Down at local level, it is, of course, happening the same way all over the English-speaking world and as far is known, all over the western world. Examples pour in from the US, Australia and of course, from here.
The danger, as mentioned in posts passim, is that one becomes entrenched and starts using buzzwords oneself. Long after the particular incidents have faded into obscurity, the effect it had, the read-and-weep, remain.
The only way to free oneself from the grip of the label is to quote example after example of what one does actually mean by a term, which is what this blog does and will do again now, via Chuckles.
Government comes into an area of life it has no need to, with its core incompetence and utter indifference to people’s situations, coupled with a sort of aggressive compassion for the wrongdoer. It comes out in court sentences, it comes out in many ways.
And it’s so consistent and persistent, so continual – from that idiot who flooded the Missouri basin to the council officer prosecuting a resident for having the wheelie-bin in the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone points out that it is simply interference in people’s affairs, the government at any level wishing to run people’s lives and to charge them for the service.
And someone else points out that this is not accidental, that there is intention, pointing to Common Purpose or even the devil. Someone else replies that it’s just in the nature of government bureaucracies, though the wrong people seem to be employed these days – that the government employees seem thicker in the head these days, less capable of discretion. That can be argued for and against.
The one Chuckles brings here concerns the Environmental Agency and its interference in a local area’s water.
When one reads such a document, it is immediately pompous, official, written by a functionary, the government going about its legit business, signed, sealed and delivered … and does not even question itself about whether it should even be wasting taxpayers’ money on such things.
But that’s not important to government. Whether you accept a hidden hand, e.g. Them through CP or you don’t, the simple fact is that the government employs countless people [though it’s now selling off agencies and pretending they’re now ‘companies’] and they need to be doing something to fill in those hours and justify their employment.
And from the officious employee or the pleasant one at the end of the phone up to the grotesquely salaried top man or increasingly – woman, they’re all about taking over some aspect of your life and earning brownie points for something essentially pointless.
Chuckles takes over the story. From the EA doc –
‘River flows change naturally throughout the year, so we want to protect flow variability in our rivers from low to high flow conditions. We use flow statistics to help to do this. Flow statistics are expressed as the percentage of time that flow is exceeded. Resource availability is calculated at four different flows, Q95 (lowest), Q70, Q50 and Q30 (highest).’
‘In cases where there is a flow deficit (RA is below the EFI) or risk of a flow deficit (FL below the EFI), there may be water available for abstraction at higher flows. This means that water may be scarce at low flows, but may be available to abstract at medium or high flows. A licence may still be granted but with conditions which protect the low flows.
This usually takes the form of a Hands off Flow (HOF) condition on a licence which requires abstraction to stop when the river flow falls below a certain amount. It‟s important to realise that artificial influences in a catchment (such as abstractions, discharges or releases from reservoirs) can act to both decrease and increase river flows at different times of the year.
However, Hands Off Flows and other conditions that we might apply to licences can be used to protect vulnerable flows whenever they occur.’
Comments Chuckles: ‘This allows them to ‘manage’ it, using their pseudoscience. River flows don’t need to be ‘managed’ they just ‘are’.’
‘4. Our conclusion is that the Bewl/Medway system can no longer guarantee security of supply without frequent recourse to emergency measures such as those defined in the Permit, and which should in practice only be invoked under exceptionally severe drought conditions.
If the Permit is granted, it will have been the second occasion in approx 6 years when SW have been obliged to resort to such measures; and this tells us something about the Company’s capacity to deal with conditions which …’
And of course, the pretty name Hands Off and the glossy literature which accompanies it, along with the childish logos someone dreams up – the government happily ‘managing’ yet another aspect of life that you poor sods couldn’t control yourselves – lulls the average cit into a sense that things are being properly ‘managed’ now and the cit needs no longer worry about that, thank you kindly and here’s the bill for the service.
And one spinoff from all this is the new ‘manager’, the one who has not come up through the ranks and is actually a manager but is a parachutee from university who is a fully fledged ‘manager’ and finds a job being one in some bureaucracy. Perfect example is our local rail service with its three female ‘managers’ brooking no dissent and slowly running the service into the ground but because there is ‘social policy’ involved here, it’s more than one’s job’s worth to complain about core incompetence, particularly when they’re expending resources bringing out glossy brochures, posters and reports about ‘fit for purpose’ or some other jargon, instead of just getting on with this supposed ‘management’.
There’s not a lot new in this post but it is useful, from time to time, to look at an example contributing to things going pear-shaped.