How can this vile government turn a happy place into a thoroughly miserable one?
That, unfortunately, is what tyrants do.
1. It starts with their ego: "I am the Prime Minister. I have a landslide victory. Everyone loves me. I shall have a great legacy."
2. Which then turns to arrogance: "I should personally oversee this process. I am the Prime Minister everyone loves. I have super powers. No-one is as good as I am. No-one can do any job as good as I can. This should be centralised so that it is under my personal control. That minister shouldn't have autonomy as they won't do the job as well as I could do it. I must adopt a Presidential style. Nay, better yet. I should control and run the whole country single-handedly because only I - the Messiah, the Saviour of Britain - has the capability to do the job."
Unfortunately, this attitude is, of course, a denial of reality. A single person cannot run an entire country. Irrespective of whether they want to do that or not, it is simply physically impossible.
Many problems are exactly solved best by distributing
the work and the problem that centralisation is actually the worst possible thing you could ever do.
For example, imagine the extreme of having just one
central "mega-hospital" in Birmingham and nothing else, having to deal with the whole of the UK population (and the truth of where New Labour are headed with the NHS, this isn't as hypothetical as it really, really should be).
Right, 99% of emergency cases from the whole of Scotland die on the stupidly long journey to Birmingham. Ambluances don't show up quickly, they take half a day to get to you because they have to send them up from Birmingham and then go all the way back.
Because it's centralised, you're being a total idiot because you are inherently creating
a bottleneck. This is exactly the idiotic management style that the Tories originally perfected that brought us the insanely long "waiting lists" problem.
To understand the problem, look at an exaggerated case. Imagine that there is only this one mega-hospital and that it only has one X-ray machine. Therefore, every time they need an X-ray for any patient from anywhere in the UK, they are all sent to this one X-ray machine. Obviously, to take an X-ray is not an instantaneous exercise.
Hence, if there are 10,000 people needing X-rays and each X-ray is rushed through in 5 minutes then it's going to take around 34 days - a whole month - to get through everyone.
On the other hand, if there are a 100 X-ray machines then at 5 minutes each X-ray, it'll only take just over 8 hours.
Centralised: Just over 34 days (in words: over a month)
Decentralised: Just over 8 hours (in words: a third of a day)
Big difference, eh? Massive difference.
Of course, there is such a massive difference here that you can easily afford to take longer than 5 minutes - up to 15 minutes each - in order to deliver the patient a better quality of care and you'll STILL
manage all 10,000 in one day (which is, of course, what used to happen in the Golden Days of the NHS).
Because what government has not comprehended is that 1 "mega-hospital" a hundred times the size of a smaller hospital is NOT
equivalent to a 100 smaller hospitals.
More formally: The assumption is that the relationship is linear (10 small hopsitals are equivalent to 1 big hospital ten times the size of the smaller hospitals). But this assumption is wholly false.
Time is linear. Money is linear.
But patient care is not.
Which is why the government with its centralising and linear mindset does not even comprehend what they are doing wrong to have Patricia Hewitt heckled by the usually tame Nurses' Union.
They don't understand the problem, so they are doing all the wrong things to solve those problems and then are shocked when it's not working and everyone's angry at them.
By the way, I'll tell you where all that extra investment in the NHS disappeared to: It disappeared because patient care is not linear, as I've just stressed. When you close 100 hospitals to open the gigantic "mega-hopsital" that mega-hospital has to be more than 100 times
better equipped. No, not 100 times better equipped. MORE
than 100 times better because this is not a linear relationship and for this 1 "bottleneck" hospital to do what the 100 distributed hospitals did in the same amount of time (which they need to do, to avoid "waiting lists" getting insanely large again), they need to do MORE
merely to be equivalent, let alone better.
They are running to stand still.
Because the government thought it was being clever to insist on "more centralisation" as it offered the large investment: Failing to realise that this "modernisation" is a technically inferior model for delivering patient care that requires all that extra investment merely to reach the standards and speeds that existed before.
In other words, for the single hospital that takes 34 days to match the 8 hours of the decentralised distributed hospitals takes, as you can imagine, a massive investment of money to catch up.
That's where all the money has gone that after a record investment in the NHS, the hospitals are actually still
in debt and not really any better than they were before. Because the idiot government made "centralisation" a condition of that investment.
They gave them more money, sure, but then demanded as a condition of that money that they change the system to something vastly, vastly inferior.
Which can be shown mathematically and technically as being the case that a centralised model is inferior
to the decentralised distributed model and, no, it's not a linear relationship either: A hopsital ten times bigger is NOT
equivalent to 10 hospitals.
The fact that the government can't understand that - as they think politically and not technically, in terms of managing the NHS and the police and other public services - is exactly how they are running these public services into the ground.
Despite political rhetoric that the NHS has improved, this really isn't true on the ground. Hospitals are being closed.
