When the alumni administrator at one of my old universities came into my office 20 years ago she was almost crying. How was she to put together statistics on the relationship between our courses and students getting jobs. She admitted only about 9 former students had actually responded to her questionnaires (often sent 12 months after the final year to term time addresses). I knew a lot of our students were having trouble getting any jobs, let alone ‘value-added ones’. I suggested she did what the rest of us did in quality audit and choose a position a couple of points above or below average and say she had lost any real data if ever asked. This situation pertains to this day. The university itself is now utterly poor, having slipped down the slippery slope from its once worthwhile activities as a higher education and training college. Academics once transferred standards they learned from colleagues and study. Now all one can do is keep the worst of the clown standards of politicians and worthy business types off students where this is possible.
I believe this lack of standard is now widespread across our society and that we have been had by a bunch of chancers and bushwackers. They have titles like vice chancellor, head of department, superintendent, chief constable, head of human resourcing, banking whizz-kid, captain of industry and others. They have found ways to satisfy on performance management no different than in the story above and, of course, there has been no performance, whether in improving educational standards, reducing crime, really earning money and building capital and all the rest.
We need to understand this is full detail. I would like us to put the senior figures on trial in front of the public rather than judges. We have had fraud on a massive scale. I think the first need is to establish models of the kinds of fraud. Senior police are up to their necks in more than one form, but it’s difficult to pin-point where the corruption starts. It’s very noticeable in the Met-Media scandal that one lunched or dined or partied with News International but saw Guardian people at the office. We know less than 2% of crime is really detected, yet claims of 50% have been published in the past. There is a gaming system in place that has become a kind of standard. In banking lots of collateralised standards were covering theft and fraud through bonus systems. ACPO is small beer in comparison. Just as one might think it too difficult to investigate any of this properly, what one needs to do is think more simply. We should be doing unannounced audit-investigations all over, assuming there is corruption to find. It’s the lack of investigation and reliance on honesty and integrity in retrospective, carefully made up, managed performances that is the problem. What we lack is a police-like suspicion in public research.
My own research interests lie in how we come to have such rotten systems of wealth apportionment and rely on fundamentally corrupt work practices – a concern in this is why we are so reliant on the irrational and the control of this through arguments with skewed evidence in them.
Statistical arguments and records of of considerable interest in this general form of control. It’s very obvious now that accounting across the world is bent and that key records are often false despite being put together by people who aren’t bent, even if they know they are telling porkies. In 40 years of work, I reckon I’ve spent less than two in an organisation I’d regard as honest.
The basic idea in the research I’ve been doing is to find some way of demonstrating we’d be a lot better off with different relationships in employment ans wealth distribution that attempt to cope with free-riding by the idle bastard and over-exploiters and the way these people have so much sway in forming our rules.
I’m not surprised to see the sleaze in Cleveland involving senior cops, a lawyer and someone from a police authority and who knows where the reported trivia may lead? There are bigger questions on whether police authorities are really appointing anyone who is any good at leading policing, or just one dud after another who can look after the headline statistics. If the substantial differences between good and poor forces is accurately recorded, we have seen none of the obvious ‘next step’ of bringing all forces up to the good practice scratch. It’s more likely that on set of cosy-corrupt senior officers and police authority worthies have been bending the truth and turning a blind eye to corrupt practice, paying unnecessary high salaries, bonuses and who knows what inter-group deals.
My belief is that these corrupt worthies cause massive damage to the rest of us and demotivate on a wide scale. In politics and banking they have lied to us on a huge scale and stolen wages and hope. The public has been duped and this brings more questions on the role of media, education and other institutions in creating the false images that must be so important in collective understanding.
What we need is to work out the truth of why we have come to this dismal point in society after so much apparent “investment”. The problem may be understood irrationally at the level of the current riots in Tottenham, but there’s hardly a solution in any of that, though I’d guess we will see more around the country. We should be on the streets for very different reasons and without setting buses on fire.
People at the top of our society have believed absolute bunk to get us in this state. The first was to believe the rich are of any use to the rest of us at all. Many of them are no more than highly influential ‘evil poor with money’. The second was to attribute worth to money and believe it is right to allow people to accumulate vast amounts as though this is not to the detriment of all others. This form of riches leads to investment abroad where people can be made to work cheap. There are alternatives to this and Sweden and similar minded countries give us some hope but we are too stupid to look.
We don’t even understand how the current debt bubble came about – this in a people who say they vote on the economy! We vote for idiots who would be ignored in any economic argument if we hadn’t voted them in. They slime-bully their way through party apparatus and bids for leadership – this is no way to go about selection. And this is probably true of the whole shebang of our organisations. The situation is that of a septic tank – the really big chunks rise to the top. I doubt there is any evidence that high salaries motivate the right people to do the right things or that there is a group of people good at managing. It’s much more likely that there is a group of people responsible;e for selling the rest of us down the debt river and into serfdom in the shadow of austerity mountain. We should identify who has had the money and treat them as thieves.
We are as uneducated as a population as the nerks burning buses and stoning police vans in Tottenham. None of us know how much work is really needed to have life’s basics and support a family, let alone how that relates to what Rooney gets for a bad pass. I have some clue though that we will survive unless we let them convince us to go to war. The rest doesn’t matter – solutions are long term.