The problems with the way Britain’s being governed in the Noughties can be summed up in one word: wanking. So much of what’s done has nothing to do with servicing citizens; it’s just public servants giving themselves handjobs.
Example. There was much trumpetting some years ago over Home Information Packs. The idea was that sellers would present buyers with a recognised standard form of documents giving data about their house’s condition. Now, the Packs are still being forced through – but missing the requirement to actually include any information about the house’s condition. Which means nobody will. But if this legislation – watered down to uselessness – doesn’t go through, a bunch of New Labourites will be disappointed about their idea dying. So the requirement takes force next year, despite it producing no benefit beyond stroking the people who created it.
Schools. By lowering the bar for exam results (a far higher proportion of A Level students get an A these days) teachers and education dept politicians can congratulate themselves, having ‘raised the bar on education’ (if only by lowering expectations to the point where they’re already met.) Just education ‘experts’ furiously jerking themselves off in a moist cloud of hubristic jism.
The NHS. Doctors are given the task of reducing waiting times for appointments; they do it by limiting the period you can call and join the queue to a couple of days before the appointment. Waiting times go down, because it’s not possible for them to go anywhere else. It doesn’t help patients, but it lets civil servants congratulate each other in a circle-jerk worthy of anything coming out of the San Fernando Valley.
The Cabinet. Whenever a minister’s in trouble, he appoints a buddy to the investigation. Blair’s old roommate comes to his aid over WMD; his pal in the Attorney General’s office doesn’t think their friendship should prevent him deciding whether Blair gets quizzed over cash-for-honours. Tag-team masturbation with a big dollop of cream thrown in.
The police. Arrest numbers need to be high, so they make up crimes and turn single crimes into two or three. Two suspects apprehended? That’s two crimes. Jostle in a crowd? Make it a crime, so you can claim your targets are being met. The purest wanking of all: nothing so hard as actually attracting someone to have sex with, just jerk off and kid yourself it’s the same thing.
ID cards. The biggest wank of all. Unnecessary, unworkable, expensive, and intrusive. Yet it gives the government one more form of control – so it gets forced onto the statutes, cleverly disguised as a card in your wallet rather than the (infinitely more intrusive) national database it really is. Pure wanking.
It’s all just wanking. All of it. Wanking is the basic urge and activity driving New Labour. And we know what people who wank are called.