Tuesday 15 October 2013

The Carmarthenshire Cash Cow

Further to my earlier post 'The stadium again...that sinking feeling' it should come as no surprise that the Executive Board approved the continuing bail out of the stadium and the club. Despite the dire budget cuts on the near horizon, which will include the sell off of parks and other sports facilities, Meryl Gravell even finds it appropriate to gush;  'I am so proud that as a council we have been there to support the Scarlets'. Indeed they have. I have only observed one or two Executive Board meetings and each time I felt like an unwelcome intruder at a mutual back-slapping convention. I can't begin to imagine the jolly atmosphere on Monday as Scarlets Regional Ltd joined in.

The Executive Board line-up may have altered slightly after the 2012 election but it's still the carefully selected band of loyal followers which ensure the officer-led regime slips seamlessly on.

To ensure continuing survival, every tin-pot dictatorship needs two things, control of the press and an unquestioning band of disciples. The first is achieved by developing a ministry of propaganda which works on the principle that if you tell the masses often enough that black is in fact white, or 'unlawful' is actually 'lawful', then they will believe it. Extending the 'influence' to external news agencies captures the wider public and any dissenting voices are ostracised through smear, the threat of financial ruin, or by being prevented from accessing information. And in some cases snooped on. Every dictatorship must have it's Intelligence Unit.

The unswerving loyalty of the camp followers is the second essential ingredient.They are not chosen for their outstanding intelligence nor their ability to think for themselves. Their role is not just to provide a source of endless flattery for the regime but is the cash cow of the dictatorship, spilling out money to fund pet projects; wider financial wisdom is secondary when it comes to shiny new things; they look good, they sound good, who cares if the benefits are reaped by giant corporations or fundamental evangelicals for instance, instead of the local population. And sometimes it's not only pet projects which benefit, but the pets as well.

Occasionally a decision or two has to go to the assorted ranks of the 'democratic' arm of the regime. This can be slightly tricky and is where the possibility of defeat can loom large. The regime has several options open to minimise the risk. It can ensure only the most loyal, proven over years of ingratiating servitude, can enjoy positions of power, with the temptations of lucrative allowances easing the passage up the ranks. Another way is to ensure that any opposition or dissent is effectively silenced. A powerful dictatorship has a sound knowledge of the rules and it's many interpretations, and must be constantly vigilant to any necessary alterations; rewriting the rule book is essential to its continuing survival....

The most dangerous dictatorship is one which is not just self serving but one which comes to believe in its own spin. This stage in governance is best illustrated by that age old tale, The Emperor's New Clothes.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The Emperor's new clothes" is just perfect.The more one reads about Carmarthen CC and watches the webcast
the clearer becomes the iron grip of the chief executive.