Friday, 14 September 2007

Blueprint for a Groan Economy

The report is a beast (500+ small font dense pages). It would be great to get some bullet points from somewhere to see what exactly the report really suggests to do.

That there is no summary is a monumental red alert. Management Summaries are ESSENTIAL to enable the document to have structure, if only the for the benefit of the authors to see the overall message and to act as a framework for their thought. The readers need it to. It is all part of conveying the message - tell 'em what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you have told them, as the mantra goes.

By having such an inaccessible tome, the authors indicate that they do NOT want people at large to access their thoughts. They do NOT want wide scrutiny or to have to defend their views to all comers. They want this document to remain within a clique and to be discussed only by a select group. They want to spare themselves the trouble of raising the drawbridge by not bothering to lower it in the first place.

In trying to locate summaries and bullet points, the tips of the icebergs I perceived indicate rampant expansion of Statism, stifling bureaucracy and meddling interference. Moving authoritarianism from the centre to the regions or to localise authoritarianism is not to remove it, but shove it even closer into the faces of the population and hand power to amateur yet no less petty and zealous dictators. If this document was about freedom or liberty, about opening up and not about regulation and interference, it would not be so detailed and would almost certainly contain broad statements on intent.

An example is the document bemoans the lack of multi-use communities, you know, those sorts of places that were created BEFORE the State got involved in interfering in our lives and planning housing, towns and cities. This report seems to think that to reproduce them needs either more or a new kind of planning. Has it occurred to them that it happened in the long past because the State was NOT involved? Has it occurred to them that heterogeneous communities form organically and by themselves and have done so for millennia without Town Planners? No. When the patient is suffering, their remedy is more disease.

I smell a whiff of 1946, the heady aroma of Town Planning. Great for the control-freaks and those wishing to remain arbiters within the Establishment presiding over the spending of Other Peoples' Money.

In contrast, an example has popped out over the domestic flight tax as an indication of the "mutton headed factor" that is contained therein.

Too many domestic flights, they say. Bad for the environment they say. They the flights. This means UK efficiency goes DOWN. You are punishing taxing people who want to move faster and cheaper. This is plain daft.

The Roger way is: build more high-speed rail capacity so people CAN move faster and cheaper between centres. Europe has done this and seen domestic and short-haul flights dwindle. Precisely when the State could do some good - building large infrastructure projects to improve national efficiency and productivity and they prefer to pander to the rabid frothings of the retrograde lobby.

The document thus appears to be something from the 1940's and '50s but using the excuses and trendy language of the Green Religion of Unthought to give further force to its mindset.

That whiff and heady aroma appear to have been combined and cunningly obscured in this document by the pungent farmyard pong of the environazi's waterless privy. The document is not discussing "if" the State is involved everywhere, only "how".

p.s. see the Taxpayers Alliance for a sound response to the reports findings.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Is this your summary of the "blueprint for Green" one, or are your referring to a different one here?

Roger Thornhill said...

Yes, Mark, this is the Blueprint for Green Economy. I have amended the heading - the website was "Quality of Life Challenge".