-warp bubble: a whole career in politics where you move between meetings and conferences and sundry other bullshit sessions where nobody confronts you with reality. It also explains why so many of his supporters seem to be young. They haven't had to buy the Allegro yet.

Demetrius said...

Apart from Gilbert and Sullivan on the subject of making lists for policy decisions of who to execute, we find proper careful lists essential for effective shopping management. On the whole they are not very good however for complex matters like where to go out for the day. In the Army stating objectives was one thing, dealing with the logistics was quite another, you have to be able to do the latter to achieve the former. The Left is lousy at logistics. As for the Austin Allegro, that was the period when we were buying foreign cars.

Anonymous said...

I recently had the misfortune to attend a council meeting. They were into lists and agenda, nice enough people individually but it seemed quite clear they were part of a complex and elaborate system. A system designed to look as if it was working but in fact deliberately designed to go round and round very slowly back to where it started.

Above them sit layer upon layer of similar human mechanisms full of paper, reports, agenda and lists all designed to go round and round to nowhere. Praise be I don't belong.

James Higham said...

British politics really has slipped back to being tiresome again.

Michael said...

I think I'd much rather have someone like Jeremy Corbyn than parasites like Burnham or Cooper, who reckoned they were much better people, until they were voted out.

It seems like Jeremy Corbyn is turning into an avuncular Labour Saviour, but nobody actually wants to sit on his lap, sniff his smelly old tobacco and take much notice of him saying that he could do all sorts of things - and never saying what they were.

It seems a bit sad that in these days, someone like him really does have principles - albeit odd ones, but at least he's stuck by them, whereas twits like that Owen bloke don't cut the mustard.

A K Haart said...

Sam - I agree, he's a throwback who never needed to be anything else because voters are too dim to see beyond the political brand.

Demetrius - the public sector in general is lousy at logistics, apart from organising coffee and biscuits for the next meeting.

Roger - in the public sector there are budgets, targets and the need to avoid bad publicity. It is a recipe for going round in circles.

James - oh I don't know, there is some entertainment too.

Scrobs - Corbyn's principles are too formulaic for me. I prefer a Burnham or a Cooper because they do at least respond to events and trends. Corbyn wants to shape them and he can't. Nobody can.