People are dying in ambulances on the way to hospital (ask any medical professional: The first few minutes and hours of an emergency is where the real life-saving happens. In patient care, time is not linear. The more delayed the treatment, the greater the probability that the person will die. If someone has a cardiac arrest then if you're not attempting to save their life within those first few minutes - as immediately as possible - the plain truth is that the patient is dead. Therefore, the distances ambulances have to travel to emergencies - both directions - very, very much is highly significant but the government's planners seem to think that it doesn't matter. If you want to save more lives then you need many
ambulances scattered around the country to minimise those distances. But the government's planning seems to only be taking account of the cost of "petrol money" and buying the ambulances - financial - without taking into consideration the medical aspects at all. Money is linear but patient care is not
. They are presuming linearity in their equations which is simply not true in the reality of keeping people alive and healthy. Good medical treatment, sorry, needs redundency in the system: This is different to a production line in a factory where redundency is nothing but waste. But the government's managers are "treating patient care as a business" without realising that this is equivalent to "treating black as if it were white" or "treating oranges as if they were apples").
3. Because their policies aren't working and people are turning on them in anger, they become paranoid: "Why are the police not happy with our investment and new control structures? Why are the nurses heckling? These people do not know what I - their God and Saviour - am doing for them. They are ungrateful children. I must guard against their backstabbing and betrayal: Ban peaceful protests!! Ban freedom of speech!! Ban civil liberties!! Remove the checks and balances!! How can I save the world with my superpowers when I have such blocks and obstacles and backstabbers at my heels?"
Ironically, believing that the anger is "enemies at the gate", the egomaniac is the one who starts betraying everyone, thinking (falsely) that they are "defending themselves".
For example, Walter Wolfgang: His protest was correct. He was shouting at Jack Straw, not because he is an enemy of the Labour party but because he is a member of the Labour Party. Walter Wolfgang could see that New Labour has gone wrong and he couldn't stand by and let that happen to his own party.
He had to stand up and shout "the Emperor is naked" to New Labour, not in malice as an enemy but as a dire warning from a friend.
The problem is, this is not how the paranoid "Emperor" sees it. From their perspective, it shows that their "enemies" are now amongst their own party. It means that the party members themselves cannot be trusted.
It means further decentralised, less democracy, more autocracy from our tyrant-to-be.
In their mind, Walter Wolfgang's outburst is not a friend trying to make them see sense, it's an indication of just how widespread their "enemies" are. How they cannot trust their own party members. How they cannot trust the British population.
And what happens when our egomaniac doesn't trust anyone?
"We need ID cards to monitor everyone!! We need satellites to watch them everywhere they go!! We must stop our enemies protesting!!!"
The grand irony of which is that the reality which New Labour can't see is that it is they
who have become the betrayers and the backstabbers.
When Labour got in and Tony was first around, the people of this country generally liked him and were behind him - hence the landslide victory and cosy little "honeymoon period" he got with almost no criticisms at all - and most of those he now sees as "enemies" - such as possibly someone like me - would not actually give a shit about the politics of this situation whatsoever, if they weren't dangerously messing up this country.
Personally, I don't believe in party politics at all - I think that it causes more harm than it does any good for anyone - that I honestly don't care if it's New Labour or New Tories or New Greens or whoever. That is NOT
the angle I'm coming from (and likely not where most others here are coming from).
We are not the "enemy".
Blair's paranoia is the enemy and it is the betrayer.
Unfortunately, it's a vicious circle.
The more you try to tell the tyrant that they are going about things the wrong way, the more they are convinced you are their "enemy". The more convinced they are that "our enemies are everywhere", the more they want to monitor and control everyone. The more they want to monitor and control everyone, the more people protest to them that they are going about things dangerously in the wrong way.
Although, this is not to say that leaving the tyrant alone would do any good. It wouldn't. Because if paranoia is guiding their actions then they'll start seeing "bogeymen" where they aren't any and jump at ghosts who aren't even there. They would get worse under their own steam that backing off doesn't help: The protests must be made because the only way to stop the vicious circle is to try to get through to the tyrant what's happening that they willingly step out of that vicious circle. Or, if that fails, you mount the protests to bring things to a head, that one way or the other it gets settled: Preferrably reaching the electorate to oust the tyrant peacefully. But also a campaign of non-compliance to make the most wrongful policies - ID cards and the NIR - unworkable.
4. Like grasping at a wet bar of soap, the more the tyrant tries to tighten his grip, the more it slips out of his reach.
The more the tyrant monitors and controls and enforces draconian measures, the less tolerant and compliant the population will be to such unwarranted mistreatment and the more "enemies" the tyrant makes.
If the tyrant does not see sense and back down then this vicious circle gets worse and worse. The more people non-comply with ID cards, the more mad cap schemes of "satellite tracking" and such the tyrant believes he needs to "keep himself safe" (the grand irony, of course, is that the tyrant would not be in any danger in the first place, if his paranoia hadn't made him turn on his own people: Therefore, the problem is only exacerbated over and over again).
Of course, not even a vicious circle can actually last forever. At some point, things will come to a head. The tyrant will be ousted.
If the tyrant has any sense left in his paranoid little mind then he walks away now rather than waits for things to get so bad that a lynch mob drags his sorry little arse out of Parliament by force (based on historical precedent for these situations: The tyrant who absolutely will not be moved by anything always comes to a sticky end. In no way do I wish this - stating it aloud here is my means to try to forewarn that it hopefully never happens - but that is simply what will eventually happen).
This, unfortunately, is what tyrants do.
"Sic Semper Tyrannis" ("and, thus, it shall always be for tyrants")
- Brutus and the conspirators after assassinating Julius Caesar