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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

 

Class war fallout

One of the things which has been nagging around in my head on night patrol is why we have the kind of working mans gripes and groans that abound throughout the blogosphere. We hear of suspensions and sackings of the voices competent at their job but outspoken about less than competent higher ups (Judging from the standard of English I see in some Management diktats, I sometimes wonder how some of our Managers got their jobs).

Here is my hypothesis; We are living in the tail end of Class War and its fallout. The old order is almost gone, but what it has been replaced with is a lot worse. Freedom of speech is being eroded; centralisation is almost pernicious and impacts daily on our lives. As a friend who visited me last year commented. “Britain is a socialist country.” Upon examination, I decided that he had a genuine point.

So why the continual crackdowns and ‘efficiency’ drives from on high if this is a Socialist State where the working man is king? Well, having discarded the bad old days (There never has been any ‘Golden Age’, as any in depth research will tell you - this is merely nostalgia.) and its abuses, we now have the bad new days. The new order is insecure; it has no traditional authority so it must vigorously enforce its new found power. It must centralise and consolidate in order to become secure and establish itself. In addition, the economy must become politicised and command, rather than in ‘free’ societies demand driven.

Command driven economies and Governments cannot brook dissent because of their very nature. The abuses of power in any one party state (The old USSR, China, Nazi Germany, in fact any and all Feudal, Communist, Fascist or Socialist States) are matters of record.

We now have a new ‘Aristocracy’, but these do not believe in ‘laissez faire’ like some of the old order, they are new and insecure in their power and so will seek to consolidate their influence. To do so they must prove their ‘worth’ by getting ‘results’. Their hidden dogma is that everything can be measured, categorised and honed to machine like perfection. Whilst one sits in the Ivory tower of a higher management meeting this sounds all very well and good. However, what the higher ups seem to forget is that machines are not men and men are not machines (For any radical feminists dropping by ‘men’ is just a generic term for BSHB, or bog standard human being – of whatever sex, okay?). Besides, machines can only attain a particular ‘efficiency’ for so long in a given set of ideal conditions. Movement means friction, friction means wear, and wear leads to a loss of efficiency. The harder the work, the more friction, the more friction, the more wear, the more wear, the less efficiency. It’s all so simple.

All this because the new ‘Aristocracy’ have to scramble to prove their worth. To prove their worth they have to ride hard on the shoulders of those they rule. There is no ‘slack’ in the system, no allowance for human frailty apart from what can be ‘blagged’ or scavenged through low animal cunning. Budgets made ever tighter actually harm efficiency because equipment is bought to cost, not quality, so increasing long term spending through increased maintenance costs. Training is not properly done. Necessary experience gathering is curtailed. Lack of experience means mistakes and downtime to ‘fix’ a system. More downtime means more losses via ‘inefficiency’ and the system gradually collapses or costs need to increase exponentially, shoring up an unstable situation.

To concatenate analogies; continual drives for ‘more’ efficiency end up flogging a willing horse. ‘Cheese paring’ starves the willing horse, which rapidly becomes a dead horse, and there’s no use flogging that at all.

Stuff it, I’ve just done another boring graveyard shift with another three to do this week and I’m begging for the weekend to arrive.

To close; there is a little anecdote taken from the writings of Aelfric, an English (Wessex) 10th Century Anglo Saxon monk and chronicler.
The (Paraphrased) story goes that Aelfric was passing by a field in which a ploughman was slaving away with his ox-team and plough. Aelfric stopped to observe the ploughman at work and found out that the ploughman was a bonded servant performing ploughing on his Lords land.
“That must be a great labour.” Quoth Aelfric.
“It is such great labour.” Replied the ploughman “Because I am not free.”

I am not free. That’s what’s really pissing me off. It’s not a case of “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss” more like “Here comes the new boss – keep your head down”.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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