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Shock! Horror! BBC Politically Correct!

It’s May Day Bank Holiday and the traditional British weather is gripping the South-East. Any hope of heading down the coast for a jolly boys’ ended with the incessant rain. Who would fancy pitch and putt in the wet.

Confined to the lounge with the Daily Mail, my eyes lit upon a quote from a politically correct employee of the BBC, in an article on how British citizens, formerly from East-Central Europe, viewed this country:

The British are intrinsically opposed to bureaucracy. A new car can be registered without visiting a government office – still unthinkable in Eastern Europe.

Having experienced communist rule first-hand, I was surprised to hear some educated people in Britain advocating socialism and never asking themselves why that ‘paradise’ needed barbed wire to keep people in.

Uttered by Andrius Uzkalnis, of Lithuania, who works for the BBC World Service.

Besides this, does anyone know what music is worth listening to whilst staring out of the window at the monotony of rain and wishing for sunnier days?

26 comments to Shock! Horror! BBC Politically Correct!

  • Jeremy Marshall

    Beach Boys or some old Jan & Dean. Or maybe all those beach songs will just drive you crazy.

  • Guy Herbert

    He hasn’t spotted that we may not have to queue at a government office, but we do have to queue to get the relevant form at the Post Office, and send the forms to Wales. Then there are all those minatory TV ads about the penalty (= a Lithuanian month’s wages) you’ll have to pay if you don’t satisfy the DVLA immediately.

    We British, sad to say, are far from opposed to bureaucracy, we are very compliant with it. It’s just ours has more recently established, and more modern- seeming, habits than those of officials in continental countries. And our bureaucrats are more cunning in making their requirements stealthy and irresistable.

    Physical attendance at an office would be far too crude. The official would have to ignore you in person, then, and would have no opportunity to make mistakes without distressing and wasteful conflict.

  • Jacob

    That’s what I have been saying: compared to the communist countries – the EU (of which Brittain is a member) is a big improvement.
    In the ex-communist countries the customs, procedures and mentality inheritted from the communist regime are still pretty much in place.

  • At the age of 28, my parents emigrated from Croatia to America 28 years ago, and now they have moved back for the next 28 years(for employment reasons – and they planned to retire there). I was in Croatia this winter, and will be going back this summer.

    I love the food, the people are arrogant but lovely, and the countryside and culture are beautiful. BUT, it is still very clear that the old communist thinking still abounds. This is seen in people abusing Veterans benefits, in the efforts to privatize government industries, and in the unemployment rate.

    Things could only get better for business, and for the people, by joining the EU. It is the lesser among evils.

    As for music, I love Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” album on a rainy day in the city.

  • Verity

    Ravi Shankar or any other sitar music. It just radiates the heat, vigour and sensuousness of India.

  • Weather with You by Crowded House, for sure.

  • Ben

    To be fair, don’t most socialist thinkers espouse a minimalist bureacracy – more money for the poor and all that? Does making people queue at government offices have anything do with “real” socialist theory at all?

  • Chris Goodman

    Thats right Ben, socialists want to reduce bureacracy and improve the living standards of the poor; or is increase bureacracy and undermine the generation of wealth, one of those.

  • Kate

    Never forget that the chief inspiration for 1984 was Orwell’s time at the BBC. Moire than Stalin, more than Lenin–it was Received Pronounciation that done him in.

  • Susan

    It’s 85+ degrees F in NorCal and my husband has taken the winter cover off of the swimming pool.

    The rose garden is in full bloom, and the fruit trees are exploding with the promise of summer bounty.

    Paraphrasing Melville, if God had had it in his mind to have been an American, he’d have been a Californian!

  • ernest young

    Socialist ‘thinkers’, – is there such a thing?. if there is, and they are espousing minimalist bureacracy, then that is yet another example of their habit of saying one thing, while doing, and meaning, another.

    Bureacracy is a feature of socialism, it cannot be avoided, it is built into the system. When people employed as bureacrats, have a nice little sinecure of a position, just what incentive is there for them to try and do a good job?, – none whatsoever! hence we get a slow deterioration in performance. Obvious to all, but the most brain-washed, or brain-damaged.

    At the risk of going OTT, most bureacrats that I have met have tended to be of the ‘clock-watching’, ‘time-serving’ variety, a good example is your average post office clerk, the one who closes his position when you are next in line…and is there really any excuse for a three or four week delay when contacting any Government department? and for a real pip of an example, try contacting any government employee or office on any friday p.m.

    The only real difference between the bureacracy that the Eastern Europeans are used to and that in the UK, is that we do not have the blatant bribery they are so used to, maybe that is one of the little ‘cultural’ benefits they will bring to our table.

  • Euan Gray

    a good example is your average post office clerk

    Most of whom outside the large central offices actually work for private franchisees, and have done for years. I know, I used to be one many moons ago.

    try contacting any government employee or office on any friday p.m.

    Won’t get much joy out of many companies, either. Although, to be fair, more than you’ll get from the average government office.


