I’ve been dragged out of a period of introspection (literally really, involving scans, internal cameras and the like, but we’ll skip over that) by an insight that I thought I should share.
I had been thinking along the lines of how to mount an effective protest against an all-powerful state using some ideas from The Dandelion Insurrection about loose associations of networks of protest movements with no real structure or leadership – akin to the murmerations of starlings and the shoaling of fish. Each individual, takes information from its immediate neighbours and immediately passes it on to other contacts, so that the swarm, shoal, or whatever, moves as though it is a single organism with a cohesive purpose.
This approach makes it much more difficult for the state to pin down who is in charge, who to arrest, and makes it much more difficult to predict and head off what is going to happen next. It represents a kind of networked flash mob, where everyone does a little bit of dissemination of things that they broadly support but that they may or may not feel particularly strongly about. Crucially, they may or may not actually take part in these events but they do serve an admirable purpose of creating confusion and uncertainty amongst the ruling clique.
Not easy concepts to think through, but then it occurred to me that I had fallen into the classic trap of underestimating my enemy!
This aspect of not being able to pin down responsibility is one that the UK Government already has well in hand when it comes to its own wrongdoing!
Now, there is an enormous volume of the sinful stuff to shift on a day-to-day basis. The undersides of carpets are already feeling the strain, the long grass is struggling to hide the detritus of postponed reports and investigations, fan manufacturers cannot meet the demands of the ever-increasing shower of ordure coming at them. So, HMG has evolved a new kind of ephemeral, revolving door, A “Buggings’s Turn” system for blame.
In this system every minister, ex-minister, or any other likely Dave, Matt, or Pritti, is entitled to their 15 minutes of blame. Now, blame is probably the wrong term here because none of it ever sticks. Brief focus from the government’s chums in the media either fades into yesterday’s news, or results in personal exoneration from the chief miscreant himself, our Crime Minister.
Then, once the job is done and the problem is faced down, the minor miscreant takes a very low profile, disappearing from public view, rather like a metal duck in a fairground shooting gallery, only to appear again later at the other end of the blame queue with a fresh lick of paint and a glint in its eye.
The next crisis of trust will have a new face, a brand new set of eyes caught in the headlights, lined up in the blame column. A new voice saying “I have not done anything wrong but if anyone has been under the misapprehension that I have personally blighted their lives, let me assure them that they are mistaken. This was never my intention. And besides, my department has invested more money into supporting these people than, blah, blah, blah”.
Buggins’s turn was first used to describe people of mediocre calibre being boosted into positions of power because of seniority – put simply, they got a job because it was their turn. These days, in government circles, it has more to do with the mediocre taking a short stint of vaguely critical social media coverage followed by a well-deserved rest from the limelight for a month or two.
They can then return with fresh vigour, and maybe a promotion, to create even more mayhem, or to cover for others that do.
Meanwhile our Crime Minister continues to lie, cheat, obfuscate, break the law, and is never brought to account.
Next time I see anything about any kind of protest I shall appear to support it, to pass it on, to encourage my circle to do the same. I shall instigate unrest where it seems to me me to be warranted and to hell with the consequences. It really is time a few more of us stood up to be counted.