Consultations

At the council meeting on Wednesday night, I exhibited the unmitigated gall to introduce a motion for a permanent link to “consultations“ on the very front of the Council’s website.   Making it possible and easier for citizens to participate in putting their views forward to the governing process and to those who “represent” them.  In “strong leader“ forms of local government, it is very important for the bureaucracy to make sure that any consultation with the public is difficult to achieve, hard for any citizens to participate in, and easily dispatched to the scrapheap of irrelevance.

Consulting with the public, more often than every four years in the election cycle is critical to the effective running of all the tiers of the government.  So, if someone like me proposes making this easy to access and easy to achieve for the public, you put the bureaucracy and the strong leader and their zone of immunity in a very difficult position.   Traditionally they have only ever agreed to doing consultations because they are forced to by the central government, and are usually buried in impossible-to-reach places..   Can you imagine what would happen if we actually allowed the public to have a say in what their government is really doing?  Unthinkable…

Of course, if you want to make such a motion, the bureaucracy requires you to set it down and register it about 10 days before meeting where you might make such a motion.   So, of course, a “consultations“ tab suddenly appears on the front page of the website. A tab that was clearly hastily constructed and put at the bottom of the page to make sure that whilst it was present, and that it was well concealed.

Well, the matter did pass thanks to the very effective skills of the leader of the opposition Rodney Bates. So despite the pointless protestations of those torys who would seek to ensure the Public has no effective say in our democratic process, we move forward…

Zone of Immunity

cohesionFantastic article in the comment section of the Times (London) on Friday by Philip Collins. The article was about how the Tory Party has become infected with “Corbynism”, that infectious need to abandon all reason in favour of mob rule…

The most interesting thing in the article apart from Jacob Rees-Moog’s use of the longest word ever tweeted, was the concept of the “Zone of Immunity”, that zone around political leaders which they must establish and for which they are immune to any consequences of any actions. We see this particularly in “strong leader” forms of government where the strength of the leader as a leader is inversely proportional to the strength of the zone of immunity.  Take Trump for instance, the zone of immunity around him is incredibly large and strong. He can say and do anything without any thought of recrimination or objection. And his strength as a leader? The lowest ever seen by an American president.

So, take our Council leaders, they live in strong leader forms of government. What is the strength of their zone of immunity? Even a cursory view will show that it is sky high. And why? It has to be, because they are so weak as leaders. They can tolerate no dissent, no questions, and no blame for anything that is wrong. To do that you have to have a really strong “Zone of Immunity” around you that keeps up the ruse. How big is the Zone of Immunity around the leaders that you live under? You have to ask yourself the question…

Surrey Children at risk of serious harm: Ofsted

Ofsted has found that Surrey is putting its children at serious risk: Click here for the article Ofsted finds Surrey seriously lacking

And what is being done about it? Excuse mongering, blame mongering, and finger pointing. With the constant finger pointing you would think they are developing arthritis of the index finger. Instead, they index all the reasons they have to cut the budget. How about they start by selling off the 400 plus properties they have that are doing nothing, as well as the County Hall building that isn’t even in Surrey? What is really most important here?

Thinking Out Of The Box?

The biggest casualty of the strong leader form of government is the process of “thinking” within the governmental delivery system. They take their cues from the political leadership, so when they have no cue, the institutions depart from all thinking and just revert to processing data. When the leaders of Councils can only process data, and not think “out of the box”, you have nothing but an accumulation of useless data…

So let’s take an important piece of recent news, Surrey County Council heavily cutting the budget on dealing with narcotics addictions. There are a lot of numbers bandied about in relation to the causes, the effects, and the consequences. One thing that is undeniable is that a large number of addicts won’t get the treatment require to beat their addictions. The exact number? Who knows… The relevance??? Very little…

What matters is what are we going to do about it? So, we know:
1- that there will be loads of people not getting the treatment they need
2-those people will probably seek to fill that need in socially unacceptable ways, which has a cost both directly and indirectly
3-their problems neither go away nor get better with age

The difficulty of course is that strong leader governments believe they are uniquely capable of dealing with the problems of drug addiction and most others.. And this certainly is not the case… Are there groups/charities/churches out there that can and do do a much better job than the government? Of course, and what are we doing about it? That’s right, next to nothing… And why?

1-local strong leader governments really deeply believe they can fix any and all the problems if they just have enough money
2-success is never measured by quality of service delivered, only by adherence to budgets and the “rules”
3-there is no concern for the wider consequences or implications of decisions made

Tell your Councillors you want something done here…