Perverse systems and government control

January 24, 2008

A confession: For the past two years I have been promising to write a paper on this topic. My ‘To do’ leaps up accusatorily at regular intervals. This is a note from my resting place on the way to production.

Dictionary definitions of perverse, perversion and pervert refer to abnormal or unacceptable sexual behaviour. In today’s society, this means paedophilia. I use perversion in a more technical sense that of being against the (Oxford Concise Dictionary) weight of evidence, as in the law, or the direction of the judge. By law, I do not mean the UK’s legal system but refer you to El Shaddai. So two possible perverse symptoms are: creating a world which goes against the weight of evidence (Reread Buiter’s blog) and setting up and controlling your own system in competition with the judge. Jacques Lacan called perversion which is the same word in French, pere (father) version (against). This system excludes uncertainty.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Smiley defines a knot which Karla has tied which turns the Circus inside out – that and those who are right, become wrong. Karla thus sets up and controls what the Ministry of Defence sees. He makes the circus heroes who reliably, or with certainty, produce good reports which have the appearance of Truth. Karla protects the Circus and makes them feel safe. Anyone who questions these reports or finds discontinuities in them is banished from the Fairy Kingdom.

Comments on ‘The National ID register will leak like a battered bucket by Jackie Ashley. The Guardian Monday January 21, 2008

Quotes from the article with my comments in italics:
The record of lost data of the past few years should be a warning to us all: our personal details are safe in nobody’s hands. (The government seeks to provide safety – this is to protect, always a perverse aim though sometimes necessary, – the population from suicide bombers.)

But surely, after one ear-splitting, headline-grabbing warning after another, from different departments, month after month, there might be a bigger lesson here, one that goes beyond tightening this procedure or that, one rather larger in scope than internal inquiries or even prosecutions, can deal with? (I refer you to David Hoyle’s comments. So the government is defending the knot it has tied which gives us the feeling of safety. It defends the knot by tightening procedures.)
Remember that this year the full national identity register, the essential core of a compulsory ID card scheme, will get properly started:….. The cards and thus your involvement in the national identity register (which will be stored on three government databases) don’t become compulsory until after the next election – if Labour wins it. …. And nobody has told us if carrying the things will be compulsory – though plenty of the arguments in favour of them fall if you don’t have to carry them. (Note the government’s protection of you, or the provision of certainty, is now legally enforced just as was the protection from hell by the Inquisition, from capitalist exploitation by Stalin and from undesirables by the Third Reich.)

Legally, this is all done and dusted. After five defeats in the Lords the parliamentary process is over, the scheme is taking shape, bit IT contracts have been signed and the computer industry have been snarling at the Tories and Lib-Dems for threatening to ditch it. Ministers still think they are on to a winner. (Even after Gerald’s unmasking, Bland and the Circus’s boss could not adjust to having their certainty taken away. I am currently opposing the implementation of the Health Professions Order 2001, This promises to “safeguard” the population from miscreants and charlatans. It is already on the statute book and all psychologists, counsellors and therapists will be forced to register and, worse, then forced to implement the government’s definition of processes to treat psychic distress. The British Psychological Society, the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy are all in agreement with the government’s knot which ties yours (or users) safety to regulation and registration. So they become agents of the government in implementing this certain world. They are collaborators.)

Well, it seems to me that after the events of the past few months, they are wrong and that any voter who notices the news already knows what will happen. We know that millions of sensitive details will be lost. We know that material of huge use to criminals will be sent in the post, stolen, mislaid, dropped in car parks, will fall off the back of lorries and will be sent by accident to radio talkshow hosts. We know this because whatever the system, whatever the rules, from Tyne and Wear to Iowa City, they are operated by humans. And people get bored, tired, drunk, have bad days, think they’re about to be fired, are greedy and, in general, make mistakes. (The system assumes there is no such thing as human error or human relationship. The government in several reports: Donaldson, Foster, and so on assures us that human error will be eliminated by the implementation of government regulation. Incidentally, these processes will also eliminate criminal behaviour.)

The government is going to introduce a single system for all our identities. And I promise, you can’t trust it. First, it will leak like a battered old bucket. Oh yes, there will be ministerial statements. Apologies. Inquiries. Expensive new IT consultants will be brought in. Tough and unbreakable procedures will arrive. And still it will leak like a battered old bucket – except that it will be the most expensive battered old bucket in the history of the world, and we will keep pouring in money to the IT industry in the years to come.

Second, it will be riddled with errors. Great-grannies will be jumped on by armed police at Newcastle airport because of an administrative or human error. Identities will be confused.

And third, whatever promises there are about keeping some things, health things, or criminal record things, off one database, these walls will be breached. There is always an emergency, a special case, on the way.

This is a fantasy of control. (This is perverse control in operation.)

Whatever Des Browne says today, whatever promises he makes, however rare and unusual he says the loss of this laptop was, the truth is in the record. The national identity register will make us less safe, not more so. However late the hour, it should be scrapped.

From ‘Guys, I’m afraid we haven’t got a clue…’ Jonathan Steele The Guardian 21.01.08
In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts warned Tony Blair that occupying the country and trying to impose a western-style democracy was doomed to failure. He dismissed their objections, convinced that victory was a formality. In the first of three extracts from his book, Steele looks at how Britain went to war unbriefed, unprepared and with no idea of the fallout that would ensue.
(I think this is speaks for itself.)

From: ‘First person: The man65-year-old Mary Willson met on an internet dating site seemed funny, warm and intelligent. But she she went to stay with him she quickly realized she had made a mistake… Romance turned sour’. The Guardian 21.01.08

Julia again:

Many of the people who work with me use the internet to find a relationship. The problem with the internet is it lacks context, uncertainty and the real of the body of another human being (a relationship). It is thus a further example of a world knotted in certainty. One imagines the relationship just as, at the time of her death, many people had an imaginary relationship with the Princess of Wales. The uncertainty of a relationship with a embodied fellow human being is avoided. The context is controlled by the internet date.

The government is planning on eliminating cbt therapists from the treatment of psychic distress. Cbt therapy is on offer from the internet. This will be a further saving of money in this government’s ‘brave, new, world’.

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