Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rectifications (19) – Put in place….

Rectifications (19) – Put in place….

Torrey Orton– December 23, 2009

Recently our Victorian police put in place a taskforce, well advertised to anyone who wanted to know, aimed at restraining, reigning in, rooting out (pick your favourite activity) the violences of weekend imbibers from "bogan" or similarly distressed backgrounds. They claim to have stopped a lot of bad actors and bad actions by putting in place this initiative. Characteristically for initiatives 'put in place' by our governing entities, this one had mostly show effects. It displayed apparent response to issues which are systemic and recurrent: public violences "alcohol-fuelled" by social and economic fringe players in the life which our governing entities tell us is among the world's most wonderful in the nation's most viable metropolis….etc, etc.

Since everyone thoughtful about these "alcohol-fuelled" matters, except said leading entities, knows they are systemically grounded in deprivation, unemployment, family breakdown, perceived discrimination and so on, a 'put in place' oncer will not touch them. Nor is it meant to. It is meant to be seen to be doing something long enough and strong enough to withstand the news cycle and eventual long cycle deniability needs of governments. The same kind of behaviour comes increasingly(?) from public and private sector entities. Notice how common the expression is in programmatic announcements by anyone these days. 'Put in place' can often be found where 'delivery' is being claimed.

The James Hardie Industries asbestos workers relief support fund put in place years ago is but one of the more public failures of the practice. We all, except those governing us and those in "partnership" with them, knew that when they opted for an offshore head office. Even ASIC got this one right.

It would be nice if the governing – political or otherwise – were to acknowledge sometimes that they canNOT govern all matters possibly affecting us. Then we could have a (real) discussion about the governance of our lives on such issues. This is as likely as any executives acknowledging anything they did not understand when the acknowledgement would do some good (think Greenspan for an example – lionised for post hoc acknowledgment that he was wrong about the financial engineering of the US economy after it failed).

Try this for an example of the 'put in place' mantra. I was watching one of the TV ministries one night (approx. 2am-4am, Channel 10, for those interested in such things) catching the opening spiel by one of the shrieking exponents of the enthusiastic school of faith as he exclaimed, roughly, 'we are not here to survive but to thrive', quoting from Matthew and Ecclesiastes in support of God's desire for us. I was wondering which part of the 10% unemployed and 45 million medically uninsured Americans he was thinking of who could thrive themselves into agreement with God's will for them?

He was instructing them to change their situation by changing their thinking, including the standard cognitive mantra of leader instructed self-affirmations ("say after me..."), preferably espoused in the hearing of one's peers to increase their commitment to the otherwise banal. Do I hear EST making a comeback? It never left of course. Put in place the thought and the world is your outcome, except if you are poor, marginally employable, health compromised, family disabled….of course.






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