  • ernest young


    The whole civil service, bureaucrat ethic is so imbued in the average Brit mentality, that whether employed by the Post Office, or put out to a private franchise, the staff employed are still ‘bureaucrats’. One would have thought that off-loading a few sub offices to the much vaunted Asian community might have had a positive effect on service, but no, the result is just the same, queues of grumbling customers…

    In a socialist economy, such as that in the UK, the lack of real incentive is the most damaging factor, it really does not make any difference whether the service is good or bad, the end result is just the same, so why bother?

    Unfortunately, when you have reasonably intelligent people doing boring, mundane, and largely unnecessary jobs, apathy and clock-watching are the order of the day.

    That job insecurity was the only way to get people to perform boring jobs in a reasonable manner, says as much about the poor management as about the general lack of work ethic.

    There is no doubt that socialism makes for a lot of dumb donkeys….

  • Pete (Detroit)

    Obscured by Clouds, and Meddle by Pink Floyd.

  • David Gillies

    Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings; the opening movement of Mahler’s Fourth; Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde; a good dollop of Monteverdi; Debussy’s Pavane pour une Infante défunte – all this will help to dispel cheery thoughts of sunshine and allow one to concentrate on feeling miserable.

    All organisations of any size, public or private, are mired in inefficiency, sloth and clock-watching. It’s just that the State sector is so much worse than the private, not that either of them are particularly good on an absolute scale.

  • Jacob

    “The only real difference between the bureacracy that the Eastern Europeans are used to and that in the UK, is that we do not have the blatant bribery they are so used to, maybe that is one of the little ‘cultural’ benefits they will bring to our table. ”

    That “blatant bribery” is what oils the wheels and makes bureaucracy work. You pay a little and you get real, capitalist style, service. It’s an option worth having, saves you a lot of time and trouble.

  • ernest young


    Spoken like a true Communist (socialist).

    I bet you are not going to have too much of a problem with integration, when you decide to move…..

  • Verity

    Ernest Young has hit the nail on the head. The whole civil service, bureaucrat ethic is so imbued in the average Brit mentality, that whether employed by the Post Office, or put out to a private franchise, the staff employed are still ‘bureaucrats’.

    Take a deep breath. It’s even worse in France. The notionally private-enterprise banks and insurance companies are essentially arms of the government, as is the notionally privatised France Telecom. The idea that they should continually seek new ways to please and serve the customer simply isn’t there. It’s like a blank page. You go into the bank and try to get them to correct a mistake, and even as you point out the mistake, clear as day, their eyes glaze over and they deny it. It would take them five minutes to sort it out, but they would rather spend half an hour denying its existence. My banker even told me that French banks don’t make mistakes. Like bureaucrats everywhere, they are too busy protecting their tiny patch of turf to worry about the bottom line, or competition.

    This is partly due, I think, to the socialist authoritarianism of the management. They share absolutely nothing with their employees. There is no sense of pride or common purpose (except to hang onto that job and to spend 25 years working for this concern without once coming to the attention of management by making a decision) and, heaving a sigh of relief, retire with their fat pension.

  • Jacob

    “Spoken like a true Communist (socialist).”

    A true communist is a liar and denies that “blatant bribery” exists in communist societies, though he himself is usully on the take, if he only has the right job.
    BTW, blatant bribery is a fact of life not only in communist or ex communist countries, but in about 98.5% of the world.

    We all dream about societies without bureaucracies. Until that is acheived, we need means to cope with the problems of everyday life.

  • Robert

    Great rainy day music?

    Cross Purposes by Black Sabbath is good for me.

    The Dream Sequencer by Ayreon is a nice moody one also. Particulary When The Wizards Turn To Stone.

    Or throw on Metallica’s Master of Puppets and put Orion on repeat.

  • llamas

    Don’t worry, the phenomenon is universal. The US Postal Service, once a government agency but now (notionally) private, is just as bad. It’s one of the few places where the rare imported British species ‘jobsworthus vulgaris’ may be seen in a more-or-less natural habitat. It takes several generations for the ingrained culture to work itself out.



  • Dave

    I must admit that when I updated, finally, to a picture license last year it was a relatively easy process. The post office checked my application, corrected some bits I’d done wrong and sent it off for me. A week later I had my license.

    Compared to Redwood City DMV it was an utterly painfree experience.

  • Verity

    Hey, Llamas! We haven’t seen you around for a while. I notice you couldn’t let your favourite subject, the jobsworth, pass without comment.!

  • Wild Pegasus

    Bureacracy is a feature of socialism, it cannot be avoided, it is built into the system.

    Bureaucracy is a feature of any sufficiently large organisation. The difference is that companies try to minimise bureaucracy and the government doesn’t.

    ObTopic: When I bought a new car in hypercapitalist Virginia, USA, a few years ago, I spent 3 entire mornings at the DMV getting everything straight. Hey, I understand that I should pay a fee for using the roads, but for God’s sake, just let me cut a check and get on with it.

    – Josh

  • Josh, I think you have pointed out the real problem with most modern governments. It’s not corruption or discrimination, but bureaucracy. A large number of people think that the most effective solution to a complaint is to set up a new agency to deal with the problem. This, however, causes things to be caught in an increasing amount of red tape. The government becomes less efficient. What we really should be aiming for is less agencies and more action.

  • Verity

    Yes, Alex – otherwise known as much smaller government. Except what libertarians want is fewer agencies (many fewer agencies) and absolutely no action.