Friday, 29 January 2016

A Reasonable Cause to Wonder.

I was due a payment from a government department in December, and I did receive a payment but it was wrong. It was only half what it should have been.

At this point I could relate the history of my attempts to sort it out. I could talk of long wait times, interminable menu options, pointless recorded announcements, being given the wrong information and having to start again, and the fact that I was paying for the many phone calls. I could, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll offer a thought.

I discovered this error because I’m the sort who keeps a careful check on my bank account and my finances generally. I spotted it straight away and began the frustrating process of trying to set it right. But what of those who don’t keep a careful check because they’re not made that way? My brother wasn’t made that way. He was a practical man, a physically strong man, a tough man; he was the sort who would fight a lion over a pork chop and win. But he was frightened of paperwork and figures, so he never checked his bank account. He assumed that everything was as it should be and left well alone.

I’ve no doubt that those who run the affairs of a complex society know that there are many such people, and so I wonder. Could it be that errors are deliberately generated in order that a portion of them will go unnoticed and money will be saved? Could this be a covert cost-saving measure? We’re always hearing about the need to reduce government expenditure, aren’t we?

If I raised this matter with the bureaucrats or my MP, no doubt I would be told that I’m being silly and paranoid. Well, I’m not being either silly or paranoid because I’m only wondering. And the reason I’m wondering is because I distrust bureaucrats, especially at the upper echelons, and I distrust politicians even more.

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